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Oregon’s ‘Newbergundian’ chef to return to James Beard House
NEWBERG, Ore. – Allen Routt of The Painted Lady Restaurant in Newberg, Ore., returns to the famed James Beard House next month to prepare a special dinner, but his fans in the Willamette Valley can taste it without traveling to the Big Apple.
That evening will mark an anniversary of sorts. Exactly three years earlier, Routt and his accomplished wife, Jessica Bagley – herself a graduate of Western Culinary Institute in Portland – prepared the first dinner at the James Beard House.
The theme of the dinner is what Routt playfully, but effectively, refers to as “Newbergundian.” Dungeness crab, game bird ravioli, venison and house-made chocolate dessert will be paired with a variety of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris from the Newberg area.
Seating at The Painted Lady is extremely limited, while the James Beard House banquets typically accommodate 80 guests.
In 2006, I featured the sports fan Routt and Bagley for Wine Press Northwest. This spring, I returned to The Painted Lady and came away more deeply impressed. The creative menu, the spotlight on local wine and the skill of the food-and-wine pairing were on par with The Herbfarm in Woodinville, Wash.
Perhaps the highlight was the Orange Scented Soufflé with Grand Marnier Creme Anglaise paired with Anam Cara Cellars Late Harvest Gewurztraminer. And this comes from someone who often passes on sweets.
There’s another reason to compare the experience with an evening at the Herbfarm. There’s lodging right next door. In the case of The Painted Lady, Routt and Bagley also operate The Painted Lady Cottage. It was so comfortable that one of their mothers lived in there for more than a year before it became available to the public last year.
Northwest chefs earn James Beard awards
In other James Beard Foundation news, Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon in Portland was announced Monday at the James Beard Awards as the Best Northwest Chef. The region takes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Montana and Wyoming. Other finalists were Naomi Pomeroy, Beast, Portland; Jason Franey, Canlis, Seattle; Ethan Stowell, Staple & Fancy Mercantile, Seattle; and Cathy Whims, Nostrana, Portland.
Northwest-grown Michael Mina, a chef and restaurateur raised in Ellensburg, Wash., was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America. The Mina Group includes RN74 in Seattle.
The James Beard Foundation’s award for Best Beverage Book went to Wine Grapes: A Complete Guide to 1,368 Vine Varieties, Including Their Origins and Flavours. The authors are Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and José Vouillamoz. As one may imagine, it’s more than 1,200 pages deep.