Mixing it up with Ming Tsai

Simply Ming – Season 6


ShowCase Magazine caught up with James Beard Award-winning Ming Tsai for an interview. The chef/owner of the Massachusetts restaurants Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon is the host and executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning PBS series Simply Ming, now in its 11th season. Tsai has also written five cookbooks, including the interactive Simply Ming in Your Kitchen.

The celebrity chef showed his witty and engaging personality in our interview:

We know you grew up in a family restaurant, but who inspired you to become a chef?

I was inspired by being hungry! I would hang out in the kitchen and my family would throw me scraps. I like everything about food. I love the smell and texture and taste.

I love being a chef as we make people happy through food. You can change people. Food becomes a part of you. We see tired and hungry people come through the doors and leave satisfied.

What is your hidden cooking secret? Something we can share, of course!

The most important thing is to taste as you go. There is not a chef in the world that doesn’t taste as they go along, to add the perfect amount of salt.

One technique is, you can always make anything taste better with butter! Any type of recipe can have an added  a pat of butter. It will give it a richer flavor and it simply rounds out the flavor.

What was your favorite food as a child and why?

My favorite food was Chinese food, naturally. The best chefs in the world eat Chinese food. It is the most varied food in terms of the profile and the culture. A soufflé is great as well, but the “blown duck” is exceptional.

Why are you looking forward to presenting at the St. Martin’s Gala in November?

First, I was invited by Mario Batali’s father. He is one of my good friends. When his father asked, I gladly accepted as I have great respect for our elders. Beyond that I love Seattle. I’m looking forward to trying local restaurants.

We look forward to “ShowCasing” Chef Ming in the summer issue of ShowCase Magazine. For more information about the celebrity chef, visit ming.com. To learn more about the St. Martin’s gala and to purchase tickets, visit saint-martins-gala

by leah grout




discover unforgettable summer camps

Summer is approaching fast with warm weather, sunny days and an abundance of summer camp options. The possibilities are nearly endless, but here are a few camps that will no doubt excite and educate children all summer long.

America’s Car Museum Summer Camp in Tacoma

July 24-28, seventh through ninth graders will not only learn how race cars are built, but will also have the opportunity to build their own slot cars. After learning about how cars can be fuel-efficient and safe, they’ll compete in a slot car tournament.

Aug. 7-11, fourth through sixth graders will have the opportunity to race cars in CXC racing simulators and a slot car track. They will also learn the math, science and technology behind building cars.


Metro Parks Point Defiance Dahlia Garden volunteers. Photos by Russ Carmack

Metro Parks Food Truck Camp in Tacoma

The popularity of food trucks is ever-increasing, and now children can learn crucial cooking techniques and how cooking works in small spaces like food trucks. The camp accepts youths ages 11-18 and takes place July 10-13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Hands On Children’s Museum Summer Camps in Olympia

A reliable location for summer camps, the Children’s Museum offers several half-day options. June 26-30, children can learn and observe bugs in a classroom and outdoors.

July 5-7, Oodles of Doodles will enable children to “uncover invisible paintings” and create new colors ($10 materials fee).

July 24-28, children can create their own dinosaur eggs and fossils while learning about the prehistoric beasts that used to roam the earth.


YMCA Camp Seymour in Gig Harbor

Environmental camps, overnight camps, and family camps are on offer at YWCA Camp Seymour. For Memorial or Labor Day weekends, get away with your family and enjoy the multiple activities and accommodations offered at this camp.


Puyallup Children’s Theater and Music Academy Summer Camps

From ages 4 to 18, your child will find a camp here. With themed days such as Star Wars and Frozen, children benefit from an artful education—in acting, singing and dancing—and are greatly entertained at the same time.


by Jordan Marie Martinez

Listen up! W Hotels unveils first sound suite

W Seattle unveiled the first W Sound Suite to launch in North America at W Seattle. The private music studio, writer’s room and lounge offers a retreat for musicians and producers to write and record tracks while on the road.  Hotel guests are also able to get in on the fun by booking the studio to live out their rock star dreams.

