Skincare with Sheniece

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

Tulalip tribal member, Sheniece Lane, found her passion at a young age while working at the Tulalip Resort Casino. After years of working in the Guest Service department, she decided on a new venture with the luxurious 14,000 square-foot T Spa. During her tenure there she gravitated toward an array of products such as toners, serums and moisturizers, learning how certain skincare products are catered to specific skin types. 

With an established interest in beauty cosmetics, including makeup and lashes, as well as self-care, Sheniece found her true calling as an esthetician while in a managerial position at the spa. This allowed her to gain as much product knowledge as possible and experience a number of services including facials and waxes. During her early days at the spa, Sheniece could usually be spotted on the retail floor with a box of exfoliator in one hand and an eye-cream in the other, carefully studying the ingredients to get an understanding of what the products did and who they were made for. Sheniece would also often pick-the-brains of the T Spa estheticians, inquiring about which masks and peels were best for particular individuals, whether they were dealing with acne, wrinkles or rosacea. 

After months of learning, she pursued an esthetician license by enrolling in a beauty academy. Now a couple years down the road and after many exciting life events, including a baby and a recent engagement, Sheniece is a highly-recommended esthetician at the place where it all began, the T Spa, and she’s ready to help her community learn about their skincare needs.

Lets begin with your personal skincare journey. What made you decide to become an esthetician?

Working at the casino offered a lot of different opportunities for me. One of the top roles I had was working at the T Spa. The environment was so supportive of where I wanted to go with skincare; it was informative. I was able to grow and learn about the skincare industry and how to sell products. Having all that product knowledge really opened my eyes to the benefits of skincare and made me want to educate other people in the same sense. That was the number one reason that made me want to pursue my esthetician license and career. 

Skincare is something that is often overlooked, why do you believe taking good care of your skin is important?

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. It’s also the largest barrier against infection. If we have cuts and are not taking good care of our skin, we’re exposing ourselves to infections, toxins or environmental factors. It’s really important to maintain a proper daily skincare regimen that’s going to help prevent any early signs of aging and wrinkles. The overall goal is to continue to provide a strong barrier for your skin because that’s how we stay away from getting sick or any illnesses.

For those who are new to skincare, it might be surprising to learn that certain products are geared toward specific skin types. What are the different types of skin?

I can go into huge detail about that, but I’m going to try to summarize it; a lot of people have normal skin. There’s normal skin, dry skin, couperose skin, mature skin and oily skin.

People with normal skin typically have smaller pores; they have a really good firm muscle texture to their skin. They’re going to be rosy around the cheeks and they have really good smooth texture on their skin. No pigmentations or lesions because they have an ideal skin type.

Dry skin is obviously going to be lacking circulation. 

Couperose skin are people who have telangiectasia or rosacea, so they either have dilated capillaries like red veins or their skin looks flushed and red.

Mature and acneic skin are self-explanatory. While people with oily skin types have more thick skin and a little bit of texture to their skin. 

How would one assess their skin type?

If someone is breaking out quite a bit, I’d recommend seeing a dermatologist because it’s usually due to an allergy. 

I also advise people to come and get a skin consultation with an esthetician at the T Spa. It’s better to do it in person because it’s easy to self-diagnose ourselves, but most of the time we’re wrong. If someone has questions, everyone is really helpful and if they’re looking for a product we can suggest that for them really quickly.  

What kind of skincare treatments do you offer at the T Spa?

The primary treatment I’m doing at the spa is the European facial. It’s essentially a customized skincare facial that’s super relaxing and educational for the client. I ask if they have any concerns, and most people don’t have any they just want to come in for the relaxation portion of it, but some people will come in and say they have clogged pores, hyperpigmentation – which is also known as dark spots that’s from an overextended period of time of sun exposure – or they have acne problems. I customize any of the products we have to target those skin concerns. What’s most important is educating my clients to use the proper skincare line. If you were to come in and say, I’m breaking out and I want to get rid of this, I’d suggest some products to you that would fit specifically towards your needs.

Another great facial to book is definitely the T Spa signature facial. That’s a good way to figure out if you wanted to do further anti-aging treatments or peels. If you wanted to get a regimen going at home, we can target what your skin needs at that time.

Lets talk about establishing an at home regimen. What skincare products are essential? 

The biggest thing people need to do is exfoliate and the reason I say that is because our skin layers are always shedding every day. When we’re not exfoliating we get buildup of oils, dirt and debris. What you want to do is exfoliate two times a week at a minimum, three time at the most. That helps bring circulation to the skin, it helps slough off your skin so you have supple, texture-free skin. 

Serum’s are important too because they have anti-oxidants. Antioxidants help detoxify and create a barrier against the elements. You ideally want to have a moisturizer on, because it’s cold out now and that takes away the moisture from our skin. Use that serum under a moisturizer to help prevent dehydration in the skin, combat signs of early aging and hyperpigmentation. 

