Profile: Chef Kerry Sear

Chef Kerry

The French know fashion. New Yorkers know attitude. And, it’s fair to say, no one knows the culinary capabilities of the Pacific Northwest quite like Chef Kerry Sear.

Kerry merged his culinary experiences in Seattle with time spent cooking abroad to create a market-driven menu for ART Restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel where he’s the executive chef.

With a passion for design, Chef Kerry has been known to sketch out his culinary creations beforehand with a brush on canvas. Lending ART his design expertise, he influenced everything from menu selection to the hues of wood on the walls and tables.

A Day with Chef Kerry Sear:

BREAKFAST – Apple French Toast

LUNCH – Baked Beecher’s Cheese Sandwich, Applesauce and Apple Fries

DINNER – Salmon Stuffed Baked Potato and Apple Cider Peas


Read the full article: Issue 1 – A Day with Chef Kerry Sear.

Salmon Stuffed Baked Potato and Apple Cider Peas

Recipe by Chef Kerry Sear

BLD_KerrySear - Dinner

4 4oz fillets of salmon (skin off )
4 Russet potatoes
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup apple cider
2 cups peas
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Wrap Russet potatoes in foil and place in oven for approximately 40 minutes or until done.

Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. In a medium sauté pan, sear salmon on both sides.

With a knife, partially cut the cooked Russet potato down the middle, lengthwise. Scoop out a little of the potato inside. Place the salmon fillet inside the potato and cover the salmon with the potato that was scooped out. Pat with 1 tablespoon of butter on each potato. Reform the potato into shape. Place potato in oven for approximately 15 minutes or until salmon is cooked to desired temperature.

Heat the apple cider in a small saucepan. Add peas. Cook until peas are done. Season with salt and pepper.

To serve, take the potato out of the oven, cut in half to show salmon and serve with peas.

Serves 4

Apple French Toast

BLD_KerrySear - Breakfast

A recipe by Chef Kerry Sear, Executive Chef, ART Restaurant.

Cooking is like learning to paint: Not everyone can do it. You have to draw on the art inside you. Legions of cookbook readers will be disappointed to hear that.


4 whole Granny Smith apples (cored, peeled and sliced)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup water

4 slices Brioche bread

1 cup milk

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup applesauce

3 whole eggs

powdered sugar



In a saucepan, add apples, brown sugar, butter and water. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until the apples are soft.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the milk, cinnamon, applesauce, sugar, and eggs together. Soak the brioche bread slices in the milk mixture.

Heat a medium sauté pan to medium heat and add 1 teaspoon of butter. Add the brioche bread and brown on both sides. Place bread on plate. Spoon the warm apple compote mixture on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Serves: 4

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App for That Toast


The App: A selection of toasts prepared by Melissa Nyffler, chef and owner of Dinette in Seattle.

Front to back: Rapini pesto with Beecher’s sharp cheddar and Mama Lil’s spicy pickled peppers; La Quercia proscuitto with fig and anchovy spread; and smoked sardine with peperonata and Laura Chenel goat cheese.

Jameson’s Pick: 2009 Pazo Señorans Albariño

Wine Expert, Jameson Fink

Challenged with an assorted array of ingredients, you’ve got to pick one bottle of wine that works with all three toast appetizers. First, it’s ok to panic a little. Then, take a deep breath and think, ‘What do all these toasts have in common?’

Eureka, it’s salt!

Sharp cheddar, prosciutto, and smoked sardines require a refreshing pour to cleanse powerful, and salty, flavours.

Time for an Albariño, a refreshing grape from Spain’s Rias Baixas region. Perhaps the fact that its grapes grow close to the sea explains its affinity with salty foods.

Ponder this (and more) as you alternate between sips of this bracing, lively dry white wine and bites of savoury toasts.

