Cooking for a Cause - Prince of the Palace
Palace Café chef James Shrader shares a springtime meal ripe with local flavors.
As a child growing up in Seattle, James Shrader always enjoyed his time in the kitchen. He joined his mother, watching her cook various meals, many inspired by her upbringing in the Midwest, and learning tips along the way.
Now, though, Shrader is a chef himself at the Palace Café, and his mother, Suzy, admits that she learns cooking techniques from him.
“He has always enjoyed the kitchen, and I think that shows in his creativity,” she says. “He really enjoys his work. It’s not work to him.”
This creativity was on full display at the 14th Cooking for a Cause cooking demonstration April 23 at the Appliance Gallery by Metro Builders Supply. Suzy Shrader was just one of the guests at the event who watched Shrader craft a meal full of spring flavors, relying on local produce from the Cherry Street Farmers’ Market, as well as donated fish from Bodean Seafood Restaurant.
The evening’s menu included wild mushroom ravioli, Mushroom Planet mushrooms in a house-made pasta; salmon carpaccio with oven-dried cherry tomato relish; Dover sole stuffed with salmon mousse served with tomato and caper butter sauce; and baby arugula salad with pan-seared goat cheese and cherry chutney for dessert, all accompanied by complementary wines.
The seafood dishes appeared thanks to a request from Shrader’s friend Beverly Wissen, who attended the event with friends and whose husband, Dale, assisted Shrader with the meal. Dale Wissen also is a volunteer with Iron Gate Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry, the beneficiary of Cooking for a Cause, which has received more than $36,000 as a result of the events, $2,000 at the April event alone. Wissen has worked with Iron Gate since the early 1980s, and he often prepares hot meals at home and brings them to the organization.
“I like the fact that at Iron Gate, they get to pour their own coffee, they get to get their own stuff,” he says. “They don’t have to wait for a delivery. They just get to come in and eat.”
Shrader, too, appreciates the need that Iron Gate serves in the community. He says that because Palace Café is an urban restaurant, he often sees people who are homeless on the street outside, being served by a nearby church’s soup kitchen — the same people to whom Iron Gate serves meals 365 days a year and provides 100 bags of groceries weekly.
“It’s just kind of close to home to me,” he says. “A lot of people who go to … the church that’s my neighbor are served by Iron Gate, too. It’s a good thing.”
Soon Cooking for a Cause will help Iron Gate serve even more people. Prior to the meal, Guy Nix, president of Metro Builders Supply, announced that the cooking demonstrations will move to MBS’ showroom at 53rd Street and Mingo Road, which can accommodate four times the number of attendees.
Which means even more people will enjoy an evening of fun, friends, food and fund-raising for a worthy cause.