North Pacific Smoked Trout Salad

With truffled potato chip salad and beet emulsion.

Greek Independance Day.

The celebration of Greek Independence Day on March 25th draws inspiration from one of the holiest days for Greek Orthodox Christians, the Annunciation of the Theotokos. This is the day that the Archangel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would bear a child. Bishop Germanos of Patras seized the opportunity by raising the banner of revolution, in an act of defiance against the Turks and marked the beginning of the War of Independence. Cries of Zito H Ellas and Eleftheria H Thanatos can still be heard today. These freedom fighters, or klephts as they were called, of Greece sacrificed much for their country. Kolokotronis, Nikitara, Karaiskakis, Bouboulina, and Mpotsaris are some of the heroes of the revolution.

The struggle for independence was supported abroad by intellectuals of the day. In addition to the Secret Society of Friends (Filiki Etaeria) and the Sacred Band (Ieros Lohos) prominent world figures including Lord Byron of England, Daniel Webster and Dr. Samuel Gridly Howe of the United States raised the interest level among Europeans and Americans.

After centuries of unsuccessful uprisings and failure of the Ottoman Empire to assimilate and convert the Greeks, The War of Independence began in 1821 rising up against 400 years of occupation and oppression by the Ottoman Turks. The origin of the Turkish occupancy began in 1453 with the fall of Constantinople (currently referred to as Istanbul). All true and faithful Hellenes living in their occupied homeland reacted to the Turkish oppression and resisted the attempts to deprive the Greeks of their heritage, their freedom and their religion. During the dark years of the Ottoman occupation, thousands were killed and tortured for attending church or teaching their children culture, history and language. It was the Greek Orthodox Church that helped to retain their very identity by the institution of Crypha Scholia (Hidden Schools).

For eight years the fighting ensued, until 1829, when the Sultan Mahmud II, facing Soviet troops at the gates of Constantinople, accepted Greek independence with the Treaty of Andrianople. Copyright 2002 Middlesex Media Exchange.

So, seeing as Platon is Greek (as he reminds me everyday), he has put on a Greek independence day wine dinner with everything Greek.  apparently he has put on these dinners every year for the past 200 years (or something like that).  I felt honored to be a part of this dinner and learned a lot about Greek food and tradition.  We had a belly dancer, Ouzo, lots of Greek (wine?), Platon’s magical storytelling and tons of fun.  Here are some shots of the food.  This was yet another sellout event.  Platon worked with us in the kitchen and produced about 99% of these items and they were super.

First of the Local Season.

Thanks to Louis at Mushrooms All Year for getting these for us!

Now all I need are some ramps!

Oregon Cheesemaker’s Guild Dinner Final

This was a great time.  Really enjoyed havin fun with some killer cheese.  Thanks for all that came.  We had a sell out crowd of 132 people. 

Ancient Heritage Dairy Scio Heritage Sheep’s Milk Cheese and Prosciutto Sandwich with Creamy Sweet Onion and Duck Confit Soup with White Truffle Essence

Green Olive Stuffed Quail over Tillamook White Cheddar Polenta with Crispy Cheddar Tuilles

Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue Cheese Crusted Filet of Beef with Oregon Black Truffle-Potato Puree, Spring Onion and Sweet Pea Ragout and Local Cabernet Reduction

Three Ring Farms River’s Edge Fresh Chevre and Pistachio Truffles with Belgium Hot Chocolate Topped with Cocoa “Caviar”

Oregon Cheesemakers Guild Dinner SOLD OUT.

Sorry, folks.  I just got the cheeses today.  Man, are they fantastic!  Thanks to Rogue Creamery, Ancient Heritage Dairy, Three Ring Farms, and the Tillamook folks for all this killer cheese…  Here is the heart and the sole of the dinner.

New Application for Sous Vide Cooking (For Our Kitchen Anyway…)

So, I have been doing a lot of slow and low cooking using my thermal immersion circulator…  But for the last wine maker’s dinner we did, I cooked filets that were sealed with salt, pepper and olive oil at 130 deg F for 1 hour.  This made them a perfect medium rare and the texture was like silk.  I did not sear them after.  Simply served them as they were.  Funny, they almost looked completely uncooked…  Meat lover’s dream…  I used some closed cell foam tape attached to the bag to get an internal temperature reading of the meat without compromising the vacuum seal.

Abacela Wine Maker’s Dinner

Here are some shots from the Abacela Wine Maker’s dinner last night.