And also any moisturizing cream that you like to use. Those three things I feel are a great start for people because most people claim to just use a bar of soap while in the shower and that’s it. Oh, and an eye-cream too! Because that’s another place where we start to show early signs of aging. 

What are your top three favorite products?

Monoi H Corrective Exfoliating cleanser. It’s my number one product I recommend to people. It’s gentle enough to exfoliate your skin but it’s still hydrating, it’s not going to strip your skin of any of its oils.

My next product I like is a Rose Hips Seed Triple C and E Firming serum. Vitamin C and E are really good for your skin because it helps maintain your moisture and hydration levels, it helps fight free radicals, wrinkle prevention and targets dark spots. It’s really like an all-in-one serum and that’s something I tell people to use under their moisturizer.

My third favorite is Bearberry Eye-Cream by Eminence because it helps target pigmentation under the eyes as well as inflammation and puffiness. And also their Artic Berry Peptide Illuminating Cream, that helps with uneven complexion and it looks like your skin is glowing.

What are the products to stay away from?

Stay away from St. Ives mango scrub or apricot scrub. Those microbeads are so bad for your skin. You don’t want those big beads tearing away your skin because that opens your skin to bacteria. And when you’re opening your skin to be that susceptible, then you’re getting more breakouts. They’ve been a little more proactive about not using microbeads in products anymore because it’s harmful for fish, sea life and the creatures of the ocean. 

And I don’t want to bash them, but I don’t encourage people to use Proactive. Their products were found bleaching people’s washcloths. So for the product to be that potent, those ingredients are not safe for people’s skin, especially those with acne. The biggest misconception people have is when they get a breakout, they immediately think they have acneic skin, and no, you’re having a breakout. The biggest contributors to breakouts are diet and stress. Stress plays a huge role, so it’s important to incorporate meditating, disconnecting or journaling because there’s so many ways our bodies communicate with us and that shows up as acne.

You mentioned diet playing a role in our skin health, can you expand a little more?

Most people typically are eating an inflammatory diet. The best thing for your skin is to always stay hydrated. Try to drink at least eight, 8oz glasses of water a day and carry a water bottle with you. Hold yourself accountable to staying hydrated because what that’s doing is completely detoxifying our system. Try to eat non-processed foods, anything that comes in a package. Try to eat wholefully, like vegetables and fruits. Fish is really good for our skin because of those omega-3’s, that helps oil production and collagen production, which helps keep us looking younger and our skin glowing. 

So our ancestors knew what they were doing?

They really did! I think that speaks for itself because a lot of our Native elders don’t have really bad wrinkles, they look youthful.

Any tips on staying consistent with your daily skincare regimen?

I struggle with that too, don’t get me wrong. Sometimes if I’m not wearing makeup during the day, I’ll want to skip it. Which is okay. If you’re a guy or not a frequent makeup wearer, it’s still important to incorporate some type of toner at the end of the day because if you’re around any dust or dirt, that’s still holding onto your skin.

The best advice I have to staying disciplined is before you get into bed, go to the bathroom, wash your face after you brush your teeth and make it a routine. It’s important to remember that when you’re sleeping, your skin is regenerating.  I skipped out a couple of times. I just got over a bad breakout, I wasn’t cleaning my skin and was eating terrible, and it was showing. I didn’t want to do anything, I was hiding away and wearing hats. It affects your self-esteem when your skin isn’t doing good. If you think about it, you’re taking care of yourself; it’s great self-care. And you’re setting yourself up for success for the next day, because for me, when I wake up in the morning and see that my skin looks really good, that sets the tone for the rest of my day to perform at my peak. 

 

Sheniece is currently working weekends at the T Spa and encourages anyone with skincare questions to visit. To book a facial or skin consultation, please contact the spa at (360) 716-6350. Sheniece is also working to expand her brand, recently investing in an organic skincare line named Beauty Counter, that avoids using several harmful ingredients that are banned in countries other than the U.S. She will also be hosting a number of pop-ups throughout the Tulalip reservation, using the new product line to conduct skin evaluations and mini-facials. 

“I hope that I’m able to reach anybody in the community who wants more skincare product and knowledge,” she says. “I’m making myself more accessible to the community so I can offer what I learned and pass that on to people that have no idea where to begin with skincare.”

Be sure to follow Sheniece’s Instagram page, @sol.beauty, to stay updated on her latest skincare and beauty news, as well on any upcoming pop-ups with her new Beauty Counter skincare line.

Tulalip Tribes first in state to introduce Aristocrat gaming machines

Tulalip tribal members and Slot Shift Managers, Andrew Flores and Erin Reyna showcasing one of several Aristocrat gaming banks.

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Aristocrat has installed its first Tribal Lottery System (TLS) games in the State of Washington at the Tulalip Resort Casino and Quil Ceda Creek Casino. The new games – Birds of Pay™, Buffalo Gold Collection™, Wild Lepre’Coins™, and Wild Panda™ Gold – are the first games in the state provided by Aristocrat on the TLS platform. 

