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Wood-Fired Cooking, Nose to Tail Butchery, 75 Day Dry-Aged Beef and Custom Cask-Finished Spirits
Wood-Fired Cooking, Nose to Tail Butchery, 75 Day Dry-Aged Beef and Custom Cask-Finished Spirits
161 backers pledged $41,328 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$41,328

161

New Stretch Goal - $38,000

This will help us do more, and more interesting cask-finished spirits ($5000) - things like adding 12 year rye whiskey to a used Washington Syrah Cask, giving it a beautiful deep mahogany color  and a fruity roundness to balance it's mellow peppery, flavors.   

This will also allow us to commit further to our butchery program, allowing us more diversity, and more amazing treats to grill, cure, and roast, so that eventually, you can eat them! 

The Project

For a long time, I have wanted to get back to a more visceral, basic style of cooking.  

At Crush, I have become known for modern, technique driven cooking, but when an opportunity to open a restaurant in the Hotel Max came along, I knew that it was the perfect place to create a restaurant around this idea.

The Hotel Max was built in 1926 to house the craftsman and workers that the Vance Lumber Company was bringing to Washington to work in the forests and mills. The space, and it's original occupants inspired a further refining and the idea grew into Miller’s Guild.

Drawing of the Old Vance Hotel
Drawing of the Old Vance Hotel

As Nicole (my wife, and the co-owner of Crush) & I invited our partners, Kurt Huffman and Jake Kosseff to join us, the idea became more concrete, and each person added a valuable perspective as well as new insights into the idea. In the end, we have come up with something that we believe will be amazing, and unique.

Miller's Guild is located at 612 Stewart Street, in downtown Seattle. The restaurant is currently under construction, and we hope to be open in December of 2013.   

Putting the Chef's Table in at Miller's Guild
Putting the Chef's Table in at Miller's Guild

Our plans call for a small restaurant, 76 total seats, so that everyone will be comfortable, and able to be engaged in the action at the grill and at the bar. 

The basis for our cooking will be a 9 foot long, custom-made wood-fired grill which will be the perfect way to infuse complex, rich flavors into simply prepared meats, vegetables and fish. 

The Grill in action!  Photo by Debora Spencer
The Grill in action! Photo by Debora Spencer

One of the crafts this will allow us to showcase is butchery, and not just any butchery, but whole animal butchery, nose-to-tail if you will, of heritage breed livestock like Mangalitsa and Big Black Pigs. We will be using the entire animal, not only making cuts to grill, but also making stocks, sausage and other charcuterie that will make for a truly memorable dining experience. 

Jason Wilson Demonstrating Whole Lamb Butchery at Crush
Jason Wilson Demonstrating Whole Lamb Butchery at Crush

With our beef, we want to take our approach one step further. We would like to build a 75-day dry aging program for two cuts that will be the centerpiece of our beef offering: a New York and a bone in ribeye for two. Long dry-aging makes meat richer, more complex and beefier. We feel our dry-aged beef, cooked on the wood grill, will allow us to provide an exceptional, one-of-a-kind experience to our guests.

Not confining our wood theme to just the kitchen, we came upon the idea of cask finishing our own spirits so that we can add our own special touch to great products made by craft distillers. We will be working with craft distillers to procure, and even create, spirits that are perfect for aging at Miller’s Guild. Sometimes it will be as simple as finishing a special gin in wood and making it richer, softer and more complex. Other times we might finish an already aged whisky in barrels that had been used for winemaking, or create our own reposado or añejo tequilas or aged rums. 
Spirits Ageing in Casks at Batch 206 in Seattle
Spirits Ageing in Casks at Batch 206 in Seattle

While we believe all of these programs will enhance our guests’ experience, and make our restaurant unique, they also all cost money. Our 75 day dry-aged beef program will require purchasing and storing large quantities of meat, so that we always have enough properly aged beef to meet our customers’ demands, in order to ensure that we are ready to launch with enough aged beef, we will need to invest $10,000 in product with our ager. In order to ensure we have good supplies of the right kinds of meat for our butchers, we will need to commit to large quantities from small farmers, and sometimes we will need to invest in the herd, so that the farmer can be sure that they will have a home for the special animals we are requesting.  We would like to invest $8,000 with various pig and lamb farmers in Washington to ensure that they have a constant supply of the best animals being raised for us.  In order to fill the 20 of our 50 Liter casks with hand-crafted, quality liquor for our cask finished spirit program, we will need to invest $10,000 in craft spirits. In each case, we will need to keep these amounts invested in order to maintain the programs.  While the restaurant will open no matter what, we need your help to realize our goals with these three crucial programs. We love the idea of our customers being part of launching our vision, and hope that you will consider being a part of something that we believe will be very special.

