Featured Chefs 2018

Over 60 guest chefs team up with Northwest farmers to transform locally sourced, sustainable ingredients into edible art. Featured Chefs are listed alphabetically by restaurant. More information on the IPNC cuisine and sample menus can be viewed here.
Thank you to our 2018 Featured Chefs for contributing their time and culinary talents to making this year’s IPNC absolutely delicious.
ANNIE PORTLOCK, ANNIEPIES / BABES (Portland, OR)
Salmon Bake Desserts

AnniePies creates nostalgic treats artfully reimagined for modern times. Our bite-sized mini pies and cookie sandwiches are packed with the finest local, seasonal ingredients and inspired by the classic flavors we loved as kids. Every dessert is handcrafted by owner and head baker Annie Portlock. Stay tuned for BABES, Annie’s new dessert bar, set to make its debut late this summer. We can’t wait to welcome you in our new space!

JACOB WAY, THE BARBERRY (McMinnville, OR)
Sparkling Brunch

Bio.

MATT KELLEY, BARKING FROG (Woodinville, WA)
Grand Dinner Dessert

A Seattle native, Matt Kelley was named Pastry Chef of the Barking Frog in 2010 where he oversees the dessert menu in the restaurant, as well as all dessert and pastry items for Willows Lodge in Woodinville, Washington. During his tenure, Kelley has been invited to cook at the esteemed James Beard House in New York City on behalf of Benchmark Hotels & Resorts. Prior to joining the Barking Frog, Kelley served as Pastry Chef at Café Juanita in Kirkland, Washington following his time at Rover’s, where he earned the Star Chef’s Rising Star Award in 2009.  His experience also includes positions as Pastry Cook at the Four Seasons in Chicago, Pastry Chef at Bin 36 in Chicago; head of the pastry department at A Mano in Chicago and Pastry Cook at The Salish Lodge

BRENDEN MAHANEY & MIKEY LAWERENCE, BLACK WOLF SUPPER CLUB (Eugene, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

After cooking in the San Francisco Bay area (Enrico’s, Bay Wolf) and also finding the time to drop out of graduate school, Brendan Mahaney opened Belly Restaurant in 2008 in Eugene Oregon where he offered ‘rustic European farmhouse soul food.’  In 2012 he was nominated for a James Beard award – Best Chef – Northwest. In 2013 he opened Belly Taqueria which sprung from a lengthy stay in Baja Mexico, and in 2017 he collaborated with Mikey Lawrence and Edgar Arellano to open Black Wolf Supper Club – which offers southern food and classic New Orleans cocktails. 

Meanwhile, Mikey Lawrence found himself twitter pated with the kitchen life after retiring from an exuberant skate boarding/punk rock career, primarily consisting of malt and blunts. Sushi became the young man’s life until he realized no one trusts white sushi chefs. French, Latin and Appalachian foods made his heart feel soft and happy when he looked in the mirror. Under the tutelage of a fistful of beasts who also happened to cook, the young man/former rubbish became cook and eventually chef at Belly restaurant in Eugene. In 2016 he opened Buck Buck food cart and in 2017 became the executive chef at Black Wolf Supper Club.

JOHN GORHAM, BLESS YOUR HEART BURGERS (McMinnville, OR)
Passport to Pinot

Gorham believes that a chef’s cuisine and style is influenced by a trade route composed of travels, past work, cities lived in, and foods their family made growing up. A ‘chef of the people’, Gorham celebrates a range of global cuisines at his influential restaurants; each with a unique identity but all embodying the quintessential Portland dining experience of family-style dishes, house-made charcuterie and seasonal sustainably-sourced ingredients. Gorham began cooking at home at a very young age, enrolling at the American Culinary Federation in Williamsburg, Virginia at age seventeen. He went on to work with some of the Bay Area’s most influential culinary figures of the time, including Chris Rossi, Judy Rogers, and Jean Pierre of Chez Panisse. After traveling to Spain in 2007 to gather ideas, recipes and vision, Gorham launched Toro Bravo. In its first year, Portland Monthly declared Gorham “Chef of the Year” and Willamette Week named Toro Bravo “Restaurant of the Year.” Gorham’s first cookbook, The Toro Bravo Cookbook: Stories. Recipes. No Bull., was published by McSweeney’s in 2013 and earned praise and accolades from national media and chefs alike.

JAMIE DERAEVE-LEWIS, BLUE RAEVEN PIE (Amity, OR)
Salmon Bake Desserts

Ron and Jamie Lewis are a third generation farming family and owners of Blue Raeven Farms south of Amity. They have been growing berries on the farm for over 30 years mainly selling the berries to the wholesale processors. In 2007, Ron and Jamie opened Blue Raeven Farmstand, located on the south end of Amity. They were hoping to sell more of their produce directly to the customers. They included a certified kitchen in the building, which created the opportunity to have a bakery. This is where they bake their mouth-watering pies using their own berries from their farm. Time after time, customers say, “This pie reminds me of my grandmother’s pie.”

TROY MACLARTY, BOLLYWOOD THEATER (Portland, OR)
Friday Lunch on the Lawn

Troy MacLarty is chef and owner of Bollywood Theater, the award-winning Indian restaurant that brings hard-to-find, thoughtfully made Indian street food to Portland, Oregon. MacLarty took the road less traveled to restaurant ownership, beginning with a degree in biology from the University of California Riverside. After two years working as a behavioral ecologist he attended the Culinary Institute of America. In 2001, he began work as a cook at Alice Waters’ famed Berkeley restaurant, Chez Panisse. In Berkeley, he was introduced to the nearby restaurant Vik’s Chaat Corner and the Indian street food that he would grow to love. After moving to Portland in 2005 MacLarty spent time in some of the city’s best-known kitchens while quietly hoping someone would open an Indian restaurant with the cuisine he missed from his days in Berkeley. In 2012 MacLarty took matters into his own hands and opened Bollywood Theater, introducing Portlanders to the Indian street food he had discovered while working at Chez Panisse. MacLarty’s love of flavor and Chez Panisse training is evident in Bollywood Theaters close connections to Willamette Valley farms, local wine and beer selections, fresh and from-scratch preparations, authentic dishes, and seasonal menu specials.

