Last month in October, I attended the Salt Fire Water Dinner with Salare and Renata. If you haven’t heard, the #SaltFireWater is a dinner series held at Jacobsen Salt Co. and Bee Local’s Headquarters in Southeast Portland and presented by Williams-Sonoma Open Kitchen.
The two chefs take turns providing dishes for a multi-course dinner that highlights the artisanal salts from Jacobsen Salt Co and honey from Bee Local and ingredients sponsor New Seasons Market. Then all guests eat at a beautiful table together like one big dinner party in a single seating after an initial wine and passed hors d’oeuvres. An Oregon wine producer is always featured as part of the meal experience.
They have two upcoming dinners for December: a Dungeness Crab Feed on Sunday December 6 featuring Chef Jaret Foster of Foster’s Craft Cooking starring piles of massive amounts of Linda Brand Crab on table, as well as a dinner on Saturday December 12 bringing together a TBD announced chef plus Chef Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon for a six course dinner!
To give you an idea of what these dinners are like, please read on for my recap of the Salt Fire Water Dinner with Salare and Renata, or check out the recap of the dinner with Salt Fire Water with Ivan Ramen + Lang Baan.
This dinner brought together two chefs who have just recently opened restaurants in the past few months in Seattle and Portland. From Seattle we had food by Chef Edouardo Jordan of recently-opened Salare (formerly chef de cuisine at Bar Sajor in Seattle). From Portland, Salt Fire Water brought to pair up with Chef Edouardo the chef of the Oregonian’s Restaurant of the Year, Chef Matthew Sigler of Renata. Although I’ve yet to dine at Salare, I’ve visited many times and raved about Renata previously. Their dishes were paired with Love & Squalor wines.
Let’s take a look at the courses!
First: Passed Hors d’oeuvres
During the first 30 minutes or so, after hanging up your coat on a coat rack you can visit the Jacobsen Salt and Bee Local sample table to try out the latest new flavors and really appreciate the bounty of richness of the various products. I’m a huge fan of the Bee Local Honey flavors of White Oak Smoked honey and Cherry Wood Smoked honey, and I can never turn down a sprinkle of Jacobsen White Truffle Salt or Black Truffle Salt, and crushed on the Stumptown Coffee Flake salt.
The Love & Squalor wine during the passed appetizers time was a 2014 Pinot Gris from Willamette Valley that I might have had 2 glasses as it was so refreshing and paired so well with every single bite or even just tastes of the salt and honey. On hand pouring was winemaker and wine geek Matt Berson himself, as well as his wife and the artist behind their wine labels, Angela Reat.
One thing that is hard with Passed Hors d’oeuvres is that I get caught up chatting with people so I think I missed one of the bites from Renata, a Kohlrabi and Apple shooter with Dungeness Crab and Jacobson Chili Lime Salt . I started out though with a bit of Parsnip Soup with Matsutake Mushroom and Jacobsen Black Garlic Salt prepared by team Salare.
Parmesan Fritter with Bee Local Honey and Jacobsen Truffle Salt, Prosciutto, and Ancient Heritage Dairy Isabella cheese by Renata was another messy bite (you had to smear and pick up at the same time) but it was incredibly delicious. I may have had like 3 or 4 of these.
Next was the Squid Ink Macaroni with Giant Squid, Sea Beans, Shishito Peppers, Sauce Diavolo and Jacobsen Smoked Salt by Salare paired with my favorite wine of the night, the Love & Squalor 2011 Pinot Noir Antsy Pants (barrel select).
For the entree, a Mushroom Stuffed Quail with Jacobsen Salt Baked Celeriac, Carrot, and Almond Pesto by Renata was paired with Love & Squalor wine a 2012 Pinot Noir. I thought I was already pretty full, but somehow found room to clean this outstanding plate of flavors and textures absolutely and completely.
Dessert was Gingerbread Layer Cake with a touch of Bee Local Bee Pollen, Molasses Ice Cream, Pomegranate Caramel, Bee Local Honey and Pear Compote. The Bee Pollen is from Damian Magista of Bee Local’s own backyard hive!
You can check out more gorgeous photos from this dinner at the Jacobsen Salt Facebook page for #SALTFIREWATER – Salare + Renata.
Which of these dishes sounds most intriguing to you? Have you had Jacobsen Salt or Bee Local honey, what are you favorites?