“Aristocrat is an Australian based slot manufacturer and one of the largest in the world,” explained Jason Woodall, TRC Slots Engineer. “It’s been close to ten years now that we’ve been working with them to bring their product to the Washington State market. Aristocrat is well-known for making games with big payouts and sought after jackpots.” 

While the Aristocrat games have only been installed for a few weeks at both Tulalip gaming properties, they already have a committed player base. Dale Horton of Arlington is one such player. Dale has been playing the new machines diligently since their arrival and his commitment paid off big time on the morning of January 7 when he hit a whopping $72,000 jackpot.

Dale Horton of Arlington hit a $72,000 jackpot
playing the newly installed Aristocrat machines.

“I’ve been playing Buffalo Gold quite a bit since it’s been put in,” shared Dale. “I frequent the Tulalip Casino nearly every day. I enjoy the mornings when it’s quieter and not as smoky, that allows me to socialize with the friendly staff who have always treated me well. It feels pretty good to have hit a jackpot, it’s my first in a long while.”

The games come to Tulalip and Quil Ceda by means of the Tulalip Tribe of Washington’s sponsoring Aristocrat’s entrance into the TLS market. That sponsorship allowed the company to sell its cabinets and games in the State. 

“We are excited for the Tulalip/Aristocrat partnership and what it means to the Washington market. Aristocrat has established solid product performance and will bring a superior library of content for our guests’ enjoyment,” said Don Hegnes, Tulalip Resort Casino Slots Director. 

“Tulalip Resort Casino and Quil Ceda Creek Casino are excited to be the first properties to introduce Aristocrat cabinets and games into the Washington market. Since the first install, our guests continue to embrace the product,” added Quil Ceda Creek Casino Slots Director, Belinda Hegnes.

The games are the first in a series of titles Aristocrat plans to bring to the State over the next year. “We are very excited to bring these new games to Tulalip, Quil Ceda, and Washington State,” said Siobhan Lane, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Gaming Operations. “We have worked diligently to create new games based on player-favorite titles that fully comply with TLS regulations, and we are grateful to The Tulalip Tribe of Washington for their sponsorship and encouragement throughout this process.” 

Aristocrat Technologies Inc. is a subsidiary of Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL), a leading global provider of land-based and online gaming solutions. The Company is licensed by more than 200 regulators and its products and services are available in more than 90 countries around the world. Aristocrat offers a diverse range of products and services including electronic gaming machines and casino management systems.*

*Source: Aristocrat press release (1/2/2019)

Holiday season kicks off with Festival of Trees

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

 Extravagantly festive Christmas trees and wreaths, each decorated with its own unique theme and style, brightened the Orca Ballroom at the Tulalip Resort Casino during the 33rd annual Festival of Trees. 

The week-long celebration kicked off November 27 with Opening Night festivities, continued with the excitement-filled Gala Dinner and Live Auction on November 30, and concluded December 1 with the family friendly Teddy Bear Breakfast.

Each year, thousands of community members take part in the Festival of Trees – including volunteers, sponsors, and attendees – to raise funds for Children’s Services at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett. For more than three decades, Providence Children’s Center has been providing comprehensive, family-oriented care and highly specialized therapies – such as physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapy – for children with a wide variety of special needs.

“Knowing this is one of the largest charitable events for Snohomish County, it is appropriate for us to host and participate with goodwill and sharing the opportunity to help all children in need,” explained Marilyn Sheldon, manager of Tulalip Tribes Charitable Fund, on the importance of hosting the Festival and being the title sponsor. “We recognize that over 50% of Tulalip’s population is 0-24 years of age and Providence is our local hospital for care most tribal members use for emergency situations and other needs. Also, this event brings many people to our facilities for the week and encourages them to come back and host their own business/charity event at our venue.”

A highlight of the holiday season, the Festival of Trees provides entertainment for countless families and children. Whether it’s a black-tie evening with a three-course dinner or a free afternoon with cookies and Santa, the Festival’s variety of events offer holiday cheer for all kinds of crowds. The stunningly decorated Christmas trees won’t soon be forgotten as their specialized themes like ‘Tiding of Comfort’ and ‘Christmas with Rudolph’ to ‘Escape with Alaskan Wildlife’ and ‘Holiday at Hogwarts’ capture the imagination.

During the elegant Gala Dinner and Live Auction, the dazzling Christmas trees and wreaths were sold to the highest bidders, with proceeds going to Providence Children’s Services. Several of the trees were reserved to be put on display throughout the Children’s Center as a special treat for the kids this holiday season.

“We continue an annual tradition that has raised more than $11 million over the past 33 years for children and families who come to Providence for care,” stated Festival Chairs, Sean and Lisa Kelly. “Funds raised will not only provide critical support for pre-term and at-risk infants, but will also touch the lives of thousands of children in our community, from birth through age 18.”

The generosity of the donors and Festival attendees support Providence in growing and expanding the specialized therapies, equipment and educational classes that do so much to change young lives. All funds raised will support Providence programs and services such as Pediatrics, the Newborn Intensive Care Unit, the Children’s Center, the Autism Center, and Camp Prov, a summer camp for children with special needs. 

