Portland Welcomes the James Beard Foundation for a Decadent, Beard-Filled Weekend!

Posted by: Olga Walsh in: Food/Beverage -

img_9626For the last six months, we — along with the indispensible staff at the Multnomah Athletic Club (MAC)– have been planning the James Beard in Oregon: a Celebration of Superstars and Master Chefs dinner to honor Oregon’s top talent – the chefs recognized by the industry’s most influential culinary organization, the James Beard Foundation.

img002On Sunday, March 20, our hard work came to fruition as the MAC was descended upon by more than 600 foodies and imbibers from Oregon and far beyond –ready to indulge in an evening filled with delicious local fare, Oregon’s finest wines from Sokol Blosser, Annie Amie, Hawks View, Willamette Valley Vineyards, The Eyrie Vineyards, Bergstrom Wines and Ken Wright Cellars, beer from Widmer Brothers, spirits from House Spirits Distillery and coffee from Fonte Roasters.

img_9625The evening’s all-star line-up, a lead-in to the James Beard Award nomination announcements held the following morning at the Oregon Culinary Institute, featured five James Beard Award Winners – John and Caprial Pence, Philippe Boulot, Vitaly Paley, Cory Schreiber and Greg Higgins – and fourteen award nominees – Scott Dolich, Cathy Whims, John Gorham, Jenn Louis, Andy Ricker, Naomi Pomeroy, Charlene Rollins, Gabriel Rucker, Daniel Monok, Stephanie Pearl Kimmel, Oswaldo Bibiano, Matthew Lightner, Jack Czarnecki and Christopher Israel.

img_9476Each chef’s dish was as inspired as the next.  As I surveyed the crowd, I overhead many a guest state “That was so delicious!” and others groan “I am in a food coma.”

It was also a pleasure to play host to Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, Woody Campbell, chairman of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and others from the James Beard Foundation. Following what some were referring to as the “Beard soiree,” chefs, event sponsors and img_9452media gathered at Ace Cleaners for an After-Party hosted by Clyde Common and Eater PDX.  It was nice to kick up our feet and enjoy a few drinks after a six month’s work.

Thank you to everyone who helped make the evening and the following day’s announcements magic!  We are truly honored that Portland was given the amazing opportunity of being the host city for the olga-katie-kirsten2011 James Beard Awards Nomination press conference.  Read about the 2011 nominees here:




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