Family Moments

  • In the Lakemont area of Bellevue, just a short distance from Seattle, Sophie and David Vander share a 4,200 square foot home with their children Imogen, Saskia, Estelle and Anaïs.
  • The fruitwood harvest table in the kitchen is one of Sophie and David’s first purchases together. “Although it isn’t a terribly expensive table, we love how it has aged over the 14 years we’ve been a couple.”
  • There's plenty of room to chat around the 5' x 5' kitchen island.
  • The handsome coffered ceiling adds the visual weight required to balance the home’s existing dark oak floors.
  • “Everything in our house has a story.” ~ Sophie
  • The wall colour throughout the formal living area is Benjamin Moore Elephant Gray 2109-50.
  • “I definitely love a little girl’s room that feels old-world but is still bright and happy,” says Sophie.
  • For Estelle and Anaïs’s room the designing mom combined coral bed throws with vintage pieces with new finds. Though the Vanders attempt to keep toys to a minimum, there are books aplenty.
  • In the en suite, Sophie searched high and low for the right mirrors for above the sinks. “I knew what I wanted but couldn’t find it at any of the highend places,” she says. “I eventually found them at Lowes Hardware, would you believe?”
  • The Moravian star pendant above the Victoria and Albert York tub is from Antique Lighting in Seattle.
  • “The scent of camphor that has seeped into the wood takes me back to my childhood.”

The house is nestled on Cougar Mountain and, despite reports of infrequent visits with cougars, Sophie was hooked on the place the moment she looked out the big bay window in the kitchen to the garden. She realized then, she was home.

“The formal living room is mama’s refuge,” exclaims the busy mother of four. “When I need a ’moment’ this is where I come.”

It’s a peaceful room, where David and I can talk—we tend to have serious conversations in this room for some reason. Although Sophie says she feels very grown up when she sits in this room, it’s not stuffy or overly done— it has flaws and quirks like all rooms should.

Generous windows flank the fireplace, flooding the room with sunlight. Above the mantle is a painting of pink flamingos by AJ Power which Sophie found strangely intriguing.

“I was grabbing a coffee in a café that showcased the work of local artists,” says Sophie. “It ended up being an expensive cup of coffee!”

In the hallway, one of the couple’s collection of black-and-white etchings by Jodie Coleman blends peacefully with the mix of antique and modern furnishings—some pricey and some secret cheapies.

Floor space is important in this household. There has to be room for an impromptu danceathon in every room in the house.

The girls’ beds are Hillsboro by Wesley Allen from Carolina Rustica and the bedding is part of the Sari Blooms collection by Amy Butler for Welspun. A Surya ‘Goa 85’ round wool rug provides a soft place for the girls to play. The bird lamp, curtains and tie-backs are from Urban Outfitters.

Since four girls tend to clutter every other corner of the house, Sophie wanted her bedroom to be simple. “I can only sleep on white sheets so the bed is fuss-free.” The bedside tables belonged to her grandparents. On David’s side, you can still see scratches from where her grandfather threw his watch and keys every night. When Sophie opens the cabinet doors the scent of camphor that has seeped into the wood takes her back to her childhood. The bedside lamps were from Sydney Antique Centre and the chaise and headboard are from Urban Outfitters.

Seattle’s Top 5 Travel Experiences

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“Seattle is like cozying up with a great cup of coffee on a rainy day—comforting, energizing and a feeling of coming home,” says our travel expert Anne Taylor Hartzell.

1. Get up close and personal with Seattle’s waterways in a kayak at Aqua Verde Café & Paddle Club on Lake Union. Quench your thirst after a day of paddling with a signature prickly pear margarita and enjoy watching the parade of boats navigate the Montlake Cut that connects Lake Washington to Elliott Bay.

2. Hop the Elliott Bay Water Taxi from Pier 55 to Alki Beach in West Seattle for a breathtaking view of Seattle’s skyline. Go for a stroll along Alki Beach Park’s 4km path and take in the beauty of Puget Sound. Grab fish and chips for dinner and light a beach fire pit at dusk.

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3. Rent bikes at Recycled Cycles and bike the Burke Gilman Trail. Stop along the way at Gasworks Park for a picnic with spectacular views of Lake Union.

4. Eat your way through Seattle with a Savor Seattle food tour. Our guide, Ezra, dazzled our taste buds and our brains with an insider look into the savoury food and rich history of Pike Place Market. Several tours are available to sample food from Seattle’s diverse specialty food shops, artisans, and neighborhood restaurants. Every tour comes with a 10–15% VIP card good for discounts at food partners around Seattle. Tours start at $39 per person.

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5. Take flight over Seattle in a Kenmore Air float plane to take in Seattle’s natural beauty with the Ultimate Seattle City Tour. Feel the rush as you lift off in a vintage bushplane from Lake Union to fly high above Sleepless in Seattle houseboat communities, magnificent lakeside and seaside estates of the city’s rich and famous, and bird’s-eye views of the majestic Mount Rainier. $89 per person.

