Tag Archives: culinary communion

Beacon Bits: Bumps, bacon, and the blues

This pothole was found somewhere on Beacon Hill by photographer sodoheights, who added it to the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool on Flickr. Thanks!
The “Bumper to Bumper” column in the Seattle Times addressed a much-discussed Beacon Hill topic this week: Beacon Avenue’s bumpy pavement outside of the light rail station. According to a spokesman for Sound Transit quoted in the column, we should be seeing some relief for the the poor pavement when that segment of Beacon is repaved in the next couple of months.

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Some Beaconians might be curious about what happened to former Culinary Communion operator Gabriel Claycamp and his pork emporium, The Swinery, after Claycamp decamped from Beacon Hill back to West Seattle last year. It turns out the road has not been entirely smooth (some of the comments on that post are interesting, to say the least), but Claycamp and the Swinery did get a positive write-up from the New York Times’ T Magazine Blog recently.

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Elliott Jones of El Centro writes with more news about tasty tamales:

Have you been one of the lucky attendees of El Centro de la Raza’s tamale classes? Chances are, you haven’t – they have been wildly popular and have been selling out quick! Here’s a link to sign up for the next one, on May 15th (they are every 3rd Saturday, by the way).

Our April class is this Saturday, so that means that even though you might not be able to learn how to make them yourself, this month, you can still purchase some! Tamales are $12/dozen and you must order by Wednesday at 5pm.

To order, call Ashley Haugen at 206-957-4611 or e-mail development@elcentrodelaraza.org.

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The Dana Lupinacci Band is playing blues and jazz on Thursday night at the Beacon Pub, 3057 Beacon Avenue South. Show is at 8:00, and there is no cover charge.

Also in musical news on the Hill: We neglected to mention that Beacon Hill’s own Blue Scholars were featured in The Stranger a couple of weeks ago.

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Some lowlife stole a couple of kids’ bikes right off their front porch. “1 royal blue/silver/black 20″ mongoose, BMX style with pegs. Right handbrake is cracked. 1 lime green/silver 20″ Next, BMX style with pegs.” If you’ve seen them, please contact the parents.

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Denise Louie Education Center is holding their Fifth Annual Children and Families Festival on Saturday, May 22 from 1:00 – 4:00 pm at their Beacon Hill location, 3327 Beacon Avenue South. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature food, music, crafts, and community resources. Volunteers are needed. For more information or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact Frances Lin at 206-792-9771 or email flin@deniselouie.org.

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The Rainier Valley Cooperative Preschool is hosting a rummage sale this Saturday, April 24.  The school is located at the Beacon Lutheran Church, 1720 South Forest Street (just across Beacon from the library).

Beacon Bits: Garter snakes, restaurant inspections, and a Night Out against Crime

Snakes like this one are enjoying the view from Jose Rizal Park these days. Photo by Garrett and Kitty Wilkin.
Snakes like this one are enjoying the view from Jose Rizal Park these days. Photo by Garrett and Kitty Wilkin.
  • The new garter snake herpetarium at Jose Rizal Park was featured in the Seattle Times on Sunday. In the comments for the post, cheezybreezy joked, “Odds are good I will find a couple of ex-boyfriends residing here.”
  • The other day we saw the results of three local restaurant/food service inspections from June 30, and noticed that every single one had zero violations: El Centro de la Raza, the Beacon Avenue Shell Food Mart (this was a big improvement over last time), and… Culinary Communion? I thought they were gone.
  • Tuesday, August 4, is the annual Night Out against Crime. Local groups typically schedule block parties for that evening, and everyone gets out to meet the neighbors. Want to set up a block party? Find out more and register here.

Beacon Bits: Golf carts, food carts, planning starts

Be sure to check out the Events calendar for more upcoming activities nearby!

Beacon Bits: bravado, acrobatics, and coyotes

Coyotes have been seen in many parts of Seattle, including North Beacon Hill.  Photo by emdot.
Coyotes have been seen in many parts of Seattle, including North Beacon Hill. Photo by emdot.
  • “Health-department rules are critical for people who don’t know what the f— they’re doing. We’re chefs,” is the telling quote from Gabriel Claycamp in Jonah Spangenthal-Lee’s take on the Culinary Communion/Swinery/Lunch Counter tale. We just want to know if something else will be moving into that building on Beacon Avenue — The Stranger
  • The folks at the School of Acrobatics & New Circus Arts just down the hill in Georgetown will be holding their Annual Spring Showcase on Saturday, May 9, at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center. They tell us the show will feature “Two unique, circus-variety shows featuring the spectacular SANCA Youth Company, the amazing Circus 1-ders, incredible SANCA instructors and fabulous friends of SANCA!” See their website for further info.
  • That same day from 9:00am – 2:00pm, Rainier Valley Cooperative Preschool is hosting a fundraising rummage sale at 3818 S Angeline Street in Columbia City. See this and other upcoming events on our events page.
  • David Gackenbach reported on the Beacon Hill Mailing List this weekend that a trio of coyotes were “loping down the sidewalk” at 18th and Plum on Saturday night. Keep an eye on your pets and keep them safe.

