Portland Connects With France Via Auction, Fine Wines
By Melissa Broussard
(Portland, Oregon) - When the first cases of Beaujolais Nouveau arrive in Portland, the Heathman Restaurant will be at the top of the list. For the past eight years, the Heathman has partnered with the French American Chamber of Commerce and the Alliance Française de Portland to celebrate the first wine of the French harvest season. At midnight on the third Thursday of November, bars, restaurants, bistros and pubs around the world receive shipments of the 2009 vintage fresh from the vineyards.
Then, from November 4 to 15, a special online auction will be held in conjunction with this celebration, where Portlanders can bid on a variety of vacation opportunities in France.
“The annual custom of celebrating the new vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau has become a popular event in our community,” says Philippe Boulot, culinary director of the Heathman and native of Normandy, France. “Portland’s celebration has become one of the largest in the Pacific NW and the entire country.”
The “New Beaujolais” will arrive for the 8th annual Beaujolais Nouveau Fête and Wine Auction on Friday, November 20, 2009 at 6 p.m. Philippe Boulot of the Heathman will welcome the 2009 vintage of Beaujolais Nouveau from Georges Duboeuf, Joseph Drouhin, and Terres Dorées, along with additional tastings from several major Oregon wineries including Amity Vineyards and WillaKenzie Estate. Chef Boulot and his culinary team will feature a grand buffet including a roasted pig, seafood, charcuterie, cheese and dessert.
Advance tickets are $65(General) and $75 (Patron) per person and $100 if purchased the evening of the event, with proceeds benefiting the nonprofit missions of the FACC and the Alliance Française de Portland. For tickets, please call 503-223-8388 or purchase tickets online at www.afportland.org. Event guests will also enjoy live music and a silent auction featuring wine and premium packages such as a holiday on the French Riviera and apartments in Paris. Russ Lewis, anchor at KGW TV will be the master of ceremonies and special guests include representatives of the French Consulate.
The Beaujolais Nouveau menu will include dishes such as a puff pastry grilled duck breast, salmon tartare on a crispy wonton, escargot, oysters on the half shell, marinated olives and cornichons, roasted pig and various desserts, among numerous other items.
The on-line auction open to the public from November 4 to November 15, 2009. Proceeds from the online auction, as well as the Beaujolais Nouveau Fête will benefit the French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC) and the Alliance Française de Portland. Starting November 4th, log onto www.afportland1.cmarket.com and place your bids on items with a French twist. Bid at your leisure on Paris apartments, private beach homes, restaurant certificates and one-of-a-kind adventures.
Created in 1986, the FACC is a non-profit organization that seeks to contribute to the development and improvement of economic, commercial and financial relations between France and the United States. The FACC is also a networking group that helps its members develop business contacts by sponsoring social and business functions, like the annual Beaujolais Nouveau Fête.
The Alliance Française de Portland is a nonprofit organization that promotes cross-cultural understanding through French language classes and events that celebrate French language and culture, such as the Bastille Day celebration that draws thousands of visitors each year. The group is the 12th largest Alliance in the U.S. and is part of the worldwide Alliance which today has 1300 chapters in 130 countries.
Heathman Restaurant and Bar. 503-790-7752 or visit www.heathmanrestaurantandbar.com. The Heathman Restaurant is located in the historic Heathman Hotel at 1001 SW Broadway in downtown Portland’s cultural district.