Seattle Coffee and Donuts

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Despite being the birthplace of Starbuck’s Coffee, or perhaps because of it, Seattleites prefer to root for the little guy—the indie coffee house that sees coffee preparation as an art form. They roast their own fair trade beans out back, grind them to order, then create miniature works of art in froth that only last as long as you have to sit, sip and savour the creation. Here, the term barista is a smart career move, and coffee is serious business.

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Indie Coffee Houses

In a city buzzing with tech start-ups it’s not unusual to find CEOs (of a company of one) working off a café’s WiFi for hours at a time. Best geek ‘offices’ are Fuel in Madison Park and Zoka in Greenlake. For a straight-up good vibe, Zeitgeist in Pioneer Square is our pick, with Victrola Coffee Roasters and Espresso Vivace on Capitol Hill a close tie for second. For an artists’ hang-out try All City Coffee in Georgetown. For great food to go with your specialty brew, Le Pichet near Pike Place Market and her sister establishment, Café Presse in Capitol Hill, do fine French fare in a Euro-cozy atmosphere.

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Donut City

We love Mighty-O Donuts who recently took home top honours in a national Food Network Challenge event. In true Seattle style they are 100% organic and mighty tasty. The flagship store of a Seattle favorite, Top Pot Doughnuts is a must-do to get them fresh and hot.Try a Feather Boa for a bit of donut glamour. Grab a bag of mini donuts from Daily Dozen Donut Company while you wander Pike Place Market.

Drink in Seattle

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There are many things to love about living in the diverse  neighborhood. A leisurely walk in almost any direction puts you in contact with a dizzying range of places to get everything from a cold beer, a great glass of wine, or an expertly assembled cocktail. Here’s a selection of places where you’ll undoubtedly run into our wine expert Jameson Fink.

“All I ask is that you say hello, tip your bartenders generously, and tell ‘em Dabble sent you.”

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Top 5 Drink Experiences

1. It’s almost enough to recommend a visit to Poco Wine Room just to meet ownersBart and Peter, whose sense of humor is intoxicating. Add in a sleek, modern atmosphere, a vibe that can facilitate everything from contemplative solo reading to unbridled group hilarity, and you’ve got a neighborhood wine bar to frequent and cherish.

2. After you and your friends order a wild boar Sloppy Joe peruse the über-impressive list of beers on tap at Quinn’s. That beer selection gives Quinn’s the cachet to get those special, limited edition kegs of beer (I cannot name names or I will be banned) that our local, rabid beer geeks get wind of and drain in under an hour.

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3. You’ve got to check out the gorgeous new Sun Liquor Distillery location on Pike. And how many bars have an on-site distillery? Say hi to Erik, one of the friendliest bartenders in the city, and don’t be afraid to engage him with all queries spirits-related. He’ll probably even let you drone on about your life a bit as well. (Thanks for listening, friend.)

4. I knew Gregg as one of my all-time favourite wine customers, but when I found out he was a bartender at Knee High Stocking Co., I had to let him pour me a drink. Text them to make a reservation and then ring a bell at a hidden-in-plain-sight location. Request a seat at the bar so you can banter with Gregg, and start with a glass of their punch du jour.

5. I’ll admit I first came to the Barrio solely to drink the excellent margaritas but, if you go on a night Casey is behind the bar, get ready for some cocktail innovation. I became mildly obsessed with a ghost chili-infused tequila with which he makes a myriad of memorable creations.

Seattle’s Top 5 Food Experiences

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“You could say we’re a little obsessed with our food,” says food contributor Fiona Van Alstyne.

1. Seattle is known for its gourmet food trucks like Skillet and Marination Mobile. But my favourite street food is always in the same place—a little pink surf shack on the way to Shilshole Beach in Ballard called Paseo. Stop in for their addictive Cuban/Caribbean food like the legendary Pork Sandwich, recognised by Esquire and Food+Wine magazine.

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2. At Sitka and Spruce you’ll find real Northwest food whipped up in a huge open kitchen. Shop, sip and sample local food and wine at the Melrose Market while you wait for your table.

3. The Book Bindery’s chef Shaun McCrain is a graduate of Thomas Keller’s PerSe—and it shows. Ask for a table by the window and watch the boats on the Fremont Canal. Stop at the winery and micro-distillery next door for pre-dinner tasting.

