Oregon culinary event aims to catalyse interest in seaweeds

Oregon culinary event aims to catalyse interest in seaweeds

Called Winter Waters, the dining series takes place across the state in February, collaborating with chefs and tastemakers to celebrate restorative seafood. In addition to seaweed, other local seafood featured in this series include PNW-raised oysters, uni from Oregon purple sea urchins, and Dungeness crab.

Winter Waters was created when passionate seaweed advocates Alanna Kieffer of Oregon Seaweed and Rachelle Hacmac of Blue Evolution teamed up with Oregon Coast Food Systems Value Chain Coordinator Kristen Penner. They decided it was time to bring a line of seaweed-focused seafood to the Portland and Oregon Coast area. These three women are working hard to make regenerative algae and local seafood a popular and favorite food in our communities and help everyone get locally.

As organizers explain in a press release, the series will feature “ticketed prix fixe, fine dining events, as well as occasional a la carte events and menu specials. There will even be a seafood cooking class with Cookshop”.

Portland chef partnerships include Maylin Chavez of Nacar Oysters (formerly Olympia Oyster Bar), Leather Storrs and Natalia Torral of The Mahonian, John Conlin of Tercet, Cameron Dunlap of Morchella and Andre Uribe of Sustainable Meals Oregon. Vegainizer PDX is hosting a vegan, gluten-free pop-up with Jewan Manuel of Plant-Based Papi and Ryan Koger and August Winningham of Feral. Both pop-ups will take place at Mestizo, with the bar run by Nan Chaison.

Plus, special menus from Kyle Christy of Street Disco and other Portland restaurants. Partnerships on the Oregon coast include the Winter Waters Finale at Salmonberry and two sit-down dinners at Nekst, plus menu specials at Buoy Beer, Local Ocean, Bowline Hotel and The Schooner.

Event presale tickets will begin on January 23rd for newsletter subscribers and will open to the public via the Winter Waters website the following day.

As organizers explain: “The Pacific Northwest draws visitors from far and wide and is home to some of the most sustainable and regenerative fisheries, yet 90 percent of the seafood eaten on the Oregon Coast does not come from here. There’s a disconnect between people and process, and we’d like to help bridge that gap through education and delicious shared meals. The nonprofit beneficiary of Winter Waters is the Oregon Kelp Alliance, a multi-sector partnership working to protect our wild Oregon kelp forests. Event sponsors include Blue Evolution, Oregon Seadeed, and the Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA).

“Blue Evolution is a company that regeneratively farms kelp in Kodiak, Alaska, and sea lettuce in Baja California. Its products are available for sale to food services. Oregon Pacific Seaweed farms in Garibaldi and Bandon, Oregon, and provides products to local restaurants as well as retail stores throughout Portland, the coast and through their website. OCVA is on a mission to support local manufacturers and re-localize our region’s shipping through their Ocean Cluster Initiative.

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