The Millennial Room in the Art Institute of Chicago felt less like the sleek urban space it is and more like a relaxing culinary escape to the picturesque valleys and coastal regions of Oregon on Saturday afternoon, during NRA Week ’09. Filled with rock features, trees, a campfire, and beautiful natural photography, the scene provided a moment of calm in the midst of a frenetic restaurant show weekend. More importantly, it offered a valuable opportunity for attendees to sample and learn about the sustainable foods, wines, and innovative recipes of America’s most lush and prolific growing region.
Sponsored by Truitt Brothers, Inc and the SabrosoÂ® Company (Peter Truitt, pictured below), this third annual Oregon in Chicago event let visitors explore â€˜The New Oregon Trail,â€™ through the distinctive flavors and products of Oregon’s three primary growing regions: The Coast, The Gorge, and The Valley.
Teeming with sea life, the Coast inspired simple yet flavorful creations such as pan-seared halibut with a rustic D’ Anjou pear and hazelnut pesto. From the Columbia River Gorge, guests enjoyed a wide range of recipes from smoothies made with the region’s best cherries and cranberries to an apple endive and romaine salad. And in The Valley, a selection of warming chili and chowder showcased grass-fed beef, vegetarian ingredients, and all-natural flavors.
Even the bar featured signature Oregon-product-based cocktails such as Mexican Mojitos, Cranberry Margaritas, and a Sweet Heat mango and jalapeno cocktail. All food recipes and beverages utilized to the fullest extent possible the ingredients of Oregon companies, farms, vineyards, and breweries dedicated to sustaining their local communities and the environment.
In addition to Truitt Brothers’ Tru FlavorsÂ® and Sabroso’s Fruit Creations products, ingredients such as Rogue River Bleu Cheese, Oregon Bay certified sustainable shrimp, Oregon Dungeness lump crab, and the wines of the Willamette Valley Vineyards were featured. Guests will soon be able to view photos from the event at http://www.oregoninchicago.com.
All Oregon in Chicago attendees also enjoyed the opportunity to take home a complimentary signed copy of The Vintner’s Kitchen, the stunning new cookbook on Oregon wine and food pairing created by Chef William King and Oregon photographer Rick Schafer (read our Food Channel review, here).