If you're going to splurge once this summer, you might as well make it worth your while. Plate & Pitchfork, for those who haven't had the pleasure, pairs some of Portland's best chefs with some of the Willamette Valley's best wineries, and sets up elaborate dinners on some the regions most picturesque farms (I'm in New York at the moment, and I'm pretty sure everyone thinks that this is how we consume all of our meals...except in their minds, the dude from the Decemberists is in cute J Crew overalls picking a classical guitar).
The schedule will be announced to mailing-list subscribers tomorrow, after which it will be published on the Plate & Pitchfork website. Founder Erika Polmer was kind enough to give me the details, and a teaser of what we can expect. Among the farms participating are Smith Berry Barn, Sun Gold Farm, Viridian Farms, Champoeg Farms (they raise poultry & pork, not produce), Domaine Drouhin Oregon, and Sauvie Island Organics. You can expect a who's who of Portland chefs to fill out the schedule, but here's a sneak preview of the August lineup at Viridian Farms on Grand Island in Dayton. All four dinners should be immaculate.
Saturday, August 6:Chef Jeremy Eckel (from Bar Avignon) and Chef Courtney Sproule (from Din Din Supper Club), with wines from Brooks and Love & Squalor
Sunday, August 7: Chef Pascal Sauton (formerly from Carafe) and Chef Gregory Denton (from Metrovino), with wines from Brick House Vineyards
Saturday, August 13: Chef Cathy Whims (from Nostrana) and Chef Chris Israel (from Gruner), with wines from Teutonic Wine Company.
Sunday, August 14: Chef Benjamin Bettinger (from Beaker & Flask) and Chef Scott Ketterman (from Simpatica Dining Hall), with wines from Cristom Vineyard
The season runs June 16 through August 28, and seats are $125 a pop—that price tag covers everything (It's steep, I know—my sisters and I are taking our mom for her birthday. Sweet, right? Ladies?—but a portion of that money goes to benefit the Oregon Tilth's Organic Education Center and the Sauvie Island Center). In addition to wine, Polmer says that nearly every dinner this year will feature a beer tasting as well.
P.S. If you have a service background, they're looking for some very part-time help. OLCC & Food handlers permit are a must, and Polmer insists you must be willing to work in any weather and have a ready laugh. Those interested should email email@example.com.