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Celebrity chef will make visit to wine shop in Freeland

He comes into Seattle living rooms on television, but his comfort zone is in the kitchen.

He’s celebrity chef John Sarich of KONG-TV’s “Best of Taste — Travels with John Sarich” and he’ll be on Whidbey Island today.

Sarich, who also wears the hat of culinary director at Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville, will visit Vino Amore Wine Shop and BookBay in Freeland from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6. to sign copies of “Chef in the Vineyard, Fresh & Simple Recipes from Great Wine Estates,” his fifth cookbook.

The folks at Vino Amore will prepare one of the dishes in the book and provide a free food sample, along with Sarich’s suggested wine.

In addition, Vino Amore will hold a tasting of the wines mentioned in the book, with a special discount available for the selected wines with the purchase of the “Chef in the Vineyard” book.

It’s a bit of a coup for shop owners Brian Plebanek and Gail Liston to have such an all-around connoisseur visit, because the guy really knows how to please a palate.

The husband-and-wife team have attended several food and wine pairing courses taught by Sarich and were impressed by his culinary artistry at the Chateau Ste Michelle wine dinners.

“His presentations are highly entertaining, and his food is delicious,” Plebanek said.

Liston said she appreciates Sarich’s no-fuss dexterity in the kitchen.

“His food is packed with great flavors, but the recipes are easy enough for any home cook to make, and I love his wine pairing suggestions,” she said.

Few chefs enjoy access to a greater bounty of world-class wines and fresh foods than Sarich. He joined Chateau Ste. Michelle as a winery guide in 1976, the summer the winery first opened.

Sarich’s innovative approach to the matching of food and wine reflects his unique culinary background.

He currently presents training seminars and classes for wine and food professionals and aficionados around the world. Culinary tours have led him to places as varied as Disney World in Orlando, the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and hotels in Singapore, Bangkok and Hawaii.

Sarich founded Seattle’s popular Adriatica Restaurant, and later opened Dalmacija Ristoran in Pike Place Market. His extensive culinary program and infectious enthusiasm for matching wine and food have clearly established Sarich, at the center of the country’s culinary scene.

The weekly lifestyle television series, “Best of Taste — Travels with John Sarich,” is shown on channels 6 and 16 in Seattle at 1:30 p.m. on Saturdays. It’s shot on location at some of the most beautiful and interesting sites in the country and around the world, including an insider’s look at the Pacific Northwest and the regional foods it has to offer. Episodes take place on luxury yachts, in top restaurants, cruise-ship galleys, estate wineries, working fishing vessels, orchards, farms and at exotic resorts.

Sarich’s broad appeal lies in his deft but easy approach to food preparation and his intimate and expert knowledge of food and wine. His first two cookbooks continue to inspire cooks, and his newest one is a boon to anyone who wants to learn about pairing wine with food.

Liston said Sarich has a knack for taking the “high-falutin’” out of wine and food talk. “He is very personable, and his love for food and wine is infectious. It’s going to be a fun evening.”

Admission to the event is free. Sarich will be on hand to sign available copies of the book. Call the wine shop at 331-7661 for details.

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