Last weekend on the end of our vacation, Kaitlin and I flew into Portland for the Oregon Berry Festival. Two of our favorite bloggers, Leela Ross from The Kitchn and Kimberly Morales from Poor Girl Eats Well joined us for the festivies. Leela and Kimberly had already spent the day on Friday with Oregon Fruit Folks touring a local farm with Phil our field man and then the cannery with Bryan Brown. Leela has some great pictures of their day posted on her blog. I think Kimberly will be talking about it this weekend as well.
The first ever Oregon Berry Festival was a great event put on the Oregon Berry Commission at the Ecotrust Building in the Pearl District of downtown Portland. Kaitlin and I took over the booth from John Doyle and Thea and we were immediately slammed! We sampled Berry UP! with lemonade until we ran out and handed out lovely mini blueberry tarts made by Oregon Fruit’s own Ashley Nasbe. Both items were a huge hit.
Lots of folks had the chance to try fresh berries outside, then came in to the trade show area to sample products made from local fruit. People seemed pleasantly surprised at how easy the tarts were to make with Oregon Fruit Blueberries. We finally got a chance to look around after we ran out of everything and we got to sample some things. The highlight for both of us was a Meyer Lemon sorbet with huckleberries!
In the evening, we had the pleasure of attending the Gala Dinner at the Heathman Restaurant and Bar and what a dinner it was!
Chef Phillippe Boulout and Chef Michael Stanton prepared a 5 course extravaganza with Oregon berries represented for each course. We began with Blackberry Martinis and a Blackberry Foie gras crostini.
The salad course consisted of mixed greens, local goat cheese and fresh Oregon Strawberries-some of the sweetest most flavorful strawberries on earth. The fish course featured Chinook Salmon with a red raspberry reduction. This was followed by an Anderson Ranch Lamb Chop (and you already know how much I love lamb) with a lovely cranberry jus from the Vincent Family Farm. Kaitlin is not a lamb lover even though she is one quarter Greek but she loved this lamb! The next course was Oregon Bison Au Poivre with Marionberry salad. I have never had Bison before and it was delicious and tender.
The grand finale was a Berry Trifle like none I have ever eaten. It was HUGE and no one thought they would be able to finish it but some of us were licking the glass when it was done (I’m not mentioning any names here!). All the berries were included: Blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, marionberry, raspberry with biscuits adn creme chibouste.
The only thing that surpassed the food at this dinner was the company. I felt quite honored to be able to hang around with two ladies that are as passionate about food as I am.Tags: berries