Robert Dallain no longer worries about breakfast or bed linens. After 36 years, Dallain has checked out of the hotel business. He is the new...

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Robert Dallain no longer worries about breakfast or bed linens. After 36 years, Dallain has checked out of the hotel business. He is the new manager of Bellevue Square.

Dallain was the general manager of the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue when the hotel opened in 1988. He left Bellevue almost 9-½ years ago for Colorado, where he managed an upscale resort, the Park Hyatt at Beaver Creek.

One regular guest at the resort near Vail was Kemper Freeman Jr.

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In recent years the two discussed Dallain’s possible return to the Eastside to work with the hotel being planned for Freeman’s Lincoln Square project. But it was a tragedy that finally lured Dallain away from the hotel work he loved. Last June, Bellevue Square manager Wes Harris was killed in a motorcycle accident.

“You don’t replace Wes,” 53-year-old Dallain said. “But I’m a baby boomer and I needed a change. I’m ecstatic.”

Dallain officially took over the job last month.

Because he maintained contacts on the Eastside, Dallain, a French Canadian, feels like he’s come home again. Even though he was based in Colorado, Dallain continued to compete in Ironman triathlons with local friends and has rejoined their regular workouts.

Does he miss the hotel business?

“Well, I don’t have to worry about coffee and eggs in the morning,” Dallain said.

Famous servings

The April issue of Bon Appétit magazine includes a recipe developed by Cameon Orel, the chef at The Beach Cafe in Kirkland.

A California woman enjoyed Orel’s grilled portobello mushroom sandwich with red pepper mayonnaise so much that she requested the recipe. It was published in the monthly feature, Readers’ Favorite Restaurant Recipes.

The magazine item is just an appetizer for the next course in fame.

Orel, chef Vicky McCaffree of the Yarrow Bay Grill, and Yarrow Bay Grill pastry chef Jessica Campbell head to New York in April. The trio, who have been nicknamed the Three Divas of Carillon Point, were invited to showcase their talents at the Beard House in New York City. (The Yarrow Bay Grill and Beach Cafe are sister restaurants under one roof at Carillon Point.)

The women will prepare an all-seafood dinner paired with Washington wines.

The Beard House, the home of cooking great James Beard, who died in 1985, features top chefs from around the country. Being asked to prepare a dinner there is like getting gold stars on your culinary work.

Awesome start

I’ve been following benefit auctions for more than a decade and was delighted when the Colella family in Kirkland beat the odds.

After Terry and Rich Colella’s teenage son, Brian, was diagnosed in 2003 with facioscapulohumeral disease (FSHD), a nonfatal form of muscular dystrophy that affects the face, scapula and arm muscles, they decided to raise money for research. With the help of friends, the Colellas formed the Pacific Northwest Friends of FSH Research.

The group’s first benefit auction, on Jan. 29, raised more than $180,000. The money will go to FSHD at the University of Washington’s Center for Muscular Dystrophy Research.

And yes, the Colellas are planning another auction next year. If their first attempt is any indication, it will be a humdinger.

One last grin

If the upcoming Easter holiday makes you think of chocolate bunnies, remember this line from Gail Wolz of Bellevue.

“Chocolate makes my clothes shrink,” she said.

Sherry Grindeland: 206-515-5633 or