PORTLAND, Ore. – Seaweed chips, squash panna cotta, hazelnut miso and barley-infused ice cream will be featured on the menu at an outdoor dinner in Portland on July 24 that aims to showcase the diversity and versatility of some of the state's 220-plus agricultural commodities.
The family-style meal is open to the public and will be held at the Food Innovation Center, which is a collaborative effort between Oregon State University and the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Registration for tickets, which cost $75, opens June 19. They can be purchased online. Space is limited to the first 75 who sign up. The dinner will take place from 6-9 p.m. at 1207 N.W. Naito Parkway.
The 75 members of the public will be dining with 25 invited guests, including farmers, small-scale food processors, buyers and food business entrepreneurs, said event organizer Sarah Masoni, who is OSU's product development manager at the center.
The dishes will be prepared by Jason Ball and Mary-Kate Moody, two culinary specialists at the Food Innovation Center, and traveling guest chef Chris Bailey, who has cooked at similar events across the nation. The three will describe how they prepared the dishes as they are passed around the tables.
Also speaking that night will be Brandon and Marieta Easley, the owners of Slice of Heaven Farm in Sandy, where much of the produce on the menu was grown. In a short video, Larry Lev, an economist with the OSU Extension Service, will discuss the economic contributions of the diverse crops produced in Oregon.
This inaugural event is a trial run for 10 similar dinners at OSU's agricultural research centers across the state planned for 2016 and 2017. They aim to raise awareness about crops grown in Oregon and inspire participants to increase their purchases of them.
Items on the menu will include:
- crispy chickpea flatbread with wild herbs and flowers;
- red cabbage stuffed with hazelnut miso and potatoes;
- seaweed chips;
- smoky onions tossed with buttermilk and honey;
- grated celery root bathed in lemon, yogurt, blueberries and herbs;
- smoked carrots served with pesto made from their leafy tops;
- Swiss chard wilted with pickled grapes, plums and fresh herbs;
- panna cotta made from squash with apricots, pears and cherries;
- beef and tuna with beets and hot chili pepper paste;
- mixed berry gelato made by Gelato Maestro;
- barley-infused ice cream on barley cookies.
"Hors d’oeuvres will be offered at the beginning of the meal," Ball said. "Main dishes will be served family-style. The condiments will be either made in-house or will be donated from local entrepreneurs that the Food Innovation Center has worked with in the past."
Learn more about the event on the center's Facebook page.