SARAH MARCUS, BRIAR ROSE CREAMERY (Dundee, OR)
Passport to Pinot

Proprietor and cheesemaker Sarah Marcus is a Bay Area native and started making cheese in her kitchen. In 2005 she took a chance and got a job as a cheesemonger at Cowgirl Creamery in San Francisco’s Ferry Building selling some of the world’s finest cheeses. It was there that she fell in love with the world of cheese and developed her palate. It was love at first bite. The owners of Cowgirl Creamery gave her an internship at their cheesemaking facility in Point Reyes Station, California. From there her feet were firmly planted on the path to making her own cheese.  Her cheesemaking studies took her to England, Spain, North Carolina, and Vermont. In 2008 she and her husband moved to Dundee, Oregon with the intention to build Briar Rose Creamery. When she’s not making cheese, she’s likely to be watching birds, or photographing her cats.

TOMMY HABETZ & NICK WOOD, BUNK SANDWICHES (Portland, OR)
Sparkling Brunch

Good friends and sandwich aficionados Tommy Habetz and Nick Wood opened the original Bunk Sandwiches to a magical and hungry Portland in the fall of 2008, with a tip of the hat to the greatest television detective of all time, William “Bunk” Moreland on The Wire. Made with high-quality ingredients, Bunk sandwiches are creative and comforting, satisfying and delicious. Bunk’s signature sandwiches – Pork Belly Cubano, Meatball Parmigiano Hero, and Pulled Pork with Apple Cabbage Slaw – have garnered national media attention from the likes of The Food NetworkFood & Wine magazine, and Travel + Leisure. Praise from national and local media has made Bunk a favorite for locals as well as a must-eat option for visitors. In 2010, Tommy and Nick joined forces with Bladen County Records founder and legendary barman, Matt Brown. Together, they opened the original Bunk Bar on SE Water Avenue. Since then the trio has opened four additional Bunk locations and gone mobile with a Bunk truck for events.

DAISLEY GORDON, CAFÉ CAMPAGNE (Seattle, WA)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

After college, Gordon worked a few years in restaurants to enhance his understanding of the business. He graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY which included an internship with a Certified Master Chef. In 1995 he landed at Campagne Restaurant –Seattle’s standard-bearer of regional French cuisine. He never left. Gordon went from cook to Sous Chef, Chef and eventually Chef/Owner. At the now 22-year old Café Campagne, he focuses on bringing-out the full flavors and celebrating the bounty of the Pacific Northwest seasons, in the French style.  He maintains passion for French culinary traditions and the French obsession with product quality by his loyal patronage to the Northwest’s finest purveyors. In 2008 Gordon was a competitor on Iron Chef America’s fresh berries challenge. Gordon’s charitable work includes the Pike Place Market Foundation & the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

TIM CORRIGAN, CARLTON BAKERY (Carlton, OR)
Passport to Pinot

When Tim Corrigan was living and working in Japan, he became interested in a particular bakery that was making European-style pastries and breads.  Tim loved eating the bread and pastries, and he wanted to learn to make them. Tim studied baking at the Merukoro Bakery, Brauthaus Bakery, King Arthur Flour in Vermont, and at The San Francisco Baking Institute.   After a career in project management, Tim chose to pursue his passion and open a bakery. Tim’s wife Ahmee shares a love for good food.  Ahmee brings much talent to the Carlton Bakery, in the form of creativity, culinary ability, business acumen, and a passion for excellence.  Tim and Ahmee worked together to build the Carlton Bakery, and create all of the homemade products, together with a group of dedicated and talented employees. We offer a unique and quality bakery experience that hopefully brightens your day, and reminds you that doing things the old way can be a very good thing.

GEOVANNA SALAS, CASTAGNA (Portland, OR)
Grand Dinner Dessert

Geovanna Salas hails from Chicago, where she worked as a pastry chef at the lauded A10 and Table 52. Rumors of Portland’s burgeoning food scene lured her to Castagna in early 2015. She cites her parent’s love of sweets as her inspiration to become a pastry chef.​

SCOTT KETTERMAN, CROWN PAELLA (Portland, OR)
Passport to Pinot

Chef Scott Ketterman is known for his bold, inventive take on classic Spanish cooking. Ketterman began his career learning the ins and outs of seafood cookery in a family-run fish house on the shores of Maryland. Ketterman’s love of the sea and the mountains soon drew him to Portland where he quickly worked his way up the ranks in the well-regarded kitchens of Paley’s Place and The Heathman Restaurant. Ready for adventure, he set off for Europe, working at Numero 75 in Avignon, France, and both Akelare and Mugaritz in San Sebastian, Spain. Upon returning to Portland, Ketterman took the helm at Simpatica, where he oversaw the successful supper club and catering company for four years. In 2011, Ketterman co-founded Crown Paella with his wife Emily, sparking a reputation as the man with the biggest pans, and continues to create inspired roving feasts across the Pacific Northwest.

ELEPHANTS DELICATESSEN (Portland, OR)
Salmon Bake Dessert

When Elephants Delicatessen was founded, there were no specialty food stores in Portland – in fact, there were very few in the whole country. Elephants Delicatessen became a pioneer in gourmet innovations. We were the first to offer Portlanders fresh pasta, pesto sauce, chocolate truffles, cheeses from around the world, fresh-squeezed orange juice, homemade bread, and fresh, ready-to-go, delicious food at our deli counter. We also brought an attention to quality and service previously unknown.

SEAN MARTIN, EMBER AND VINE (Portland, OR)
Passport to Pinot

Pitmaster Sean Martin has been grilling and smoking meats in the Pacific Northwest for over 14 years. Sean and his wife, Mary Cressler, uniquely pair wine and wood-fired food together, with ingredients sourced from throughout the Pacific Northwest with an emphasis on sustainably raised meats and fresh seasonal ingredients. Winning awards for the last several years, you can find Ember and Vine popping up at wineries and events throughout Oregon, creating unique tasting experiences.

TIM ECKARD, HEADWATERS AT THE HEATHMAN (Portland, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

Tim Eckard is the Executive Chef of Headwaters, Chef Vitaly Paley’s restaurant in the historic Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland. Drawn to cooking from an early age, Eckard attended culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu in Portland on the heels of his high school graduation. Simultaneously, he jumped into the culinary industry, working his way up from dishwasher to sous chef. Eckard cooked in several notable kitchens in Portland, including Fenouil, Bluehour and The Heathman  Restaurant + Bar, and in Oregon wine country at Jory at The Allison Inn & Spa. It was under Chef Sunny Jin at Jory that Eckard mastered farm-to-table cooking, creating seasonal tasting menus utilizing the one-acre on-site chefs garden. In 2017, Vitaly Paley tapped Eckard to take the reins at Headwaters. The position is a homecoming for Eckard, who worked as the Executive Sous Chef at The Heathman Restaurant + Bar from 2013 to 2016 and had long dreamt of leading the property’s kitchen. Eckard’s seafood-forward menu showcases the diversity and bounty of Oregon’s rivers, coast, forests, and farmland, while also paying homage to the rich history of the location.

