Synonymous with fine dining and craft spirits, it's no surprise that Bend is home to Central Oregon's largest food festival, the Bite of Bend, which runs June 17-19. This well-attended community event attracts foodies for three days of feasting and playing, featuring 40 food vendors, a bartender brawl, a beer run for the grown-ups, and a root beer run for the kids.
Lucky for locals, the culinary fun continues after the Bite of Bend festival draws to a close. Bite Week begins on June 20, giving food enthusiasts and cooks of all calibers the opportunity to experience and learn alongside some of the region's most renowned chefs and purveyors.
Bite Week features four days of cooking classes, chef demos, and pairing dinners, giving attendees ample opportunities to indulge their taste buds and enhance their cooking skills. Karin Roy, the creative and vendor director for Lay It Out Events, sees Bite Week as a unique platform for local chefs and individuals developing food products: "It gives them the opportunity to share new and illuminating information about the local food culture and scene in a fresh, hands-on way."
Bite Week dinner highlights include:
Worthy Brewing's Island Pig Roast: Perfectly representing the area's beer culture, Worthy Brewing partners with Proletariat Butchery for a traditional island pig roast. Prepared by Executive Chef Jon Sliger, the dinner features four courses with Worthy beer pairings. // 495 Bellevue Dr., Bend, www.worthybrewing.com. Barrio's A Taste of Tucson: Steven Draheim, chef and owner of People's Choice favorite Barrio, has created a four-course meal and custom cocktail pairings, all inspired by the southwestern desert. // 915 Wall St., Bend, www.barriobend.com.
The Root Cellar's Road Trip to a Midsummer Feast: Starting at Dudley's Bookshop and ending at Ranch at the Canyons, guests enjoy a scenic drive, world-class wines curated by the Good Drop Wine Shoppe, and handmade dishes designed to take patrons on a journey to the Mediterranean. // 515 Dekalb Ave., Bend, www.therootcellarbend.com.
Bite Week's notable class lineup includes cheese and cocktail making, a fermentation class, handmade Ramen noodle and dumpling lessons, and a wine-tasting workshop. "These are the only four days out of the year that opportunities like these are accessible," says Roy. "The experience is ephemeral. If you have an interest or passion for the food and cocktail culture, give yourself over to it."
Sign up at www.biteofbend.com
Chef's Dinners $55 to $99
Classes $10 to $20
Demos $5 to $15