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Due to COVID-19 our office is closed and staff are working remotely. Visit our "Team" page for contact details.

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Chef In Your Garden

Announcing Chef In Your Garden 2021: 12 Dinners in 4 Seasons!

Chef In Your Garden (CIYG) 2021 celebrates the deep connection to our land, the seasons and the stories of local leaders who champion our food system. We have partnered with 12 incredible Portland chefs to showcase the best of our Oregon bounty – specialty produce, proteins and products – through unique take-home meal experiences. Through this series, we unite chefs, beverage makers, and farmers to curate take-home meals that highlight leaders in our local food system while raising critical funds to support their work and ours. The current pandemic has exposed gaps in our healthcare, food, and economic systems. With a mission of cultivating healthy, equitable communities through garden-based education, Growing Gardens’ work is more critical than ever to overcome the unique challenges presented by this crisis.

Chef in Your Garden offers the opportunity to experience a truly unique meal, crafted by top Portland chefs that is delivered to your door and can be enjoyed in the magic of your own garden. Each chef will be creating a unique, multi-course basket that will include a 3-5 course meal, including dessert and a local wine, beer or spirits pairing. This year’s series welcomes twice the amount of featured chefs, 12 in total, who will prepare 35 baskets on their respective basket date.

Each basket will be accompanied by a pre-recorded video or an invitation to a Zoom conversation with the basket’s featured Chef so you can learn more about each dish and the inspiration behind it. All baskets will include a printed menu as well as re-heating and assembly instructions. These meals are not menu items; they are stories told through food crafted for this one night.
 
Each dinner basket serves 2 people and costs $175, the same as a ticket for 1 at an in-person Chef in My Garden dinner. Each Chef will make 35 baskets, so quantities are limited!

Spring

Saturday, March 20th | Elsy Dinvil | Creole Me Up

Elsy Dinvil is the owner of Creole Me Up, a company that specializes in producing allergen-friendly Haitian food. She started her business in 2017 after years of battling digestive issues and a major colon surgery. Her goal is to produce Haitian sauces and condiments that bring enjoyment to the belly and honor her Haitian heritage. Elsy is a regular at the Beaverton Farmers’ market selling her Haitian food products and tropical cocktail mixes. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Elsy, most likely you’ve heard her infectious laugh.

Elsy Dinvil is a published author of two cookbooks, Cooking With My Mother and Spice Up Simple Dishes With A Haitian Twist. She is currently finishing her first semi-novel narrating on her mother’s childhood story, When A Zombie Tastes Salt, expecting to be published on November 20th, 2021. Elsy also offers cooking classes and caters for small events of 20 people or less.

Produce for this dinner is from Vibrant Valley Farms, and the pick-up incentive from Solabee Flowers and Botanicals.

April Date TBD | Carlo Lamagna, Dante Fernandez, Roberto Almodovar  | Magna

Chef Carlo Lamagna is a Philippine-born, Detroit-raised, CIA- and Chicago-trained chef. Lamagna is the Chef-Owner of modern Filipino restaurant, Magna, located in Portland, Oregon. In the city of Lamagna’s early childhood, Detroit, he grew up amongst Midwestern sensibility and genteel, gained a strong sense of family and an understanding that food was from farms, not grocery stores. His mother Gloria sent young Lamagna and his elder siblings to the Philippines to live with their father, Wilfredo. Gloria and Willie wanted their children to be in touch with their culture. From his father, cooking and eating in the way that he himself grew up was a key point in Carlo’s understanding and appreciation of Filipino food and culture. Lamagna began a pop-up dining series, Twisted Filipino, in 2013 in Chicago and continued them here in Portland with great success. While Lamagna cites respected chefs influential in his career, philosophy, and leadership style like Certified Master Chef Brian Beland at the Country Club of Detroit, Bruce Sherman of North Pond, and Paul Virant of Vie in Chicago, the chef he most reveres is his late father, Willie, who, alongside his mother Gloria, serves as a major influence of Magna.

Friday, May 21st | Diane Lam | Prey and Tell

Diane Lam is a chef creating  and sharing the story of regional Cambodian cuisine  with Portland. With creativity and playfulness in mind, her food stretches the boundaries of casual and approachable dining and with that of refined technique and flavor. As a young Chef her interests are understanding sustainable food ways as well as empowering new cooks to be independent and knowledgeable. She enjoys creating spaces for people to connect in, buying beautiful produce and throwing extravagant dinner parties. Learn more about Prey and Tell!

Summer

Tuesday, July 13th | Richard & Sophia Văn Lê | Matta

My name is Richard Văn Lê and I own Matta, a việt kiều experience, with my wife Sophia. The term việt kiều refers to Vietnamese folk who are born outside of Vietnam, and in my case, I’m an American việt kiều. Our mission is to help open up a new dialogue in which fellow việt kiều can be reminded that our stories are unique and nuanced, essentially a new breed of Vietnamese. We tell our story through food, in which we tap into the memories of an immigrant home as well as the lifestyle in America. There are dishes from my childhood, as well as dishes recreated from my American upbringing. At the end, our goal is to bring balance to both cultures as they reside in me. A true việt kiều experience.

