Dining out with kids should be fun. So that’s what we’re working on creating here. We are just revamping our kids’ menu at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle and ART Restaurant. We’ve been collaborating with local writer John Skewes to get his Larry Gets Lost images onto everything: the menu, activity book, stuffed animal gift, sippy cup—everything Seattle-based… next is plates. Kids recognize Larry and love it. To add to the fun, our silverware looks like Legos.
Originally, our thinking behind the menu itself was: 100 percent healthy. But then our General Manager Ilse Harley said, “When I’m on vacation with the family, it’s the one time I do let my kid have fries.” So we are balancing healthy with fun, with treats kids love. And that includes gluten-free.
Really, any of the items at the restaurant—and for in-room dining—we can modify to make gluten-free for children (and adults) who have an allergy to wheat. We have gluten-free bread, pasta, burger buns and pancake mix. Of course, potatoes are fine. Parents can just give us some parameters—for example, “Something with fish,” and we can do it. We can prepare our kids’ chicken noodle soup with gluten-free pasta.
I think one thing that is comforting to Mom and Dad is that all of the hotel’s kids’ snacks are automatically gluten-free and made with no nuts: popcorn, cookies, our apple snack. So they don’t have to worry.
Here are two gluten-free recipes that kids really like: grilled Pacific Northwest salmon with brown rice, soy sauce and a vegetable stir-fry of broccoli, peppers, red onion and celery; and our Baked Beecher’s Cheese Sandwich with broccoli on the side.
Our hotel is on the downtown Seattle waterfront near Pike Place Market, so of course we love serving fresh fish caught in our waters off Washington State. (Incidentally, it’s one of the country’s oldest public farmers’ markets—300 vendors peddling fresh seafood, cheese, produce, flowers, crafts, jewelry and art—and home to the original Starbucks).
The cheese for the sandwich is a gourmet cheddar made at Beecher’s just around the corner. The kids can watch through the window as they process the cheese in giant vats. We use rice-flour bread and no-flour French fries (usually, flour is used to coat fries to keep the color even), plus vegetable oil instead of peanut oil.
Try these recipes at home and see what the kids think!
2 slices gluten-free bread
1 large, thin slice of cheddar cheese (we use Beecher’s, of course!), enough to cover one piece of bread
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs
1 cup broccoli (or other favorite vegetable), cut into florets
1 TB canola oil
*Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
*Whisk the egg with a little water to loosen it up in a shallow bowl. Set aside.
*Place the cheese between two slices of bread. Dip both sides of the sandwich in the egg mixture.
*Then dip the sandwich in the gluten-free breadcrumbs, coating well. (The breadcrumbs on the outside give the sandwich a crunchy exterior while the inside stays nice and cheesy.)
*Heat up the oil in a pan and sear the sandwich on both sides, just enough to add a bit of color.
*Finish the sandwich in the oven—preheated to 350 degrees F—for five minutes to really melt the cheese.
*While the sandwich is heating, blanch the broccoli for three minutes in boiling, salted water. Remove and set aside, keeping warm.
*Assemble your plate: the sandwich, sliced into triangular halves, with the broccoli on the side. (At the restaurant, we add a cup of gluten-free French fries to complement.) Serves one.
5 oz Pacific wild salmon
2 TB olive oil
2 oz brown rice
½ cup sliced carrots
½ cup sliced bell peppers (red for color)
½ cup broccolini, cut into bite-sized pieces
½ cup button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 TB gluten-free soy sauce
*Any of the vegetables can be substituted for your child’s favorite veggies.
*Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rice, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Check for doneness. Strain and set aside, keeping warm.
*Cut all vegetables to your desired size and shape.
*Heat the grill. Lightly brush the salmon with olive oil and mark on the grill. Then finish in the oven, preheated to 350 degrees F for a few minutes, checking for doneness.
*Right after you put the salmon in the oven, in a hot frying pan, stir-fry the vegetables and finish with the soy sauce.
*Immediately assemble on the plate and serve hot: place the salmon over the rice and heap the vegetables on the side. Serves one. Enjoy!
***Editor’s Note: In the video and pictured: Sabrina and Duncan Glave, 10 and nine, visited Four Seasons Hotel Seattle in October 2012. Chef Jelle invited the kids back for a behind-the-scenes tour of the hotel kitchen.
Read more on Seattle in Four Seasons Magazine.
Read our Concierge Recommendations for Seattle in Four Seasons Magazine.
Restaurant chef Jelle Vandenbroucke brings years of experience at Michelin-star rated restaurants and a fresh creative flair to Four Seasons Hotel Seattle’s ART Restaurant, where he continues the restaurant’s reputation for delivering the best in urban Northwest cuisine. Originally from Bruges, Belgium, Chef Jelle attributes his success to his mentors in kitchens in Europe, the U.S. and United Arab Emirates. He prepared his first meal at 12, before entering culinary school and becoming a classically French-trained chef. Chef Jelle lives in Seattle with his wife Sheila, their newborn son, Matteo, and two dogs Chocolate and Caramel. He loves to explore the city and the great Washington outdoors, and of course try and sample all the wonderful restaurants Seattle has to offer.
View all posts from Jelle
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