Join us for
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.
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.
Monday, April 12th | Carlo Lamagna, Dante Fernandez, Roberto Almodovar | Magna
The Wild Rice Collective was founded on the love of food and the celebration of culture and heritage. Carlo, Roberto, and Dante have many years of cooking under their belt and over 5 years cooking together. Their cumulative backgrounds span over many different cultures including Filipino, Puerto Rican, Native American, and African American. This blend is reflected in their cooking, always exploring new flavors and dishes, drawing inspiration from their global outlook, constantly evolving, and pushing the boundaries. You can find them cooking modern Filipino cuisine at Magna Kusina as well as Island-inspired bar food at Magna Kantina at the Bit House Collective.
Tuesday, May 11th | Diane Lam | Prey + 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!
This event is sponsored by Garden Fever, a locally-owned plant shop in NE Portland.
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.
MONDAY, JULY 26th | ALEX SAW | RANGOON BISTRO
Saw Alex is the chef and co-owner of Rangoon Bistro, a takeaway restaurant focusing on Burmese cuisine. Alex was born in Rangoon, Burma (now Yangon, Myanmar) and has cooked professionally throughout Southeast Asia and in Italy. Alex moved to Portland Oregon in 2010 after being granted political asylum by the United States. At Rangoon Bistro, Alex focuses on using farm-fresh produce and ethically-raised meat to showcase the Burmese dishes from his childhood. Alex is passionate about food, politics, and his favorite football club, Arsenal.
Thursday, August 12th | Amalia Sierra | Tierra del Sol
*Note: date has changed from August 6th to the 12th*
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!
Sunday, September 5th | Jane Hashimawari | Ippai
*Note: date has changed from September 6th to the 5th*
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
“Food is my love language.
My greatest relationships and bonds have been forged with an abundance of food fostered with love and care. Feasting together, sharing laughs and stories is how we all made deeper and more meaningful connections with each other.
That is especially true with my daughter, Kinsley. My fondest memories from her early childhood are in our backyard when we would pick all the ripe vegetables from the garden beds. We grew cucumbers, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, herbs, and so much more. Each time, I would ask her if she wanted to taste something;
‘Kinsley, mama dút’: mama will feed you. And with every spoonful there was love, compassion, and open-mindedness.
My journey to vegetarianism was challenging, yet rewarding in so many ways. 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 Vietnamese vegan dishes that I hope will bring people together over a delicious meal while saving animals. I welcome all who are curious, or defiant, or courageous.
Mama dút; mama will feed you. “
Saturday, October 9th | Eleni Woldeyes | Eleni’s 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 Kitchen.
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.
Stay tuned for more information about wines