Friday, August 6th | Amalia Sierra | Tierra del Sol

Whether through catering or working the farmers market circuit, Amalia Sierra enjoys introducing Portlanders to Oaxacan food and flavors. Amalia remembers experiencing the difference between town and urban flavors when she moved from Oaxaca City to Santa Cruz Tacache de Mina, a nearby rural town. Learn more about Tierra del Sol!

Tuesday, August 24th | Fatou Ouattara | Akadi 

Fatou Ouattara is the chef and owner of Akadi. Fatou moved from the Ivory Coast to attend Portland State University at age 23, and learned to cook Ivorian traditional food at age 7. Akadi serves dishes from countries throughout West Africa, with a focus on the Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. Fatou was featured in PDX Monthly’s Best New Restaurants 2018 and brings her passion for not only creating recipes, but executing recipes that were passed down to her from her elders to her cooking. Learn more about Akadi!

Date TBD | Kiauna Nelson | Kee’s #Loaded

Born and raised in Portland, Kiauna is especially happy to operate a business on MLK, in the neighborhood she grew up in. “There’s not many black businesses there anymore,” she says with a hint of sadness in her voice. “So, to be in the heart of the community right where I grew up means a lot to me.”

Although she is proud to cater to a local crowd, she can count on business from just about anywhere in Portland Metro. Word of Kiauna’s prowess over the flame has spread across Portlandia. Her food cart’s Facebook page boasts almost 3,000 followers and her menu – which changes daily – routinely has people lined up to find out what new delicious, and nutritious, dishes she conjures up. Learn more about Kee’s #Loaded here!

Fall

Date TBD | Jane Hashimawari | Ippai

I started Ippai as a way to share my love for Japanese home cooking and showcase all the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. For me, after countless hours in the kitchen and long workweeks working in fine dining restaurants, the most gratifying feeling is to eat comfort food on my days off. On those days, I crave my mom’s cooking, but in Portland I quickly found that if I wanted a certain dish, I had to make it myself. I was craving the everyday foods you’d find in a Japanese home—seasonal and vegetable-driven. I grew up with my mom harvesting vegetables from our backyard and utilizing everything we had to create a meal, and I try to channel that resourcefulness and improvisational approach in every dish I put forward. Ippai has shifted from farmers market stand to kaiseki dinners to monthly pop-ups at Milk Glass Mrkt as I search for new technical and creative challenges as a chef. But what’s stayed the same is my constant search for the dishes, memories, and feelings from childhood. Ippai is the Japanese word for “full” and to me it signifies that warmth, comfort, and openness of the house I grew up in and what I want is to recreate that feeling for families of all kinds.

Tuesday, September 21st | Thuy Pham | Mama Đút Foods

“My journey to vegetarianism was challenging, yet rewarding in so many ways. I knew that with every meal, I was impacting the livelihoods of animals and our planet. I was determined to set a strong example for Kinsley to have empathy and compassion for the world around us. As a Vietnamese-American, I struggled to maintain the balance of connecting with my Vietnamese heritage, people and animals all at the same time. With this in my heart and support from my community, I was able to create a product I hope will bring people together over a delicious meal they are already familiar with while saving animals. This is my mission: to bring people together over food, save the animals and maybe one day, the world. I welcome all who are curious, or defiant, or courageous.” Learn more about Mama Dut Foods!

Saturday, October 9th | Eleni Woldeyes | Eleni’s Ethiopian Kitchen

Eleni was born and raised in Ethiopia. After moving to the United states in 2001, Eleni worked as an accountant for a few years. After her first son was born Eleni found herself at home with a lot of time to recreate the kind of dishes she enjoyed growing up in Ethiopia. Which brought the idea of sharing those dishes to others, and resulted in establishing her Ethiopian food business – Eleni’s Kitchen. Eleni’s kitchen has been catering traditional Ethiopian food in Portland, OR for the last eight year. Eleni has also been hosting Ethiopian food cooking classes for the last four years. Learn more about Eleni’s Ethiopian Kitchen

Winter

Date TBD | Ramon Shilo | 

To honor Native identities through Native American cuisine; Shiloh takes a humanitarian approach to looking at the cultural centrality of food in Native communities as a way to help strengthen us spiritually and emotionally after a tumultuous year of environmental, political, and racial divides.

Shiloh (Creek, Cherokee, Filipino, African) is an award-winning author & illustrator of several books.  In 2018 Shiloh was invited to host a Chef’s Table at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of  The American Indian in Washington DC.  

Shiloh focuses many of his efforts supporting Indigenous children.  He uses his knowledge of food, art, and culture to help Native youth develop a love for cooking that connects them both to good health and their histories in our ever-changing world.

More info

Pick up and Delivery of Baskets

Pickup and delivery options will be available for each Chef In Your Garden date. Pickups will be at each Chef’s restaurant, and delivery will be limited to the city of Portland.

All guests who choose the pickup option will receive a special bonus item in their basket as well as helping us focus our volunteer resources on participants who have limited mobility or are high risk for COVID.

Wine

Stay tuned for more information about wines

Meet our dinner sponsors

Interested in being a series dinner sponsor?

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