“As one of the most iconic music capitals in the world, I couldn’t think of a more ideal location for our first W Sound Suite in North America than W Seattle,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “The W brand has long been synonymous with music, from the live music programming in our buzzing Living Rooms to musicians choosing to stay with us while on tour.  The W Sound Suite provides the perfect professional environment for when inspiration strikes – any time, day or night, complemented by 24 hour room service, of course!”

The W Sound Suite at W Seattle follows the opening of the world’s first W Sound Suite at W Bali – Seminyak last year, with additional W Sound Suites set to debut at W Hollywood and W Barcelona in the coming months.  W Sound Suites are in part the brainchild of the W brand’s North American Music Director, DJ White Shadow, the Chicago-based producer best known for his work with Lady Gaga. He worked with W Seattle to optimize the Sound Suite’s layout and select equipment for professional use and sound quality.

“Musicians are constantly on the road, where it’s difficult to find an accessible, professional-quality space to record,” said DJ White Shadow. “In Seattle, a city known worldwide for its music scene, W Hotels has brought recording space to the artist, allowing them to create whenever inspiration strikes.”

“From Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, to Modest Mouse and Macklemore, Seattle has been a music mecca for decades,” said Richard Hill, General Manager, W Seattle. “We are excited to present local and visiting artists alike with a space to write, record and relax in the heart of downtown, steps away from legendary concert halls like Benaroya Hall and the Triple Door where world-renowned artists perform and inspire.”

For the latest sounds to come out of W Sound Suites or to book your session, visit www.wseattle.com/WSOUNDSUITE. Join the conversation with @WSeattle and #WMUSIC.

Images: John-Marcus Strole

12th Annual Dragon Boat Festival

Dozens of boats wait patiently at the starting line to dig their oars into the water. Crowds of people watch them, their patience thinning quickly from all the excitement. The dragon boat race is seconds away from commencing.

St. Martin’s University will host the 12th annual Dragon Boat Festival on Saturday, April 29. The free event will consist of music, performances and, of course, the boat race. Among the highly anticipated performances at the festival are the St. Martin’s University Hawaii Club performers, the Taiko Drum Group from River Ridge High School, and the Lion dance. Event organizers expect this year’s festival to attract between 5,000 and 6,000 people.

According to Sally Henry, the university’s development associate of fundraising events, over 50 teams from Portland to Seattle are participating in this year’s event. She says each team consists of 20–24 paddlers competing in one of four divisions: community (novices), women’s, competitive mixed and juniors. “We provide the training and equipment for all the community teams,” says Henry, “if there is a community organization interested in participating. It’s a great team-building opportunity.”

A tradition that dates back to fourth-century China, dragon boat racing is said to commemorate famed poet Qu Yuan, who threw himself into the Milo River to protest the political turmoil and suffering of the people at that time. Today dragon boat races are an opportunity to celebrate culture and community, says Henry, adding, “We hope attendees will enjoy this unique cultural experience, feel a sense of community, and experience St. Martin’s University at its best.”

Josephine Yung, the university’s vice president of international programs and development, notes that St. Martin’s has been an integral part of the community since 1895. “We always want to give back to the community and create a cultural event to bring together community, have fun and celebrate diversity.”

St. Martin’s University 12th Annual Dragon Boat Festival

701 Columbia St. NW, Olympia

Saturday, April 29, 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.


images by: Joe Saladino

Rhein Haus German food in Tacoma

As you enter what was once the Titus Will auto dealership, you notice a complete transformation. The space is huge (approximately 14,000 square feet), but it has been redesigned to be cozy and warm. A massive fireplace fills the center of the room with wraparound seating. Accents include Belgian wood doors, crystal chandeliers, reclaimed SeaTac streetlights, four post lights from actor Michael Douglas’ former home, and green enamel sconces from an old Tacoma factory.

Within this space is housed an on-site bakery that produces all of the restaurant’s breads, including pretzels, rye bread and desserts such as Berliners and strudel. An in-house charcuterie program produces at least a half-dozen daily sausage choices from a kitchen outfitted with a smokehouse.

A good place to start your dining experience at Rhein Haus is with the Oktober sampler: a large variety of in-house smoked and cured meats, cheeses and rye bread. Other savory menu items include sausages and schnitzel. A ShowCase favorite is the pork schnitzel accompanied by apple slaw. The cutlet’s delightful crunchiness comes from a light pretzel breading, and then it’s served with a rich butter sauce complemented with lemon, capers, parsley and shallots.

