spotlight on seattle | samuel woolley.
Name: Samuel Woolley
Star sign: Capricorn
Hometown: San Diego, CA by way of Lamar, CO.
Describe yourself in 3 words or less: Res ipsa loquitur.
How long have you been in Seattle, and what brought you here? Around two years. I moved out for a PhD focused on studying media, politics, and technology at the University of Washington. I came out several months before I started though--to explore and get the feel for the city. During those first months I helped select the liquor and design cocktails for a newly opening bar, the Barrel Thief in Fremont.
You love food (as we do), what is your connection to food? I was lucky growing up because my family always prioritized food and eating together. My parents always gave us what they made for themselves, generally good solid things from scratch. My parents are English, from near Oxford, so I got lots of great staples like roast beef/lamb, yorkshire pudding, and fresh veggies--and lots of curry of course. That said, I lived in Southern Colorado until I was sixteen so I also got lucky with a mishmash of southwestern staples like green chili alongside some reasonable Mexican food. To cap it all off, my parents owned and ran a farm when I was growing up. Mostly pigs, but also cattle and crops--all outdoor and naturally raised. I got a lot of good meat as a kid. My brother now raises heritage pigs on my family's new little farm in North San Diego County and sells the pork to some excellent restaurants in LA. He's a chef, as are both my Mum's sister and my Dad's. I love food through osmosis, I guess.
You have friends in town for 24 hours, where do you take them? The whole day will be about food, drinks, and nature. Since they are there for only a day we should certainly start with a breakfast glass of champagne--a family tradition which my great-granddad, a quite respectable doctor, started. It's a good tonic, he would say. Then coffee at Herkimer, it's by my place in Phinney Ridge and has a viewable micro-roastery on site (it's Seattle...gotta have lots of good coffee.) A casual but seriously amazing breakfast, the Spanish fly biscuit (prosciutto, fried egg, manchego, arugula, pickeld-chili aioli, on the cheddar garlic biscuit) and more great coffee, if they are caffeine addicted, at Morsel in the University District. Then we would have to go walk it off in Discovery Park--over 50 acres of forest, beach, and other land right on the Puget sound in Magnolia--barely 15 minutes from downtown. From there, we'd go for a long lunch at London Plane near downtown. After that over to Fremont for a walk in Gas Works park overlooking Lake Union and beers at Fremont Brewing. By this time we will be wanting some Pacific NW seafood, so appetizer oysters at Walrus and Carpenter with a good cocktail. Cap if off with dinner at Walrus' sister restaurant the Whale Wins, gotta have the cote du boeuf and lots of wine. Drinking into the late hours at several bars will also be expected, but not planned.
Favorite breakfast? The duck confit hash at The Stumbling Goat, this meal is a life-changer and the place is now (conveniently?) right next door to my house.
Favorite coffee? Milstead in Fremont
Casual dinner? Noodles, or something with lots of fish sauce and chili at Kedai Makan in Capitol Hill.
And dinner to impress? The communal table at Sitka and Spruce.
Best place for sundowners? Oliver's Twist or Hazelwood.
Where can we hike? Too many places to count--Discovery Park for within Seattle or the Olympics or Cascades for a day/weekend trip.
Favorite weekend getaway outside of Seattle: Sneaking to the San Juan Islands for quite time or skiing at Stevens Pass.
What is on your stereo? For local Seattle--Perfume Genius' new album. Dixie Chicken by Little Feat, John Fahey, Belle and Sebastian, and always and forever everything by the Rolling Stones. Especially Beggars Banquet and Exile on Main Street.
Who is inspiring you? The everyday people in my life. My PhD adviser, who manages to support my work in tandem with thinking big and creatively. My friend Peter who is the happiest guy I know. My friend Samantha who just gets it and who manages to gracefully balance her passion for arts with her love of research and teaching--her photography is at hellosamshorey.com and her blog is called ashore. My Mom, Dad, and two brothers for always loving life. My Granny for being wild, open-minded, and independent.
Words you live by... "Grace under pressure."-Hemingway; and "We are here on earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different."-Vonnegut.
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