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Here is the Holiday Gift you’ve been looking for. Different, delicious, and delightful!

Celebrated Portland Chefs will prepare the Grand Truffle Dinner at the Fifth Annual Oregon Truffle Festival.

I was first exposed to truffles in France and then Spain. Much to my delight, we now have them in Oregon.

While interviewing chefs, I frequently ask them what their favorite cooking utensil is. One replied, “A truffle shaver.” In somewhat of a state of awe on my part, he went on to say, “If you have a truffle shaver to use, you can afford truffles.” Well Oregon has truffles and to celebrate by attending the Grand Truffle Dinner would be sublime. How do I know about this wonderful event? We met event organizer Leslie Scott last March while we were in Medford judging the Oregon Chocolate Festival.

Four of Portland’s most celebrated chefs will join hosts Rocky Maselli and Stephanie Pearl Kimmel of Marché in Eugene to prepare the five-course meal served at the fifth annual Grand Truffle Dinner, to be held Saturday, Jan. 30, 2010, in Eugene.

Considered by many to be the pièce de résistance of the weekend, the 2010 Grand Truffle Dinner features some of the most celebrated chefs in the Pacific Northwest:

  • Philippe Boulot of Heathman Restaurant and Bar – Chef Boulot has received many international accolades such as the prestigious 2001James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest and the “Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite Agricole” (Knight of the Order of Agricultural Merit) presented in 2004 by the Ambassador of France.
  • Naomi Pomeroy of Beast – Pomeroy has been featured in Gourmet andElle; Bon Appètit named her one of the top six of a new generation of female chefs in September 2008; and Food and Wine magazine has recognized her as one of the 10 best new chefs in America for 2009. Locally, Pomeroy was voted Chef of the Year for 2008 by Portland Monthly, and Beast was honored as Restaurant of the Year for 2008 byThe Oregonian.
  • Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon – Food and Wine magazine named Chef Rucker one of the country’s best new chefs in 2007. He made it to the short list of those to be honored for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef. Maybe 2009 or 2010 will be his year.
  • Pascal Sauton of Carafe – Carafe was recently chosen Best French Restaurant for the second year by Portland Monthly and Sauton recently won top honors at a chef competition sponsored by Seafood OREGON. In June of 2005, he was inducted into the Académie Culinaire de France, an international culinary society of chefs from France, designed to preserve French traditional recipes and standards.

The fifth anniversary Grand Truffle Dinner features Oregon‘s native winter white and black truffles in a sumptuous five-course meal paired with magnificent Oregon wines.

“In keeping with the festival’s theme—Old World France meets New World Oregon—the selected chefs bring French sensibility to combine with our fabulous local ingredients at the Grand Truffle Dinner,” says Leslie Scott, festival organizer. “Each of this year’s chefs has been recognized around the nation for their application of classic techniques to contemporary cooking, and we’re eager to see what they come up with this year.”

For the past four years, truffle enthusiasts, chefs, foodies, truffle hunters and truffle growers have gathered at the festival for three days of tastings, tours and workshops to celebrate Oregon’s most prized native ingredient. The festival has grown by leaps and bounds, and enjoyed coverage in Saveur, W, and the New YorkTimes, while drawing guests to the Willamette Valley from all over the world.

Other activities at the fifth annual Oregon Truffle Festival include experiencing all aspects of the fabled fungi: learning to cook with them, learning to cultivate them, and pairing them in delectable meals with Oregon’s legendary wines.

Registration is now open for Oregon Truffle Festival weekend experiences and the Grand Truffle Dinner. Six weekend and several stand-alone options are available, variously including multi-course truffle and wine dinners, seminars and trainings, cooking classes, winery luncheons, truffle forays, farm tours and
a fresh truffle marketplace. All options may be purchased online at


If I lived close by, I’d be there for some of the events. Be sure to check out the website to see the various events that might interest you or a loved one. As I said, tickets to any of these would be a great holiday gift.

Culinary yours,

Maralyn D. Hill, President

Big Blend Magazine

“Success” was Indie Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards