Mar 3, 2018
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Talk of the Town 2018
Celebrate Town Hall with fine food and conversation
Saturday, March 3, 2018, 6:00PM
Various Locations

Join us for a citywide night of conversation and fine dining at Town Hall’s 14th Annual Benefit: Talk of the Town. We’ve curated dream dinner parties in signature spaces across Seattle with  our city’s foremost chefs, thought and cultural leaders—and you. Come together with your fellow diners for an unforgettable night as you support Town Hall’s work during our Inside/Out season.

You probably know that most of our programs are just $5—Town Hall’s annual “big night” is a big part of keeping them that way. A portion of your dinner ticket supports Town Hall and its programming, and is considered a charitable contribution. Your ticket to Talk of the Town includes a seat at our upcoming Distilled program, set to take place in April 2018.

Peruse the parties below and select your top three dinner preferences as you purchase your tickets. All guests will receive their party placements on February 27. Please note that we can’t guarantee guests their first choice (but these parties are all so dreamy, we’re confident you’ll have a fantastic evening regardless of your destination) and some luminaries and chefs may be subject to change.

Dinners are selling out quickly. If you have questions about ticketing or need assistance, please call us at (206) 652-4255 during office hours (Monday-Friday, 9-5), or email Kimberly Buchan at 

The Laurelhurst Party

Hosts: Donna and Matthew Bellew | Chef: Jason Stoneburner | Luminaries: Teresa Mosqueda & Rachel Cook

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Donna Bellew, poetry lover and consultant, and Matthew Bellew, robot lover and LabKey Software founder, welcome guests to their lakefront urban beach house in Laurelhurst.

Jason Stoneburner is the chef of Bastille Café & Bar and chef/owner of Stoneburner, both located in Seattle’s historic Ballard neighborhood. He is dedicated to procuring products from small farms and thoughtfully sourcing ingredients. In his free time, Jason can be found somewhere along the West Coast surfing or snowboarding.

Teresa Mosqueda is Seattle’s recently elected City Council Position-At-Large 8. She served as the consumer advocate on the WA Affordable Care Act Exchange Board, and Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Rachel Cook is the Artistic Director at On The Boards, one of Seattle’s premier venues for onstage experimentation. She previously served as curator at Houston’s DiverseWorks art and performance center, and she is dedicated to fostering critical discourse and collaboration in Seattle’s artistic communities.

The Madrona/Leschi Party

Hosts: Julie Tall | Chef: Matthew Woolen | Luminaries: Gary Faigin, Colleen Echohawk

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Julie Tall is the owner of Capitol Cider and serves on the Board of Directors at Gage Art Academy. She invites guests to join her at her newly restored 1912 home.

Matthew Woolen is the Executive Chef at Capitol Cider, one of Seattle’s premier dining locations known for its gluten-free cuisine. He has been cooking in Seattle for the past two decades including work with the McCracken Tough restaurant group, most notably as the Chef de Cuisine at The Old Sage, and recently Zhu Dang.

Gary Faigin holds a seat on the Board of Directors at the Cascadia Museum of Art in Edmonds, WA. He is a leading proponent of realist painting in the Northwest, and his book The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression has been translated into eight languages and reprinted 24 times. Colleen Echohawk is the executive director of the Chief Seattle Club, an organization with a long history of serving homeless American Indians and Alaska Natives. In 2016 she was awarded Crosscut’s Courage Award winner in Public Service for her remarkable contributions to leading a unique, nonprofit organization.

The Ballard Party

Hosts: Debra and Brad Music | Chef: Dustin Ronspies | Luminaries: Susan Jones, Stephanie Bowman

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Co-founder of Theo Chocolate, Debra Music and Brad Music (a data expert for the Amazon Alexa team) welcome guests to their home in the Sunset Hill neighborhood of Ballard.

Dustin Ronspies is the co-owner and chef at Art of the Table, a critically acclaimed local restaurant with a focus on relationships forged with the farmers, ranchers, fishermen, and artisans in the Pacific Northwest.

Susan Jones is owner of atelierjones llc—an architecture, urban, and ecodesign firm. She is also an author with the recent release of her book Mass Timber. Port of Seattle Commissioner Stephanie Bowman also serves as the Executive Director of Washington ABC, a statewide non-profit dedicated to supporting economically-disadvantaged communities through education, homeownership, savings, and small business development.

The Leschi Party

Hosts: Wassef and Racha Haroun (Leschi) | Chef: Carrie Mashaney (Mamnoon) | Luminaries: Inye Wokoma, Shin Yu Pai

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Entrepreneurs Wassef and Racha Haroun are the visionaries behind Capitol Hill’s popular Middle Eastern restaurant, Mamnoon. Join the Harouns in their stunning Leschi contemporary home for a Mediterranean-influenced dinner presented by Mamnoon’s chef, Carrie Mashaney—formerly of Seattle’s Aragona and guest on Bravo’s Top Chef.

