Philippe Boulot was here

Philippe Boulot is guest chef tomorrow

Many Oregon chefs and restaurant owners like to ruminate on how their restaurant helped create a Pacific Northwest cuisine. A toque that big would swallow Kathy’s head, but she does have one claim to fame: she suggested the Heathman Hotel hire Chef Philippe Boulot in 1994, and he went on to make a serious impact on Oregon restaurant food. How’d it happen? She was editor-in-chief of Oregon Business magazine in those days, and was in New York writing a story about how Oregon wines were faring in the Big Apple. Philippe was chef at The Mark, and Kathy dined there with a wine distributor. Philippe come out to the table to say hello and just happened to mention that his wife was from Oregon. “Ever want to live there?” Kathy asked. When she returned home, she learned The Heathman’s long-time chef, Greg Higgins, had just resigned, and the rest….is culinary history.

So when Mount Hood Railroad liked Kathy’s idea of bringing in some guest chefs this year, Philippe was on the list.

And he’s here …. tomorrow! September 11. There are still ten tickets available, and Kathy would be delighted for you to buy them. So please call the railroad and reserve. The dinner train leaves the station tomorrow at 6:30. Here’s the menu:

Roasted pear salad with pomegranate and fresh goat cheese
Salmon confit with fresh corn grits, toy box tomato compote
Pinot Noire-braised short ribs, butter, whipped potatoes, green beans amandinnes
Susan’s bread pudding and caramel sauce

Get a ticket and join us.

Or stay off the rails, and dine with us

Fall is creeping into the kitchen. Here’s what’s new this week:

Nathan is, even as we write, braising up some cinnamon red wine curried short ribs with mustard seed and lime slaw and rice.

And just to show that life comes full circle, we’re bringing back a dish you all loved last fall: seared scallops on local chanterelle mushrooms with sage, apple cider, and apples.

Christiaan is putting his Italian finger in the pot and stirring up a spicy puttanesca with local peppers and tomatoes, and marrying this classic sauce with seared Oregon tuna and Mountain Shadow filet mignon. Now THAT’S a surf & turf we can believe in.

And in a homage to the near-end of Alaskan halibut for the year, get some nice seared halibut cheeks on fresh sweet corn and cream, topped with salsa verde.

We’re starting to take a deep breath in the kitchen. All those house guests who arrived in June have left, and we’re ready to just chat with the locals and take life a bit slower.

Rodger has an eight-pound day

Hang around the Hood River Hotel, like Stu and Kathy were for breakfast this morning, and you’ll surely run into one of the good ol’ boys who has breakfast up on the mezzanine each morning. It’s a great group: erasable old conservative guys trading barbs with erasable old liberal guys. Kind of like Congress, only no one yells, “You lie!”

Anyway, Rodger Schock, on his way up the stairs to join the fellas, stopped by Stu and Kathy’s table. Seems that yesterday he took his grandson out fishing, and the youngster caught an eight pound steelhead. Later that same day, the little fisherman’s mother (and Rodger’s daughter) gave birth to the family’s first baby girl. And you guessed it: she’s an eight pounder, too. That’s just a darned good day.

See you around Nora’s Table.


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