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Chef's Kitchen

Each month, a guest chef gives us a tip that elevates their cooking or simplifies things in the kitchen; something a home cook might not know. They also provide a recipe that uses the tip, so you can practice at home. Our guest chef this month is Chef John Wahlke of Mischief on Canal. Mischief offers local, sustainable, and creative Northwest dishes that pair beautifully with Fremont Mischief spirits.

John has been cooking all his life, whether helping his dad barbecue, working at his first job at a mom and pop shop, at Oceanaire in downtown Seattle, Salish Lodge & Spa, Columbia Hospitality at the University of Puget Sound, Columbia Tower, or Hotel 1000. In Portland, he worked at the luxury Nines Hotel. His passion for local and sustainable foods shows in his dishes; he and Mischief co-owner Mike Sherlock built an herb garden and herb wall at the restaurant. He prefers to make everything from scratch, forages for mushrooms, looks for different types of preserving, unlikely flavor combinations, and loves to experiment.

Take time making your roux, by Chef John Wahlke

1. Take your time when preparing a roux. Starch molecules require time to break down into smaller sugars. This will both help to cook out the flour taste and increase the thickening power of the roux.

2. You can speed up the cook time if using flour alternatives like potato starch.

3. Once you add liquid to the roux, bring it up to heat quickly, then simmer low and slow. Too much heat can cause it to reliquefy or scorch.

NW Chowder

Serves 12 (1.25 gallons)


  • .25# unsalted butter
  • 12 oz yellow onions, diced
  • 8 oz celery, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • .25# AP flour
  • 1 quart milk, whole
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 1 quart fish stock
  • 1# Yukon potato, diced
  • 2 cups lacinato kale, chopped
  • 1# baby clams, canned or fresh
  • 23 oz white fish or any frozen trim, diced
  • 1 tbsp thyme, picked and chopped
  • 1 fresh lemon, juiced
  • Kosher salt/black pepper to taste
  • Garnish options:

o Crab, preferably Dungeness

o Croutons

o Hot sauce

o Bread bowl not required, but highly recommended


1. Place butter, onions, celery, and garlic in pot. Sauté the garlic, do not caramelize. Stir in the flour and cook for 6 minutes. Take care not to scorch bottom of pan. Stir continuously.

2. Add milk. Whisk in stock and cream, whisking the whole time to prevent clumping. Bring to heat and simmer.

3. Add potato, kale, clams, and fish. Add ingredients and continue to simmer and stir until potatoes are tender and fish is cooked, about 30 minutes.

4. Stir in thyme, lemon, salt, and pepper.

5. Garnish to taste.

Note: the soup will last a few months in the freezer; great for quick meals.

Mischief on Canal
134 North Canal Street
Seattle, WA 98103

March 2021

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