Inye Wokoma is a filmmaker, journalist, visual artist and native Seattleite. His exhibition This Is Who We Are was featured in 2016 at the Frye Museum. Shin Yu Pai is a poet and cross-media artist who works in photography, installation and public art, cross-disciplinary collaborations, and sound. She is a curator for the collaborative global exploration project Atlas Obscura, as well as our Phinney/Greenwood Inside/Out Neighborhood Resident.

The Downtown Party

Hosts: Bob Evans & Steve Davis | Chefs: Poncharee Kounpungchart—aka “PK”—and Wiley Frank (Little Uncle)| Luminaries: Kris Hermanns, Jeanne Kohl-Welles

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Steve Davis—president and CEO of the international global health innovation nonprofit PATH— and Bob Evans—community volunteer with a focus on supporting families and advancing social justice—welcome you to their home on the 20th floor of the elegant Escala Condominiums in downtown Seattle.

Inspired by the mom and pop shophouse restaurants of Thailand, Chefs Poncharee Kounpungchart (PK) and Wiley Frank of the Little Uncle Take Out Shop and Restaurant on Capitol Hill make the dishes that they love to prepare and serve.

Kris Hermanns is the CEO of the Pride Foundation, where she bridges two of her passions: advocating for social justice and philanthropy. She is also a shareholder of the Green Bay Packers. King County Councilmember, Jeanne Kohl-Welles, serves King County District 4 with goals that reflect her commitment to social justice and economic opportunity.

The Magnolia Party

Hosts: Stacie Foster and Lawrence Cock | Chef: John Sundstrom (Lark) | Luminaries: Courtney Sale, Susan Mullaney

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President of the Board of Seattle Children’s Theatre Stacie Foster and Lawrence Cock, attorney, welcome guests to their home in Magnolia.

Chef John Sundstrom has remade his artisan-focused restaurant, Lark (housed in the Central Agency building, a fully-restored Auto Row warehouse), into a new dining destination for South Capitol Hill.

Courtney Sale is the Artistic Director at the Seattle Children’s Theatre, and recipient of awards including Indianapolis 40 Under 40, Austin Critics Table Award, and UT Austin Continuing Fellowship. She’s joined by Susan Mullaney, President of the Washington region of Kaiser Permanente, one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans.

The Queen Anne (at W Prospect) Party

Hosts: Doug Smith and Stephanie Ellis-Smith | Chef: Tarik Abdullah | Luminaries: Peter DiCampo, Aaron Huey

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Award-winning historian, translator, and author of five books on Russia, Doug Smith and Stephanie Ellis-Smith , a philanthropic advisor, passionate activist, and volunteer, welcome guests to their home in Queen Anne.

Chef Tarik Abdullah’s cuisine is inspired by the tastes and flavors of his childhood, growing up in a Muslim family and broader community where ethnic foods were the norm. His culinary creations can be found at Black & Tan Hall where he honors food traditions from North Africa and the Mediterranean.

Peter DiCampo is a documentary photographer and photojournalist, and the co-founder of the collaborative photography and multimedia project Everyday Africa. He is also Town Hall’s 2018 Inside/Out Neighborhood Resident in the U District/Ravenna. Aaron Huey is an award-winning National Geographic Photographer, Harper’s Magazine Contributing Editor, and Founder of

The First Hill Party

Hosts: Bill and Susan Rives | Chef: Zac Reynolds (Cook Weaver) | Luminaries: Jim Rose, Lucy Helm

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Bill and Susan Rives founded Scientific Explorer Inc., an educational toy company dedicated to engaging children’s critical thinking skills through play. Bill also serves on Town Hall’s Board of of Directors. They welcome guests to the top of their high-rise home at LUMA in First Hill, featuring sweeping views of the city.

Chef Zac Reynolds may be new to Talk of the Town, but he’s no stranger to creating memorable dinner parties. You’ll find the chef-owner surrounded by the historic murals at Cook Weaver, his intimate new restaurant in Capitol Hill “where cooks are servers, where guests are welcome in the kitchen, where anyone who wants to participate is invited, and where we all have a lot of fun.”

Jim Rose is President and General Manager of KING 5, which is recognized nationally for its commitment to local journalism and community service. Executive Vice President and Chief Partner Officer at Starbucks, Lucy Helm, was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of America’s 50 Outstanding General Counsel in 2014, received Legal Momentum’s Woman of Achievement award, and was honored with the Washington Appleseed Bradley C. Diggs Outstanding Service Award for leadership in social justice in 2015.

