In October I got an invitation to attend one of two Oregon Culinary Institute dinners that I've been looking forward to ever since. Both dinners sound great but by process of already-have-plans elimination I'm going to the first one next Tuesday night.
What exactly am I talking about? Here's some info...
Wednesday, November 10th, 7pm @ Oregon Culinary Institute -- Wine & Swine five-course fundraiser dinner with wine pairings from Chehalem Winery to benefit Ecotrust's Farm to School program. MENU & TICKETS.
Tickets for each dinner are $75.
A little background...
In May, OCI purchased three Red Wattle hogs from Heritage Farms Northwest in Dallas, Oregon. Red Wattles are a breed of hog listed on Slow Food USA's Ark of Taste. According to Slow Food USA, "Red Wattle pork is exceptionally lean and juicy with a rich beef-like taste and texture." Mmm.
The breed is named for its color and distinctive wattles that hang from either side of its neck -- similar to the wattles of some goat breeds. Since May two of the pigs have been pen-raised at Sweet Briar Farms in Eugene and the other pasture-raised at Heritage Farms Northwest. All OCI culinary students were invited to participate in the project.
On November 9th and 10th OCI Chef Instructor Josh Blythe and a crew of students will prepare five-course dinners with each dish featuring side-by-side comparisons of the pasture- and pen-raised pork. OCI Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor Salvatore Hall and his students will prepare dessert. Each course will be tailored to the beverages served that night.
Wealth Underground Farm, an organic CSA farm located on Newberry Rd. off Skyline Blvd. in Portland, is providing produce for both dinners.
All events surrounding this project, leading up to and including the final dinners, are being filmed and edited into a final video production by Actual Industries.
About Oregon Culinary Institute:
Established in 2006 as a division of Pioneer Pacific College, Oregon Culinary Institute offers a complete, practical and affordable culinary arts education where students can earn Associate of Applied Science degrees in Culinary Management, Baking and Pastry Management, and Restaurant Management. The school also offers diplomas in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Restaurant Management, Students may also earn a Sommelier Diploma at Oregon Culinary Institute in cooperation with the International Sommelier Guild. OCI’s student-run fine-dining restaurant serves lunch and dinner, most Mondays through Fridays. Reservations are recommended.