Walla Walla to bristle with food, wine during Beard weekend


It’s an event to be savored for foodies.

The Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center will host a weekend of culinary creations during the inaugural Friends of James Beard Weekend on Friday and Saturday.

Walla Walla’s bounty — from produce and meat to wine — will be the centerpiece of the dishes served throughout the weekend.

The event was created as a fundraiser for scholarships for Walla Walla Community College students. Consequently, that’s where it will kick off Friday with tours of the Wine Country Culinary Institute and Center for Enology and Viticulture. The educational tour will include a lunch and wine tasting hosted by Chef Dan Thiessen and winemaker and College Cellars instructor Tim Donahue.

After that guests will move on to the premier event at the Marcus Whitman, where a wine reception and hors d’oeuvres will open a six-course dinner by James Beard-recognized chef Antonio Campolio. He’ll be joined by Thiessen and chef Michael Kline of Walla Walla Bread Co. The meal will be paired with wines from L’Ecole No 41, Leonetti Cellar, TERO Estates, Three Rivers Winery, Walla Walla Vintners and Woodward Canyon Winery.

A family-style lunch will follow Saturday with wine tasting and a tour at Three Rivers Winery.

The Marc and Vineyard Lounge partners with Three Rivers on a culinary garden that provides house-grown produce. Guests can tour the garden with Campolio and with Three Rivers assistant winemaker Andy Slusarenko. Other wineries participating in the luncheon include College Cellars, Flying Trout Wines, Long Shadows Vintners, Tranche Cellars, Rotie Cellars and Waters Winery.

The cost for all three events is $150 per person for James Beard members; $175 for nonmembers. A la carte events are $40 each for the luncheons and $125 for the James Beard Benefit Dinner. Reservations are required. For more details call 524-5139.

Vicki Hillhouse can be reached at 509-526-8321, vickihillhouse@wwub.com or on Twitter.


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