With the announcement of the 2014 James Beard Foundation award winners, including Portland’s own Naomi Pomoroy of Beast, the national media has been abuzz with the legendary chef and food writer’s name.

On May 17, Oregonians will have yet another reason to celebrate “America’s First Foodie:” a blow-out James Beard Dinner taking place in Gearhart, Oregon.

Beard was born and raised in Portland—and Gearhart, the coastal town where he frequently vacationed with his family, was always close to his heart. In his Delights and Prejudices, he even referred to the Oregon Coast as “a treasure house of good food." We're inclined to agree.

The Beard-inspired dinner, which will take place in the Livingston Room at McMenamins' Gearhart Hotel, will be attended by Beard students Irene Jue and Jerry Lamb, who plan to relay stories from their former teacher. Dinner guests will also be treated to the unveiling of the trailer for America’s First Foodie, a film currently in production by producer Beth Federici and writer Kathleen Squire. The film celebrates Beard’s life and accomplishments and features clips from interviews with Oregon’s own Gabriel Rucker, Cathy Whims, and Naomi Pomeroy—just to name a few.

Of course, no James Beard event would be complete without food and libations. Here’s a sneak peek at the evening’s menu: 

  • Passed hors d'oeuvres: Potato galette, house-cured gravlax, trout roe, crème fraiche, fines herbes; James Beard's sweet onion tea sandwich, brioche toast, lemon mayonnaise; Astoria bay shrimp toast, calabrian pepper aioli, oven-dried tomatoes; Fried egg & gruyere Panini, anchovy butter, arugula; Fior di latte, roasted radicchio, pesto, garlic bruschetta. Paired with: Edgefield Blanc de Noir
  • Chicken liver terrine with cornichon, stoneground mustard, crostini. Paired with: Edgefield Library Riesling 
  • Grilled oregon sardines with eggplant caviar, sweet & sour onions. Paired with: Edgefield 2013 Rebecca Vineyard Pinot Gris
  • Pacific clam chowder with brandy, hot pepper oil, Italian parsley. Paired with: Edgefield 2012 Chardonnay
  • Baked penn cove mussels with herb bread crumbs, capers, fennel. Paired with: Edgefield 2013 Umbrella Jimmy 
  • Columbia river sturgeon with Daube de boeuf, orange zest, niçoise olives, butter poached potatoes. Paired with: Edgefield 2011 Cuvee de l’Abri Rouge
  • Strawberry shortcake. Paired with: Glenlivet on the rocks 

The James Beard Dinner will take place at 6:30 pm in the Livingtston Room at the McMenamins Gearhart Hotel at 1157 N. Marion Ave, Gearhart, OR. Tickets are $95 per person and can be purchased here. Want to make an overnight trip out of it? Rooms are available at the Gearhart Hotel, a historic manor one block from the beach just north of Seaside. Cheers!

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