The Willamette Valley will always be my first Oregon love. It’s where I lived when I arrived here almost six years ago. It is also where I learned quickly that the valley is filled with some of the best food and wine in the country! Take this and mix in a gorgeous farm setting, a seasoned chef, a warm summer evening and you’ll have found heaven just about 30 miles from downtown Portland!

Field & Vine Events, headed by Chef Pascal Chureau of Allium Bistro, have partnered with local farm loops to create this most special experience that I had the pleasure of attending on a recent Saturday evening. As usual, I chose the back roads and thoroughly enjoyed my drive to the Iverson’s Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn. Rolling hills of wheat, grape vines and gorgeous barns dotted the farm countryside and made for a great treat before the event.

The menu for this particular Farm Loop Dinner was quite spectacular! The charcuterie plate and all of the other courses were presented family style. Bread grilled on a smoker and veggies and cheeses, sausages and pork were perfectly paired with red wine and chardonnay from a local winery, Pheasant Run. Piles of heirloom tomatoes were served with a little truffle-scented mozzarella, pesto and pine nuts, and it was heaven. A cool sip of wine to finish it off and then it was time for seconds!

I have been known to joke that I attend weddings and baby showers solely for the cake. And, again I will admit that the last item on the menu at this farm dinner was what I was most excited to try. Who doesn’t love a Willamette Valley strawberry dessert? The upside-down olive oil cake with all the fixings was the perfect ending to this most perfect farm fresh meal.

Editor’s note: There are three dates left in this year’s Farm Loop Dinner Series: August 10 at AlexEli Vineyard & Winery, September 14 at King’s Raven Winery, and September 22 at Morning Shade Farm.

About the Author: Debbie Lusk

Debbie Lusk loves Oregon and everything there is to experience here. She may be found on the back of a black mare riding through wine country with saddle bags full of Oregon wine, or enjoying a cold beer at a local Willamette Valley microbrewery. She's smitten with Oregon and plans to enjoy it all one bite at a time! All her experiences can be found on her blog, Sweet Bliss.

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