My Recap of Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner

Today’s post is a photo journal of a the Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner. Our Secret Supper is another one of my picks for the EaterPDX Top Pop Ups and Supper Clubs in PDX. Our Secret Supper, led by Eva Kosmas Flores with Danielle Firle of Table Culture and working with Tournant, is differentiated from others in the Portland area because they bring together food and people with scenery. The location is generally at a destination guests must travel to (and often spend the night), making it an adventure event outside the meal itself.

The exact location of the dinner is kept secret until 24 hours before hand, adding an element of surprise – all you know is everyone always shares one long table usually set up outside at a beautifully tablescaped and thoughtfully curated space. Each event almost seems like you have stepped into a fairytale or glossy magazine photoshoot that you get to live in for a few hours.
Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner Menu

Our Secret Supper has been on my to do list for a while, but this past April when I saw their date of their spring dinner, “Leap“, coincided with my birthday to the exact date, I decided to stop waiting for friends’ budgets and schedules to free up and treat myself. Here are the photos and my experience from my guest perspective of the Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner.

On the Sunday morning a week before the dinner (which was on a Saturday evening), an email let guests know that the location would be somewhere between Hood River and Mount Hood, and included a list of some recommended places to stay, noting that staying in Hood River would be about a 25-30 minute drive from the dinner location, and the AirBnB listings by Mount Hood would be closer to the dinner. I ended up picking out an AirBnB/Bed and Breakfast location called Big Apple Organic Farm that offered a private room on a farm, and a chance to eat a homemade breakfast with the farm’s fresh eggs the next morning, as well as visit some of the farm animals.
Alpaca and Llama friend at Big Apple Organic Farm, a cute AirBnB / bed and breakfast by Mount Hood slightly south of Hood River Alpaca and Llama friend at Big Apple Organic Farm, a cute AirBnB / bed and breakfast by Mount Hood slightly south of Hood River Feeding the chickens that helped provide the farm fresh eggs at my breakfast at Big Apple Organic Farm, a cute AirBnB / bed and breakfast by Mount Hood slightly south of Hood River

After checking into the AirBnB and exploring the location for an hour, then an hour nap while charging my phone, I headed to the location that had been sent to us 24 hours before: Mt View Orchards, a third generation apple farm with an orchard meadow. As I had hoped, Mt Hood was a majestic presence for our entire event. I could understand that the goal had also been to hopefully have the apple trees is bloom, but because of the colder winter they hadn’t blossomed yet. Nevertheless the silhouettes of the rows of trees with the towering mountaintop and seeing the snow blowing off the peak still is magical. Gorgeous floral arrangements scattered at various locations still added that colorful and delicate softness, and overall I found it breathtaking from when you first entered and throughout the entire night.
Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner: set at Mt View Orchards in Parkdale, OR Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood. Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood. Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood. Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood.  Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood. Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood. Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood. Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood.

Framed by two rows of trees, the Tournant team led by Mona Johnson and Jaret Foster had built their firepit with some of the Orchard’s fruit tree wood to prepare our courses for the evening. We were encouraged to visit with them to smell the wood and see the progress of all the cooking on this open air live fire kitchen, such as those giant morels which they had wild harvested right here in the orchard that you see in the pan.
Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner: set at Mt View Orchards in Parkdale, OR, and Tournant provided the open air catering over a firepit Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner: set at Mt View Orchards in Parkdale, OR, and Tournant provided the open air catering over a firepit Cooking area where Tournant preps and cooks the food over an open fire they built, framed by apple trees for the Our Secret Supper Leap dinner at Mt View Orchard Cooking area where Tournant preps and cooks the food over an open fire they built, framed by apple trees for the Our Secret Supper Leap dinner at Mt View Orchard Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Tournant preparing the main course of the Green Garlic Ricotta Gnudi with rabbit sugo, morel mushrooms, sweet peas and carrots, ramps in these Staub La Cocotte Dutch Ovens Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Tournant preparing the main course of the Green Garlic Ricotta Gnudi with rabbit sugo, morel mushrooms, sweet peas and carrots, ramps in these Staub La Cocotte Dutch Ovens

