Dive into Oregon’s 150th birthday

29 Sep

In its own salute to Oregon’s sesquicentennial (OK, 150th birthday year), the Hood River Hotel has planned its annual historic dinner around a bounty of fresh Oregon ingredients.

Cod. Crab. Mushrooms. Beef. Pears. Greens and herbs and rich root crops, oh, my.

The reasons, in other words, that people migrated across the country to settle here. And left the factory chicken farms to Arkansas.

As its theme for the dinner on Friday, Oct. 23, the Hood River Hotel has chosen “Oregon: 150 Years … Keeping It Fresh, Keeping It Oregon.”

The dinner, in the hotel’s own historic Landmark Room, features music and decorations reminiscent of those in fashion during 1859, when Oregon became a state.

Hotel owner Brian Cunninghame, something of a history buff, will keynote the dinner with a salute to 150 years of Oregon history. A cocktail reception at 6 p.m. leads into the dinner at 6:30 p.m.

“We’ll talk about the twisted evolution of events that took place from 1792 when Robert Gray discovered the Columbia River and claimed it for the United States to 1859 when Congress and President James Buchanan formally created Oregon as the 33rd state,” Cunninghame says.

“With everything that went on, it is amazing that Oregon ever became a state, and that it has lasted in its present configuration for 150 years.”

To celebrate the bounty that is Oregon, Chef Mark Whitehead has crafted a five-course menu that includes dishes drawn from Forest, Ocean, Garden, Ranch and Orchard.

Such as? Try Wild Mushroom Potage; Pan Roasted Cod over Dungeness Crab Broth; a salad of arugula, shaved turnips, radishes, carrots, pickled onion, oregano, garlic and olive oil; Apple Cider-Braised Corned Beef; and Roasted Pear Strudel.

Dinner costs $25 a person,. To register, call 541-386-1900 or write general manager Cathy Butterfield.

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