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A taste of lavender

This summer, perhaps more than any other, the delicate scent of lavender will compete with such mouth-watering aromas of baked salmon, baby back ribs, roasted garlic and roast tenderloin.

All with a lavender flair, of course.

Sequim's 2009 Lavender Festival is shaping up to be a culinary celebration, featuring a tour that includes cooking demonstrations at each farm on Sunday, July 19, followed by the Lavender Celebration Dinner on Sunday night that closes the festival (see cooking demonstration schedule below).

In addition, the festival's Street Fair Food Court includes 16 restaurants with lavender-influenced food not often found at festivals, such as the lavender sausages.

Purple Haze Lavender Farm's relationship with local food businesses started years ago when the owner employed Bushwhacker Restaurant in Port Angeles for catering.

"We've developed a wonderful connection with them," Purple Haze owner Mike Reichner says.

"I don't see anyone doing the job that they can."

Purple Haze is one of seven farms featuring cooking demonstrations. On Sunday, Dave Long uses the farm's mustard, Herbes de' Provence, on a variety of food.

But food isn't the only thing on the menu for Lavender Festival-goers. The farms and street fair feature plenty of local vendors selling non-edible wares, plus lavender-growing demonstrations, Fun on the Field activities, the Sunbonnet Sue Quilt Show and Display, Jazz in the Alley performances, winery and arts tours, driftwood art show, an official festival golf tournament and more.

The 13th Sequim Lavender Festival, a three-day event, features seven farms on tour, each offering lavender-

centered activities, demonstrations, music, food, U-pick fruit and more.

Admission to the farms on tour costs $15, with no charge for children 12 and younger. There is no admission charge to the street fair. Free parking is available downtown and at each farm, and a free shuttle bus service connects the entire festival.

For more information, see www.lavenderfestival.com, or call 877-681-3035.

Culinary tour schedule (Sunday)

_ Jardin du Soleil - Joseph Mollerus of the Port Angeles Red Lion demonstrates a "Lavender Spice Rubbed Roast Tenderloin of Pork with Lavender Infused Chambord Demi Glace" at 11 a.m.

_ Purple Haze Lavender Farm - Chef David Long of Oven Spoonful creates a special sauce made with the Purple Haze Herbs de Provence Mustard at 11:30 a.m.

_ Cedarbrook Lavender & Herb Farm - Garden Cafe' dessert, pastry and high tea cook Christine demonstrates how to prepare a four-course lavender meal on the garden grill at 11 a.m.

_ Olympic Lavender - "Lavender Infusions" by Mary Ann Clayton of Sugarplum Designs, is a demonstration of how to turn fresh lavender into a beautiful purple liquid to use in syrups and jellies and other delicious treats at 12:30 p.m.

_ Sunshine Herb & Lavender Farm - Steve and Carmen Ragsdale prepare their signature smoked Lavender Baby Back Ribs, transform regular chicken into Lavender Apricot Pineapple Chicken and discuss which lavender to use and how to prepare it from one's own garden at 1 p.m.

__Lost Mountain Lavender - Roger Stuckey, head baker of the Bell Street Bakery, discusses baking bread with Herbs de Provence and lavender and explains how to make herb blends and provides baking tips at 2 p.m.

_ Port Williams Lavender Farm - Tom Heintz, executive chef of The Sauer Kraut German Deli, Bakery & Café demonstrates "Grilled Salmon with Lavender Dill Sauce" at 3 p.m.

Lavender Celebration Dinner

(7 p.m. Sunday,  John Wayne Marina)

Prepared by local chef Tom Heintz, the Lavender Celebration Dinner celebrates the lavender season with a six-course dinner featuring the lavender of the Sequim Lavender Growers Association and locally sourced foods of the Olympic Peninsula.

Vegetarian and children's options are available. Reservations required as seating is limited.

Tickets cost $60 per person including gratuity. Call 681-3035, or visit the Lavender Festival Web site store at www.lavenderfestival.com.

Menu includes:

_ First course - appetizer trio, including tapenade on lavender handmade focaccia

_ Second course - guave fresca lavender gazpacho

_ Third course - exotic greens salad with candied pecans, strawberries and cheese, drizzled with lavender vinaigrette

_ Fourth course - baked wild salmon served in lavender dill sauce; wild rice pilaf with lavender balsamic, cheese and mushrooms; mixed vegetable sauté served with rolls and butter

_ Fifth course - three-cheese and fruit course with roasted garlic and sun-dried tomato and lavender

_ Sixth course - Heintz Berry Farm blackberry crisp with lavender cream and lavender sugar cookie

(menu is subject to change)



Street fair food court vendors, features

_ Bella Italia - "Twilight" mushroom ravioli with Coke, grilled lavender pepper sausages, lavender lemonade, children's hot dog meal

_ Athena - beef, chicken, and field roast gyros with fresh tomatoes, onion, olives, feta; fresh fruit slushies, personal pizzas

_ Bangkok Bistro - Thai specialties, chicken sates; curry chicken, Phad Thai noodles, pepper beef steak, mixed vegetables, rice

_ Original Crab and Shrimp Company - Dungeness crab cakes plate, shrimp melt, crab melt, strawberry lemonade.

_ Jeremiah's BBQ - tri-tip plate, rib plate, pulled pork sandwich, sides of baked beans, cole slaw, corn-on-the-cob

_ Tarciscios, "The Italian Grill" - Philly steak and cheese grinder; Italian meatball and mozzarella sandwich; garlic fries; Caesar salad.

_ J'Aime les Crepes - savory crepes: chicken, cheese, ham, artichoke and spinach; sweet crepes: strawberry, fruit, chocolate, jam, sugars, nuts and whipped cream along with lavender sugar crepes

_ Mystery Bay Seafood - fresh oysters and clams from Marrowstone Island

_ PF Roasting - roasted corn on the cob, baked potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams

_ Horn of Africa - Sambusa (chicken or veggie filled pastries, falafel sandwich, veggie combo; Lukkuu (garlic lemon chicken over rice or beans; chicken seasoned with lavender)

_ Caffe Fiore' - espressos, lattes, mochas, Italian sodas and ice cream sandwiches

_ Casey's Kettle Corn - freshly-popped kettle corn

_ Friends of the Fields - fresh Sequim strawberry shortcake with whipped cream

_ Little O's - miniature doughnuts sprinkled with cinnamon or lavender sugar

_ Olympic Ice Cream Co. - a variety of tempting ice cream treats

_ Dawg Cart - hot dogs, sausages, drinks and candy at "Fun On The Field"

Reach Michael Dashiell at miked@sequimgazette.com. Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.





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