Planting seeds for good food, healthy people

Chef in My Garden 2013

2013 Chef in my Garden dinner series: Garden to Table tickets2013 Chef in my Garden dinner series: Garden to Table. Tickets on sale here

“Farm-to-table” is a great idea about sourcing and cooking fresh, healthful food from artisans nearby. But what if that food were truly nearby, as close as a garden just out your back door?

Yes, garden-to-table. That’s the beauty of Growing Gardens. Fighting hunger. Strengthening families. Better food, closer.

So this summer, support our work by joining us in a beautiful garden, at a table set by one of our region’s top chefs, for your own unforgettable garden-to-table experience:

July 7 | Tasty n Alder
July 14 | Riffle NW
July 21 | Nostrana – Cathy Whims special dinner
July 21 | Luce/Navarre
July 28 | Genoa
August 4 | Imperial
August 11 | Heathman Restaurant & Bar
August 18 | Toro Bravo
August 25 | Lucca


Thank you for your overwhelming support! We sold out the dinners in 2013!

Jul 7 | Josh Schimmel-Bristow of Tasty n Alder, in the gardens of Judy Dauble
Judy’s historic garden overlooking the Willamette River was developed in the 1920s, and has been nurtured and enhanced by gardeners over the decades. As you arrive, admire Judy’s carved-in-place cedar totem pole and mature plantings against the backdrop of her lovely home, originally built for the president of Portland Electric Power. Then wander down the hillside rockery path and linger on the banks of the Willamette until you’re summoned to dinner. Chef Josh Schimmel-Bristow will craft a seasonal, garden-direct meal based on ingredients that his favorite local producers have to offer — an authentic Northwest meal.
SponsorHaggen Food and Pharmacy
WineryElk Cove Vineyards
***SOLD OUT***

Jul 14 | Chris Lewandowski of Riffle NW, in the gardens of Colleen Cain & Phil Miller
At Colleen and Phil’s, you’ll enjoy mature gardens with gracious scale, ranging from formal to country with edible components and terraces, containers, seating and wide gravel pathways on all of the three levels. Keep your eye out for whimsical art throughout.  While it will be hard to fit enough exploring in before dinner, Chef Chris Lewandowski’s exceptionally fresh, fine seafood, simply prepared to let the flavors shine, will make you glad to take your seat for this fabulous dinner — you’ll learn what the food critics have been raving about.
SponsorClever Cycles
WineryAdelsheim Vineyard
***SOLD OUT***

Jul 21 | Cathy Whims of Nostrana, in her own gardens
Chef In Her Garden — what a treat!  With Nostrana’s stellar reputation, Cathy’s cuisine needs no introduction — just know it will be fabulous. Cathy shares, “My garden is a lush, sweet and tiny secret paradise with a fairytale belvedere where my husband David and I host dinner parties of up to 14 people. My cuisine is inspired by the fruits and vegetables from my garden and from my farmers, the tradition of handmade pasta in Italy, and the peasant roots of La Cucina Povera of Puglia and Sicily.”
WineryCameron Winery
***SOLD OUT***

Jul 21 | John Taboada of Luce and Navarre, in the gardens of Becky & Michael DeCesaro
Enjoy a dinner on the west side of town at Michael and Becky DeCesaro’s “work in progress” garden. Their garden has evolved from a Northwest forest of rhododendrons and giant sequoias to one that includes a hidden edible garden and expressions of color throughout the year. Relax as you sip your wine around the outside fireplace and maybe even catch a glimpse of their resident owl. When it’s time to sit down for dinner, be ready for some delicious food. Chef John Taboada has two restaurants:  Navarre is a long-time Portland favorite and Luce (pronounced loo-chay) won fourth on Bon Appétit’s nationwide list of Best New Restaurants in 2012!  John’s love of fresh, organic Northwest produce is sure to shine through for this meal.
Sponsors:  Christine and David Vernier
WineryElk Cove Vineyards
***SOLD OUT***

Jul 28 | Jake Martin of Genoa, in the gardens of Bettsy & Wally Preble
Chef Jake Martin thrives on the creativity of being a chef and his innovative and modernistic style of cuisine will be in evidence as you enjoy your meal at Bettsy and Wally Preble’s 10-acres, working urban farm with horses, alpacas, chickens, and a lake. Their beautiful contemporary-style home is surrounded by a landscape that has been evolving for 35 years in the care of its owners.
SponsorSponsorship still available
WineryHawks View Cellars
***SOLD OUT***

