Pebble Beach Food and Wine Celebrates Women Chefs at 'Beauties and Their Beasts' Dinner

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Celebrates Women Chefs at 'Beauties and Their Beasts' Dinner

By Allison Levine, Foodable Contributor

Just over a year ago, Bloomberg News wrote a story about how women are “everywhere in food empires but no head chefs.” The story went on to explain that “men overwhelmingly hold the highest paying and most prominent kitchen jobs at ambitious, independent restaurants across America. Women occupy just 6.3 percent or 10 out of 160 head chef positions at 15 prominent U.S. restaurant groups analyzed by Bloomberg.”  Even though women make up 35-45% of graduates at two of the country’s most prestigious cooking schools, there are still a “larger percentage of women chief executive officers than head chefs.” And, according to a New York Magazine Article (March 28, 2014) “since their inception about a quarter-century ago, only 12 percent of the winners of the James Beard award for Outstanding Chef and 16 percent of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs have been women.”

The restaurant industry, as a whole, may be a male-dominated industry and the statistics may not seem very hopeful. But there are many women today who are receiving critical accolades as they head their own restaurants.  At the 8th Annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine event, a dinner was dedicated to five top female chefs. And, to make it even more fun, these five women prepared a dinner that was a tribute to whole animal cuisine, “proving that a woman’s place is wherever she can wield a cleaver.”

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Little Berries, Big Festival: The Lifewise Oregon Berry Festival is a Garden of Culinary Delights

Little Berries, Big Festival: The Lifewise Oregon Berry Festival is a Garden of Culinary Delights

By Alisa Sloan, Foodable Contributor

Berries are big business. You pick up a pint at the store, or maybe pick them yourself on Sauvie Island, throw them in your yogurt, on top of French toast, or into your cereal. That’s about all the thought that berries get on a typical day. But do you ever wonder where all those berries come from? And did you know that Oregon berries are a $198-million dollar business? That’s major finance, right there. Berries! Who knew?

Turns out there are three berry commissions and one growers’ association driving the production and marketing of Oregon berries, and the Oregon Berry Festival is the one time of the year they all come together. “In 2009, we wrote a USDA grant to start the Oregon Berry Festival because for years we’d been asked why there wasn’t a festival celebrating all of this great agriculture,” says Darcy Kochis, Coordinator of the Lifewise Oregon Berry Festival. “So all four of the Oregon berry groups came together to make it happen.” They weren’t sure how many people would show up the first year they held the Festival. Turns out about 4,000 people showed up. “All of the berry vendors sold out and they were exhausted,” says Kochis. “We have photos of vendors sitting on the floor afterward, just knocked out by what happened. Oregonians love their berries.” Thanks to that hugely positive response, the Oregon Berry Festival has continued celebrating the season every year since.

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OG on Williams: Jenn Louis of Lincoln Talks Risk and Reinventing the Neighborhood

OG on Williams: Jenn Louis of Lincoln Talks Risk and Reinventing the Neighborhood

By Alisa Sloan, Foodable Contributor

Fun fact about me? I lived in the Williams Corridor for eight years. That’s not a lot in “Portland years,” but a lot for a neighborhood that (at the time) was considered “still dangerous” and geographically undesirable. Yet I found it friendly and super convenient, and it felt different than other parts of Portland. It was exciting. Plus, it was getting hipper and more fun every year. Between Williams, Mississippi and Alberta, the options were pretty darn good. 

I was privy to some major changes, and we heard a lot about Portland’s most polarizing word: gentrification. While some businesses quietly closed up shop or relocated, new businesses attracted a distinctly non-local clientele. Of course, Williams is now happily home to some of the city’s most lauded spots, including Tasty n Sons, Lardo and Lincoln, but it took a while to get there.

So I thought who better to talk to than Jenn Louis, the plucky and engaging chef behind Lincoln (she co-owns it with her husband, David Welch), owner of Sunshine Tavern and Culinary Artistry, and two-time James Beard Best Chef: Northwest finalist. Thanks to Jenn, Lincoln was the first to bring a finer dining experience to the ’hood with elevated, elegant dishes, and a few super-foodie ingredients that require a dictionary to decipher.

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