For nearly two decades, Tulalip Tribes has been an important partner to Providence in the Northwest Washington Region, by helping provide the funding and support needs to care for the health of our growing community. Contributions made by Tulalip to Providence General Foundation since 2002 have totaled more than $700,000. For their dedication to the Festival of Trees, the Tulalip Tribes were honored with the third annual Spirit of Festival Award.

“The lives of thousands of children, that includes Tulalip tribal children, will be helped thanks to the generosity received from the Festival of Trees fundraising efforts,” said Board of Director Mel Sheldon, thirteen-year member of the Providence General Foundation. “We are very fortunate to have a relationship with Providence Medical Center and to support such an amazing opportunity that really looks at the bigger the picture. We all want to do our part to create a sustainable and healthy community.”

One of Snohomish County’s largest and most well attended holiday events, the Festival of Trees has been a beloved community tradition for 33 years. The magical setting and community spirit at the Festival is a wonderful kick-off to the holiday season. 

Tulalip Resort Casino Chefs Are Serving Exotic Sweetness Nov. 30-Dec. 31

Honey and Spice and Everything Nice This Holiday Season
Tulalip Resort Casino Chefs Are Serving Exotic Sweetness Nov. 30-Dec. 31

Tulalip, Washington — Move over, Pumpkin! Honey and Spice are shaking things up this holiday season at Tulalip Resort Casino. The Resort’s culinary teams have procured several exotic kinds of honey and spice flavors to showcase in their holiday specials. From seafood to sweets, Executive Chef Perry Mascitti challenged his chefs to examine the complexities of how different kinds of honey and spices can take a dining experience to a new height when done right.

The Honey and Spice promotion will run from November 30 through December 31.

Savory Honey and Spice dishes at the Resort include: Tula Bene Pastaria + Chophouse’s Lavender Honey, Blue, and Bergamot appetizer served with Purple Haze Lavender Honey “caviar,” gorgonzola dolce cheese and a pot of earl gray tea; Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill and Bar’s Honey & Spice Alder Roasted Sockeye Salmon laced with anise, cumin, orange and Skagit Wild Flower Honey; Cedars Café’s Grilled Lamb Chops glazed with honey, horseradish, mustard and mint; Journeys East’s signature Deep Fried Lamb Rib coated with a wildflower honey and fresh garlic sauce; and The Draft Sports Bar and Grill’s Honey and Rosemary Spiced Parmesan Chicken Bites served with an Oregon Wildflower Honey and Rosemary Butter.

For a little Honey and Spice on the go, guests can enjoy Espresso/Carvery’s Asian Chicken Salad with sesame-roasted chicken breast, cabbage slaw and Mountain Wild Flower Honey Blossom vinaigrette.

Pastry Chef Nikol Nakamura’s Sweet Kitchen Honey and Spice featured desserts include a Spiced Apple Tarte Tatin with honey caramel on puff pastry paired with spiced house holiday blend of vanilla ice cream and blackberries at Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill or a Baked Pecan Tart at Cedars Café. The tart filling includes toasted pecans, honey and house-made spice blend, topped with spiced whipped cream and orange. And, nothing says pizza pie like the Ginger and Honey Chocolate Pie served hot right from Blazing Paddles’ pizza oven. This extraordinary creation is prepared with their house-made fresh dough, ginger-infused honey, hazelnuts, chocolate chips, fresh peaches and orange zest to top it all off.

For more information about the Honey and Spice promotion or Tulalip Resort Casino, visit here.

Taste of Tulalip Oktoberfest 2018

Tulalip Resort Casino Chefs Put Their Own Twist on the Yearly VolksFest Tradition

Tulalip WA — Tulalip Resort Casino chefs are putting their own twist on the annual Bavarian VolksFest tradition with inspiring culinary creations. Paired with a selection of Oktoberfest beers procured by Sommelier Tom Thompson, this Bavarian fun-fest is happening early – because just one day is never enough. The celebration is happening now through October 31, 2018.

Taste of Tulalip Oktoberfest menus pay tribute to German tradition and will draw from the original Munich Oktoberfest experience. Thompson’s team will serve a grand selection of imported, local and domestic Oktoberfest beers from noteworthy breweries, such as Dru Bru, Sierra Nevada and Silver City, to create the complete package.

“Dirndl (a peasant style pinafore dress for women with an undershirt and apron) and Lederhosen are not required for this dress code,” said Executive Chef Perry Mascitti. “But if you must, we won’t object! And the good news is, you don’t have to purchase a plane ticket to Germany in order to celebrate this Oktoberfest.”

In order to spark an appetite, the menu previews are as follows:

Cedars Café will serve its annual Bavarian-Style Wiener Schnitzel with warm sweet and sour coleslaw, mashed potatoes; topped with crispy onion straws, lemon beurre blanc and blackberry sauce. For the perfect finish to any meal, diners can order a piece of the Warm German Chocolate Tart made with a chocolate crust and filled with gooey chocolate chips, coconut and toasted pecans. Served with stout syrup and vanilla bean ice cream – a must-try confection.

Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill & Bar is offering three Oktoberfest menu items this year. Diners can start the evening with their specialty cocktail Gin Symphony, which is made with an herbaceous blend of cardamom, ginger, rosemary and Angostura bitters blended together with Broker’s London Dry Gin, fresh lemon juice and Riserva Speciale Rubino Sweet Vermouth.

The dinner special features Chef David’s Roasted Half Duck with Hunter’s Sauce showcasing a roasted duck breast and duck leg confit, which is served with an apple-pear potato hash, Brussel sprouts tossed with Boarshead bacon and Hunter’s Sauce with chanterelle mushrooms. For a sweet finale, guests can order Pastry Chef Nikol’s Apple-Raisin Strudel with vanilla bean ice cream.

Carvery/Hotel Espresso makes their mark with a Bavarian Ham Sandwich Black Forest ham on a fresh Bavarian pretzel roll, Munster cheese, dill pickles and stone ground mustard.

The Draft Sports Bar and Grill will be serving a traditional Deutschland dish of Grilled Sausages and Mashed Potatoes. Chef Susan will prepare grilled Uli’s Thuringer and Frankfurter sausages paired with their house-made German mashed potatoes and topped with caramelized onions and red peppers. This dish wouldn’t be complete without The Draft’s sauerkraut and beer mustard.

Blazing Paddles is also celebrating the season with a special Brat-n-Beer Cheese Pizza made with Bratwurst, Manny’s beer and smoked Gouda cheese sauce, onions, yellow peppers and fresh onions. Topped with smoked cheddar.

Eagles Buffet will offer dinner guests several Oktoberfest specials, which will feature Beer Braised Bratwurst and Onions, Bavarian Pretzels with a mustard sauce, Lemon Thyme Oven Roasted Chicken served with buttered noodles, or Smoked Pork Ribs with an onion grain mustard sauce served over braised red cabbage.

For more information about Oktoberfest 2018, visit TulalipResort.com. Thompson and Mascitti invite guests to join in the fun by raising a beer and toasting “Feierst Oktoberfest.”

Tulalip Resort Casino’s new Italian steakhouse serves fresh, affordable dishes in fun, inviting atmosphere

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News

A few short years ago, the Tulalip Resort Casino (TRC) released a number of renovation plans to update the venues, restaurants, resort rooms and gift shops to a more modern design. Since then, Club Impulse has been replaced by the Draft Sports Bar and Grill, a consolidation of two gift shops led to the opening of Journey’s East, and the relocation of the poker room provided the space for the popular pizza joint, Blazing Paddles. The resort rooms have received makeovers featuring beautiful Tulalip artwork in each room, and a new lounge welcomes resort guests as they arrive from a long day of travel. TRC’s latest endeavor, however, might be its biggest change yet, transforming their highly-popular and extravagant fine-dining restaurant, Tulalip Bay, into an urban eatery that welcomes gamblers, nightlifers, wine connoisseurs and families alike, named Tula Bene Pastaria + Chophouse. 

“It’s a livelier space,” expressed Tula Bene Chef and GM, Jeremy Taisey. “Formally it was fine-dining, very intimate and quiet. We tried to create a more fun atmosphere where you can come in, sit down with friends, have some wine, have some great food and relax and enjoy company. And we strive to make the food a part of that conversation. It’s a lot more open but it still has a certain intimacy at the same time. And the way we approach the food in the kitchen is to bring it back to the basics, get rid of all the fancy stuff and keep it clean and simple. The atmosphere is casual and fun, the food is presented nice, we have a lot of great wines and the pricing is affordable for our guests. We want to give the guests fine dining without them realizing it’s fine dining.”

With delicious dishes including a variety of steaks, chops, burgers and pastas, the restaurant’s new menu is sure to have something for everyone in your party. A number of meals and drinks are made tableside, adding to the fun experience. 

“Tulalip Bay had a fine-dining theme and even though I want the food to be just as good, I want Tula Bene to be more of a fun restaurant, something that’s more approachable and that people will leave saying, we had a good time,” expresses Tulalip Resort Casino Executive Chef, Perry Mascitti.

The Tula Bene menu was created by a team that included Chef Perry, Chef Jeremy, TRC Sommelier Tommy Thompson and TRC Food and Beverage Director Lisa Severn. Once an idea for a dish was agreed upon, Chef Jeremy took to the kitchen to create the recipe from scratch, using only fresh ingredients and local meat for the dishes.

“It’s focused on Italian cuisine, everything is made fresh to order,” Chef Jeremy expresses. “Some of our signature items would be our lobster ravioli, which is very unique in that there’s a lot of lobster that actually goes into it. We bring in seventy live lobsters a week for the restaurant. We have a real commitment to freshness. Our steaks are all hand-cut here in the kitchen, we have custom dry-aged steak, we have wagyu steaks.  Our beet salad is fantastic, it has a great balance of roasted beets and all these different flavors and has a really nice presentation. For our salmon carpaccio we cure our salmon in-house. We bring in all of our fish whole, nothing is pre-fileted, we break everything down here. Again, it’s just that commitment to quality and freshness.