For dessert the restaurant creates fresh-made sweets daily. German chocolate cake tops our favorites list. Another decadent option is Banana Bavaroise, a flan-inspired dessert with peanuts, malted meringue and chocolate ganache.

The on-site executive chef, Kelly Wilson, speaks highly of the restaurant’s quality German food. “We are consistently delivering good food and reaching new limits of what is possible. I’m really proud of what our team is accomplishing in such a small time. The owners are really great people who promise to focus on the people as we strive to make the experience excellent.”

We think they are hitting the mark on that note!

253-572-4700; rheinhaustacoma.com

649 DIVISION AVE, Tacoma

The Experience at S.P.S. Community College

Over 400 community leaders, businesses and individuals gathered for an evening of innovation and excellence at South Puget Sound Community College’s largest fundraiser. This year’s event featured a social hour with highlights of several college programs, an aerial performance, gourmet dinner, interactive desserts, an after party with entertainment and 100 student volunteers.

The Experience raised more than $400,000 in support of student success, including scholarships and emergency grants to help remove financial barriers for students to complete their education.

Local Family Provides Seafood Harvested Boat-To-Table

“Sassy Seafood is literally my dream that came to life,” says company owner Libie Cain. “I met my husband 20 years ago when he was a Bering Sea crabber. I was working at a design firm in Seattle. So I traded my high heels for Xtratufs boots and my pantyhose and skirts for hooded sweatshirts and orange Grundens [waterproof clothing].”

Cain has now been deck-handing for her husband on their own boat for 14 years. The idea for Sassy Seafood came to her about 10 years ago, she recalls, after they were getting low prices at the canneries for their high-quality albacore tuna.

“In 2009, I finally got enough courage to ask my best friend, Teresa Reeves—also married to a commercial fisherman who owns and operates his own boat—what she thought about the idea and if she wanted to join me in the adventure.” Two weeks later Reeves resigned from her retail management position, and the two friends have been “Sassy Seafooding” ever since. “We couldn’t beat them, so we joined them,” says Cain.

Cain and Reeves have always had a vision to use Sassy Seafood as a sales vehicle for their albacore and specialty seafood products, but also as an education platform. Cain says they pride themselves in being harvesters as well as “advocates and teachers” about the commercial fishing industry.

“We want other families to know and understand why it is so very important to know where your food is coming from, who is getting it for you, and the journey that took place for it to be on your plate,” Cain explains. When people buy and consume Sassy Seafood, she continues, they can feel good about investing in the rich heritage of small, artisan commercial fishing as well as the local economy. She adds that they are also investing in their health.

Cain and Reeves pride themselves on owning and operating the vessels that do the harvesting of their products in the Pacific Northwest where they live and do business. They say this ensures that the quality of their products are of the highest standard, and it guarantees that their seafood is completely traceable.

“It is our privilege to provide the finest quality of fish, harvested from off our hooks and put directly into your hands and onto your plate,” says Cain. “Here at Sassy Seafood, we refer to this as the ‘boat to belly’ concept.”

For more information about sustainable fisheries and the working fishing families that make up the industry, visit noaafishwatch.gov or seafoodwatch.com.


For additional information:
Sassy Seafood

Home Trends for 2017

Pinterest just released its list of the top home trends predicted to take over your boards and we’re ready to start pinning! Keep reading to see the hottest home trends of 2017.


Plants have been taking over our backyards for as long as we can remember, and this year, searches for indoor plants as decor have climbed over 260 percent.

dark blue

Color schemes have moved over to the blue side, with searches up over 80 percent. As Pinterest said, “A velvet sectional or high-gloss statement wall gives any space modern, moody vibes.” Get your blue on!

wood tile

Adding this rustic wooden accent to rooms throughout your home can instantly radiate feelings of comfort, and there’s no reason wood should be limited to your floors and tabletops.

farmhouse style

Rustic farmhouse interior styles have us feeling at home the second we walk through the door. Up 40 percent since last year, these country vibes appear to be here to stay.

marble wallpaper

Statement wallpaper is one thing, but simple yet chic statement wallpaper is a whole other story! Marble wallpaper is the best way to spice up those plain white walls while also keeping it clean. Searches for marble wallpaper were up 303 percent, and we have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more marble in 2017.