SARAH SCHAFER, IRVING STREET KITCHEN (Portland, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

Executive Chef and owner Sarah Schafer leads Irving Street Kitchen, guiding guests through a story of past and present via a marriage of her East and West coast influences. Schafer is one of Portland’s powerhouse female chefs, always on the cutting edge of the local food scene with standout, casually elegant American cuisine. Schafer’s training and experience provide the backbone of her thoughtful and collaborative menu. Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1993, Schafer immediately began working under some of the most respected chefs in the restaurant industry. Noting Ken Oringer, Tom Colicchio and Danny Meyer as her mentors, she became the first female sous chef at Gramercy Tavern, and helped open Eleven Madison Park. Schafer eventually made her way to San Francisco to be closer to family and helped open Daniel Patterson’s Elizabeth Daniel. After several years in the Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest beckoned to Schafer and in 2010 Irving Street Kitchen was born. Schafer was the 2017 winner of Wild About Game, Nicky USA’s competitive game cooking competition between Portland and Seattle’s best chefs.

ANDREW TOOMBS, JORY: AT THE ALLISON INN & SPA (Newberg, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

As a native to the Pacific Northwest, Chef Andrew Toombs has found a home in many of the areas kitchens where he has been able to take advantage of the bounty that this region has to offer. Knowing the importance of establishing tight relationships with the local farmers, Andrew believes that there is an art to producing simple, yet delicious food. “It’s easy to make fois gras and truffles taste good, but what makes a chef really shine is using the best, fresh peas and carrots and making something exceptional from them.” Primarily a self-taught chef, Andrew has led crews and worked in many notable kitchens including, The Silver Grille in Silverton, Merenda Restaurant & Wine Bar, and 900 Wall in Central Oregon. The lure of the Willamette Valley drew Andrew to Newberg in 2010 where he began his career at The Allison Inn & Spa and JORY Restaurant. Andrew currently resides as Chef de Cuisine for JORY and leads the culinary team.

BONNIE MORALES, KACHKA (Portland, OR)
Passport to Pinot

The first-generation American daughter of Belarusian immigrants, chef Bonnie Morales grew up in Chicago in a large family that brought with them the distinctive culture of food and drink of the former Soviet Union. She trained at the Culinary Institute of America, then honed her skills in several of New York and Chicago’s Michelin-starred restaurants including Tru, where she met her future husband and business partner, Israel Morales. In 2014, the Morales’ opened Kachka in Portland, Oregon — their dream restaurant devoted to the food that Bonnie grew up with, inspired by Russia and former Soviet republics such as Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, and Uzbekistan. Kachka was named Willamette Week’s Restaurant of the Year shortly after opening, and has since received acclaim and accolades from publications such as Bon Appétit, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Elle, Eater National and Food & Wine. In November of 2017, Bonnie’s first cookbook, Kachka: A Return to Russian Cooking, was published by Flatiron Books.

KEN FORKISH, KEN’S ARTISAN BAKERY (Portland, OR)
Passport to Pinot

Ken Forkish is the owner of Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Ken’s Artisan Pizza, Trifecta Tavern & Bakery, and Checkerboard Pizza in Portland, Oregon. He is also the author of the James Beard and IACP Award-winning book Flour Water Salt Yeast (Ten Speed Press) and The Elements of Pizza (Ten Speed Press). Ken is largely recognized as a key contributor to Portland’s culinary evolution, founding Ken’s Artisan Bakery in 2001 and Ken’s Artisan Pizza in 2006. He was a finalist for the national James Beard Award “Outstanding Pastry Chef” in 2013; that same year he opened Trifecta Tavern & Bakery in Portland’s Central Eastside, a bar, restaurant and small-batch bakery. In 2017 Ken was a finalist for the national James Beard Award “Outstanding Baker”. Most recently, Ken opened Checkerboard Pizza in Portland’s Pine Street Market, serving New York-style pizza by the slice and as whole pies. In 2018, Checkerboard Pizza was named the best pizza slice in Portland by The Oregonian. In 2017, The Oregonian named Ken’s Artisan Pizza Portland’s best wood-fired pizza.

AARON FORE, LA RAMBLA (McMinnville, OR)
Passport to Pinot

Aaron grew up in Sonoma wine country. A passionate collegiate wrestler he left the mat to enter the restaurant industry as a busser at Bear Republic Brewery. He spent three years in the front of the house working at Dry Creek Kitchen and Cyrus Restaurant. Intrigued by the inner workings of the kitchen, he left his maître d’ job to become a dishwasher at John Ash. After working at various restaurants in Sonoma wine country he met the love of his life and followed her to Boulder, Colorado. He began his career as a chef working as the chef de cuisine at Bramble and Hare, the small sister restaurant to Black Cat. There in the tiny kitchen, working with Chef Erik Skokane, he discovered his passion for farm-to- table cuisine. Moving to Oregon in 2015, he worked at Higgins Restaurant with Chef Greg Higgins before moving to McMinnville and taking over as executive chef at La Rambla and The Gem. In his spare time, he and his love (now wife) spend time in their garden growing his favorite ingredients and experimenting with new dishes in the kitchen.

MAYA ERICKSON, LANGBAAN (Portland, OR)
Grand Dinner Dessert

Bio.

RICK GENCARELLI, LARDO (Portland, OR)
Passport to Pinot

A Culinary Institute of America grad, Rick Gencarelli has worked in restaurants since he started as a busboy in a Chinese restaurant at 15. After attending culinary school a decade later, Gencarelli honed his skills in East Coast fine dining restaurants — including Todd English’s Olives in Boston and the Inn at Shelburne Farms, a 1400 acre non-profit environmental education center and farm on Vermont’s Lake Champlain — before heading west to start a new life in Portland. Though he never thought he’d end up as a sandwich guy, Gencarelli brought his fine dining expertise to them, and later fast-casual pasta, approaching each as he would an entree at a high-end restaurant. Since opening Lardo in 2010 as a food cart, the perennially busy shop has expanded to two Portland locations with an upcoming third in Las Vegas. Gencarelli’s pasta project Grassa also has two Portland locations with a third 90 miles north of Tokyo.

