Strangers of Seattle: Gentleman's Cookbook

Jake, Chelsea and I met 2 complete strangers at a bar at Heartwood Provisions.

Immediately we engaged in conversation and seconds later started eating their food and drinking their wine. I've already forgotten their names after hours of chatting, eating, drinking and laughing with these two. What I haven't forgotten is this one man's story.

He left everything he knew and moved to California and started working at a winery. He has since had an incredible career in the wine, food and beverage industry. 

He taught us two things:

  1. An old Sicilian drinking toast: start with "agua fresca, puro vino.." and ends with a celebration of women if you can imagine what that is
  2. Every man has a meal they cook to seal the deal

He and his friend have an idea for a cookbook. It is a collection of these meals that men use to cook for their love interest to seal the deal. Sealing the deal can mean a number of things whether it is to be exclusive or hook up, the goal is to charm their female guest.

These meals and recipes aren't something they googled, but they are recipes learned over time through grandmothers, childhood experience and gatherings. They are engraved in the heart and always cooked from memory and experience. It is their best food forward. 

Jake's was spaghetti. It must have been the one of the first dates. He has a love and history with red sauce and meats through his high school jobs as a pizza tosser at the best pizza place in our home town. He can still tell you how to make the pizzas on the menu while half asleep. He tosses dough in the air better than he can toss a ball, and he knows the best placement of toppings on the pizza. 

He made the spaghetti after an unsuccessful evening of making meatballs that manifested into a meatloaf. I really think that Jake made spaghetti to redeem himself of his unsuccessful cooking venture from the evening before. We paired it with one of my favorite $6 screw top wine bottles, and we had conversations about our love of wine and his adventures in Europe.

Needless to say, I was infatuated with him and I still am 3 years later.