Local, Make That National, Favorite: Hitchcock Restaurant

Image: Hitchcock Restaurant

Chef Brendan McGill
Image: Hitchcock Restaurant

Local = regional, native, topical

He may not be a native of the Puget Sound area, but chef, Brendan McGill has given a new meaning to local. To Brendan, it means sourcing products from area farmers, fishers, and producers. Here at Macrina, we are honored to be one of those local sources.

We’ve been a fan of his restaurant Hitchcock on Bainbridge Island since it opened in 2010. Not because they use our products (sure, it’s a plus), but because they make beautiful food. It’s no wonder that Brendan was voted by Food & Wine Magazine readers as “People’s Best New Chef”. Our sales manager, Rebecca Early rattles off reasons why Hitchcock is so unique: Brendan is an innovative chef who’s “very creative and very committed to hands-on”, he cures his own meats, his plates are beautiful, and he offers a “name your price” tasting menu.

Even before Brendan opened Hitchcock, he was a Macrina devotee. First introduced to our breads and pastries as a diner at Macrina’s Belltown café, he appreciated the quality of our products. Then as the newly-minted chef at The Apartment in 2005, he chose Macrina breads to be part of his menu. With the café down the street from the restaurant, the staff would walk over to pick up their wholesale order. He moved on but remained a fan. “I used different breads at different restaurants, but I really like the quality of Macrina,” he said.

Fir tip ice cream with brioche croutons Image: Hitchcock Restaurant

Fir tip ice cream with brioche croutons
Image: Hitchcock Restaurant

When he decided to open his own restaurant, he talked to Rebecca about having Macrina bread on the menu. With two locations – a restaurant and a new deli next door – Macrina products play an even larger role. Our baguettes, potato bread loaves, and Giuseppe rolls, among others, make the trek on the ferry to Winslow to be part of his handcrafted, creative fare.

A native of Alaska, Brendan came to Seattle in 1999 for a culinary degree at the Art Institute of Seattle. His food is inspired by the Pacific Northwest and Europe, where he spent time traveling and cooking in Spain, France, and Italy. This marriage of European cuisine and Puget Sound’s seasonal bounty makes for a menu filled with personality. Starting this summer, he will use produce from his own farm on Bainbridge Island.

Local indeed, AND a national favorite.

To Gluten or Not to Gluten

gluten_free_biscuit Macrina Bakery & Cafe Seattle

Macrina’s Gluten-Free Biscuit

Now that March’s National Flour Month is over, we’d like to honor our gluten-free friends with a tribute to treats without the grain that gives them grief.

Gluten, Latin word for glue, is a protein found in all forms of wheat (durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn, and faro) and other grains including rye, barley, and triticale. Ideal for baked goods, gluten makes the dough spongy and elastic, giving it the strength and consistency needed to retain its shape and fluffiness. It is also used as a stabilizing agent in food products such as soup, ice cream, salad dressing, and ketchup.

Gluten can be difficult for some people’s systems to process. How do those of you with gluten sensitivity live in a “gluten-ous” world? Very carefully. It’s challenging to bake without wheat flours at Macrina – we love and rely on them for our breads. But we have figured out a few ways to delight our gluten-free* friends who visit our cafes.

Gluten-Free Biscuit
A version of our lightly sweetened cream biscuit made with gluten-free corn flour, tapioca flour, gluten-free flour, sugar, baking powder, xantham gum, salt, and heavy cream, topped with marionberry freezer jam.

Our chewy coconut cookie in chocolate or vanilla.

Ganache Cupcake
Rich flourless chocolate cake filled with raspberry preserve and glazed with dark chocolate ganache.

Banana Cake
One layer of our rich flourless chocolate cake sandwiched between two layers of moist banana cake filled with roasted bananas and white chocolate buttercream, topped with dark chocolate ganache glaze.

Banana Cupcake
Moist banana cake topped with whipped chocolate ganache.

Bittersweet Chocolate Gateau
Velvety flourless chocolate cake baked with swirls of raspberry preserves and dusted with powdered sugar.

Torta Gianduja
Six layers of rich torta featuring layers of chocolate espresso cake and chocolate hazelnut cake, glazed with bittersweet chocolate ganache and decorated with hazelnuts.

One of each, you say? Even those of us who can tolerate gluten enjoy our gluten-free treats. Call your nearest location to find out what gluten-free products are currently available in the pastry case. We will continue to expand our gluten-free offerings…stay tuned.

*Macrina Bakery is not a gluten-free facility; cross-contamination may occur during the baking process.