“We used to be fine-dining and at the heart all of these guys are fine-dine cooks and chefs, so to go causal was a bit of a challenge,” he continues. “Our mantra is, we don’t do easy, we make easy happen through hard work and learning. When a guest comes into the restaurant and orders, it may appear simple or something easy to cook, but really these guys do about four to five hours of prep every day before we open. For an example, all of our peas are fava beans. We bring them in whole and shell them by hand, it takes hours and hours of work. It’s easy to buy a bag of frozen peas, but we’re very committed to quality and freshness and letting the flavors shine through.”

Sommelier, Tommy Thompson spoke of the many wines offered at Tula Bene. With two wine cellars, the restaurant certainly has wide variety of red and whites for their guests.

“We’re wine-centric,” says Tommy. “We have a pretty cool selection of wine for people looking for an experience. We have the Italian wines, thirteen of those, and thirteen international wines as well. We have keg wines with Italian and Washington fruit. You’re not paying for the fluff, the bottle, the cork, the wrap, but you’re getting high-end fruit. There’s a stigma about wine, that it’s pinky out and high-end only, and we’re here to challenge that and say just relax and enjoy a damn good glass of juice with Washington fruit for around eight-dollars a glass.”

Tula Bene features a full bar located near the gaming floor, separating the machines and the restaurant. The famous Chihuly glass chandelier that hung at the heart of Tulalip Bay is still in place, highlighting the stylish new floor plan. Tommy also paired a few of his favorite wines with a couple new Tula Bene menu items to suggest to the guests upon their first visit to the restaurant.

“Chef Jeremy and his team put together an excellent menu and did a fantastic job,” he states. “One of the most simple foods is the French fry and they took it and put out the best parmesan fries, it’s ridiculous, they’re addicting. My favorite wine to go with that would be a killer prosecco. Fries and bubbles are perfect together. I’m also currently geeking out on a wine called Domain Mercouri. It’s a white wine from Greece and it’s grown in volcanic soils, so it gets ripe but retains really good acidity, that goes great with the pancetta wrapped halibut.”

Since Tula Bene’s recent opening on June 14, the restaurant has received several great reviews. Chef Jeremy, Chef Perry and Tommy all expressed the joy they feel when seeing a family have a great time while at the restaurant.

“The main course I want to serve here is fun and a fun experience, the sharing experience,” says Chef Perry. “To see our guests come in for great food and leave with great memories, I think that’s what’s most important. It’s always nice when people say, we had great food in your restaurant, but it’s always that much better when we get a guest who leaves saying they had a great experience.” 

For further details and to view the Tula Bene Pastaria + Chophouse menu, please visit www.TulalipResortCasino.com

Pacific Northwest Tribes unite to protect and defend salmon

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

The life and legacy of Billy Frank Jr. was honored on March 19, as a dynamic group of tribal leaders and state representatives assembled for the Billy Frank Jr. Pacific Salmon Summit, held at the Orca Ballroom in the Tulalip Resort Casino. The goal was to continue the teachings of a fearless leader and historic visionary, while igniting others to carry the torch to advance and strengthen policies to protect and defend salmon and salmon habitat.

Billy Frank Jr., who died four years ago in May, committed his life to protecting his Nisqually people’s traditional way of life and to protecting the endangered salmon whose survival is the focus of tribal life. Beginning with his first arrest as a teenager in 1945 for “illegal” fishing on his beloved Nisqually River, he became a leader of a civil disobedience movement that insisted on the treaty rights (the right to fish in “usual and accustomed places”) guaranteed to Washington tribes more than a century before.

His activism ultimately led to the Supreme Court’s landmark Boldt Decision in 1974, affirming Native American treaty fishing rights. The Boldt Decision held that the government’s promise to secure the fisheries for the tribes was central to the treaty-making process, and allocates 50 percent of the annual catch to treaty tribes.

Pacific salmon have long played an essential role in the cultures and lives of the Indigenous People of the Pacific Northwest. Today, salmon and their precious habitat are in a critical state because of unchecked commercial fishing, waterway contamination, habitat destruction, net-pen farming, and road culverts that restrict fish habitat.

In order to ensure future generations can continue to practice their traditional ways of life, existing efforts to protect the salmon must be enhanced and strengthened. That is why the Billy Frank Jr. Pacific Salmon Summit was the perfect opportunity for tribal leaders, fishery managers, policy makers, state representatives, scientists, and the public to come together and discuss strategies for protecting salmon for the future.

The Pacific Salmon Summit opened with traditional drumming and prayers by the Tulalip Canoe Family. As the welcome song echoed through the Orca Ballroom, students from Quil Ceda Tulalip Elementary proudly displayed their banner created from hundreds of salmon cutouts they created during Billy Frank Jr. spirit week.

