Friday, October 1, 2010

Portland Food Adventures - Family Style at Nostrana with Cathy Whims

I had the amazing opportunity to attend the first-ever Chef's-Choice Portland Food Adventure at Nostrana, featuring the insane culinary talents of Chef Cathy Whims. The brain-child of food-networking extraordinaire Chris Angelus, this series of exclusive family-style gatherings at Portland's hottest restaurants is based on a charmingly simple beginning - Chris has become somewhat of a go-to resource for many Portlanders and Northwest travelers who need restaurant and food supply tips, so he figured people would love to get similar tips from the people who know the Portland food scene best, the chefs! At each event, attendees are treated to an epic multi-course family style meal, complete with lots of face time with the chefs themselves. Guests are encouraged to ask questions about everything from the source of the wine to the farmer who raised the lamb on the menu. In addition to a memorable night of food, wine, and laughter with a bunch of new friends, the Portland Food Adventure Package comes with a packed envelop of gift certificates, hand-picked by the host chef, featuring their favorite Portland shops, bars, and restaurants. In the Nostrana package, Chef Cathy Whims shared her love of Tastebud 's Montreal-style bagels, porky products at  The People's Pig, olive oils and vinegars at Benessere, a return trip to Nostrana, and the delightful cocktails and food of the unstoppable Randy Goodman and Nancy Hunt of  Bar Avignon. Attendees of the first event at Nostrana will be invited to a cozy cocktail hour with Cathy, Randy, and Nancy, making the Portland Food Adventure a truly smart investment - it's a ticket into the world of Portland Foodies in the know, and it's a ridiculously good deal. For the price of a tasting menu, Portland Food Adventure guests are treated to not one but more than 5 food experiences.

Interested in hopping on board for the next Portland Food Adventure? Join Chef Scott Dolich for a one-of-a-kind evening at Park Kitchen on Wednesday, October 13 - featuring gift certificates for Steve Jones' Cheese Bar and Xocolatl de David, Pine State Biscuits, Patanegra, and Park Kitchen - or get to know Chef Jason French at Ned Ludd on October 20 - complete with gift certificates to Heart Roasters for Jason's favorite coffee, Bakery Bar, Meat Cheese Bread, a trip to Portland's own hipster-fab cart pod Cartopia for Perierra Crêperie and Whiffies Fried Pies, and another delicious meal at Ned Ludd. Portland Food Adventures is the perfect treat for food loving friends, clients, travelers, or Portland food experts. It's always such a treat to meet the chefs behind the food that makes this town so great, as well as to connect with people in town who love Portland food as much as I do.

Portland Food Adventures at Nostrana was featured on our local news Channel 8 - here's a link to that live broadcast - you can see me yapping away at the end of the table at around the 1:40 minute mark. Typical. Enjoy the photos - and get yourself to Nostrana - this is my favorite time of year for rustic Italian cooking - the stacks of wood and wood-fired oven seem to fit in perfectly with the changing fall leaves and darkening skies. For more information about Portland Food Adventures, check out their website -, contact Chris, or ask me about the night! I'm always happy to eat and tell.


  1. I've been wanting to check out Nostrana. Great photos!

  2. YUM!!!!!!! Your photos capture everything!

  3. really stunning restaurant! Nice blog..


  4. Lovely write-up. Sorry I'm so late getting to it. The photos are great, too, and really capture the feel of the evening. Best regards, Frank

  5. I need to get to Nostrana one of these days! Isn't Cathy Whims one of the finalists in Best Chef: Northwest?