We saw rose gold taking over in 2016 and now copper for 2017. The subtle metallic shade is perfect for creating a rustic home, and it’s easier on the eyes than an overwhelming gold hue. We’ve already gone for the gold, so let’s go copper!

heated floors

Is there anything worse than coming out of a shower on a cold morning to a freezing cold bathroom floor? We don’t think so! No wonder heated floors are sought after in 2017, with searches up 54 percent.


Fashion Trends

2016 is now behind us, and left behind are memories of monochromatic looks, minimalism, and “athleisure.” For the upcoming season, prepare to embrace the rebirth of 1980s glam. Spring 2017 will introduce a modern version of the fashion revolution, bringing back puffed sleeves, bold prints and colors, ruffles, and statement earrings.

Spring catwalks are flourishing with interpretations of the ’80s, translating to a season of self-expression and unpredictability. What does this mean for the average working woman? More statement pieces. Ditch your boring black blazer and reach for one that’s oversized with a bold color or print. And if you’re feeling like taking a risk, go for the one with architectural shoulders or sleeves.


Spring 2017 fashion shows debuted a tremendous number of dramatic colors, favoring shades such as pink and yellow. Retire an excessive amount of black to the back of your closet and dare to be different with neon blazers, printed tops, striped trousers and embellished blouses.


frills and ruffles

Expect to see ruffles everywhere this season since frills were seen all over the runway. The style effortlessly showcases personality while remaining feminine. Voluminous sleeves and ruffles add a romantic element to every woman’s closet. This year is all about standing out, so if you can’t let go of your dark minimalist pieces, try vamping up your accessories selection.

statement earrings

Another way to shake things up is to add statement earrings. Designers such as Proenza, Delpozo, and more have made the message clear: the bigger and bolder the better. Fashion in 2017 is all about getting out of your comfort zone, expressing yourself and pushing boundaries.

Bring confidence to your wardrobe by increasing the number of standout colors, prints, accessories and embellishments to take the new year by storm. Go from minimalist and muted to bold and beautiful, creating the most exciting wardrobe you’ve ever had.


Linda MacNeil: Wearable Glass Jewelry

Artist Linda MacNeil’s innovative use of glass to create elegant, wearable jewelry provides a unique opportunity for the Museum of Glass to present its first jewelry exhibition. MacNeil has been a pioneer in both the studio jewelry and studio glass movements since the 1970s. It was during that decade that MacNeil began fashioning a body of work that combines glass and nonprecious metals—more recently augmenting them with precious materials—to make exquisite adornments.

MacNeil’s sophisticated statements over more than 40 years have ranged from playful, often surrealistic pronouncements to formal compositions that sometimes reference fine jewelry from the great international houses of the 20th century. What unites all of MacNeil’s work is her passion for making and a concern for materiality that results in her pushing to the limits the inherent characteristics of the glass—its transparency, opacity, and reflective and refractive qualities. When juxtaposed with metalwork that is elegant, restrained, symmetrically arranged and often visually understated, the glass rivals precious gems and evokes jewelry and metal-smithing from ancient times through the art deco period to the present.

To date, MacNeil has created more than 700 necklaces, brooches and earrings. This retrospective exhibition and accompanying monograph, organized by guest curator Davira S. Taragin, is the first to explore in depth MacNeil’s work and her contribution to late 20th- and 21st-century American jewelry. The monograph covers MacNeil’s biography and discusses the development of her aesthetic and influences. Noted jewelry historian Ursula Ilse-Neuman contextualizes MacNeil’s contribution in the international art jewelry movement and in the use of glass in jewelry over the centuries.

The exhibition and monograph fully recognize for the first time Linda MacNeil’s significant contribution to contemporary glass and jewelry, says Taragin. “The scholarly examination of the development of this innovative jeweler’s stunning aesthetic and her position within the history of jewelry and adornment enhances the fields of both glass and jewelry.”

Linda MacNeil: Jewels of Glass is on display at the Museum of Glass until October 1, 2017.


For additional information:
Museum of Glass
1801 Dock St, Tacoma
253.284.4750 | 866.4museum