One of my mother’s favorite quotes came from none other than Michelangelo — the translation I remember seeing in clipping-form on her refrigerator cited it as “…and still I am learning.” It’s a quote I think about often. In this back-to-school week I’m personally thankful to not be starting high school for the first time again. There’s some learning I’m more than happy to count in my past. But how boring would life be if everything we knew today constituted everything we were going to know tomorrow and next month and next year? I’m still enthralled with learning new things, it seems to me a perfectly engaged way to go through life. Remaining curious and interested and ready for something new to consider.

Then there’s this quote attributed to Julia Child, whose perspectives on life and cooking have been revisited with gusto recently given her 100th birthday celebrated last month. “Learn how to cook; try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless and above all, have fun!” Love that woman and her unaffected approach to things. (I also particularly love her quote about diet food only being worth eating while the steak’s cooking, but that’s a topic for another day.)

So, on this subject of learning, and cooking and eating well and having fun: how does a night of top-quality Northwest seafood, outstanding Pike beers, a chance to learn a little something new about seafood and witnessing the talents of a few top women chefs in the area sound? My local chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier is hosting an engaging and dynamic fundraising dinner-class on September 27 at Pike Pub & Brewery downtown Seattle. Fish Tales & Pike Ales will be something of a progressive dinner, with a few different stations featuring different courses, each with a local chef-host-teacher to share some tips and techniques, preparation ideas, any number of tidbits to inspire your own seafood cooking at home.

To find out more about the event and to buy tickets ($75 per person), go the the Les Dames Seattle web site. All proceeds from the evening will help continue to fund our chapter’s culinary education scholarships, community outreach programs and sustainable agriculture projects in Washington state.

I hope to see you there!