BEN BETTINGER, LAURELHURST MARKET (Portland, OR)
Grand Dinner

Vermont native Ben Bettinger moved to Portland in 2001 to attend culinary school. His dedication and leadership in school resulted in a coveted internship with Vitaly Paley. Ben’s commitment and hard work earned him a promotion to sous chef and then chef de cuisine at Paley’s Place, where the restaurant thrived under his leadership. He accepted the position of executive chef at Beaker and Flask, which opened in 2009 to critical acclaim. He served as sous chef in a victory on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America in 2011. In 2012 he collaborated with Paley again, this time opening Imperial Restaurant, where Ben served as executive chef. After two years developing systems for both Imperial and Portland Penny Diner, Ben accepted a position at Laurelhurst Market as executive chef. In 2017 Ben opened Big’s Chicken with Your Neighborhood Restaurant Group, while remaining at the helm of Laurelhurst Market.

ERIN HUGHES, LITTLE BIRD BISTRO (Portland, OR)
Grand Dinner Dessert

Erin Hughes is Pastry Chef of Little Bird Bistro, the sister restaurant of acclaimed Le Pigeon. Hughes puts a whimsical spin on seasonally-inspired classic French desserts at Little Bird Bistro. She grew up in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where she spent her days playing outside and cooking with her family. In 2010, she graduated Cum Laude from the University of Oregon with two B.A. degrees, in International Studies and Women’s Studies. It was during college that Hughes realized baking was her passion and decided to turn this passion into a career. She went on to complete all the pastry classes offered at Linn Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon. Since beginning her pastry career, Hughes has worked at Waverley Country Club in Portland, Oregon and later at Andina. In 2015, Erin joined the team at Little Bird Bistro as a pastry assistant where she was mentored by pastry chef Helen Jo. Hughes was selected as one of FSR Magazine’s 40 Restaurant Stars on the Rise in 2017.

PHIL OSWALT, MULTNOMAH ATHLETIC CLUB (Portland, OR)
Grand Dinner

Chef Philip Oswalt stays true to his Oregon roots. Raised in a family of chefs and restaurateurs. He took his first kitchen job at age 13 and quickly learned the importance of working with Willamette Valley farmers. Oswalt graduated from the New England Culinary Institute. His quest for piquant perfection has taken him to Washington State, Colorado, Hawaii, Florida and France. Returning to Portland, he initially made a home for himself at the Heathman Restaurant. Oswalt now oversees the restaurants and catering for Multnomah Athletic Club

ROCKY MASELLI, MARCHÉ (Eugene, OR)
Grand Dinner

Rocky Maselli, chef at the Marché Restaurant Group, has recently returned home to Eugene after a successful tenure at San Francisco’s celebrated Italian restaurants, A16 and A16 Rockridge, which he opened in 2013 to enormous critical praise. He served as their company chef since 2014, leading both restaurants and an expansion in Japan. After serving as Marché’s chef from 1998 through 2010, Rocky opened Osteria Sfizio, before moving to San Francisco in 2012. He became a vpn-certified pizzaiolo in Naples, is a deep believer in culinary traditions, and is committed to celebrating sustainability and the ingredients of the Willamette Valley. He is currently leading all culinary operations for Marche Restaurant Group, from the nationally celebrated flagship restaurant, Marché, to a series of popups and the newly expanded Provisions Market Hall.

KASEY MILLS, MEDITERRANEAN EXPLORATION CO. (Portland, OR)
Welcome Dinner

Kasey Mills is Executive Chef and Co-owner of Mediterranean Exploration Company (M.E.C.) in the Pearl District of downtown Portland serving innovative cuisine from the eastern Mediterranean and beyond. Inspired by the way a region’s cuisine tells a story of its peoples’ interactions and exchanges over time, Mills aims to bring the rich cultural history of the eastern Mediterranean to the Pacific Northwest. His menus of diverse yet cohesive dishes at M.E.C. pay tribute to the exploration of people across the Mediterranean throughout history. Mills finds inspiration in his world travels as much as his explorations in his own garden and through the pages of cookbooks. Mills is also executive chef and co-owner of Shalom Y’all Israeli restaurants on the East and West sides of Portland, and BYH Burgers in the Pine Street Market and McMinnville’s Atticus Hotel featuring classic Americana cheeseburgers and fries. In his free time, he also enjoys camping and spending time with his wife, Dori, their two schnauzers Mr. Brown and The Dude, and their son, Leopold Malloy Mills.

JASON FRENCH, NED LUDD (Portland, OR)
Saturday Lunch on the Lawn

Jason French is the head chef and owner at Ned Ludd, an American Craft Kitchen and Elder Hall, a Gathering Space in Portland, Oregon. Inspired by classic traditions of farm-driven craft cookery, French’s menus perfectly embody his culinary philosophy of seasonally delicious fare. French and his team believe that great food ultimately requires more passion for and attention to the harmony created when one genuinely considers its provenance, preparation, and presentation.

MAYLIN CHAVEZ, OLYMPIA OYSTER BAR (Portland, OR)
Sparkling Brunch

Chef/Owner Maylin Chavez is a native to Tijuana, Baja California Norte. She brings her heritage and passion for the sea to each dish she prepares. Her personal and professional experiences cooking in Baja, abroad, and being surrounded by the rich diversity of ingredients has created a direct imprint on her cuisine. “My approach to oyster and seafood cookery is to surprise the senses, and bring a mélange of globally inspired flavors to each bite you enjoy.”

DAVID HERZOG, ONE FORK FARM CARAMELS (McMinnville, OR)
Salmon Bake Desserts

One Fork Farm Caramels produces decadent, old-fashioned caramels made with honey, cream, and butter from the Willamette Valley, sea salt from the Oregon Coast,  and locally-crafted spirits, teas, and chocolate. We never include corn-syrup or anything artificial and every piece is cut, wrapped, and packaged by hand at our McMinnville kitchen by people who truly care about producing the finest quality Oregon caramels possible.

