Special Event
Holly Smith
Holly Smith
Pamela Starr
Pamela Starr
Holly Smith
Cafe Juanita | Kirkland, WA

Pamela Starr
Crocker & Starr | Napa, CA

Saturday, April 3, 7:00 pm
Members $100, guests $125

“At times—quite a few in fact—there’s no finer food in greater Seattle than at Cafe Juanita,” Gourmet declared in its most recent Restaurant Issue, adding, “Holly Smith’s Northern Italian Cooking with a Northwest sensibility is truly remarkable.” Gourmet went on to select the restaurant as its “personal favorite” in Washington State. Not bad for a chef born on the East Coast with nary an Italian mamma in sight.

Smith, a native of Maryland, started her career working for Au Bon Pain Corporation. After several years with the bakery/café giant, Smith enrolled in Baltimore International Culinary College, then spent two years at the Milton Inn in Maryland. In 1993, she moved to Seattle, where she worked as a line cook and later a sous-chef at Tom Douglas’s Dahlia Lounge. Five years at the pan-Asian eatery gave her the confidence to open her own restaurant. As Smith refined her plans, developing “menu after menu after menu,” she told Sarah Thomas of Northwest Palate, it became clear to her that Italian cuisine was closest to her heart.

In 2000 Smith bought the 20-year-old Cafe Juanita, a charming converted house on the banks of Juanita Creek. She renovated, planted a garden with fennel, arugula, and fava beans, and “infus[ed] the menu with magic by drawing on seasonal inspiration and pure passion for Northern Italy,” as Seattle Times critic Nancy Leson wrote, giving it three and a half (out of four) stars. The year it opened, the restaurant was named one of Esquire’s 22 Best New Restaurants in the USA, and Sunset magazine declared it the “best reason to fly to Seattle for dinner.” Two years later, Forbes writer Beagan Wilcox picked Smith as one of “Ten Cooks with Heat—The Country’s Most Interesting Up-and-Coming Young Chefs.”

At The Beard House, Smith will be joined by the Starr behind Crocker & Starr wines. After an internship at a winery, Pam Starr changed her dental school plans and opted instead to study in UC Davis’s Fermentation Science and Intoxicology program. Upon graduation, Starr worked at Sonoma Cutrer, Edna Valley Vineyards, Carmenet, and Spottswoode, remaining at the last for five years. When Charlie Crocker called, asking her assistance in replanting his century-old vineyard in St. Helena, a partnership was born. Since 1997, the pair have successfully replanted nine acres.

Foie Gras–Apple Gnocco

Taleggio Crostata with Petit Pear Salad, Pine Nuts, and White Truffle Oil

Octopus-Chickpea Bruschetta

Prosciutto di Parma with Housemade Grissini

Crocker & Starr Red Crow Dance Rosé 2002

Carpaccio of Yellowtail with Avocado, Toasted Horseradish, and Ligurian Olive Oil

Crocker & Starr Sauvignon Blanc 2002

Foie Gras with Sour Cherries, Candied Ginger, and Vin Santo

Crocker & Starr Stone Place Cuvée 1997 en Magnum

Lamb Caramelle with Fava Beans and Pecorino Marzolino

Crocker & Starr Cabernet Franc 2001

Grilled Squab with Arugula, Foie Gras Vinaigrette, Truffle Potato Sauce, and Squab Liver Crostini

Crocker & Starr Stone Place Cuvée 2000

Chestnut Gianduja Crespelle with Dr. Pescia’s Sulla Honey

Sea Salt Chocolates à Emporter

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