Sprout

The event started at 5:30 where there would be 45 minutes of cocktails and just enjoying the space before sitting down to dinner around 6:15. Beverages included a bubbly Rum Punch with Rhubarb featuring House Spirits Katun Rum, or a mason jar of Golden Row hard cider with apples right from this farm. This course, called “Sprout” on the menu, also included an incredible Cheese Plate assembled by Lena’s Kitchen Blog with Vermont Creamery goat cheeses, Sauteed Dates with rose salt, and Braised Endives with Vermont Creamery creme fraiche, fennel chimichurri, pistachio, and edible flowers.

Our Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, beverage hour included a bubbly punch with rhubarb or Golden Row hard cider made with apples from this orchard, a cheese plate and other bites Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, bubbly rhubarb punch cocktail and a cheese plate featuring Vermont Creamery goat cheeses Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, a cheese plate featuring Vermont Creamery aged goat cheeses and Sauteed Dates with rose sea salt  Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, a cheese plate featuring Vermont Creamery aged goat cheeses and Sauteed Dates with rose sea salt Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Sauteed Dates with rose sea salt Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Braised endives with Vermont Creamery creme fraiche, fennel chimichurri, pistachio, and edible flowers

Graze

The wind started to pick up and cold sprinkles fell upon us, so although we tried to stick it out and did so through the introductions of the Our Secret Supper Club partners and Tournant’s food inspirations and Willamette Valley wines rep listing of the wine pairings and owner of Mt View Orchard’s story of this farm, there was then a decision to retreat to the tables and benches that had a cover.
Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, welcome to the dinner with Our Secret Supper partners, Tournant Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, welcome to the dinner with Mt View Orchards owner Trina

They wisely made this decision when we still had clean plates and silverware and no wine in our glasses yet. We were rewarded for moving our own setting with wine minutes later. There was a Willamette Valley Vineyards pairing for each course, starting with a Pinot Blanc, Gruner Veltliner, Pinot Noir, and Moscato.
Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, wine pairings by Willamette Valley Vineyards Wines for each of the courses

We started with a spring salad of tender leaves and shoots with Vermont Creamery feta, Easter Egg radishes, sugar snap peas, mint, sunflower seeds, some pickled rhubarb, all sorts of textures.
Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Tender leaves and shoots with Vermont Creamery feta, Easter Egg radishes, sugar snap peas, pic Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Tender leaves and shoots with Vermont Creamery feta, Easter Egg radishes, sugar snap peas, pic

Zest

Braised Leeks and Grilled Asparagus with walnut nettle pesto, preserved lemon vinaigrette, fiddlehead ferns, and salt-cured egg yolk were the next course. I loved seeing both the humongous white asparagus and grilled green asparagus here – asparagus and fiddlehead ferns and stinging nettles are definitely among the first harbingers of Spring when I see them appear at the Farmers Market. This was my second favorite course, that pesto was tasty and I appreciated how my table mate made sure everyone got a big smear of that pesto on the plate as we passed him plates family style for a helping.
Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Braised Leeks and Grilled Asparagus with walnut nettle pesto, preserved lemon vinaigrette, fiddlehead ferns, and salt-cured egg yolk Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Braised Leeks and Grilled Asparagus with walnut nettle pesto, preserved lemon vinaigrette, fiddlehead ferns, and salt-cured egg yolk

Savor

Green Garlic Ricotta Gnudi with rabbit sugo, morel mushrooms, sweet peas and carrots, ramps, and in a truly local touch some of the morels were even wild harvested right there in this orchard not far from where these tables were, just growing under the apple trees! This course was also served with Ken’s Artisan Bakery Bread and Vermont Creamery butter with salt, chervil, and edible flowers. I think I ate a tablespoon of butter here on that hunk of bread (had to get a second one to dunk in the broth) it was all so good.

