I’m a fairly seasoned culinary aficionado, so when I go out to eat I can be quite critical. I often pay close attention to the detail of the dining experience…from the ingredients used, to how the meal is prepared and plated to the atmosphere of the establishment. Food is the very essence of life and while it is used for sustenance, if grown and prepared properly, food can be an engaging artistic experience.
I get extremely excited about food and have such an appreciation for those who can create memorable experiences with it. While I was in Cannon Beach, Oregon I was fortunate to have enjoyed a truly unique dining experience at the EVOO Cooking School (EVOO stands for extra virgin olive oil, a key ingredient here). EVOO is not just a “cooking school,” but rather a place to experience culinary delight. In addition to more formal cooking classes, EVOO puts on a “Dinner Show” five nights a week for intimate groups of 20 or so (Note: book early as it can be tough to get a reservation during peak times). The dinner show at EVOO is really something not to be missed…it combines a spectacular four-course meal paired perfectly with local wines, entertainment and culinary tips—all in a dinner party-like atmosphere.
Bob and Lenora Neroni are the proprietors/chefs of EVOO…the passion and excitement they exude in their cooking and presentation are simply contagious. They masterfully combined flavors and local ingredients into a whirlwind of palate-exciting delight. The atmosphere will make you feel like you’re on the set of a cooking show with all your friends. It is without a doubt an evening you and your taste buds will not soon forget. Let me give you an idea of what I’m talking about…the menu for the evening I was at EVOO included:
- Crab cakes with salad of avocado, cucumber, mango, mustard micro salad and radish slow, this was paired with HIP 2008 Chardonnay.
- Next up was Brined pan-seared duck with French cassolulet beans with tarragon and spicy pumpkin sauce. This was paired with a L’Ecole #41 Recess Red 2008.
- The final entree included an Andalusian beef tenderloin with chive & bacon duchessee potatoes along with a brussel sprout & cauliflower in mustard caper sauce. This dish was paired with a 2006 Highway 12 Syrah.
- Finally, for dessert we had an apple-date tart with allspice sugar topping, accompanied by frozen vanilla cream custard and coca nib brittle. This was enjoyed by a cup of decaf Caffe Umbria coffee, which too was outstanding.
Our bodies perform best when nourishing them with lots of fresh, non-processed foods. The ingredients at EVOO are largely local, organic and in-season and this is all part of the educational experience, whether you’re taking one of the cooking classes or enjoying the dinner show at EVOO.
In addition to cooking classes and the dinner show, EVOO also has a retail component where they sell premium cooking utensils, local wines and other accoutrements. If that wasn’t enough, they also offer catering…for more information and for class schedules, visit: www.evoo.biz or call: 503-436-8555.
Cannon Beach, OR is the perfect setting for EVOO, so if you go and need a place to stay, check out The Ocean Lodge just down the street. Or, check out the following links for other nearby lodging: B&B’s in Seaside, Oregon.