Winemaker Dinner at the Silcox Hut

Timberline Lodge as seen from the chairlift

This past Thursday night I had the extraordinary opportunity to co-host a winemaker dinner in Oregon’s highest elevation dining room: the historic Silcox Hut, located at 7,000 feet of elevation on Mount Hood. Chef Jason Stoller-Smith who is now the executive chef for the Timberline Lodge put on an amazing meal for myself and 24 hungry guests.

I(and many of you) have known Jason for many years as the executive chef for the Dundee Bistro in Dundee. There he fed thousands of hungry wine tourists and winemakers with delicious Bistro fare. Now he feeds millions of people per year as the head chef for Timberline’s six different restaurants, including the Mount Hood Brewing Company and the numerous catering companies associated with his company. He couldn’t be happier taking on this enormous new job and it shows, his food was exquisite, well-crafted and presented and reflecting great diverstiy in both background, technique and flavors.

The Silcox Hut was constructed as part of the American Works Project in 1939, two years after the Historic Timberline Lodge was constructed (under the same program.) It resembles a viking lodge, held together with large timbers, iron and rock. There is a formidable fireplace inside that warms the main dining hall and it comfortably sleeps up to 24 people. Many people reserve this building as a base camp to sart their ascent of the mountain in the summertime. But you can also reserve it for family reunions, Company retreats or just for an extravagant sleep-over. The view from the top is breathtaking!

You can stay at Timberline Lodge and join one of these dinners by reservation. You will be taken up and down from the Silcox Hut by snowcat, so no skiing skills required. Definitely worth the trip, I recommend it highly.

Here’s what we ate and drank:

The February 24th 2011 Menu:

Welcome Reception: (paired with 2009 Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay)

Kushi Oysters on the halfshell with green apple mignonette and Sturgeon caviar

Pasta Course: (paired with 2008 Bergstrom Sigrid Chardonnay)

Tonnarelli Carbonara with smoked pork neck; parsnip veloute, black trumpet mushrooms, bacon-wrapped Foie Gras, Pecorino Fiore Sardo.

Main Course: (paired with 2009 Bergstrom “Temperance Hill” and 2009 Bergstrom “Shea Vineyard” Pinot Noirs.)

Duck Fat Fried Duck Karaage with Fingerling Potatoes, Kabocha Squash, Sweet Onion and Dijon Crème fraiche.

Salad Course: (paired with 2008 Bergstrom “The Bergstrom Vineyard” Pinot Noir)

Porchetta Tonnato: a chilled sous-vide of Pork with Albacore Tuna Aioli, Frisee, Lemon and a Black Truffle vinaigrette.

Cheese Course: (paired with 2006 Bergstrom “The Bergstrom Vineyard” Pinot Noir and 2006 Bergstrom “The de Lancellotti Vineyard” Pinot Noir.)

Il Boschetto with Foie Gras Stuffed Figs and a Gelee of Rootbeer and Black Pepper

Thanks Jason!

The Silcox Hut perched high atop Mount Hood's Southern Flank

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