SCOTT DOLICH, PARK KITCHEN (Portland, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

The allure of great ingredients just outside of town brought Scott Dolich to Portland in 1992. He realized immediately Portland’s culinary landscape was a match for him. He cooked at Zefiro, Wildwood, Higgins and Tapeo before opening Park Kitchen in 2003. Park Kitchen has garnered accolades from Zagat: America’s Top Restaurants, The Oregonian Diner Top 101, 2003-present, Willamette Week Top 100 Restaurants, 2003-present. In addition, Scott has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a two-time nominee for Best Chef Northwest and as Best New Chef 2004 by Food & Wine magazine. Although he still fancies himself as a kick-ass cook, Scott’s full time job is sourcing the best local ingredients he can find and training his staff to run completely sustainable restaurants.  When he’s not mentoring his staff, he’s spending time with his family and daydreaming about cooking.

KEVIN ATCHLEY, WALT ALEXANDER, & BRIAN SNYDER, PINE STATE BISCUITS (Portland, OR)
Sparkling Brunch

Pine State Biscuits began as a brainchild centered around…what else? The quest for the perfect, buttery, flaky, homemade biscuit. Kevin Atchley, Walt Alexander, and Brian Snyder knew biscuits all too well from growing up in North Carolina, but after having relocated to Portland, Oregon, they craved the down­ home­ cooking they knew from childhood. In 2006 they banded together and decided to bring the Southeast to the Northwest, and opened a farmers market booth baking fresh biscuits on-site. Over the next 11 years they have continued to roll out the biscuits, and now operate 3 brick and mortar locations along with the faithful farmer’s market booth, rain or shine.

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CHERYL WAKERHAUSER, PIX PATISSERIE (Portland, OR)
Friday Lunch on the Lawn

Pastry chef and author Cheryl Wakerhauser (a.k.a. Pix), is known for combining bold, flavors and textures into small, adorable packages at – be it a dessert or macaron at Pix Patisserie, or pintxo at Bar Vivant. Chery trained at the prestigious pâtisserie of MOF Philippe URRACA. Taking her French training first to our local farmer’s market, Cheryl established what is now a 17-year old Portland institution. Her other love? Champagne. Over 400 cuvées with a focus on small grower producers are available. The goal is to make quality wine accessible and affordable and, most importantly, provide a fun atmosphere to drink it in. The list was awarded World’s Best Champagne and Sparkling Wine List in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 by London’s World of Fine Wine Magazine. With over 140 types of sherry, the list was also voted one of Wine Enthusiast’s Best Sherry Bars in the Nation in 2015. Pick up her new book, Modern French Pastry!

SCOTT CUNNINGHAM, KYLE MUNROE, & JEREMY WHYTE, PIZZA CAPO (McMinnville, OR)
Passport to Pinot

A Bay Area native with over two decades of restaurant experience, Scott Cunningham is owner of THE gathering spot in McMinnville. For seven years, Third Street’s Community Plate has been the daily hub for residents, chefs, brewers, winemakers, and tourists alike. It is the heart of McMinnville where good coffee, delicious pastries, and communal tables reveal the pulse of wine country. This summer, Scott is turning over management at Community Plate to long-term employees as he ushers in the beginning of Pizza Capo.

When Kyle Munroe landed his first kitchen job at the age of 16, he already had three years of catering experience under his belt. After completing his degree at the Oregon Culinary Institute, he earned a spot on the opening team at Oven and Shaker. Kyle hammered out his culinary craft at Clyde Common and Associated, but pizza kept calling him back. As a chef for Vera Pizza Napoletana certified Settebello, Kyle traveled the Western U.S., opening new locations and ensuring adherence to VPN standards. Each of the thousands of pizzas made under his tutelage spoke the truth of authentic ingredients, perfect char, and genuine regional recipes. Kyle has returned to Portland as the Chef of Oven and Shaker, and will keep his schedule full tossing pies in McMinnville this summer

Jeremy Whyte is the definition of local. Born and raised in McMinnville, he grew up during the Willamette Valley’s food, wine, and beer surge. He cut his restaurant teeth at the historic (and James Beard Award winning) Nick’s Italian Café, working the wood oven while steeping in the flavors of Italy. After two years manning the flames at Portland’s Oven & Shaker, Jeremy earned a spot at Alice Water’s Rome Sustainable Food Project in Rome. He dove deep into techniques and recipes a la Romana, then climbed down the rabbit hole of Puglia, Parma, and Piedmont, and landed in a Sicilian olive orchard, picking and pressing olives into spicy, extra virgin gold. The Italian immersion confirmed and deepened truth learned those first years at Nick’s: Everything tastes better out of a wood-fired oven. Recently returned from his second stint in Italy, Jeremy is back home in Mac where his Italian love affair began.

RYLEY ECKERSLEY, QUAINTRELLE (Portland, OR)
Grand Dinner

Born in London, Eckersley has been working in restaurants around the globe since the age of thirteen. He often decamped to his family’s vacation home in the south of France where he would commune with chefs at many of the village restaurants, absorbing all he could about working with of-the-moment ingredients in postage-stamp sized kitchens. Thanks to his lifelong wanderlust, Eckersley has worked at restaurants around the world, from Belize to Barcelona to Raleigh, N.C. to Manhattan. He landed in Oregon in 2011, where he led the kitchen at Jen’s Garden in Sisters, Ore., and later opened Drake restaurant in Bend, Ore. In 2013. Eager to explore more of the Pacific Northwest’s bounty, he moved to Portland in 2015 where worked as head chef at DOC.  Now at Quaintrelle, he continues to express his creativity on the always-evolving menu, propelled by of-the-moment ingredients brought in from local farms.

PAUL BACHAND, RECIPE: PART DEUX (Newberg, OR)
Saturday Afternoon Activities

Our menu showcases the finest quality ingredients while always adapting to the seasons enthusiastically, bright and intense flavors in the spring and summer, deep and rich flavors and textures in the fall and winter. Superior quality and freshness is assured through our ongoing commitment to our community of local purveyors.

JODY KROPF, RED HILLS MARKET (Dundee, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

Jody Kropf grew up in the Willamette Valley with one foot on a tractor and one foot in the kitchen. By age 12 he was splitting his days working hard in his parent’s restaurant and growing a connection to the land by working on his uncle’s farms. After studying at Western Culinary Institute, he got his start at The Heathman Hotel in Portland. Soon after that he took an exciting job as a personal chef. His travels and culinary exploration included a stint as a chef on a private yacht, cruising from Nova Scotia to the Caribbean. He continued his culinary and wine education at the famed Culinary Institute of America, Greystone in Napa Valley. In 2011, the ten-year dream of creating a casual and inviting community market took shape.  Serious wood-fired food is served up at red hills market in a casual environment where you can drink world class Pinot Noir with a little dirt on your boots.

