When Nostrana chef Cathy Whims makes cheese at one of her favorite farms, she ends up with delicious fromage and a deeper connection with the ingredients’ source.
In Oregon, chefs and farmers collaborate to put the freshest ingredients on the table. Take Cathy Whims, the James Beard–nominated chef from Portland’s Nostrana restaurant, who thrives on using high-quality local foods in her regional Italian cuisine. That’s why she works closely with Willamette Valley farmers like Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor, a former Intel engineer who now runs Kookoolan Farms, a tiny but diverse organic farm in Yamhill. Cathy became Kookoolan’s first restaurant customer when the chef discovered the unparalleled taste of the farm’s chickens. On this warm summer day, Cathy’s visiting Kookoolan not for the chickens but for the cattle: She’s making fromage blanc using milk she personally squeezed from one of the farm’s happy but stubborn Jersey cows.
Cathy is one of ten chefs around the state who are on a quest to create one incredible meal in Oregon this fall (get her Coeur A La Créme recipe). Indulge in your favorite culinary adventure, like a cheese making class at Kookoolan Farms, or win a foodie getaway!
About the Author: Lucy Burningham
Lucy Burningham is a writer who covers food, drink and travel for a variety of publications, including The New York Times, Saveur, Sunset and Imbibe. She’s worked as a journalist for the past 12 years and holds a masters degree in nonfiction writing from Portland State University. On rainy afternoons you can find Lucy sampling craft beer in Portland’s finest watering holes or hunting down the city’s best taco truck.
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