Risks and challenges

With our combined experience we do feel we are well equipped for this new venture but also understand that with anything new there are risks involved. Normal concerns for any restaurant are always construction deadlines, securing our suppliers, and of course having an exemplary staff that believes in the same philosophy as we do. The biggest risk in this project is delivering all that we have envisioned for this restaurant and having our guests experience something that we believe to be unique and extraordinary.

We are committed to keeping our supporters informed of both our triumphs and challenges, and believe that transparent communication will be one of the keys to our success.

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FAQ

  • We have currently scheduled dinners on Dec 4th, 5th and 6th. We will send a reservation link to all of the reward backers who will get tickets to the dinner.

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  • Just pledge the amount that fits the number of rewards you would like (if you want 20 t-shirts, pledge $500, 20 x $25) and select the reward you want. We will send you a message confirming the number of items, or requesting clarification if the numbers don't add up.

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  • Yes, dinner is included. However, due to kickstarter rules, alcoholic beverages are not . . . sorry

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Show your true colors with a limited edition, black, 100% cotton Miller's Guild t-shirt with the Miller's Guild Logo on the Front, and the phrase "I Support Beef, Butchery & Booze" in large print across the back. This T-Shirt will only be available to contributors to our kickstarter campaign.

    We will have all women's and all men's sizes available.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You will have an exclusive seat at one of our pre-opening dinners and will be among the first to experience the wood grill, and taste the fruits of the Dry-Aged Beef and Heirloom Livestock Nose to Tail Butchery program you helped launch. Once our campaign is complete we will contact you with pre-opening dinner dates, times and reservation details for parties of up to four.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    For those of you who can't make the pre-openings, we are making a similar reward available for parties of two or more on a date of your choosing beginning on January 2nd, 2014.

    You will have two seats at our Chef's Counter and while being charmed by our chefs, you will be treated to an unique experience in front of the wood grill. You will taste the fruits of the Dry-Aged Beef and Heirloom Livestock Nose-to-Tail Butchery program you helped launch. Unfortunately, due to Kickstarter rules, we cannot include tastes of the cask finished spirits program in this offer. Additionally, each of you will receive an "I support Beef, Butchery & Booze" T-Shirt that will only be available to our Kickstarter Supporters.

    Once our campaign is complete we will contact you to arrange the reservation and get your t-shirt sizes. If you'd like to book for more than two, contribute the appropriate amount ($100 per person) and we will notify you to confirm the guest count.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A VIP reservation for two to one of our pre-opening parties that gets you, not only seats at the dinner, but also a pre-dinner reception and a post-dinner tour of the space. You will be among the first to experience the wood grill, and taste the fruits of the Dry-Aged Beef and Heirloom Livestock Nose to Tail Butchery program you helped launch. Additionally, you will receive a certificate for dinner for two redeemable any time in 2014. As a further token of our appreciation for your support, each of your will receive Miller's Guild t-shirt in your size with the quote "I support Beef, Butchery & Booze," these shirts are only available to our Kickstarter supporters. Once our campaign is complete we will contact you with pre-opening dinner dates, times and reservation details and to get your shirt sizes.

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    47 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    James Beard Award winning Chef Jason Wilson, and Miller’s Guild Chef de Cuisine Kelly Gaddis will host you and nine of your closest friends to an intimate butchery class featuring one of our animals from the butchery program that you helped launch. For dinner you will be eating the meat you helped butcher, along with our soon to be famous 75-day dry-aged beef, and a sampling of nearly our entire menu. In addition, As a further token of our appreciation for your support, each of your will receive Miller's Guild t-shirt in your size with the quote "I support Beef, Butchery & Booze," these shirts are only available to our Kickstarter supporters. As soon as our campaign is finished we will contact you to arrange a date for the dinner and get your t-shirt sizes.

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Funding period

- (17 days)