JUSTIN WILLS, RESTAURANT BECK (Depoe Bay, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

Growing up in a large Italian family on the southside of Des Moines, Iowa, Justin was exposed to more great food in his childhood than most are in their lives. This upbringing planted the culinary passion in Justin at a very young age. Deciding to pursue this as a career, he started cooking as a teenager at a local high-volume restaurant. In January 1995 Justin enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in Hyde Park, New York. Following an internship at Grappa Restaurant in Park City, Utah he graduated from the CIA in October 1997. He worked at Oba Restaurant in Portland, and has operated formidable fine dining kitchens in Denver, Dallas, and Mendocino. Currently, Justin and his wife Stormee own and operate Restaurant Beck at Whale Cove Inn in Depoe Bay, Oregon. Their restaurant, which is named after their son Becker, achieved a AAA – Three Diamond rating within its first six months of operation. Gerry Frank of The Oregonian stated “…the fantastically located Whale Cove Inn houses Restaurant Beck, where views compete neck and neck with the food.”

BEN DYER, JASON OWENS, & DAVID KREIFELS, REVEREND’S BBQ (Portland, OR)
Salmon Bake Meats

We built Your Neighborhood Restaurant Group from humble beginnings. Ben was running a butcher shop when he met Jason, who was operating a supper club out of his backyard. The butcher shop became Simpatica Dining Hall in 2004, and David joined as a partner in 2006. In 2008, our down-to-earth steakhouse and butcher shop, Laurelhurst Market, was born. Hawaiian plate lunches came in 2009 with Ate-Oh-Ate, followed by smoked meats at Reverend’s BBQ in 2014 and Alabama-style chicken at Big’s Chicken in 2017. Our most recent creation, La Luna Cafe, arrived in 2018 with brunch classics and health-conscious smoothies and bowls.

We’ve stayed humble. We create restaurants inspired by who we are and where we came from. Reverend’s BBQ was inspired by the BBQ and fried chicken of Jason’s hometown, St. Louis, and Ate-Oh-Ate came about after a trip to Hawaii, where Ben grew up. With all our restaurants, our mission is simple: to create a great neighborhood spot. (We even put it in our name!) We’re not trying to redesign the wheel; we’re still line cooks at heart, dedicated to building restaurants that fulfill our passion for food and community.

Our employees are the people that make it all happen, and it’s important to us to take care of them. We provide our back-of-the-house employees with free health and dental coverage, and start all employees at a highly competitive wage. We’re proud to create great neighborhood restaurants and a great place for people to work.

THOMAS GRIESE, RN74 (Seattle, WA)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

Lafayette, Indiana native Thomas Griese first learned to cook at home using fresh, farmstead ingredients. It was then he recognized the ability of food to bring people together. Griese graduated from renowned culinary and hospitality school Johnson & Wales University in 2006. His expertise in French cuisine is reflected from the very start of his career at Bouchon Las Vegas; serving a stage apprenticeship at The French Laundry in Yountville, California; Las Vegas posts at Andre’s; Alizé at The Palms Hotel; and Le Cirque Las Vegas at The Bellagio. Griese’s tenure with the MINA Group began in 2013 as Chef de Cuisine at the acclaimed Michael Mina 74 in Miami. After serving as an independent culinary consultant, he returned to MINA Group as part of the opening team of Margeaux Brasserie in Chicago. Hand-selected by Mina to be RN74 Seattle’s interim Executive Chef in July 2017, Griese instantly clicked with the culinary and service teams. Awestruck by the abundance of fresh ingredients in the Pacific Northwest, he set about reinvigorating the restaurant’s Northwest-inspired French bistro menu, later accepting Mina’s invitation to become the permanent Executive Chef.

LISA HERLINGER, RUBY JEWEL (Portland, OR)
Salmon Bake Dessert

We all have a calling. Ours happens to be ice cream. In 2004, Lisa Herlinger stumbled upon an artisan ice cream void in Portland, Oregon. Her solution? fill it with extraordinarily and distinctly original ice cream sandwiches. After countless late nights churning out batch after batch of cookies and ice cream, Ruby Jewel was born. Lisa sold the first Ruby Jewel ice cream sandwich out of a cooler at Portland farmer’s markets, and the treats quickly garnered a loyal following. While Ruby Jewel has received national attention, appearing on the Food Network, all Ruby Jewel ice cream is still small batch, crafted in our own kitchen and ice cream factory we call “Spin City.” Committed to supporting the local community and economy, Ruby Jewel uses only the best ingredients, thoughtfully sourced from farmers and food artisans in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Lisa and her sister Becky opened Ruby Jewel scoop shops in North Portland in 2010, Downtown Portland in 2012, and in Southeast Portland in 2015 serving ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, and scoops of every flavor.

PAUL LOSCH, RUDDICK/WOOD (Newberg, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

In 2013, Chef Paul Losch opened the highly seasonal New American restaurant Ruddick/Wood in Newberg, Oregon. The restaurant was a long time coming for Paul, who started his culinary career nearly two decades earlier. At age 13, he was barely big enough for his apron when he started working at a snack bar in rural Pennsylvania. Life and his career took Paul across the country, through the Culinary Institute of America, Manhattan, and Colorado, before he eventually landed in Portland in 2008. Thoughtful flavor combinations and gorgeous plating earned him loyalists at restaurants Vino Paradiso and DOC, but he was restless for his own spot. At Ruddick/Wood Paul seeks out skilled local farmers and purveyors and highlights their products with diverse techniques. Influence might be drawn from his Lebanese mother or his father’s love of pasta, and fiddlehead ferns might pop with fish sauce on a plate next to house-aged ribeye. The restaurant is a staple among locals and wine country visitors alike.

TYLER MALEK, SALT & STRAW (Portland, OR)
Passport to Pinot

Tyler Malek has worked as head ice cream maker for Salt & Straw Ice Cream in Portland, Oregon since the company’s inception in 2011. He has been instrumental in creating the chef-driven ice cream movement by using ice cream to highlight the best local ingredients and products. Tyler successfully experiments with a wide variety of top chefs, producers, farmers, and artisans to create fun, unexpected and delicious ice cream flavors, to the delight of the inner child in us all. Since opening in early 2011, Tyler and his cousin, founder and owner Kim Malek, have taken their ice cream from a humble cart serving eight flavors to 14 brick and mortar locations. Today, the company is the largest small-batch ice cream company in the world. A pioneer in localization, every chef-driven ice cream flavor is handmade in small batches in local kitchens using only all-natural cream from nearby farms and the best local, organic and sustainable ingredients from Oregon, California, and Washington farmers and artisans.

