chefs’ night out 2011

I attended the sold out Food for Lane County fundraiser, Chefs’ Night Out, last night, and was so happy to see many of the restaurants, catering outfits, wineries, and breweries in town represented.  See a video from KVAL documenting the night here.  They were projecting that they’d raise over $60,000 for food support for the hungry in Lane County.  Hope they exceeded that goal!

Some of the bites were fanciful, like the savory bite-sized waffle cones with meatballs dished up by King Estate, one of the sponsors of the festival.  Hole in the Wall Barbecue took it to the next level (you decide which level) with their Ducks-baseball-hat-wearing barbecued pig.

Some of the best bites included three in the main lobby, Red Agave’s red snapper ceviche (which would have won my Best Bite had I been a judge) to the left on the red print tablecloth, Sfizio’s 3-year prosciutto- and speck-bedecked grissini breadsticks, center, and Field to Table’s “pork and grits,” which was a creative interpretation of an old classic: pulled pork and melty leeks on a polenta cake.

My teacher heart was warmed to see the culinary school at LCC in attendance in their spiffy chef whites, proudly displaying their “Lane” ice sculpture (above) and the pork rillettes on handmade biscuits with cornichons and a slice of their truffled sausage.  The MLK, Jr. Education Center Culinary Arts Program held their own, as well, serving up delicious mini fish tacos and little noodle nests with some kind of meat ball whose details are now hazy due to gorging and drink.

Other bites I very much enjoyed (either eating or looking at after I was full), in no particular order:

  • Bendistillery: grapefruit basil gin cocktail.
  • Skinner’s at the Hilton: chorizo mussels (for catering?! But they worked).
  • The Vintage: spicy passionfruit margarita (I usually avoid these things, but this one wasn’t sweet and had a nice slow burn on the spice).
  • Mookie’s Northwest Grill: foil-wrapped individual ribs (I’m a sucker for shiny).
  • Market of Choice: smoked tomato on goat cheese in little tartlet cups; simple, elegant.
  • Vanilla Jill’s Frozen Yogurt: Carrot cinnamon!
  • Heidi Tunnell Catering: homemade ricotta on bruschetta with a slice of bacon.
  • Ax Billy Grill (go DAC): crab bruschetta with an avocado corn salad (nice and light in a room full of heavy meat choices, too many sliders, and rillettes).
  • Rabbit Bistro: boar rillettes — Best Rillette.
  • Sipping Dreams and King Estates: drinking chocolates.
  • Amity Vineyards: 2008 Pinot Noir.

What did you like?

3 thoughts on “chefs’ night out 2011

  1. Dave Taube 6 April 2011 / 8:00 pm

    Have you ever been to Taste of the Nation in Portland (or anywhere else)? Chef’s Night Out used to be a part of Taste of the Nation, but Eugene being Eugene, the organizers broke away and formed their own event in order to keep the funds local.


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