by Heidi von Tagen (re-posted from the Gorgeous Bits blog)
One of the best things about working at a Culinary School is that every once in a while, I am treated to some of the most fabulous food in Portland.
The students are incredibly amazing actually, and after attending the program for about only 8 months, they are producing elegant, and exquisitely flavored food, that is so delicious, every time you take a bite I swear your eyes roll to the back of your head (it really is that good).
The Oregon Culinary Institute restaurant has had phenomenal five star reviews and it’s been one of the best kept secrets in town. I’ve noticed lately we’ve been receiving more calls for reservations though, so the secret must be getting out.
Chef Josh Blythe of Wildwood,Genoa, Roux and Ripe fame is the Executive Chef Instructor who works with OCI students on the line and with the creation of such mouthwatering delicacies as Butternut Squash Fritters with Quince dipping sauce and Blood Orange and Pomegranate Salad with mild spicy fresh arugula greens, pistachio, and ricotta.
The Winter Menu features those specialties as well as entrees such as Dungeness Crab Paperdelle with white wine, Meyer lemon, shaved white truffle, fennel pollen and cream. Pictured at the top of this entry is Chef Josh’s special Dider-Braised Duck Leg with roasted apple, bacon stuffing.
(I personally have to say that particular salad is the best combination of goodness and greens I’ve EVER had). He has a passion and an incredible talent as a chef and as a teacher and passes that on to his students.
The dessert and breads are created by the Oregon Culinary Institute Baking and Pastry students and are simply decadent.The fact that it’s four courses, in a swank and hip open air kitchen environment, and only costs $9 for a 3
course lunch or $18 for 4 course dinner that will knock your socks off.
The students study flavor profile, technique, method, and culinary artistry throughout the program and when they get to the last part of their schooling, their talent and skill shines through. They become family by the time they reach the end in the restaurant practical part of the program and just before their externship the public can enjoy the fruits of their labor and be a part of their immersion into the real world of the culinary industry.
I highly recommend making a reservation. You are in for a real treat and a wonderful experience! I’m lucky enough to be able to hang out with these amazing chefs and their students.
I love my day job ; )