NOAH BEKOFSKY, SODEXO AT LINFIELD (McMinnville, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

Noah Bekofsky has always known he wanted to be a chef. Raised in the Pacific Northwest on macrobiotic principles in an organically minded household, he sees his decision as a natural one. “I was always around food, and Mom was always in the kitchen cooking. We had a garden, and I was hands-on there, and in the kitchen.” Realizing his comfort behind the stove, Bekofsky embarked on a 30-year adventure that led him to his position as District Chef for Sodexo at Linfield College. At 14, he was making salads and washing dishes at a four-star restaurant. It was a lucky thing, he believes, having an “in” with a top-rated kitchen, and it helped him develop his career quickly. From there he traveled to Europe “eating on a backpacker budget.” He stayed in Germany to work at a hotel restaurant in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. He returned to Eugene, Oregon, and was hired as the Executive Chef of the Excelsior Cafe. In 1994, Bekofsky headed for Hyde Park to pursue a degree at the Culinary Institute of America. Over the next 20 years Noah cooked throughout the United States before returning to Oregon as District chef for Sodexo at Linfield College in McMinnville. (photo credit: CWK Photography)

BRIAN SCHEEHSERSOUTH SEATTLE COLLEGE (Seattle, WA)
Grand Dinner Appetizers

Award-winning Chef Brian Scheehser wears many toques: educator, farmer, cheesemaker, brewer, budding winemaker and seasoned artisan foodie. As interim dean at South Seattle College, Brian brings a wealth of professional and personal experience to the programs he oversees in culinary arts, pastry and baking, winemaking, and landscape horticulture. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Brian has over three decades at the stove, beginning in Chicago under Chef Lucien Verge at L’Escargot at the Hotel Nikko, and later joining the Sheraton organization. He was drawn to Seattle to helm the Sorrento Hotel’s renowned Hunt Club restaurant. Brian most recently cooked at Trellis at The Heathman Kirkland, where he hand-tended an 18-acre plot in Woodinville to supply fresh produce for his up-to-the-minute menu. Brian has appeared on the PBS Emmy-nominated Chefs A’Field series and his work has been featured in numerous publications including  Bon Appetit, GourmetSunset,  and Travel + Leisure. Brian has been nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Northwest award and been named Best Green Chef by Seattle magazine.

PATRICK MCKEE, SOUTHFORK (Portland, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

Patrick McKee is the Executive Chef of SouthFork, and former Executive Chef at Vitaly Paley’s landmark restaurant, Paley’s Place. McKee began his culinary career in Portland in 1994 working as a line cook and developing his culinary skills during stints at Zefiro, Mint, and Castagna. Moving to Eugene, he worked at Marché and then took his first role as executive chef at Red Agave. In 2017, McKee became the Executive Chef at SouthFork, a creative, globally-inspired neighborhood restaurant that doesn’t compromise on food or music. At SouthFork, McKee works with local farmers including Nicky Farms, Stargazer Farms, Groundwork Organics and several others to create dishes that change with the seasons and always feature fresh and local vegetables, highlighting his deep relationships within the community.

DOMINIQUE GUELIN, ST. HONORÉ BAKERY (Portland, OR)
Saturday Lunch on the Lawn

Dominique Geulin, MOF is the chef owner of St. Honoré Boulangerie with four locations in Portland and Lake Oswego. A native of Normandy, France, Dominique learned the essence of traditional baking as he grew up in a family that owned a bakery. After 40 years of professional baking experience in multiple countries, Dominique possesses the passion to provide his customers with truly authentic French bakery café experience. He received the award of MOF, Meilleur Ouvrier de France (the best craftsman of France) from late President Francois Mitterand in 1990. The French National Minister of Agriculture also granted him the status of Chevalier (Knight) in 2016, to recognize his service and achievement in the field of agriculture and French culinary culture. His technical training includes the Institut Naitonal de la Boulangerie Patisserie in Rouen, France and the American Institute of Baking in Kansas.

AARON BARNETT, ST. JACK (Portland, OR)
Friday Lunch on the Lawn

After graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts’ Cordon Bleu, Aaron did an externship in his native Canada at Lumière in Vancouver, BC and was immediately taken with the flavors and produce available in the Pacific Northwest. He went on to work under Gary Danko in San Francisco, shortly thereafter taking a sous chef position at Myth under Sean O’Brien. Yearning for the Pacific flavors that caught his palate during his externship, Aaron headed back north to Oregon. After working in Portland kitchens for a couple of years, he opened St. Jack in 2010. St. Jack has won multiple awards in Portland, including The Oregonian’s Rising Star. In addition, Aaron was given the Portland Rising Star award in 2011. He was recognized by the James Beard Foundation in 2012 as a semi-finalist for Best Chef: Northwest. In 2015, Aaron opened his second project, La Moule, a Belgian-inspired gastropub in southeast Portland.

MATT BENNETT, SYBARIS BISTRO (Albany, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

Matt Bennett is the chef/owner of Sybaris in historic downtown Albany, Oregon, which opened in 2001. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Michigan State’s Hospitality Business School in 1993 and moved to Oregon in 1994.  Matt has won several culinary gold, silver, and bronze medals in Michigan, Portland and Seattle. He was the first chef to prepare a dinner at the James Beard House using Northwest Native American ingredients in 2011 and was honored to be a semi-finalist for the Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Northwest in 2011 and 2012. Recently, Matt was one of 12 chefs in North America chosen to compete at the Championnat du Monde de Pâté Croûte Competition, held in New York City. He was described in Best Places Northwest as a chef whose menus “reflect a fearless and playful approach to food”. Bennett focuses on using the highest quality local, and whenever possible, organic ingredients. Sybaris serves contemporary Northwest cuisine that changes every month.

