Field & Vine Dinner with Chef Pascal Chureau {Sponsored Post}

I recently had the privilege of attending a Field and Vine Dinner featuring Chef Pascal Chureau, owner of Allium in West Linn, OR. The event was part of a dinner series put on by Chef Pascal’s Field and Vine Events, a catering company that marries the amazing, locally sourced food with the rich, local farmlands and vineyards. The dinner I attended was at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm located in Woodburn, OR, and I had the privilege of spending much of the dinner sitting next to Annie Bailey, who extended me my invitation and attended on behalf of Mt. Hood Territory (she’s a riot–you can follow her on Twitter).
Photos by Jenni of A Well-Crafted Party
Photos by Jenni of A Well-Crafted Party (Chef Pascal Chureau bottom left)

The Farm Setting

Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is known for much beyond its gorgeous tulip fields every spring. In addition to its Tulip Fest, this farm also does a Pumpkin Fest in the fall, and produces many other crops and flowers throughout the year. The farm sits on a large piece of land, and Mt. Hood can be seen from most any part of the property. Another interesting site at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm is its pink John Deere tractor, which sits proudly in the garden area near where the dinner was hosted. The tractor was painted pink in honor of (Wooden Shoe’s owner) Barb Iverson’s sister, who passed away from breast cancer. Barb gave us a tour around the farm, explaining how it began and where it’s going. It seems as though learning about the host farm or winery is a practice of the Field and Vine series, to help connect guests with the experience at a deeper level.

The Field & Vine Menu

The menu consisted of seven courses: a charcuterie plate, heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella, romaine salad, five bean fingerling potatoes, grilled Carlton Farms pork rack, a summer ratatouille, and finally, an upside down olive oil cake with fresh strawberries. The wines paired with dinner were a Chardonnay and a Pinot Noir. The dinner had approximately 40 attendees and a full catering staff ensured that both glasses and plates were full throughout. Dinner was served in waves in a family-style dining setup.
Photos by Jenni of A Well-Crafted Party

via TheSpicyBee Instagram
One thing that I loved about this dinner was how the staff organized a “sampler plate” of sorts to photograph many of the courses in one shot. My favorite course of the night was the ratatouille. I loved how fresh the vegetables were, and nothing was over-cooked (as one might worry about at an outdoor catering event). The pâté mousse that was served alongside the charcuterie plate will also get a nod from me for being quite interesting! It was my first experience with pâté. I know many who refuse to eat it based on moral principles. My curiosity usually gets the better of me, however, and I always end up trying something once if not twice before deciding it’s not for me.
And then there was dessert.
Photos by Jenni of A Well-Crafted Party
The olive oil cake was a vision multiplied 40 times over. It was baked and presented in a beautiful fashion. The cake was lightly fragrant, and spongy, and the strawberries almost tasted as if they had been in a sugar bath to intensify flavors and create a syrup. It really was the perfect season for fresh strawberries!

The Dinner Experience

Overall, the dinner was a lovely experience. Chef Pascal Chureau was incredibly kind and sociable, and his love for the series definitely shone in the many courses he and his staff turned out during the event. The only drawback I saw to this dinner in the series was that there wasn’t a chance to use the lights that had been strung up for when night fell (you can see them in the picture below–most everyone had left by then!). I suppose the long Oregon summer days are to blame for that, and I know that by the September dinners there will be many more desserts and glasses of wine enjoyed in the quiet, cool, and dark evenings. It just kicks the romanticism up a notch!
I would suggest this dinner series for those looking to plan a landmark family event or a romantic evening out. The family-style of dining may put some off at first, although everyone is really there for the same reason–to enjoy an amazing meal from a very personable chef and his capable staff. It’s also a great way to get out of the bustling city for an evening, as all of the dinners in the series are located within an hour drive of Portland.
From left: me, Chef Pascal, Jenni (photos by Jenni of A Well-Crafted Party)

For More Information

Does this dinner sound up your alley? Check out the 2013 Dinners in the Field with Oregon Farm Loop schedule for the rest of the dinner series:

Tickets must be purchased in advanced and range from $75-$85 per person including wine & gratuity. Dinner prices include drinks and gratuity. For more information you can check out their site here.

Field & Vine Events even has a Living Social Deal going for the dinners right now! Check it out!

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