Feast at the Market helps fund Market Clinic

You can help the Pike Market Medical Clinic and enjoy the best food from Market restaurants at the 22nd annual Feast at the Market Tuesday, Oct. 4.

Registration begins at 5:30 p.m. at the clinic, 1930 Post Alley, on the corner of Virginia Street. Dinner is from 6 to 9 p.m. Desserts also will be served from 6 to 9 p.m., according to Ellen Chesley, who is organizing the event.

"For $60, people get a booklet of tickets - coupons for appetizer-sized dishes. Go to as many of the restaurants as you like. Tickets also include parking at the Pike Place Public Market Parking Garage," Chesley said. "Twenty different Pike Place Market dining establishments are donating food and services for the Feast."

New this year is a restaurant called "94 Stewart." Also, the Sur La Table culinary program is providing appetizers at the start of the progressive dinner.

"Registration starts at the Pike Market Medical Clinic. Participants can have a tour of the clinic, and enjoy the appetizers," Chesley said. "From there, people can choose which restaurants they want to start at. They can go to as many establishments as their stomachs can accommodate."

Guests will have an opportunity to vote for the best Feast dish and best hospitality as they munch their way through.

"A ballot will be placed in each ticket book," Chesley said. "Once guests arrive back at the Seattle Athletic club for coffee and dessert, they can turn in their ballots. We're even adding a raffle to encourage them to vote."

The Feast at the Market is an important source of funding for the Pike Market Medical Clinic. Its goal is to provide health care for Downtown area residents over the age of 18 who otherwise could not afford it, according to Joseph Sparacio, fundraising director for the clinic. Last year, the Feast raised approximately $20,000.

"The clinic exists to serve people who would not otherwise have access to health care," he said. "We also serve the market community - if someone at a restaurant or food stand has a cut hand, we can take care of things - although we are not an emergency room."

Sparacio added that people who do have health insurance are also welcome to received treatment there at the Post Alley clinic, though space is fairly crowded.

"Some of the rooms are so small, people almost fit in each other's laps, but we fit a lot of care in a very small space," Sparacio said "We provide care for 25,000 visits to the clinic a year."

Sparacio said the Feast at the Market does more than simply raise funds for the clinic.

"It's also a good source of friend-raising, since the Feast starts with a tour of the Market clinic. We always make new friends," he said. "I can't think of another neighborhood health center that could have this feast. Others have helpful neighbors, but they don't have the same concentration of businesses."

Chesley added that the participation of area restaurants is key to the success of the Feast.

"The second step is getting sponsorhips for the event," she said.

Sponsors include Community Health Plan of Washington; the Pike Place Market PDA; Pike Place Market Creamery, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound; and the law firm of Davis, Wright, Tremain.

Chesley works for the Puget Sound Neighborhood Health Centers. Although the Pike Market Medical clinic became a part of that organization in January of 2005, she noted that the Feast exclusively benefits the Pike Market Clinic.

"That is where their (sponsors') heart is and that is where they want to lend their support," she said. "It has been really fun working with the sponsors and the restaurants as sponsors. I feel so appreciative of their generosity and the food nice to see they're enthusiastic and appreciative of the services."Chesley said the fun is in the food at the Feast at the Market.

"Restaurants strive to serve something unique and different - one restaurant is serving octopus with white bean salad," she said. "The ticket price includes food and gratuity. If people want to purchase beverages, that is on their own - and the gratuities for the beverages would be on their own. A few restaurants offer specials."

Expect dishes like seared beef tenderloin crostini with agro-dolce, red onions and Chianti mustard; avocado and shrimp cocktail; seasonal small plates featuring the finest natural Northwest ingredients; antipasto misto; crispy shrimp spring roll with sweet chili dipping sauce; crab-stuffed halibut; maple-smoked pork with a tart cranberry compote on top of a sweet potato gaufrette; and chicken satay skewers with peanut sauce.

Also look for steamed Penn Cove mussels with sardella butter; crab cakes in a garlic aioli sauce on a bed of green with balsamic vinaigrette; shepherds pie; assorted Irish pastries; grilled octopus marinated in olive oil; smoked paprika, oregano and lemon served on toast points with fried capers; pancetta, tomatoes and arugula; ebi karrage; deep-fried shrimp marinated in sake and soy; and Ed's Sticky Finger Ribs.

Participating restaurants include 94 Stewart, Campagne Restaurant, Chez Shea / Shea's Lounge, Copacabana Cafe, Cutter's Bayhouse, Emmett Watson's Oyster Bar, Etta's Seafood, il Bistro, the Islander, Japanese Gourmet Restaurant, Kells Irish Restaurant & Pub, Matt's in the Market, Pike Place Bar & Grill, Pike Pub & Brewery, Place Pigalle, the Pink Door, Seattle Athletic Club/Downtown, Sonya's Bar & Grill, Starbucks Coffee, Sur La Table Culinary Program, the Tasting Room, Typhoon, and the Virginia Inn

You can register for the feast over the phone at 206-461-6395, Extension 160. A secure registration web site is also located on the Internet at https://ssl2.adhost.com/pikemed/feastregistration.htm.

For more information about the Feast at the Market, visit http://www.pikemed.org/feast/index.htm. For information about the Pike Market Medical Clinic, visit http://www.psnhc.org/page/373/clinic_medical.

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