Plate & Pitchfork

1 Mar

It’s hard to not become intoxicated with charm after attending a Plate & Pitchfork dinner. Lord knows I have. For those of you who have yet to meet Erika Polmar or her team, consider yourselves lucky that the spring season for this remarkable dinner series has just been announced (and better yet, at the time of this posting, tickets are sill available). Started eight years ago, Plate & Pitchfork is an adventurous, gastronomic evening that celebrates the beauty of eating locally, where proceeds from the event directly benefit Oregon’s local farms and organizations who’ve committed to using sustainable farming and business practices. Past beneficiaries for these events include the Sauvie Island Center, Oregon Tilth’s Organic Education Center at Luscher Farm and The Oregon Food Bank, just to name just a few.

The location of dinner varies depending on the season. You may find yourself on a farm tour, seated between rows of grapes at a prestigious Willamette Valley vineyard, or romantically nestled between candlelit wine tanks and caves. Expect a full multi-course dinner, thoughtfully paired with wine, where food is consistently special, thanks to Erika’s rapport with some of the area’s best chefs. For example, this spring, Plate & Pitchfork diners will have the privilege of eating food from Chef Anthony Caffeiro of Tabla, Chef Scott Ketterman of Simpatica Dining Hall, Chef Benjamin Bettinger of Beaker & Flask and Chef Jason Francis French of Ned Ludd. For those of you not from Portland (or who have been living under a rock for the past five years) I’d like to introduce you to the heavy hitters of the Portland culinary scene. These people know how to cook, and perhaps more importantly, they know how to cook from the heart. Rest assured that every Chef who works with Plate & Pitchfork is doing so because they believe in the cause. When guests first arrive, you’ll be greeted with a glass of local wine and an appetizer, and throughout the meal you’ll hear from the people who have grown, caught, raised and crafted the items being passed (family style) along the table. These interactions only reinforce one of Plate & pitchfork’s main missions: to connect the diner to the source.

Here’s my question: What’s not to love here? The food and wine are delicious, the evening is magical, and the people behind the scenes are committed to making a difference in the world, one plate at a time. I can say this from experience.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with Plate & Pitchfork on a few different occasions, and this year my blossoming company, Little Branch, has been asked to participate during the Saturday, April 9th dinner benefiting The Oregon Food Bank. This dinner is particularly neat because it will offer guests a chance to get involved by rolling up their sleeves before the meal to help pack boxes of donated food that will eventually be distributed through the Food Bank’s incredible network. At the end of this meal, every participant will receive a jar of locally grown (and picked!) Strawberry Pinot Noir Jam as a token of thanks.

I jumped at the opportunity to help. I hope you will too.

3 Responses to “Plate & Pitchfork”

  1. Lauren @ March 1, 2011 at 10:17 pm #

    Wow! This sounds like such a fabulous event and what an honor for you to be apart of it, although I’m not surprised you were asked – if your jam is anything like your zucchini pickles everyone will love them!

  2. Kasi March 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    Great pictures, wonderful write-up, wish I were there.


  1. Until Next Year: Plate & Pitchfork « Footbridge to the Feast - September 18, 2011

    […] called Plate & Pitchfork. If you need a refresher you can read my post about the organization here or here. While I have only been involved with P&P since last July, I can tell you that working […]

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