Engagement Dinner

Months ago I was contacted by a gentleman from Austin that was planning a trip to the Northwest with his girlfriend. He wanted to hire me to make a special private dinner that he could propose to his girl at. I was instantly on board. I’ve found over time that I love to cook but I really do this job to create special moments for people around tables. Cooking is pretty automatic and not something I really think about in the same way I sit up at night trying to think of ways to make special lifelong memories for people. Cooking is like breathing; it just pours out.


So this dinner was right up my alley. He had a vacation rental for the few days they were here exploring the city but he hoped I could find him a more romantic setting. I racked my brain and sent him a few suggestions of outdoor farm settings and then the thought of renting the kitchen at the Yale Union occurred to me. It is a nonprofit art center run by a friend that has a beautiful kitchen. The building overall is at piece of art so I knew it would feel special and be a real adventure for both her and him. It was built over a hundred years ago and features a large industrial warehouse ballroom with wood floors (see above link).


Once we had the location we planned a menu from my many menus online. I was sure to point him towards my best plates as well at the charcuterie board I gather from my favorite (female owned) butcher CHOP. They have some of the best meats, pâtés and sausages in the whole city. I use the andouille, country pâté and smoked duck breast on most platters with some seasonal variations. I was also sure to include my favorite cheese, Sleeping Beauty from Cascadia Creamery.


I really wanted them to have a taste of our best items. I shopped specially for Petrale Sole, Linda Crab Meat, Pearl Bakery bread and spring morels. From my own farm I hand harvested radish and arugula flowers for their salad course. I was also sure to bring eggs from my hens, flowers from my garden, antique silver from my set and my grandmother’s antique embroidered linen napkins. I spent many nights thinking of all the small details I could include to make the night as special as possible.


She of course said yes, but I had nothing to do with that part.



Best Private Chef Portland


Best Private Chef Portland

Pearl Bakery Bread, Farmhouse Country Pâté (Chop), Andouille (Chop), Smoked Duck Breast (Chop), Sleeping Beauty (Cascadia Creamery), Cornichon


Best Private Chef Dinner Party Portland

Dungeness Crab Stuffed Filo Purse with Farm Egg Aioli, Chef’s Garden Arugula and Radish Blossoms


Pistachio Crusted Oregon Petrale Sole Meuniere with Asparagus, Smashed New Potatoes and Spring Morels


Best Private Chef Dinner Party Portland

Dark Chocolate Mousse Stuffed Chocolate Crêpes with Hazelnuts (An old best seller from my pastry chef days)




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