We tried something new for us the other day, at the persuading of our good friend Ben Stenn, chef and co-owner of Celilo restaurant here in Hood River. Ben was looking for a change of pace, a chance to strut his stuff in a different venue and for somewhat of a different crowd. So we rented a grill and some tables, got the word out and threw a little shindig.
Ben was a one-man show, starting with some great homemade “snacks on toast” starring some of his own homemade sausage and pate. He then got it on with some amazing cedar-plank salmon, prepared as only you can do outside — in a giant ball of fire and smoke. (See photos.) It was a simple dish, executed perfectly…a beautiful orange-scented marinade, basil chiffonade, olive oil and a heaping pile of sweet onions to insulate the filets from the hellfire. Transcendent.
Not to be outdone, Ben then served some unbelievable lamb with a deep, morel-infused sauce. It also included Terrible Two, our bourbon-barrel-aged brown ale, which we poured alongside. We finished up with some Black Irish Stout floats, replete with decadent Celilo ice cream.
We’re pretty enamored with the idea of inviting guest chefs in to help us throw down for our faithful fans. Keep your eyes peeled for more events like this from us in the near future, with other chefs from around the area. Special thanks again to Ben — make sure you go check out his great work every day over at Celilo.