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Growing Gardens’ 2023 Chef in Your Garden Series Ties in Family-Style Dinners With Volunteer Days

Plus, the OLCC considers a surcharge increase on spirits, and more news to know

A chef with purple hair and a pink apron rolls out dough.
Chef Thuy Pham
Sara K Beasley

Portland-based nonprofit Growing Gardens, which focuses on bringing equal access to healthy food to communities across Oregon, is reprising its annual fundraising dinner series Chef In Your Garden. This year, the series’ three dinners include optional volunteer days where guests can learn more about Growing Gardens’ work through direct participation with the nonprofit’s program directors.

For each family-style dinner, partner chefs will bring focus toward one of Growing Gardens’ community programs. On June 25, chef Shelly of Finer Things will put a Caribbean twist on Northwest cuisine, highlighting the home gardens program, which provides garden education and resources for underserved Portland residents. Tito’s Taquitos will bring attention to the youth grow school garden program with hand-rolled taquitos on August 13. Wrapping up the series on October 8, Thuy Pham of Mama Dút will use her vegan Vietnamese cuisine to spotlight the lettuce grow program, which provides support and horticultural education to inmates in Oregon correctional facilities. Tickets for all three dinners will take place at Mildred Hall and are available now.

Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission considers a spirits surcharge increase

Since 2009, the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission (OLCC) has levied a 50 cent surcharge per bottle of distilled spirits; the revenue from the surcharge goes to the state’s general fund. Now, the OLCC is considering raising the surcharge to one dollar per bottle—the additional funds are projected to generate an additional $45.2 billion between 2023-2025. Yesterday, the OLCC heard testimony from the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, which opposes the proposal and claims that Oregon has the highest markup on spirits among states that have monopolies over alcoholic beverage sales. Additional public comment will be heard at the OLCC’s next meeting on June 15, when the commission is also expected to vote on the matter.

Woodlark Hotel’s restaurants begin new services

Holler Hospitality, the restaurant group behind the Woodlark Hotel’s restaurant and bar, has introduced two new services. In the hotel lobby, a new wine bar menu is being offered from Wednesday through Saturday, 4 to 9 p.m. — the menu includes European and Oregon wines, sherry flights, and small plates like charred allium creme fraiche with crackers and caviar, Spanish tortilla pintxo, and tinned fish with baguette and salted butter. Starting Monday, May 22, Abigail Hall will serve a daily European-style breakfast buffet with house-made pastries by pastry chef Danielle Bailey, quiche, overnight oats, and more, plus add-on breakfast cocktails and sparkling wines.

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