Tillamook, Oregon | August 2019
It was lovely to end our regular Supper Series in our home state, this time in Tillamook, Oregon. We were settled in an open field, in the valley of rolling hills on a hydrangea farm at Oregon Coastal Flowers. The feeling of excitement and peace within the small valley between the forested hills radiated from all the guests as they arrived.
The appetizer area was nestled among rows of unique varieties of hydrangeas, all colors and styles that looked like paper flowers that had come to life. Clusters of purple and blue hues welcomed all our guests to an evening of exquisite company while fostering new and old friendships. Mona and Jaret of Tournant –our partner chefs for the evening—served freshly shucked oysters from Nevør Shellfish farm; a neighbor from just down the road. While, the delightful and charming Melissa and Greg, of Suzor Wines, poured a new unreleased natural sparkling wine from their winery.
It was an absolute treat to have Melissa and Greg at the table to tell the story behind their wines and their story. Their passion for what they do shows immediately. Their love for what they do emanates when speaking of their wines and sharing their work with those at the table. Their different wines paired beautifully with the meal that followed.
It was a playful meal with ‘lobster rolls’ as the first seated course. Steamed lobster mushrooms replaced the traditional crustacean as the star of this dish, yet, they still smell like the sea and have the bright red color of their salt water counterparts with whom they are named after.
If everyone wasn’t delighted enough, the corn and Dungeness crab risotto was unbelievable and a true winner lending creamy, sweet and rich flavors to every bite. Topped with colorful edible flowers to add freshness and texture.
We turned to our neighbors yet again for the main dish. It was truly a sight to see. A constructed oven with open fires on two different layers with a completely salt cocooned halibut sandwiched in the center. The halibut was cooking throughout the evening that was cracked and revealed in time for the main course to be served alongside local mussels in a stew with a variety of nightshades at the peak of their season.
As the sun set over the hills surrounding us, the sky lit into colors that matched the flowers surrounding us while dessert was served. Many of the conversations lasted well into the evening as people lingered and talked over candlelight, fostering what will be lasting friendships and cherished memories.