Saturday, February 27, 2010

Scouting and Eating around Portland

Since we got off of tour, Jeremy and Elaine have chosen to temporarily settle in Portland, Oregon for the off-season. They've been throwing around the idea of transplanting themselves there from Chicago for some time now and took the off-season as an opportunity to immerse themselves in the city. They've still been working with Outstanding in the Field, remotely from their apartment a.k.a the "Design Cave". Their off-season projects have included a new website and researching new database and ticketing systems. Watch for the new website launch in the coming weeks!

Our crew works pretty well despite being spread around the country: there are daily emails, phone calls, instant messages, texts and video chats. However we still can't deny the value in working good, old fashioned, side-by-side. Leah decided to take some time at the beginning of February to head up to Portland and work with Jeremy and Elaine. It turned out there was plenty of work to be done and good times to be had and a 5 day trip eventually became a 2 week stay. Leah was fortunate to have a room at Adam's house- one of our past tour participants that we picked up on tour in the Midwest in 2008.

Jeremy and Elaine have settled nicely into Portland and have gotten to know the Portland food scene better than ever. The guys from Ned Ludd sure are happy to have them around. Troy MacLarty, a Portland chef of the Chez Panisse family, was guest chef in one of our Portland dinners last year and is also now working at Ned Ludd. They're a good crew to know and in the two weeks Leah was in Portland they visited many restaurants: from Le Pigeon, Park Kitchen and Autentica to Pok Pok, Bamboo Sushi, Clyde Common and The Screen Door.

In talking about a 2010 dinner with Ned Ludd, the idea of the having the event at Cameron Winery came up. Jeremy & Elaine are already familiar and big fans of Cameron Winery. One of the special parts of having a dinner there is that the winery is closed to the public 364 days a year. Troy is a good friend of John Paul, the Cameron winemaker, and arranged for us to have a scouting visit out to the winery. As John Paul was on a spur-of-the-moment trip to Europe, Scott showed us around the grounds and in the cave. Cameron Winery is a special place with a good philosophy and a great sense of humor. We hope it works out and we can have our guests join us for a table set at the winery!