Speaking beneath a conference banner bearing Billy Frank Jr.’s portrait and the slogan, “The Truth Will Lead Us,” Quinault Indian Nation President, Fawn Sharp, gave the summit’s keynote address.

“I saw Billy as a historic visionary. He had this ability to go back to treaty time and had an incredible understanding of what those words meant,” Fawn said. “As a visionary, he understood the many challenges facing humanity, facing our generation. Billy would want people to come together to have a real discussion and understand the current state of the salmon.

“You’re going to find this is the beginning,” she continued. “Because the salmon is – as Billy said so many times – the true measure of our health and our life. And who’s paying attention to that? We are.”

A most diverse gathering, the summit brought together a broad range of people to share information and exchange ideas about how to continue to restore and protect salmon. Together, participants in the inaugural Billy Frank Jr. Pacific Salmon Summit identified and developed an advocacy strategy to strengthen protection policies for salmon and salmon habitat.

“We freely step up and we take on the battle to protect our salmon because the salmon is our culture,” explained Tulalip tribal member, Glen Gobin, who was the summit’s master of ceremonies. “We hold events like this to keep people vitalized, to keep that passion alive, and most importantly to keep our future alive. The future is for each and every resident in Washington State. We have to pull together and take ownership of what that means; it’s not somebody else’s responsibility, it’s each and every one of our own responsibility to take control of our future. We need to heal this environment and protect our salmon so that our children and great-grandchildren have a future.”

The summit wrapped up with a call to action to challenge the status quo, and to create meaningful partnerships with co-managers who will work as diligently and responsibly to protect the salmon as tribal programs do. A work group was formed to develop proposed actions and investigate conflicts and failings in reaching recovery objectives. Their common goals include increased use of hatcheries and more aggressive salmon habitat restoration.

There was also a joint declaration with representatives of several Pacific Northwest tribes and First Nations from Canada calling for a shutdown of Atlantic salmon net-pen farming all along the West Coast. Like Billy Frank Jr. said, “It is going to take all of us working together to turn the tide for the Salmon.”

The summit was sponsored by the Tulalip, Lummi, Puyallup, Squaxin Island, Snoqualmie and Nisqually tribes and organized by Salmon Defense, a nonprofit salmon recovery group founded by the late Billy Frank Jr.

Tulalip T Spa named Top Ten Spa by Forbes

By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

The Forbes Travel Guide recently released their top ten spas to visit for a new year renewal in 2018. Among the many extravagant spas from around the world, including spas in Bali, Okinawa and Cancun, was none other than the luxurious T Spa at the Tulalip Resort Casino. The T Spa has been a favorite relaxation destination among locals, frequent travelers and high rollers alike since first opening their doors nearly a decade ago. Within those short few years, the T Spa has received several accolades for their exceptional body treatments and excellent guest service, including Best Day Spa by King 5’s Best of Western Washington Awards as well as two features on the local TV show, Seattle Refined.

“We’re a Tulalip inspired spa, that’s why we’re named the ‘T’ Spa,” explains Spa Manager, Naomi Ervin.  “We wanted to focus on bringing the beautiful nature of the area to the inside of the spa with the birch trees, cedar saunas and the river rock services. We are 14,000 square feet; we have fourteen treatment rooms, including two VersaSpa spray tan beds. We have a full nail salon, where we do natural nails, as well as a hair salon and we also do teeth whitening.”

The T Spa offers a variety of relaxing body services that are sure to dissolve away the stress from the daily grind and leave you feeling spiritually grounded and tranquil. Such services include massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, milk baths and body wraps. If you wish to experience a little of everything in one service, be sure to inquire about the Vital Relaxation Body Ritual. The spa also accepts Health Care Management Administrators (HMA) insurance for fifty-minute massages, with a choice of a relaxation, deep tissue or hot stone massage.

Aside from the elegant stress relieving services, one of the main attractions of the T Spa are the relaxation rooms which feature eucalyptus steam rooms and dry-cedar saunas. The spa recently completed renovations that saw the addition of a workout area for Resort guests, as well as a revamped boutique which offers an assortment of items such as sage, yoga apparel and BareMinerals makeup as well as hair and skin care products.

“The T Spa is really helpful for people who live a stressful life and is a place where they’ll be able to unwind and relax,” says Naomi. “The whole atmosphere is really relaxing, it’s great for your well-being. It’s important to take care of yourself and focus on your mental wellness as much as your physical appearance. Sometimes when you take care of yourself on the outside, you feel better on the inside. And it’s all about feeling good.”

In the near future, the T Spa plans on revealing their new meditation suite, complete with a Himalayan salt wall. The T Spa is also hosting the Live Love Spa Convention this March, a two-day event for top spa industry leaders from across the nation.  To view a complete list of their services and to book online, please visit TulalipResortCasino.com and for further information, please contact the T Spa at (360) 716-6350.

