SEATTLE — Chef Renee Erickson has been doing much more than running her many restaurants and creating signature seafood dishes in the last three years.
She also managed to write a cookbook that’s also part travelogue. "Getaway: Food & Drink to Transport You" will take you around the world, but it’s also firmly rooted in the Pacific Northwest, right down to the book cover.
“The cover was shot at my folks' house actually, we have a cabin on the Salish Sea really close to Marysville,” Erickson explained.
Erickson's first cookbook, "A Boat, a Whale & a Walrus" is a pantry staple. Getaway will be as well, for anyone who wants to travel the world in their own kitchen.
“The book was inspired by six places that have been really important to me as a cook,” said Erickson. “Rome, Paris, Normandy, London, Baja California/Mexico and Seattle.”
Erickson visited all of those places for the recipes in this book. Note that Seattle makes her list.
“I think Seattle can often be the place that people come to go somewhere else in the Pacific Northwest and I'm really hopeful that people will just stay here and visit what is so fabulous about where we live.”
"Evening" met with Chef Erickson at her restaurant Westward, a local getaway on the shores of Lake Union, where she cooked up one local recipe featured: local Baywater Sweet oysters dolloped with fermented chili butter, finished in a wood-fired oven.
The book also reflects Erickson's many creative influences - from whimsical illustrations by Jeffry Mitchell to photos of her folks in their native Northwest habitat. Ever wonder where this chef got her seafood credentials? There’s a great photo of her mom in the book, digging clams.
“I grew up here so I am a born and raised Pacific Northwest person and I spent a lot of time on the water.”
Whether you want to taste your way around the world - or appreciate that you don't need to go anywhere to experience a world-class culinary paradise, "Getaway: Food & Drink to Transport You" will take you there. "There's just a lot of really good things in there to try so I just hope people enjoy the book,” said Erickson.