Monday, October 10, 2011

Clubby in Spain, Democratic in Seattle

Txoko dinner at Txori in Belltown, 2008
The Wall Street Journal's admirable online food & drink section had an interesting story this morning about txokos, which it described as all-male bastions of culinary invention and clubby dining.

In Spain's Basque Country, perhaps, but not in Seattle.

Carolin Messier and her ex-husband Joseba Jimenez di Jimenez used to run monthly txoko dinners at their Belltown pintxos bar Txori (pintxos being Basque tapas). Coed, lively, and open to all. Txoko, Messier points out, literally translates as "corner" in Basque and refers to places where men gathered to cook and enjoy their own food and drink, gastronomic societies, in other words.

"This spirit of preparing and enjoying good food can be appreciated at Txori," Messier wrote in an email newsletter three years ago, "but don't worry, women are very welcome!"

Alas, Txori is now closed, but Messier remains at the helm of Harvest Vine in Madison Park, where the Txoko tradition continues!

Harvest Vine, 2701 E. Madison, Seattle, 206-320-9771

And now a couple of boozy photos, since this is a blog about booze.

Negroni at Txori

Digestivos at Cafe Iruna in Pamplona, 2008

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