Here’s an event for food connoisseurs who wish to frequent all local wineries and restaurants that serve the best of Oregon’s own freshly grown ingredients, but can’t stomach entering the doors of each establishment individually for fear of a vanishing wallet. On October 5, from 4-7 p.m. at Willamette Valley Vineyards, guests can taste the varied selections of over 40 local businesses.

Celebrating their 10th year, Chef’s Nite Out will offer a variety of local dishes and wines provided by a bevy of local establishments which include: Amity Vineyards, Alessandro’s Ristorante and Galleria, Cascade Baking Company, Grand Vines, J.Bella’s Ristaurante, J.James Restaurant, Morton’s Bistro Northwest, Vitae Springs Vineyard, Willamette Noodle Company and many more.

While guests mingle with vintners and chefs to discuss the offerings of the evening, accompanying live music will be played by the Severin Sisters with their American roots sound, The Third Edition, and Mark Seymour’s bluesy folk music.

Tickets are $65 per person. All proceeds from ticket sales go the Marion/Polk Food Share to directly benefit the hungry. For more information or to purchase a ticket call (503) 581-3855, press 0.

Exclusive monthly dinner at Bentley’s

Winding down the end of the month, refrigerators and cupboards begin to look bare and energy may be running low. With mouths to feed and tired hands, Bentley’s Grill offers a fine dining option for those willing to give up an evening of rest for a locally grown and prepared meal.

Chef Derek Ridgway and Wine Steward Brian Kemmerle present an evening of food and wine pairing on October 29. This exclusive dining option is held every last Wednesday of the month. Limited to 12 people, the Chefs-Stewards Table seats its guests at a single table in the wine bar. Dinner is $75 per person, with guests expected to arrive at 6 p.m.

Options vary, but the August menu included Grilled Paillard of Swordfish with Caponata, Ligurian Olive Oil and 12-year Balsamic Vinegar paired with Andrew Rich Croft Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc 2007, Smoked Duck Breast with Celeri Remoulade and Parsley Salad paired with Argyle Knudsen Vineyard Brut 1999, Baked Artichoke Stuffed with Fennel, Lobster and Fontina d’Aosta served with Lemoncello Beurre Blanc and Poached Shrimp paired with Chehalem Reserve Riesling 2006 and two other offerings.

Bentley’s Grill is located at 291 Liberty St. adjacent to the Phoenix Grand Hotel in downtown Salem. For more information call (503) 779-1660.

Food festivals abound this fall

Celebrate Oregon Bounty with a plethora of statewide events this fall featuring the culinary traditions and local food of the Northwest.

During the month of October there are two festivals in Oregon which highlight two staple ingredients in Northwest cuisine. On October 4, Bear Creek Salmon Festival will kickoff in Ashland and Yachats Wild Mushroom Festival will be celebrated on the coast October 17-19.
Bear Creek Salmon Festival is a free event that provides a look at the connection of people to salmon in our history and provides a means of learning ways to protect the salmon habitat.  

Featured in the festival is a wild coho salmon dinner cooked over an alder wood fire in a traditional Native American style. It is available to visitors for $10 per plate or $5 per plate for vegetarian option. Each plate includes quinoa salad, organic greens, bread, and choice of coffee, tea, or lemonade.

The Yachats Village Mushroom Festival is hosted by the Yachats Area Chamber of Commerce. Wild mushroom cuisine will be offered at numerous Yachats restaurants throughout the weekend.

Guided mushroom walks, workshops, exhibits and identification will be central to the celebration, with fungi products, music, entertainment and wine tasting offered to participants as well.