I was nearly through my meal at Staple and Fancy in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood when I met chef Ethan Stowell for the first time last fall. Friends with my dining companion, spirits man Rocky Yeh, Stowell stopped by our table that evening after returning from a catering, weary but friendly. General chitchat commenced, shifting from off-site events to restaurant to-dos, when Rocky inquired as to how Ethan and his wife, Angela, were faring. “We’re doing ok,” Stowell replied with a sigh. “We’re coming up on the due date, so we’re going to take a little time off.” A solemn, reserved response to what is more often understood to be a milestone of great joy and celebration, I understood his answer with a flash of recognition. A club no one wants to be a part of – a group of shell-shocked parents with heavy hearts and empty arms – had welcomed in more new members.
In my time at Daily Blender, there has never been a food and wine event that hit so close to home as this past weekend’s Eat.Run.Hope. As a survivor of a late-term pregnancy loss, I’ve had the unfortunate – or fortunate – occasion of meeting parents around the country who have experienced similar losses, so when the running-slash-eating fundraiser was announced earlier this year, I knew I wanted to help in some way, any way, that I could. Bringing together a 5K walk/run, kids fun run, and Chef’s Tent as part of the event, the Stowells masterfully created Eat.Run.Hope. as a tribute to their two sons, Nathanael and Gabriel, lost last summer. Top Seattle chefs and restaurants stepped up to the plate to support the couple in their mission to bring recognition to fetal syndromes, and hundreds of friends, family, and community members joined the Stowells in raising over $60,000 for the Fetal Hope Foundation. What was surely a day of sadness for many who attended was also, in fact, a day of great eating and hoping.
Participating restaurants included chef Stowell’s family of eateries (Tavolata, How to Cook A Wolf, Staple & Fancy, Anchovies & Olives), as well as Canlis, Revel, Terra Plata, La Bete, Bastille, Skillet, Golden Beetle, The Walrus and the Carpenter, Marche, Via Triunali, Dot’s Delicatessen, the Seattle Art Museum’s Taste Restaurant, and the Volunteer Park Café. Bites ranged from hearty to light, meat-heavy to vegan-friendly, with my favorites being a falafel wrap, a brisket slider with horseradish slaw, a salad of black lentils and potatoes, and a seriously stellar sausage with housemade kimchi and sauerkraut. I made sure to grab a few sweets from Street Treats before departing the inaugural event as well.
Pregnancy loss affects far more folks than you can imagine – friends, family, neighbors. You can donate to the Fetal Hope Foundation, to help fund the identification, research, and awareness of fetal syndromes, as well as groups like SHARE and Portland’s Brief Encounters, who lend support to bereaved parents.
*Photo credit: Jennifer Heigl / Daily Blender
**Dedicated to Nathanael and Gabriel Stowell, Avery and Cameryn Stoute, Ella Heigl, and all of the babies lost too soon.