Aug 4 | Benjamin Bettinger of Imperial, in the gardens of Isaac Brock & Lisa Molinaro
We’re delighted these two musicians are opening their garden to us. Situated in Southeast Portland, Isaac Brock and Lisa Molinaro’s garden exemplifies the harmonious union of a peaceful garden in an urban setting.  Crowned by hemlock, cedar and fir trees, the grounds are abundant with a plethora of berries, cherries, figs, and edible flowers.  Admire their selection of native flora from the deck above or below near the stone raised vegetable garden bed.  The thrum of their honeybees is music to your ears! Chef Ben Bettinger has collected many accolades in his career as a local chef and his expertise with inventive fare inspired by the seasons promises a memorable meal.
SponsorWrenn Bender McKown & Ring, LLLP
WineryPurple Hands Wine
***SOLD OUT***

Aug 11 | Michael Stanton of Heathman Restaurant & Bar in the gardens of Meredith & DA Hilderbrand
There’s so much to explore at the Hilderbrand’s — an impressive collection of local and international sculptures, fun topiary, winding paths through evergreens and gorgeous shade gardens. Their place is so varied and beautiful that last summer they even hosted a group of painters for a day. Come explore, but if you wander far afield, be sure to return in time for dinner!  Chef Michael Stanton translates French classics into brilliant and seasonal Oregon-inspired dishes and we’re delighted to have him in our line-up once again.
SponsorThe Garden
Winery: Cooper Mountain Vineyards
***SOLD OUT***

Aug 18 | Kasey Mills of Toro Bravo, in the gardens of Carolyn & Morry Arntson
Carolyn and Morry’s secluded Dunthorpe garden is nestled against a natural hillside backdrop. Look for deer, coyote, blue heron and ducks as you stroll around the pond and enjoy the garden the Arntsons have created and nurtured over the past dozen years. Dinner will be served in the lovely poolside garden where Chef Kasey Mills will showcase his rustic Mediterranean-inspired food with Northwest flair. Undoubtedly, Kasey’s food will include inspiration from a recent trip to Spain to help Toro Bravo owner John Gorham research The Toro Bravo Cookbook (due out this fall).
SponsorHaggen Food and Pharmacy
WineryApolloni Vineyards
***SOLD OUT***

Aug 25 | Lissa Kane of Lucca, in the gardens of Lori & Richard Vollmer
The nursery Garden Fever! and the restaurant Lucca are next-door neighbors on NE Fremont. These two businesses are teaming up for Chef In My Garden in the gardens of Garden Fever! owners Lori and Richard Vollmer. Garden Fever! is celebrating its 10th year in business, and as you can imagine after all that time, Lori and Richard’s two-acre, country garden in nearby Battle Ground, Washington beautifully showcases their passion for their work, exemplifying their love of both the land and good food. Their Edible Garden includes a 40 x 60 foot vegetable patch and an heirloom squash plot. You may have to tear yourself away from the ornamental beds, connected with pathways and “garden gazing” spots designed as a place to sit and enjoy nature, when the call to dinner comes. Their gardens will be amazing backdrop for Chef Lissa Kane’s rustic Italian food featuring fresh local ingredients. As you know if you’ve been there any evening, Lucca patrons are devoted – the place is always bustling! Once the loyal customers from both establishments hear about this opportunity, we expect the tickets to go fast!
SponsorGarden Fever! & Organically Grown Company
WinerySmall Vineyards
***One Ticket Available***

Many thanks to Portland Roasting Coffee for providing the coffee for all of the dinners in our series again this year!

Tickets are $150 apiece and they go fast. We like to say that its $50 for one of the best dinners of your life — wine included! — and a $100 donation to a great cause!  (Of the $150 for tickets, the fair market value is $50 and the charitable contribution is $100.)  The chefs absolutely outdo themselves and the gardens are magical!

All events being at 4 pm and typically last until around 8:30 pm.  You are encouraged to arrive as close to 4 pm as possible to enjoy the gardens.



Interested in Sponsorship Opportunities?
Contact Hollie Allen, Development Director, at or 503-284-8420.

Interested in Volunteering at a Dinner?
Check out our Current Volunteer Opportunities Page

Special thanks to Matt Giraud of Gyroscope Creative for donating design and strategy to this year’s event!

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