Tribal members hard at work remodeling the TRC Conference Center

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Early last year, the Tulalip Resort Casino (TRC) underwent an extensive renovation to its hotel tower, guest rooms and suites. Keeping in line with its AAA Four Diamond status means staying ahead of the curve and constantly looking for new ways to keep guests coming back. Currently, that same attention to detail and refreshing look that went into the hotel renovation is being given to the TRC’s Conference Center, which is the southern part of the property where the Orca Ballroom and Chinook rooms are located.

“With almost ten years of extremely high utilization the Conference Center space needed a refresh. Everything from technology to tile were starting to show their age, and as well maintained as they were, there is only so much life you can get of a facility before it needs to be updated,” explained TRC General Manager, Sam Askew. “The need gave us the opportunity to really make the space much more representative of the Tulalip Tribes in look and feel, while also addressing the needs of the guest. When completed next month, guests will have the same type of Tulalip experience both in rooms and in the Conference Center.”

Rising Sun Development, a general construction business owned by tribal member Harold Joseph III, was awarded the remodel contract. Harold takes great pride in hiring his fellow tribal members, especially recent high school graduates who are looking for career pathways. On this specific job there are plenty of familiar faces who have only called Tulalip Reservation home.

“I started my company so we could start hiring tribal members and give the younger generation an opportunity to work alongside professional tradesmen and to learn those on-the-job construction skills,” said Harold. “We’ve had about twelve to fifteen younger tribal members on the last couple jobs, seven of them are recent high school graduates. They are learning and doing drywall, tile and carpet installation, and steel-stud framing. They are coming to work every day putting in eight to ten hours, learning from guys who have made a successful career out of construction.”

Learning the importance of an honest day’s work is huge for any young person transitioning into adulthood. Especially so for the millennial generation who are most often associated with the term ‘entitlement’. But for these tribal members, recently minted as grownups, the opportunity given by Rising Sun Development and TRC Conference Center remodel allows them to fully comprehend what it means to get dirty, work hard, and earn their keep.

“Working for a tribal contractor, I feel we are offered more to learn and there are less barriers preventing us from succeeding,” added 19-year-old tribal member, Darion Joseph. “There’s a sense of pride, too, in knowing we are building something and leaving our mark on a business that means a lot to our people.”

Artist renderings of the rennovated Conference Center.

Once the remodel is completed, the Conference Center will have a stronger influence of Tulalip culture than the previous design. It seems only fitting that Tulalip tribal members (as contractors and their hard at work employees) are those doing leaving their mark behind the scenes while completing the Conference Center’s transformation.

“Sharing the culture of the Tulalip Tribes has always been an important part of the resort experience since its opening,” continued TRC General Manager, Sam Askew. “Door handles go from being a plain stainless steel bar to being a bronzed paddle. Now when I open the door to a Chinook Meeting room, I’m literally touching the culture. The flooring is likely to be most striking to visitors as we wanted to tell the story of life on, and within the waters of Tulalip Bay and The Salish Sea.

“Ultimately, having tribal members performing the work being done to bring about this great transformation only adds to the value of a design we created to best represent the Tulalip Tribes. Seeing young tribal members not only working but learning new skills and trades as well means that there is a bright future for Tulalip. In 7 or 8 years, when they walk through the TRC with their own families, they’ll be able to share not only what the elements of the spaces mean with their children, but that they are tied to it in very profound way because they helped make it a reality.”

Unexpected Pairings: Tulalip Resort Casino Chefs Trade the Usual Suspects for ‘Bubbles & Fries’

 Poutine Bar and Prosecco Take Center Stage This December

Tulalip, Washington — Bubbles and Fries will be all the craze at Tulalip Resort Casino starting November 30 through December 30, 2017. Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and Sommelier Tom Thompson have teamed up to share their two favorite food and drink combinations in a uniquely inspiring way.

Whether it’s the Build-Your-Own Poutine Bar at Eagles Buffet or the Twice-Baked Potato Fries at The Draft Sports Bar and Grill, guests are encouraged to partner these tempting French fry preparations with a glass of bubbly.

For Mascitti this month-long event is all about the salty fries, and for Thompson, it’s all about the elegant contrast of these sparkling wines paired with these savory treats.

“I want everyone to try it once by taking a fry, placing it in their mouths and following it with a sip of bubbly to experience this food revolution,” shares Executive Chef Perry Mascitti.

“I challenged the entire Tulalip chef team to strategize very special and creative ways of serving their wonderful fries to share with our dining guests,” states Sommelier Tom Thompson. “They took the potato throw down very, very seriously.”

In fact, it was somewhat of a potato war. The Tulalip chef team deconstructed them, sauced them, relished them, cut, and creatively cooked them…all in an effort to spark a newfound love affair worth their weight in gold.

Full menus and additional dining information are available at Cedars Cafe, Destinations Lounge, Journeys East, The Draft Sports Bar and Grill, Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill, and Eagles Buffet.

Shhh…a New Year’s teaser about what will be happening in January. It will be about spirited cuisine, which will start on January 2, 2018. Stay tuned!