BRENT RICHFORD, TAQUERIA NUEVE (Portland, OR)
Passport to Pinot

Taqueria Nueve provides authentic Mexican food in the heart of Portland, Oregon

ADAM SAPPINGTON, THE COUNTRY CAT DINNERHOUSE & BAR (Portland, OR)
Saturday Lunch on the Lawn

Adam Sappington is the Executive Chef at The Country Cat, an American heritage restaurant based in Portland, Oregon. Adam celebrates heartland cooking rooted in tradition, old-world technique, respect, and seasonality. Known for his whole animal butchery and American craft cooking, Adam’s passion for food dates back to his upbringing on the central Missouri farmlands. He moved to Portland to attend Western Culinary Institute and landed at Wildwood Restaurant where he worked his way up from Pantry Cook to Executive Chef over 11 years. Adam and wife Jackie’s debut cookbook, Heartlandia: Heritage Recipes from The Country Cat, was nominated for a 2016 James Beard Foundation Award for Best American Cookbook. A three-time semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Northwest, the couples’ national TV appearances include The Chew, Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and Chopped.

ALLEN ROUTT, THE PAINTED LADY (Newberg, OR)
Vineyard Tour Lunch

Allen Routt is the chef and co-owner of The Painted Lady Restaurant, a four-star, four-diamond restaurant in Newberg, Oregon. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, Routt worked in restaurants across the country, including the Inn at Little Washington (Washington, VA), Pesce (Washington, DC), Mark’s South Beach (Miami, FL), and Brannan’s Grill (Calistoga, CA). He also traveled extensively through Europe, studying the regional cuisines of France, Spain, and Italy. Routt opened The Painted Lady Restaurant with his wife, Jessica Bagley, in a Victorian home that they restored together. There, he applies the philosophy of the painted lady colorist movement to his dishes, using exciting, contrasting ingredients and highlighting their natural flourishes. Routt and Bagley also own Storrs Smokehouse, a casual barbecue restaurant in Newberg serving smoked meats and house-made ice cream. In 2016, Routt was a James Beard Foundation Awards semifinalist for Best Chef Northwest.

JASON STOLLER SMITH, TIMBERLINE LODGE (Timberline, OR)
Northwest Salmon Bake

Timberline Lodge Executive Chef Jason Stoller Smith has spent most of his 30+ year culinary career showcasing the fresh food, beer, and wine that make the Pacific Northwest so unique. Chef Stoller Smith has spent more than half of his career as an Executive Chef, first at a seafood restaurant in Olympia, WA, then as the Executive Sous Chef at Timberline in the late 90s. After his first stint at Timberline, Chef Stoller Smith worked for ten years as Chef/Partner of the Dundee Bistro to gain more experience in food and wine pairing. He returned to Timberline Lodge as Executive Chef in 2010, after an amazing two days of preparing a salmon bake for a picnic hosted by President and Mrs. Barack Obama. He has since elevated the lodge’s multiple food programs. Chef Stoller Smith oversees all of the culinary efforts at Timberline’s eight restaurants, plus the full-service conference center and wedding venue.

MICHAEL STILLER, TINA’S (Dundee, OR)
Passport to Pinot

After over 20 years of catering, restaurant management, and wine buying, Michael Stiller along with his wife Dawn, took the leap and moved into ownership of Tina’s in Dundee. Bringing a playful and creative approach to classic recipes, as well as some long-loved staples of wine country, Michael has developed experience with both the local ingredients and the people who grow them. Serving 11 seasons with IPNC as a Maitre d’Hôtel, and now three years as a Passport Chef, he finds great joy in the people who attend, and the friendships of those who host this amazing and unique event.

MATT CHRISTIANSON, URBAN FARMER (Portland, OR)
Salmon Bake

Chef Matt Christianson redefines the modern steakhouse by emphasizing sustainable ingredients and simple preparations as Executive Chef for The Nines Hotel & Director of Culinary Operations for Urban Farmer with locations in Portland, Oregon, Cleveland, Ohio, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Denver, Colorado. After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America’s Hyde Park, New York campus in 1997, Christianson worked with Bradley Ogden and the Lark Creek Restaurant Group. He quickly became executive chef at The Lark Creek Inn where he served farm-to-table cuisine. After honing his skills at several restaurants across the country, Urban Farmer united his love of sourcing local ingredients with his affinity for urban environments. He prides himself on being “farmer-centric” and brings the idea of a food community to Urban Farmer by maintaining excellent relationships with local farmers and growers.

JESSE KINCHELOE, VALLEY COMMISSARY (McMinnville, OR)
Sparkling Brunch

Owning a seasonal, farm driven restaurant has been a dream of chef/owner Jesse Kincheloe’s since growing up in Healdsburg, in the heart of Sonoma county. Jesse learned at an early age that quality ingredients are essential to cooking. Helping his family create meals from scratch with fresh ingredients has taught him to incorporate the same freshness into his menus today. Jesse moved to the Pacific Northwest to attend the Western Culinary Institute’s Le Cordon Bleu in Portland. After graduating in 2006 he received an externship at Crush restaurant in Seattle, which later received a James Beard award and Food and Wine magazine’s “Best Chef”. During his time in Seattle, he met his wife Erica who worked in the wine industry and shared his passion for food and wine. Jesse quickly convinced Erica to move to Portland when he received an offer to work with Portland’s Tommy Habetz at Meriwether’s restaurant. After getting married in 2009, they moved to Oregon’s wine country to be closer to local farms and wineries. Jesse has been a creative force helping with the establishment of several local restaurants including Jory at the Allison, Community Plate and later, Walnut City Kitchen in McMinnville. He pursued his dream of owning a seasonal inspired restaurant with the opening of Valley Commissary in 2014.

ALINA MURTOVA, WASHINGTON STATE CONVENTION CENTER (Seattle, WA)
Grand Dinner Dessert

Chef Alina oversees pastries produced in our kitchens including our delectable housemade breads, rolls, cakes, and breakfast pastries. A graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle, she has been at WSCC since 2015 and recently received her Level II ProChef certification from the Culinary Institute  of America. Well-versed in all things sweet, Alina has wide-ranging experience in desserts – creating traditional favorites as well as eastern European and Asian specialties.

KATE KOO, ZILLA SAKE HOUSE (Portland, OR)
Sparkling Brunch

Kate Koo and Sam Saltos are chef/owners at Zilla Sake in Portland’s Alberta Arts district. Their focus is on ingredient driven food using traditional preparation and technique. Sam’s diverse culinary background includes graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 2009 and Michelin star experience in both the US and Europe. He has cooked at a wide range of restaurants and found a home at Zilla in 2010. Kate began her sushi career in Phoenix in 2000 and apprenticed under two Japanese sushi chefs in Arizona and Oregon. Also making sushi in Washington and Hawaii, she has loved working with a variety of unique ingredients. She opened the sushi bar at Zilla Sake in 2008