Copine chef-owner Shaun McCrain is a Northwest native, but built an internationally impressive resume working at places like Taillevent in Paris and Thomas Keller's Per Se. It was there, at Keller's New York City restaurant, that McCrain worked his way up from opening chef de partie to executive sous chef, and met Jill Kinney, his wife and the ever-so-hospitable overseer of Copine's dining room. Now, the pair has invited some fellow veterans of Keller's employ to join them here in Seattle for a new "Alumni Dinners" series.
The first, on Friday, February 23, reunites McCrain with André Mack, who served as Per Se's head sommelier and now makes his own Oregon wine under the label Maison Noir. Mack will pair his bottles with a special five-course menu that includes dishes like garganelli with roasted duck jus, foie gras emulsion, and crispy duck skin, followed by caramelized sea scallops with octopus bacon. Damn.
The tasting menu with wine pairings runs $200; call Copine directly to make a reservation. While details for subsequent dinners are still being confirmed, next up is Philip Tessier, the Napa-based chef who coached the USA team to its first-ever victory at the Bocuse d'Or, a competition often likened to the culinary olympics.