Overall this was my favorite course in how comforting it was. And can you get any more symbolic of some of the most anticipated bounty of spring then ramps and morels? The Staub Cocottes you see dished out eight servings for myself and the people I was sitting with (a group who I jealously learned chartered a party bus to and from their AirBnB with a rooftop hot tub) – my dining friend below and I became the servers as people passed us bowls to be filled. It’s one of the best things about pop ups: getting to know new people on these food adventures.
Our Secret Supper, Leap Dinner included a huge Ken's Artisan Bread which they sliced up and served with this butter with salt and edible flowers Our Secret Supper, Leap Dinner included a huge Ken's Artisan Bread which they sliced up and served with this butter with salt and edible flowers Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Green Garlic Ricotta Gnudi with rabbit sugo, morel mushrooms, sweet peas and carrots, ramps Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Green Garlic Ricotta Gnudi with rabbit sugo, morel mushrooms, sweet peas and carrots, ramps Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Green Garlic Ricotta Gnudi with rabbit sugo, morel mushrooms, sweet peas and carrots, ramps Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Green Garlic Ricotta Gnudi with rabbit sugo, morel mushrooms, sweet peas and carrots, ramps

Bloom

For dessert, we had Rhubarb Upside Down Lemon Cake with jasmine syrup, it was a surprisingly dense cake. I almost wish I could have had coffee with it as I and many others were cautious about the wine pour at this point as we’d have to drive back to wherever we were staying.
Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Rhubarb Upside Down Lemon Cake with jasmine syrup Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner, Rhubarb Upside Down Lemon Cake with jasmine syrup

As the evening went on, the sky slowly turned into a beautiful dark blue and didn’t seem to really get black until around 9 PM, when it was about time to drive home. That meant Mt Hood was always a looming presence in the background, still visible even though the sun was down and there are not many manmade lights.
Tournant visiting the dinner guests before dessert at Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood. Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood. Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood. Mount Hood ever present in the background at Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner

At the end of the evening, after grabbing my little goodie bag of wildflower seeds to take some of the spring feelings of the Leap dinner with me, I took a slightly nervous drive back in my unfamiliar rental car down unfamiliar unlit roads and soaked in a lavender bubble bath. I can’t spend of a more fun yet relaxing adventure to gift yourself for a birthday or any occasion – there were several other birthdays among the side of the table I shared a space with, and a couple celebrating an anniversary as well!

It does require travel – all their supper locations are at least a couple hours if not more from Portland, but I believe the travel and playing things by ear on an overnight trip is part of the adventure. Some of the guests at this dinner included those from out of town and even out of state like Colorado and Texas!
Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard goodie bag of wildflower seeds.

Have you heard of Our Secret Supper before (if not, join their mailing list to hear about their next event)? What did you think of what I’ve shared here in terms of the setup of the experience for an outdoor dinner party for this Our Secret Supper Leap dinner? What about the idea of not knowing where your travel getaway is located (only a general distance from Portland) until a week before?

I took all these photos just using my camera phone: for the stunning photos Our Secret Supper took with their cameras and higher level photography skillsz please their recap page for all their past suppers, this one again was themed “Leap“.
Our Secret Supper Leap Dinner on April 29 2017 held at Mt View Orchard with this view of majestic Mount Hood.

Other Event Sponsors of Our Secret Supper

  • Foods in Season
  • House Spirits
  • Crate and Barrel
  • Nicky’s Meats
  • Vermont Creamery
  • Bayith
  • Marion Acres
  • Amy Rochelle Press
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Comments

  1. I’ve never heard of a secret supper but it sounds like such a lovely idea! It would be a fun excuse to get out of the city and spend a night somewhere beautiful like Hood River. Thanks for sharing!

  2. GORGEOUS photos, Pech! These are lovely! What a stunning event. I’ve seen some of their photos on Instagram but didn’t really know much about the setup and the people behind it (except Lena!) and I appreciate you sharing the experience here. I might have to sign up for a future one!

  3. This looks amazing!! I am going to check it out asap. I love all the detail they put into the dinner. It looks like a wonderful evening. Thanks for sharing!

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