Gluten Free Foodies

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Andaluca You Had Me At … GLUTEN FREE MENU

December 19th, 2012 at Wed, 19th, 2012 at 2:03 pm by Lisa - Gluten Free Foodie

 OH! Chef Sarah Lorenzen, Executive Chef at Andaluca
Mayflower Park Hotel and Oliver's Lounge
Bravo! Bravo! Bravo! 
This night will go down in my history book, as one of my best meals and favorite places!



I recently met Chef Sarah and
Stacia Williams, Director of Marketing and Communication - Mayflower Park Hotel.
I had a chance to walk around the hotel with Stacia to take in the beautiful holiday decorations.  It was so fun to see the twinkling lights in Oliver's Lounge as the guests gathered to enjoy their special holiday hot toddies and specialty beverages.

Stacia and I walked next door to meet Executive Chef Sarah Lorenzen.
It was so nice to sit down and have a chat with Chef Sarah and
to get to know her food story and how the Gluten Free menu came to be.

Sarah told me as a child growing up in San Francisco, CA, her passion for gardening and cooking began around, age of 11.  She used to cook dinner for the family when her mother went back to work full time.  Sarah also told me that she had food allergies to eggs and dairy as a child. She eventually outgrew them when she became an adult.  She remembers how hard it was as a child to find the easy foods she could eat.  Sarah said her mother's  "carob s'mores were just not as special as all the other kids thought they were."  She learned how to cook, bake and realized her dream was to become a chef and so she went to culinary school after high school.



She met Chef Wayne Johnson, (formerly of Andaluca) at Parc 55 Hotel in San Francisco as an apprentice.  When Chef Wayne moved to Seattle to work for Andaluca, he hired Sarah a year later to join the culinary team. Sarah moved up to Seattle to join the Andaluca team 13 years ago.  Sarah says she has enjoyed working many positions within the company over the years.  Now that she is Executive Chef, as of a year ago, it really has been a dream come true.

Chef Sarah creates all of the menus for the restaurants and food services including catering and room service.  Some employees, including Stacia, shared their Gluten Intolerance and food allergies with the culinary staff in the past few years.  Since Gluten Free food is one of their most requested items, they decided to create a separate Gluten Free menu to assist the guests and service staff by giving a
 printed menu free of guessing and gluten.


I can't tell you the last time I have been so excited to be at an exquisite restaurant, holding a menu that had more choices than just salads.  This Gluten Free meal at Andaluca was by far
the best meal I have had in a long time.

So you can imagine how thrilled I was when I found out that you can have a meeting, special event or wedding at the hotel and Chef Sarah's kitchen can create the perfect Gluten Free or specific allergy free catering menu for you.

One of the best things about staying at the Mayflower Park Hotel is their room service menu!  Just imagine a full day of shopping or playing tourist with your friends or family. Going back to your room and kicking back while you ponder the menu and decide which Gluten Free menu items, from Andaluca, you want delivered to your room!

That just sounds so decadent and divine to me!

Of course if you would rather go down to Andaluca, for breakfast or dinner, it is a lovely romantic restaurant with warm colorful decor and intimate seating.

Chef Sarah said that the majority of their menu with its Spanish influence was already Gluten Free.  She learned more about Gluten Free ingredients over the years and how to prevent cross-contamination.
Guests at the restaurant request a variety of changes due to their food allergies including shellfish, dairy and nuts.  She says her kitchen is meticulous about cleaning after the preparation of each meal.  Some of her staff has food allergies, so they have a first hand knowledge as to the importance of providing a safe dining experience.

I must say that everyone that I met at the restaurant was so professional and courteous.  The minute I walked in the door they ask me if I would like the Gluten Free menu.  
I love love love holding my own special Gluten Free menu with so many delicious choices 
and that it is hard to decide! 

Let's just say, I couldn't decided so I tried just about everything 
and I am about to share all of the delectable details with you.


