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Day three of On the Road with Oregon Bounty and we’ve made our way to Central Point in Southern Oregon to meet two culinary artisans.

Jeff Shepherd of Lillie Belle Farms Hand Made Chocolates is an artist whose medium happens to be chocolate. Jeff is equal parts Willy Wonka and savage Deadhead. He began his candy career selling four flavors of hand-dipped truffles out of the trunk of his Jeep at farmers’ markets throughout Oregon. Today he creates more than 60 exclusive flavors of chocolates, truffles, caramels, bars and toffee. Jeff also owns a small organic berry farm, which supplies the fruit he infuses into his ganaches and truffles.

David Gremmels of Rogue Creamery has turned a small, nearly extinct creamery into a
world-renowned maker of blue cheese. In 2002, David discovered the fledgling creamery on the brink of closure. He loved their handcrafted blue cheese, so he did what any dairy-loving Oregonian with a dream would do: he and a partner bought the historic facility. Over the past seven years, the creamery has increased production, developed new cheeses, and garnered over 100 trophies and ribbons in competitions around the world. Most recently, their Rogue River Blue was named “Best in Show” at the 2009 American Cheese Society Judging and Competition.

David and Jeff are the artisan producer mentors in our Oregon Bounty “Cuisinternship” contest, which will give seven lucky people the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to Oregon for an ultimate foodie getaway (that’s right, you could spend a week as a winemaker, chef, brewmaster, cheesemaker and chocolatier, distiller, rancher or fisherman). Check out the videos about these two passionate foodies and learn how to enter the contest.

Southern Oregon has so many culinary gems, like the fresh-baked heirloom berry turnover in the cottage at Pennington Farms in the Applegate Valley, fabulous wineries like Abacela and Brandborg in the Umpqua Valley, and Grandma Nirene’s apple crisp at the historic Wolf Creek Inn north of Grants Pass. Go to Travel Oregon’s new culinary travel website to plan a Southern Oregon getaway.

Check back tomorrow… “On the Road” will be in Central Oregon to learn all about artisan distilling. Cheers!

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Ashley C says…

    Another great place to stop in is Phoila Farm in Rogue River, they make wonderfully inventive raw goat’s milk cheese. A mother and daughter team with spunk that will readily take you on a tour of their goats and other various animals. If you are lucky, a clutch of kids will have just been born and you’ll get to pet them. Next door is their little tasting room where they give you generous chunks of cheese to taste and tell you all about the making process. This little gem also offers goat’s milk soap and cheese making classes. Their cheese may be a bit pricey but well worth it. If you can, taste the Special Seedy. Yum!

    Written on August 26th, 2009 / Flag this Comment
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