4. At Poppy, chef Jerry Traunfeld creates seasonally-inspired thalis (tasting trays) including herbs grown in the restaurant’s urban garden. Don’t miss the dessert thalis—a little taste of everything on the dessert menu.

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5. Tired after a long day of sightseeing? Order the four-course chef’s tasting menu at Staple and Fancy Mercantile in Ballard and let renowned Seattle chef, Ethan Stowell, make your dinner decisions for you in his casual yet romantic modern Italian restaurant.

Seattle’s Top 5 Design Spots

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“Seattle’s design scene is as eclectic as its residents,” says our design expert Sophie Vander.

The simplicity of high tech style travels easily from the workplace to home, but because Seattleites are intrinsically environmentalists, they feel compelled to mix vintage or antique with the sleek and new to create a style all their own.

1. First stop, Capitol Hill neighbourhood. Area 51 contains a mix of new and vintage that screams Seattle style. Leah Steen from Revival Home & Garden is the expert when it comes to pops of colour. If you’re a true greenie, NuBe Green’s philosophy of sustainable materials will float your boat. Tucked away upstairs in Melrose Market, Butter Home touts interesting rustic pieces with a built-in fun factor.

2. The knowledgeable staff at Velocity Art and Design is super cool and friendly, which makes shopping here way too easy. Walk away with pendant lamps by Artecnica, a Chilewich spun vinyl table runner and, hey, throw in Blu Dot’s Nick dining table as well. They do ship, so go crazy.

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3. Take a quick cab ride south to artsy and industrial-chic Georgetown. Take in the substantial inventory at Susan Wheeler Home, but grab your prize while you can as items go quickly. Next door, the pieces at Kirk Albert Vintage Furnishings are as enigmatic as Kirk himself. His business partner, Steve, is there to talk you through the history of the industrial relics sourced from around the globe. Stop by Pacific Galleries antique mall on your way back into Seattle.

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4. Not your average ceramics store, Far 4 features porcelain hand grenades by designer Charles Krafft, while Trevor Jackson’s skull teapots will cause a stir at tea parties. Scale down the shock factor but retain the wow with Far 4’s own line of porcelain vegetables accented with gold.

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5. We love how Great Jones Home creates vignettes within the store so that you can visualize a whole space and find inspiration within it. By utilizing classic pieces and patterns, with a touch of glamour and gilt, you can’t go wrong really.

Seattle’s Top 5 Local Immersions


To truly immerse yourself in Seattle, choose a neighbourhood and spend the day discovering its secrets. Our favourites include Ballard, Fremont, West Seattle, Madison Park, Wallingford, and Capitol Hill. Here are our top five local immersions, including a trip around Ballard.

1. Ballard Neighborhood Shop for picnic fare at Ballard Farmers’ Market on Sunday mornings (on Ballard Ave between 20th Ave NW and 22 Ave NW), grab a latte and cupcake from Cupcake Royale and Verite Coffee, then head to Ballard Locks and Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden to watch boats go between Puget Sound and Lake Washington (any time of year), and the salmon jump the fish ladder (steelhead late February through March, and king salmon, coho and sockeye July to September). If you’d prefer not to bond with nature, then stay urban and do Sunday brunch at Bastille Cafe and Bar and shop ‘Old Ballard’ aka Ballard Ave.

2. Take a drive to Alki Beach Park, eat fish and chips from Spud (2666 Alki Ave SW), and light a fire in the beach fire pits at dusk.

3. Rent bikes from Counterbalance Bicycles on Blakeley Street at University Village, then ride as far as your legs can take you up the 28-mile Burke Gilman Trail.

4. Delve deep into Seattle’s eclectic live music scene at The Triple Door.

5. Seek out The Troll under the bridge in the funky Fremont neighborhood.


Day Trip:

Take a mid-morning 30-minute ferry trip to Seattle’s artsy enclave, Bainbridge Island. Grab brunch at Cafe Nola, then visit The Bloedel Reserve : 150 acres of magnificent public gardens. Shop the main street galleries, then stop by Bainbridge Island Vineyards for a tasting before dinner at Four Swallows, or simply indulge in the best carrot cake at Blackbird Bakery before catching a sunset ferry back to Seattle. If you’re lucky you might be there for the Bainbridge Island Studio Tour.

Guest Post by Sophie Vander