The meal started with a small tapas of Marinated Olives - kalmata, oil cured, Sicilian.
I never realize how much I love olives! I was so distracted, I enjoyed them without taking a picture.  
Apologies...but Wow!

Pictured above is the 
Roasted Mussels - baby tomatoes, lemon wedges, sizzling in white wine lemon butter with rosemary
Oh my! I have never had muscles like this! I love muscles but these were simply scrumptious.  The piquant seasoning from the acidy roasted lemon and tomatoes was perfect compliment to the sea salted muscles.  A bountiful portion to share, served steamy hot! 

The very top picture is - Black Peppered Seared Scallops - vanilla brine, cilantro-lime vinaigrette, grapefruit, micro greens, fennel
One word ... luscious! I love scallops and these were absolutely lusciously prepared and seasoned! 


Mini Crab Tower - crab, avocado, palm hearts, gazpacho salsa
The perfectly light amuse bouche, creamy and crunchy cool textures combine to make one large bite or 2 smaller ones to share. 

Pickled Beet Salad - baby spinach, roasted pickled beets, goat cheese, spicy candied walnuts.
Not pictured, apologies again but there was so much food! 
This is an excellent salad with all of the flavors of Fall. The beets were amazing! I want Chef Sarah to make me a great big jar of them so I can buy them enjoy them at home! I love the combination of the  sweet beets, spicy walnuts and with the creamy tart goat cheese.  I will have to try this in my kitchen! 


Now I will just take a moment and say my favorite word...
Paella.
 Now is changing to my two favorite words 
Andaluca Paella - prawns, clams, chicken, chorizo, arborio rice, harissa butter, saffron broth

Please put this on the top of your must enjoy list!
Served as a generous portion in a traditional Paella pan to share. 
The rice is cooked perfectly creamy and spiced with the harissa butter, saffron and chorizo slices. The seafood has that wonderful grilled outdoor flavor that makes this so authentic!



Fig and Chorizo Stuffed Pork Chop - sweet potato polenta cake, kale, toasted almonds, saffron ginger served with a demi glace

Warm flavorful Fall all wrapped up in a pork chop! Chef Sarah has mastered this wonderful combination of Fig, Chorizo and Pork. 




Pan Roasted Chicken Breast - idiazabal mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, castelvetrano olives and preserved lemon pan sauce

Honest to goodness comfort food! The best idiazabal mashed potatoes and moist roasted chicken! 
I love the combination of the salty olives with the slightly sweet carrots.  
It just tastes like home, when you are away from home!



Liquid Chocolate Cake - hazelnut gelato, espresso syrup 
Heavenly creaminess when hot meets cold and melds of all the flavors together to bring out the best of chocolate, hazelnut and espresso that made me very, very happy! 


I want to take this time to say thank you to Chef Sarah and Stacia.  I had such a great time meeting and laughing with them as we chatted about our favorite subject - Gluten Free food! 
I can't wait to go back and stay at the Mayflower Hotel for a romantic dinner at Andaluca and order Gluten Free room service so that I can have breakfast in bed! 

There is complimentary valet parking for Andaluca Restaruant guests.  

Maybe Santa will bring you a special gift certificate if you put it on your wish list!

Check out the Mayflower Park Hotel for special packages through the holidays,
 including New Year's Eve! 


Salud! 
Lisa 

Learning to live Gluten Free is a challenge. Gathering with like minded people while exchanging ideas, life experiences and gluten free food is more interesting! So I created, Gluten Free Foodies, to support people with Celiac Disease, Gluten Intolerant and other Food Sensitive people by gathering at events and celebrating the foods that we can eat! Do you have a Gluten Free question you want the answer to? Feel free to send me an email at glutenfreefoodies@gmail.com Original blog - GlutenFreeFoodies.co After all, didn't Erma Bombeck once say ... "I am not a glutton, I am an explorer of food."

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