The Burien Party

Hosts: Leticia Lopez and Brian Abeel | Chef: Rachel Yang (Joule, Trove, Revel) | Luminaries: Peter Rogoff, Solynn McCurdy

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Town Hall Board Member and arts & youth advocate Leticia Lopez and Brian P. Abeel, a finance executive at the Boeing Company, invite you to join them at their historic lakefront home in Burien.

Rachel Yang is the co-owner of Joule, Trove, and Revel, and Portland’s Revelry. Rachel has been nominated for Best Chef Northwest in 2016 and 2017 by the James Beard Foundation. She recently appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and on Town Hall’s stage earlier this season.

Unanimously selected after a nationwide search in 2016, Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff brings an impressive career of transportation leadership to forward the mission of expanding the regional mass transit system for central Puget Sound. Solynn McCurdy is the CEO of Social Venture Partners Seattle where he works with a network of philanthropists and community leaders to create a Puget Sound region where everyone can thrive regardless of income or race.

The Washington Park (at 37th Ave E) Party

Hosts: Bill and Ruth True | Chef: Monica Dimas (Milkwood & Company) | Luminaries: Tim Lennon, Jane Wong

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Ruth True is the founder of NuBe Green and Nube 9, two companies dedicated to ecologically responsible home goods and recycled U.S. made uniforms for student athletes. She and Bill True—founder of poetry press Gramma and long time Henry Art Gallery supporter—invite guests to join them at their stunning home near Washington Park.

Monica Dimas is the owner and operator of Milkwood & Company, a Seattle-based food concept company, the creative force behind Seattle restaurants such as Neon Taco, Tortas Condesa, Sunset Fried Chicken Sandwiches, and Westman’s.

Tim Lennon is the Executive Director of LANGSTON, a new arts organization dedicated to Cultivating Black Brilliance. 2017 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist (and former Fulbright Fellow and Kundiman Fellow) Jane Wong is a poet, essayist and professor.

The Queen Anne (at W Kinnear) Party

Hosts: David Zapolsky and Lynn Hubbard | Chef: Joshua Henderson (Vestal, Great State Burger) | Luminaries: Brady Piñero Walkinshaw, Dr. M Jackson

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David Zapolsky is Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary of Lynn Hubbard is a community volunteer, engaged in environmental and transportation issues and currently on the SIFF Board. They welcome guests to their beautiful Queen Anne home featuring stunning views of the city.

Chef Joshua Henderson is the founder and chef of the Huxley Wallace Restaurant Group, which includes such restaurants as Vestal, Great State Burger, and Westward.

Brady Piñero Walkinshaw is the CEO of Seattle’s own environmental media outlet Grist, and formerly served in the Washington State House of Representatives. Newly minted TED Fellow Dr. M Jackson is a glaciologist, geographer, and Explorer for the National Geographic Society.

The Washington Park (at McGilvra Blvd E) Party

Hosts: Mark and Christina Dawson | Chef: J.J. Proville (L’Oursin) | Luminaries: Timothy Egan, Joni Balter

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You’ll enjoy spectacular views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains from the Washington Park home of Mark and Christina Dawson.

J.J. Proville cooks at Seattle’s newly opened prominent dining spot L’Oursin, and is known for his penchant for bold rustic flavors and natural presentation. He spent two years at Manhattan’s acclaimed Gramercy Tavern where he learned to celebrate and showcase seasonal produce within the context of inspired hospitality. In 2014 J.J. was selected as an up-and-coming chef by both Seattle Met and Seattle Magazine.

Local favorite and Town Hall all-star, Timothy Egan, is a New York Times journalist and author of eight books, including Carnegie Award winning nonfiction book Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher and New York Times bestseller The Immortal Irishman. Joni Balter is a multimedia journalist, editorial writer, and former assistant political editor at The Seattle Times—as well as a lecturer who has taught in the communication departments at Seattle University and the University of Washington.

The Washington Park (at 36th Ave E) Party

Hosts: Tom Robertson and Marcelle O’Connell | Chef: Tamara Murphy  (Terra Plata) | Luminaries: Tina Podlodowski

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Town Hall Board member and Microsoft VP and Deputy General Counsel, Tom Robertson, and Marcelle O’Connell, an editor, welcome guests to their 1905 Washington Park home.

James Beard-winning chef, and proprietor and chef at the beloved local earth-to-plate restaurant, Terra Plata, Tamara Murphy serves up the fare she has been famous for since being featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Great Chefs—Great Cities” series for her work at Café Campagne.

Tina Podlodowski is the Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party, former member of the Seattle City Council, and former advisor to Mayor Ed Murphy in 2014. She also served as the former Executive Director of the Lifelong AIDS Alliance.


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