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Publication: The Stranger
Author: Galvin, Sarah
Date published: May 4, 2011

Cicerone and chef, Madison Park Cafe 1807 42nd Ave E, 324-2626

You're a chef at Madison Park Cafe and also the fi rst certifi ed cicerone in Washington State. Can you describe what a cicerone does, for readers who previously thought it was a type of pasta?

The origin of the word is "steward" or "curator." It's all about ensuring that beer is the best quality and served correctly.

Madison Park Cafe did the all-organic thing long before every waffl e house, barbecue shack, and lasagna tent started doing it. How did the cafe start using organic ingredients?

When I started working here, customers had to request organic ingredients. Now it's pretty standard. Our suppliers know to send us organic produce.

How does working at a quiet but well-liked neighborhood spot compare to your experience at Campagne in the Market?

It's not nearly as high-stress, and there's more interaction with guests. Sometimes they walk into the kitchen as if they were in their homes.

Your name is actually "Rich Coffey"-did you become a cicerone after your painfully ironic failure as a barista?

I don't have any barista experience, though I respect what they do. Texturing a mocha takes skill.

Interview by Sarah Galvin

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