As I write this, I’m enjoying a piece of toast with some delicious Marionberry Jam that I brought back as a souvenir, and can’t believe it’s already been two weeks ago today that I was at this beautiful brunch. This meal was so enjoyable and special that the flavors and aromas are still fresh in memory. As always, the IPNC goes all out with elegant presentations. Take a look at this beautiful table. In the glasses are Chilled Cascade Wild Huckleberry and Pinot Noir Soup. That’s right, you heard me, Chilled Huckleberry and Pinot Noir Soup. Don’t you just hate me??? Well, my friends, it gets worse.
Our waiter. You can’t see it in the picture, but a tradition of the IPNC is for the waiters to wear tuxedo jackets and shorts and tennis shoes to complete the outfit. They looked pretty silly, but fun.
I nearly had a conniption fit when walked in and saw the Pine State Biscuits boys serving up their famous fare. I had seen them on The Food Network just a few weeks prior and actually visited their website and tried to recreate one of their biscuit creations. When I tasted their biscuits and gravy at this brunch I totally understood that there was much more involved that just biscuits and gravy. The star is the gravy. I grew up on gravy, know gravy, make good gravy and I couldn’t believe my taste buds with the first bite. I went back to talk with them for some sort of clues and all I could pry out of them were three words “maple, sage and sausage” . I’m pretty sure it’s not as easy as just throwing in some Jimmy Dean Maple Flavored Sausage, but I most certainly will be trying to come close when I get a chance to cook a hearty breakfast.
The night before at the Salmon Bake we sat with chef Leif Benson from Timberline Lodge so we knew he was a featured chef for this brunch. His contribution for this brunch was out of this world. Wild Oregon Salmon and Alaskan Halibut Coulibiac with Lobster Fennel Veloute. This was over the top and I know it sounds pretty darn fancy, but I actually think I can make this at home and come half way close. It’s a layer of pastry, rice, spinach, salmon and halibut and then rolled and baked. I found this recipe on Epucurious and it seems doable. Too bad I won’t be able to get the fresh fish that we enjoyed in this.
Leif Benson serving up his coullbiac.
The (veh-loo-TAY). Is a fancy French name for a white sauce that is stock based and thickened with a white roux. The stock used is usually chicken, veal, or fish. Veloute is considered one of the five “mother sauces” that almost all of the classic French sauces are derived from. I’ll just have to figure out how to get the lobster and leek into this and it be as creamy and delicate as it was there. Again, local guinea pigs brace yourselves.
Check out this hash. It is NOT your mother’s hash. Absolutely positively supercalifragilisticexpialidotious. There, was I dramatic enough? This is Braised Pork Shank with Sweet Onions, Heirloom Peppers and Cilantro Pesto. Both white potatoes and sweet potatoes were used, and combined with the shank made this wonderful creamy delicious combination. I will be preparing this at home and even if I only come close, it will be delicious. The featured chef for this is Angie Roberts, BOKA Kitchen and Bar in Seattle. THANK YOU Angie!
Brunch included a wonderful Sushi Bar compliments of Meiko Nordin and Ko Kagawa, Kamein McMinnville. As always, at the end of this event, the chefs were introduced and asked to speak. Meiko and Ko were so cute, all they said was “Thanks for liking our food” and then they bowed.
Across the table and enjoying this wonderful food with us, was Matt and Tabatha Compton, owners of Spindrift Cellars in Philomath, Oregon. We were fortunate to taste their wine later in the afternoon at the Passport to Pinot event in the campus oakgrove. That’s just exactly what makes this event so special.
So we’re in real time now. As I said, we’ve been back for two weeks, I’ve been cooking and have a couple things in the “wings” that I can’t wait to share. The International Pinot Noir Celebration was a great choice for our vacation. If I were in school and had to do a report on “What I Did On My Summer Vacation”, it would be titled “We indulgently ate, drank and were merry”.