Undaunted by a cloud of typical Portland rain last Thursday evening, supporters of the Classic Wines Auction came together to enjoy one of this year’s hot ticket items – a multi-course meal designed by award-winning Pacific Northwest chefs. Taking place at the Heathman Restaurant & Bar downtown, the kitchen was manned by Executive Chef Philippe Boulot, along with local chef Cory Schreiber, and visiting Seattle chefs Ethan Stowell and Jason Wilson, who was recently named the 2010 James Beard Foundation Best Chef Northwest.
Featuring seasonal ingredients, the menu included four savory dishes – a roasted red beet and strawberry salad with Rogue Creamery bleu cheese created by Chef Schreiber (all complimented by watercress greens picked directly from his garden), a lightly seared ahi tuna steak with artichokes and salsa verde from Chef Stowell, a creamy lobster risotto and grilled porcini with crispy sweetbreads from Chef Boulot, and an Anderson Valley lamb loin with a cerignola olive panade from Chef Wilson. Delicious whites from St. Innocent and Chehalem wineries and rich reds from Matello and Scott Paul wineries were paired with the dishes. Named after the famous Audrey Hepburn, my favorite wine of the evening was the old-vine 2008 Scott Paul “Audrey” Pinot Noir.
The Classic Wines Auction committee holds winemakers dinners around town each spring and fall to support their annual Classic Wines Auction. I’ve attended two previous dinners including a recent event at the Heathman with vinters Silvan Ridge and Panther Creek as well as an evening last fall at El Gaucho hosted by Sokol Blosser Winery.
You can also read my feature on Chef Jason Wilson in the upcoming July/August issue of Northwest Palate magazine.