Chef Spotlight on Little Uncle and RN74: Seattle’s 1st Annual Pop-up Picnic

Seattle’s 1st annual pop-up picnic is all about people enjoying street food made from some of Seattle’s finest chefs at a summer outdoor evening picnic. If that doesn’t appeal to you, give me your address so I can deliver you a punch in the face.

On August 10th, One Night Only entertainment gurus Julien Perry and Melissa Peterman (in collaboration with Seattle’s first Street Food Festival) will be rounding up 12 of Seattle’s most beloved chefs to dish out street food-inspired fare. The pop-up picnic will go down in a fenced-off area of Cal Andersen Park, where chefs will compete for the titles of Best Signature Dish, Most Innovative and Best In Show (presentation). The proceeds go to the winning chef’s charity of choice.

A ticket gets you a fun spot for the evening picnic (bring a blanket if you want; the event will also be equipped with patio heaters and some tables/chairs), 12 signature street food tastes, and complimentary booze.

Here is a sneak preview of the dishes Wiley Frank/Poncharee Kounpungchart’s (PK) of Little Uncle and Kim Mahar of RN74 have in store for the event.

Wiley Frank/Poncharee Kounpungchart’s (PK), Co-owners of Little Uncle

PK and Wiley at their Madison location

Why I love Little Uncle: When I am not eating yellow curry Dungeness crab, gluten free and vegetarian pad thai, and other delights at Little Uncle, I am thinking about eating at Little Uncle. I have been tracking Wiley and PK’s Thai eatery since their pop-up days at La Bete. You can find the duo splitting their time between their beloved takeout spot on Madison Avenue and their beautiful new digs in Pioneer Square.

Their street food-inspired dish: “We are making an ice lolly with a flavor and garnish to be determined. We have a very cool lolly maker that will go toe to toe with any old thermal immersion circulator.”

Little Uncle’s charity: Green Plate Special - “They do good work and it is right there for everyone to see.”

The one dish Wiley/PK think people should try at Little Uncle: “Khao mun gai (Hainanese chicken rice). It is very simple and some people don’t get it, but it is a dish that has nothing to hide and it warms our heart.” [Roll with Jen's note: If you try Little Uncle's chicken rice and still don't get it, punch yourself two times in the face]

Why Little Uncle is going to kick arse: “Food tastes better when it is on a stick.”

Kim Mahar, Executive Pastry Chef of RN74

Photo courtesy of Julien Perry

Why I love RN74: People who love wine and beautifully-crafted meals flock to RN74. I head to Seattle’s Michael Mina outpost because I love both of those things AND dessert. At RN74, dessert is not an afterthought. Sweet treats such as the steamed lemon pudding and hand-cut beignets hold their own amongst  the steak tartare, lobster pie, and savory favorites.

Kim Mahar’s street food-inspired dish: “Bacon fat popcorn, griddled corn bread custard, WA stone fruits, lardon sprinkles, plus other street food snacks to grab on the fly. I’m going for a killer mix of sweet meets savory. Recipe testing is fully underway!”

RN74′s charity:  ”The No Kid Hungry campaign for the Share Our Strength Foundation. The Mina Group has been working very closely with this foundation for years to help raise money for this important issue. Last year, the Mina Group sent me to Washington DC for an event on Capitol Hill to raise money and awareness for this foundation. I have been an avid supporter ever since.”

Dessert at RN74 people should try: ”The crème brulee with popcorn ice cream, pretzel streusel and curried peanuts. I came up with this dessert when we hosted a beer dinner with the Pike Brewery. The flavors and textures are a knockout. Must try!”

Why I am going to kick arse: ”My team and I are really going to spend a lot of energy on the development of this dish. The greatest goal is to see people taking their first bite with an “Oh my God!” expression on their faces. Plus, I have an exceptionally talented team in the RN74 kitchen to help me make this dish a serious contender among all this talent. It’s guaranteed to be a BIG night!”

 

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