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Steven Raichlen on Lummi Island

It was a small group with 4 BBQ grills, lots of wine and the best food you can locally source. I am using an iPad and there are a few loading issues so I will divide some of these grill segments up into replies to this post.

It was a great time. Steven is a really great guy and very gracious about sharing all his global grilling experience with others. He is currently writing his second novel, and a new cookbook on Smoking! It was great to be able to connect with him. I learned some new tricks!

We grilled up: lamb, salmon, mussel, oyster, wild mushroom, asparagus, bread, potatoes and wild berry crisp. Some techniques were sensational and unique for even the most adventurous grill masters! It was really fun.

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  1. One of the more interesting dishes, was lamb on a shovel. Yes, really.
    The shovel was heated in the coals, until screaming hot.
    The lamb was coated with olive oil, then a mixture of minced garlic and fresh herbs were pressed on to both sides.

    Place the chops on the screaming hot shovel and grill. The beauty of this, is that you can determine the temp by simply moving the shovel away from the coals or placing it right in the line of smoke. Very cool!

    1. The mussels were unique. Escalade de modules, or mussels grilled with pine needles.

      Dried pine needles are placed in a foil pan with holes in the bottom. The mussels are placed on top of the needles. They begin to smoke within minutes...then they catch fire!!!! The mussels pop open and they are cooked to perfection.

      1. Asparagus "rafts" with sesame oil and soy

        Really beautiful presentation. Use the big toothpicks and push it through the asparagus to make a nice "raft" of 4 or 5 stalks.
        They can be easily turned, moved and flipped. Beautiful.

        1. Mushrooms!

          Any kind done this way would be fabulous, I am sure.

          Toss the mushrooms in melted butter, choice of several herbs and a bit of salt. Place in a grill basket.
          Place over DIRECT flame and roast until they are brown, then flip. Wow. They were wonderful.

          1. If anyone wants more grill details, I will be happy to paraphrase (no recipes can be directly copied).

            We made some crispy salmon skin, salmon roll up apps, oysters with herbs and butter, plank salmon with mustard and miso, etc.

            1. What was the event? Or was he wandering along the beach? :)

              2 Replies
              1. re: bbqboy

                The BBQ was at the beach store cafe, in the backyard. Village books and the Willows actually "hosted" it together. About 15 people attended, so it was truly a little backyard BBQ. Steven was collaborating with chef Blaine Wetzel from the Willows (and said this little BBQ was his excuse to come to Lummi island).

                Blaine from the The Willows really went out of his way to make sure the food we had to work with was amazing. The salmon was caught that afternoon, the shellfish was local and fresh, the veggies were grown local, we picked the herbs from the garden in the backyard.... even the lamb was local.

                We cooked over apple wood.

                We all cooked the food with Steve giving guidance on the techniques used :)

                1. Great pictures, sounds like a good time! Stuff I'd never have thought of doing on the grill. What wast the best dish?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: mcf

                    It would be hard to say which dish was best. Everyone raved about the salmon.... salmon is not my personal favorite dish most of the time.

                    The mussels and lamb were the most unique. Everything was tasty.

                    Weirdly enough, I think I really liked the mushrooms and asparagus best, that evening!

                    1. re: sedimental

                      It really does sound great - all if tasty and delicious, and so nice it was a small event.

                      How do you get in on things like that, Sedimental? Would love to get on the 'insider-email list' or what have you:)

                      1. re: gingershelley

                        A friend of mine found out about it and invited me. I think the Willows is really on a big marketing campaign and will try to host other chefs and events in the next year or two. The chef (Blaine) at the Willows is seriously, nationally hot right now and they are interested in promoting him.
                        If you haven't been to the Willows recently...you should go!

                        1. re: gingershelley

                          You can just go to Village Books and sign up for their weekly email blast. it's not an insider thing. Not all their events have anything to do with food, but they do host a lot of cooking and food authors and events such as those at The Willows or The Beach Store Cafe.