What more could one want for a Tuesday evening than wine, fine dining, and mingling with a celebrity chef? That’s exactly what we were treated to last week when Angie Mar, owner of the famed Beatrice Inn in Manhattan, took over the kitchen at Renton Technical College to promote her new cookbook, Butcher + Beast: Mastering the Art of Meat.
Mar’s passion for meat-based meals and elegance were evident at the Roberts Campus Center at RTC on Jan. 28. Guests were looking glamorous as they made their way around the event space tasting various Washington wines, trying hors d’oeuvres like steak tartare, and admiring a giant dragon sculpted in ice.
The event doubled as a Lunar New Year celebration, and the ice-made dragon was soon accompanied by giant dragon costumes, prancing around like a parade was afoot.
The atmosphere was lively and entertaining, and yet we couldn’t help but have our noses in a book. The real star of the show, in our opinion, was none other than Mar’s new cookbook.
Butcher + Beast is an unapologetic and unconventional glimpse at the culinary world through Mar’s raw and real eyes. The pages are filled with Polaroid photos of whole roasted birds, extravagant cocktail parties, high fashion, and crowded kitchens.
Mar differentiates herself from a typical cookbook author in her style — no perfectly manicured images to be found here — and her recipes, which give the same luxurious but gritty impression.
In sections separated by seasons, readers will find recipes such as bone marrow bourbon crème brûlée, veal carpaccio with black anchovies and hazelnut gremolata, wild boar pozole verde, and roast duck flambé, along with autobiographical chapters in which Mar reflects on her life and kitchen culture.
Her culinary education included being formally trained in butchery, which is evident in her meat-centric menu. She also is a Seattle native who worked her way up through various kitchens to her now ownership her highly esteemed New York restaurant. Her story is one of continuous “hustling” and embracing her authentic self.
During the event in Renton, Mar reflected on her Seattle roots and how good it was to be back in the Pacific Northwest, especially in supporting the culinary students at RTC.
“It’s an honor for me to be in Seattle for this event. The foundation for any good cook is mentorship, a strong work ethic, and integrity — it’s always a privilege to be able to pay it forward,” said Mar.
For more information about her cookbook, visit this website and, as Mar said, “Eat meat!”
Cookbook images reprinted with permission from Butcher and Beast: Mastering the Art of Meat by Angie Mar with Jamie Feldmar, copyright © 2019. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House. Photography copyright: Johnny Miller © 2019
Event images by Ken Vensel courtesy Renton Technical College.