On of the best things about IPNC was the food. We had some really great meals. Each day started off with a buffet breakfast with fresh pastries, local butter (even had a butter taste off one day!), jams and berries. The lunches and dinners were more organized (less buffet).
The first day we were offsite at Maysara Winery, we had an amazing Persian inspired lunch – which you’ll hear more about next time.
Friday night was the Grand Dinner with guest chefs Gabriel Rucker (from Little Bird), Dustin Clark (Wildwood), Chris Israel (Gruner) and Kristen D. Murray – all from Portland.
We started off with a Vichyssoise with sweet onion, corn and lobster salad, foie gras and aged balsamic vinaigrette. I don’t like foie gras in general, but this was great – the foie gras was light and limited. Some of the folks at the table didn’t like this since there wasn’t a lot of foie gras. It was good in my book. I would definitely order this again.
Next Course was Nicky Farms rabbit fricassee, English peas, harissa polenta. This was as tasty as the Vichyssoise, but I must admit it looked a little sloppy and needed a touch of salt, but I would have gladly eaten a much bigger portion.
The main course was Nickly USA rack lamb chops with cevapcici with sour cherry relish, green bean salad with pickled cherries, toasted hazelnuts, black currant vinaigrette and crisp shallots served with a Rye crouton with fresh sheep’s milk cheese.
I must admit this was my least favorite item tonight. My lamb was a little fatty. The biggest issue really was the darkness – since we were eating outside and it was after sunset, I couldn’t really see the lamb. The picture looks great — but at the meal itself all I could see was a dark blob on the plate.
The next day we had lunch on campus with guest chefs Jason Farney (Canlis of Seattle), Michael Stanton (The Heathman Restaurant and Bar of Portland) and David Briggs (Xocolatle de David also of Portland).
The lunch started with Smoked Oregon Black Cod with compressed peaches, lobster and peach vinaigrette and smoked steelhead roe. This was the second Cod we had this weekend and was really great. I’m not a big Cod fan in general, but this was lovely.
The main course was Marget duck leg confit and roasted duck breast, Oregon berry glaze, couscous and arugula salad with Oregon berry compote. The duck was so tasty — you can tell because I ate a bunch of it before I even took a photo.
For dessert we had a Chocolate panna cotta, watermelon soda, mint and chile. I love chocolate and love it even more when it is paired with chile. The portion was refreshingly small – this whole super sized American dessert concept is disgusting.
The final dinner, the Salmon Bake, had fresh Salmon grilled over an open flame, pork tenderloin and a beef. I don’t really like Salmon, so I just gorged on pork and beef and a ton of side dishes.
I was very happy with the food, the preparations and the portions. After every course, I still wanted a touch more. Which is perfect, leave the guests wanting more.
What was your favorite meal at IPNC? Does this menu look appetizing to you? What is your favorite item on the list?
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Oh that all looks divine. Jealous!