Lunch Counter, Swinery follow Culinary Communion to oblivion

Culinary Communion House, in happier days. Photo by Wendi.
Culinary Communion House, in happier days. Photo by Wendi.
The Culinary Communion/Swinery/Lunch Counter saga continues. Last month, Culinary Communion, the cooking school located at 2524 Beacon Avenue South, announced via a farewell letter from owners Gabriel Claycamp and Heidi Kenyon that they would be closing because of a combination of the bad economy, and permitting issues with the city involving required exits in the basement. However, at that point the Swinery and the Lunch Counter (both located in the same building, and also owned by Claycamp and Kenyon) were expected to stay open. (The Swinery, however, has had its own run-ins with regulators, including a recent situation involving Swinery meat being supplied to a Fremont restaurant without proper permits in place for doing so.)

The “dramatic tale of oh!”, as Nancy Leson put it in her All You Can Eat blog at the Seattle Times, was not yet over. This week Claycamp sent out an email stating that King County has now given him permission to sell the Swinery’s bacon legally. But on the other hand, they have now lost their lease and “will be for sure out of the building by the end of the month.” Lunch Counter? Closed. (That was fast.) Swinery? Sort of closed, but they say they have “24 days to make and sell some bacon,” along with t-shirts that read “BACON PIMP.”

And this is where the situation gets even more convoluted. While the Swinery now has a permit to sell bacon (and only bacon, no other cured meats) legally, the annual permit to run a restaurant/food establishment from the Culinary Communion House on Beacon Avenue expired on March 31. The bacon-selling permit assumes that the bacon will be sold from a legally-permitted establishment, which CC House is not. Unfortunately, the fees to renew CC House’s restaurant permit are not pro-ratable, so Gabriel and Heidi would have to pay either a year’s fee or a six-month seasonal fee to be able to sell bacon they plan to sell for the rest of April.

Claycamp has also withdrawn his application to sell at farmers’ markets, so the Ballard Farmers’ Market sales mentioned on the Swinery web site won’t be happening, nor will any other market sales.

There are more messy details, both in Leson’s story and from Rebekah Denn in Eat All About It.

The one result we can be sure of at the moment is that the Culinary Communion House on Beacon is going to be very vacant, very soon. Perhaps a nice pizza restaurant could open there instead?

Culinary Communion shutting down

CC was a welcome improvement to this. Photo by Wendi.
CC was a welcome improvement to this. Photo by Wendi.
Apparently due to a combination of business slowdown, construction, and permitting issues, Culinary Communion is closing. Future classes are canceled, and refunds will be issued… eventually. (And some flexibility is being asked for.) The Lunch Counter will not close, and will reopen March 23rd. The Swinery, pending further permit approval, will also continue, and may take over the lease of the building. Equipment will be sold-off (cash only) Saturday, March 21, from 2-6 pm.

The long farewell letter from Gabriel and Heidi with all the details is on the front page of the Culinary Communion website.

Thanks to Chris Bailey for the tip.

Weekday lunch counter opening at Culinary Communion

Culinary Communion front steps. Photo by Wendi.
Culinary Communion front steps. Photo by Wendi.
Adrienne at Culinary Communion writes:

Culinary Communion is going to begin operating a weekday lunch counter. While the official grand opening isn’t until April 1, we will have a “soft opening” during the month of March and will be open for business on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays (with a few exceptions – please check our website at www.culinarycommunion.com) from 11am-2pm. We will offer a variety of sandwiches – using the Swinery meat (when available) and homemade bread –- plus, a salad, soup, and hot entrée of the day. Menu items will be priced between $6 and $9. Lunch is available to eat-in or take out. No reservations necessary. Questions can be directed to info@culinarycommunion.com or 206.284.8687. Look for more information about the grand opening soon!

Culinary Communion is located at 2524 Beacon Avenue South in North Beacon Hill.

Bourbon Bar Night and Beacon Hill resident discount at Culinary Communion

Bourbon photo by Tom Parrott.
Bourbon photo by Tom Parrott.
Culinary Communion is hosting a Bourbon Bar Night tomorrow, Friday, February 6 from 9:00 -11:00 pm. Here’s what they tell us:

“After our Bourbon Tasting class, we’ll open up to the public and have our first bar night serving bourbon elixirs from $8 each and wine by glass for $5. We’ll offer a sampling of appetizers, as well.”

They would also like to announce a Beacon Hill Resident discount for their hands-on cooking classes. To get the 10% discount, use promo code BHN10 when calling the office to register for a class. The Culinary Communion house is located at 2524 Beacon Avenue South, and their phone number is 206-284-8687.

The Swinery’s supposed shortcuts

Rebekah Denn at Devouring sEATtle follows up on her previous article about the surprise and sudden shutdown of fledgling cured meat emporium The Swinery. Getting the story from the Seattle and King County Public Health department, it sounds like a series of straight-ahead permitting problems, for both the sale and previous production of the meats. A hearing is set for today.

Additionally, the article has attracted plenty of anonymous grousing about proprietor Gabriel Claycamp and Culinary Communion. Take appropriate anonymous-internet-commenter precautions when reading.

Check out the article hosted by the P-I.