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Ronald Holder

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A foodie´s (real) Seattle fairy tale

Elena Fernandez 

In the maremagnum of blog, bloggers, and food bloggers It´s always a luck and a pleasure to meet somebody like Ronald Holden, author of and Home Grown Seattle: 101 true tales of local food & drink.

Not only for his decades of experience and his gigantic knowledge about Seattle´s food scene, but for his beautiful, refined, fun and ironic prose. As a journalist, and as a foreigner I enjoy to read and to learn from really good written articles. Call me classic.

Holder´s book resumes 101 local profiles related with food in some way or another. But you won´t find only chefs and restaurateurs. “You will find farmers, suppliers, wine makers, restaurant builders and even lawyers,” explains Holden, because I wanted to show a whole picture.

As a “Spanish transplant” in the Pacific NW, this books gives me an amazing opportunity to understand why Seattle is becoming more representative in the US food American scene. And I´ve always thought that the best way to fall in love when I place that you should call home for a while is to truly understand it. That´s why you need to really know the people who made Seattle a foodies locavore like Gordon Bowker, creator of Starbucks and Red Hook Brewery, or the Canlis family, as a beginning.

Home Grown Seattle: 101 true tales of local food & drinkis not only written for local foodies. “I would like to create interest in other kind of public too,” says Holder. “American people only spend 10% of their monthly budget in food, much less compared to Europeans, so a book like mine could help them to think more about food and enjoying food”.

Holden is his own publisher, as he can track easier his baby born. Now his book is available on line and on paperback version at but he´ll keep on working with bookshops that believe in independent publishers.

Talking about Seattle restaurants scene, I couldn´t help asking him why Spanish restaurants usually have a failure story in the Emerald city. A few years ago La Taberna del Alabardero closed and now Jason Stratton´s Aragona has been reconverted in Italian after a bumpy road since last January.

“I think they are two reasons. First, people think that Spanish food is like Mexican food, so there is a lot of confusion about that. Second, Spanish food is expensive, and seattlelites prefer spending their money in Italian food, something mucho more familiar for them,” explains the author.

When I ask him about which kind of restaurant are going to be more successful in the near future, he has no doubts “Fish and seafood. And I would love more tapas restaurant. I do really think that tapas concept is really cool so I wish I could see more Spanish restaurants openings soon”.

Ronald Holder libro