Dungeness crab season is bait for host Pete Evans and Seattle chefs Tom Douglas (Dahlia Lounge) and Thierry Rautureau (restaurant Luc) to throw a Northwest seafood feast. To gather their ingredients, they take to the Puget Sound for a day of crabbing and fishing for sand dabs, then it’s on to the famed Pike Place Market (“the heart and soul of the city,” says Douglas) for fresh squid, along with veggies Pacific Northwest-style: Walla Walla onions, wild morel mushrooms, crisp asparagus. Back in the kitchen, Rautureau demonstrates the best way to cook crab, Douglas takes viewers to squid school, and Evans gives Puget Sound fish the Italian-French treatment.
A word from Pete…
Wow, I had never been to Seattle until this trip and I had such a ball. Working with Thierry and Tom was like being with a couple of old friends who know how to laugh and have a great time.
We started the day with the goal of catching some Dungeness crabs, which was relatively simple, but we then had a little fishing competition. I have to hand it to Thierry, he fished me under the table (or boat I should say). He did have his cheerleader Tom for moral support, so maybe that helped.
We caught some gorgeous sand dab, which I couldn’t wait to get into the frying pan with some locally sourced ingredients. We visited Pike Place Market and I must say, I am very tempted to return to Seattle and set up shop. The market was full of such wonderful produce and fun people.
Back in Tom’s new kitchen the magic started to happen. Thierry started his simple grilled asparagus and Walla Walla onions, which were sublime. His steamed crab was also delicious, and watching Tom slurp the crab tea out of the shell had me. We both loved this seafood soup, still in the shell, just as nature intended.
Tom was patiently threading squid marinated in a very herbaceous charmoula marinade. He was definitely in his element, and once they hit the grill, the smell was incredible; I think we ate a few too many before we served our guests.
I quickly cooked the sand dabs with some local garlic scapes and fresh morels, then brought it all together with a good splash of red wine vinegar. Can’t forget about Theirry’s harissa aïoli for the crab, it was heaven in a bowl! I made some great friends and can’t wait to return to Seattle.