What happens when Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka gather more than a dozen of their chef friends for a night of eating and libations? A long-time dream came true Monday night for the chef-owners of MW Restaurant. A lineup of chefs who all worked together long, long ago in a kitchen not too far away finally came together again to cook.
The theme of “Reunited” was unmistakable: Star Wars balloons, station signs featuring storm troopers, and chefs and staff in identical “Star Wars”-themed shirts. Sure, the newest sequel is coming out soon, but it was actually all a reference to Ueoka’s days working the fish station at Alan Wong’s. Trying to figure out how to cook a whole fish, he asked, “How do you know when it’s done?” The quick reply: “Use your Jedi senses!”
For $150, attendees grazed on 14 dishes and sipped an assortment of libations. The event took over the entire parking lot of MW, with tents housing cocktail tables, an outdoor bar and stations for each chef. VIP guests who bought entire tables sat inside and got table service.
Ueoka and Karr-Ueoka didn’t disappoint, serving up a trio of small bites and “Lemon Meringue,” both great representatives of what they do in their restaurant. Home Bar’s Neil Nakasone may have been the crowd favorite with a seared scallop that was worth waiting in the line formed at his station. My personal favorite was the washugyu beef from W Seattle Hotel’s Steven Ariel, which was simple and served with earthy mushrooms. Compressed pineapple, spinach granita, yaki-onigiri grilled rice balls, shrimp head gravy and fu yung caviar were a few of the fun elements dressing the dishes.