Steamed Clams and Mussels with Baby Winter Broccoli, Portuguese Sausage and Saffron Risotto Cakes

Beet and Herbed Goat Cheese “Ravioli” with Pickled Red Onions and Pesto Vinaigrette

Seared Lamb Carpaccio with Truffle Aioli and Focaccia Crisps

Olive Oil Poached (Sous Vide) filet of Beef with Salt Cod Cakes, Olive Soil and Brown Butter-Balsamic Green Beans


Rogue Creamery “Echo Mountain” Blue Cheese 3 Ways

1.   Brulee with Raspberry “Caviar”

2.   Port Wine Poached Sekle Pears filled with Blue Cheese and Candied Walnuts with Rosemary “Paint”

3.   Sous Vide with Oven Cured Raspberries

Here’s a shot of the raspberry caviar being dropped into frozen canola oil to set into perfect little caviar size spheres.

Special thanks to Earl and Hilda Jones for coming and bringing some spectacular wines and sharing with us a lot about the important work they do.

Abacela Wine Maker’s Dinner Coming!

Tickets can be purchased from me.  5 Courses with wines from Abacela Winery here in Roseburg Oregon.  $75 all inclusive.  Seats are limited.  Hosted by the Jacksonville Inn.  February 26th 6:30pm.


Saffron Risotto Cakes with Clams, Mussels, Portuguese Sausage and Baby Winter Broccoli

  • 2008 Albarino

Roasted Beet and Herbed Goat Cheese “Ravioli” with Pesto Vinaigrette

  • 2008 Granache Rose

Seared Lamb Carpaccio with Black Oregon Truffle Aioli, Baby Frisee and Focaccia Chips

  • 2001 Syrah

Olive Oil Poached (Sous Vide) Filet of Beef topped with Cod Cakes, Basil and Brown Butter Green Beans with toasted Pine Nuts

  • 1999 Tempranillo Estate

Rogue Creamery Blue Cheese Three Ways:

  1. Sous Vide with Oven Cured Raspberries
  2. Creme Brulee
  3. Port Wine Poached Seckle Pears filled with Candied Walnuts and Brutal Blue
  • 2006 Port

Note that some items may change slightly due to seasonality or availability.  Trust though, it will be good.

Check out the Winery:

Austrailia Day Wine Dinner

Here are some photos from our Australia Day winemaker’s dinner we had tonight.

“Throw a Shrimp on the Barbie” with Tasmanian Dipping Sauce , Aromatic Rock Salt and Eucalyptus Leaves.  Here the guests got to cook their own shrimp on the “Barbie” on a river stone that was 500 degrees F.  The aromatics in the salt and the eucalyptus really bloomed when the hot stone was placed on top and the aroma was enchanting.

Here we have an Australian favorite.  Apricot Chicken.  I made it with a chickpea cake and salad of frisee. 

Here we have Pan Seared Australian Barramundi with a Braised Leek and Rock Oyster Stew.  It’s finished with a light shrimp sauce and crispy fried leeks.

The entrée was Sous Vide Australian Lamb Loin with Potato Confit and Winter Beet Puree finished with a Rosemary-Mustard Jus.  But, remember…  It’s Summer time in Australia right now, Mate!

Finally for dessert was a classic Pavlova made with sweet meringue, whipped cream, kiwi, strawberries and bananas finished with toasted coconut and raspberry sauce.  All very Australian.

The evening was started with Dampers and “Mock Chicken”.  An australian version of Bread and butter.  The Dampers were a biscuit like bread that traditionally is cooked in the hot coals of a camp fire with the charred outside being peeled away and the soft middle eaten.  The “mock chicken” was a vegetarian mixture of tomatoes, onions, herbs and cheddar cheese that was meant to be a spread for the dampers.  Great fun.

All in all it was a great night.  Our dining room manager, Nathan MC’ed the whole night seeing that he’s from Australia and all.  The dining room was all done up with Australian decor and there were a lot of fun games the entire night.  We also paired all the food with some stunning Australian wines that went over real well.  We were happy when the reservations for the night reached 40 last week.  And it ended up with a sell out crowd of 70!  People kept calling and we ended up doing 78 people.  That was a lot for the room, but it was all very exciting and a lot of positive, Australian energy was flowing.  What great fun, even if Nathan kept correcting my pronunciation of Barramundi, Dampers and Pavlova!

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