On a recent Saturday, we made dusty footprints in the fields of Pablo Munoz Farms at Viridian. We listened as Leslie and Manuel Recio described their path from young idealistic farmers to seasoned growers of Basque Country varietals in the Willamette Valley. At tables set with fresh flowers, we met new friends over platters of grilled zucchini and pork belly prepared by Harvest Vine’s Joey Serquinia and
Gourmet Century’s Chris Diminno.
This is why we’re smitten with Plate & Pitchfork, the sold-out farm dinner series known for its relaxed vibe, exceptional food and glorious scenery. It brings people into the fields, founder Erika Polmar says, to savor Oregon’s beauty and bounty and hopefully carry a bit of the evening back home.
Grand Central Bakery provides bread for every Plate & Pitchfork dinner, and occasionally a few of us are lucky enough to sit at the table. We’ve partnered with P&P for more than decade, and we’re happy to do it because we share its mission: to celebrate and bring attention to the people who grow the food in our region, specifically those farmers who use sustainable practices.
These farmers, and many others like them around the region, grow ingredients that inspire our chefs and star in the soups, sandwiches and salads we serve at Grand Central’s cafes. They are stewards of the land and contributors to a healthy rural economy.
Without them, we can’t do what we do.
So we share Polmar’s desire to “change the current.” We hope you can find the time and permit yourself to sit in a field, taste something delicious, and appreciate where it came from.
Back at Viridian Farm, as the sun dipped low and clouds painted the sky, we lingered over an ethereal olive oil wine cake with fresh blackberries and chestnut honey whipped cream. Magical? Yes. But also meaningful.