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May 23, 2008 3:00 PM

SIFF-goers, sitting on SALT

Posted by Nancy Leson

Michelle Quisenberry is a restaurateur who never misses an opportunity to promote Volterra, her Seattle restaurant whose signature Fennel Salt has found its ways into the hands of everyone from "Grey's Anatomy's" Chandra Wilson. . .:

. .to such (cough!) salt-of-the-earth types as "The Donald." (Does he look thrilled, or what?):

Last night, Quisenberry and her husband, chef Don Curtiss, did it again. As presenting sponsors of the Seattle International Film Festival, Signora Fennel Salt got up on stage at the opening event at McCaw Hall, and as part of her welcome did what she calls "an Oprah-style giveaway." Under 100 seats were jars of Fennel Salt with a single "lucky box" containing a season pass to Volterra's 2009 "Dinner and a Movie" series. The series, featuring food-focused films, will kick off next January with that foodie classic, "Babette's Feast":

That feast is set to be screened at Volterra's special-events facility, the Drawing Room, and events surrounding the film series will raise approximately $20,000 for SIFF, says Quisenberry. What's more, in an effort to make certain SIFF movie-goers didn't leave the (expensive) opening extravaganza empty-handed, volunteers passed out approximately 3000 jars of Fennel Salt as door prizes for departing guests -- some $60,000-worth, produced in Ballard over the past few weeks.

For insider info on SIFF, check out Seattle Times movie critic Moira McDonald's tips, and the Seattle Times Festival Blog.

Have fun this weekend, everyone. I'm going to attempt to stay away from the computer and enjoy the long weekend, cooking up some salmon, weeding-out my garden, hanging out with family and friends and maybe even enjoying some, uh, sun?

Talk to you Tuesday!

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