Cooks For Kids dinner features Tacoma chefs

Pumpkin gnocchi from Marrow on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma.
Pumpkin gnocchi from Marrow on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma. Staff photographer

Chefs from Tacoma’s Marrow, The Table and Hilltop Kitchen will cook together Oct. 18 for their joint project called Cooks For Kids.

They’re some of the city’s youngest restaurant owners and chefs, and they know how to throw together a tasty fundraiser. The night will include eight courses with beer and wine.

Their first dinner in April raised money for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. Their fall-themed dinner in one week will benefit the YMCA Late Night program.

“I was really moved and inspired by national chefs and their work with No Kid Hungry,” said Hudson Slater, one of the organizers and founders. He was working as executive chef of Maxwell’s Speakeasy and Lounge when he teamed up with Matt Schweitzer of Marrow and Derek Bray of neighboring restaurant The Table to host the first Cooks For Kids dinner. Since that first event in April, Schweitzer hired Slater to work at Marrow.

Joining Slater and Schweitzer at the dinner will be Bray and The Table sous chef Jonathan Tram; Marrow chefs Mike Joinette and Michaela Ketchum; Jerry Jenkins of Hilltop Kitchen, the sister restaurant of Marrow; and Bianca Sanders of Abeille Baking, who will provide pastry reinforcement for the dessert course.

The multi-course dinner will be preceded by a cocktail hour with house charcuterie, pickles and cheese. The seated dinner will feature a course prepared and presented by each chef. The meal begins with a pickled beet salad with chevre, hazelnut and mint. The next course will be warm carrot, fennel and farro salad. Moving into the heartier dishes, gnocchi will be served with acorn squash and brown butter-sage sauce. A seafood cornucopia will come with clams, mussels, trout and prawns in a tomato broth with a thyme tuile. Pumpkin gazpacho is the follow-up, then a finish of fried quail with savory rosemary waffle stuffing and maple gravy. Sanders’ dessert promises “something with cranberries.”

Want to try gnocchi at home? Slater offered the foundation of the recipe that will be served at the Cooks For Kids dinner.

Sue Kidd: 253-597-8270


Cooks For Kids Dinner

WHERE: The Table, 2715 Sixth Ave., Tacoma.

WHEN: 5:30 p.m. Oct. 18.

COST: $85 per person, including beverages.

TICKETS:, type in “Cooks For Kids” with Tacoma as a location.

INFO: 253-267-5299 or 253-327-1862.


• 1 ½ pounds russet potatoes, cleaned, with skins left on

• 1 cup all purpose flour, plus more as needed

• 1 whisked whole egg

• Pinch of nutmeg

• 2 teaspoons salt

• Olive oil to coat after cooking

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce potatoes in several places and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Cool slightly. Cut potatoes in half. Working in batches, scoop hot flesh into potato ricer or food mill. Rice potatoes onto rimmed baking sheet; spread out and cool to room temperature.

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer potatoes to large bowl. Add 1 cup flour; toss to coat. Form well in center of potato mixture. Add egg yolk, coarse salt, and nutmeg; stir with fork until mixture is evenly moistened (mixture will look shaggy). Turn mixture out onto lightly floured work surface. Knead until dough comes together, sprinkling dough with flour very lightly only if dough is very sticky. Form dough into ball; divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece between hands and work surface into an inch-thick rope. Cut each rope into inch pieces. Place gnocchi on prepared baking sheet.

Cook gnocchi in large pot of boiling salted water until gnocchi rise to surface of water. Continue to simmer gnocchi until cooked through and tender, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, carefully transfer gnocchi to bowl. Drizzle gnocchi with olive oil and toss to coat.