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COOS BAY, OR — Experience an evening of culinary excellence and exquisite wines as the Oregon Coast Culinary Institute and Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation present the 2024 Winemakers’ Dinner on Saturday, May 4.

OCCI chefs present at the winemakers dinner

OCCI chefs present at the winemakers dinner.

The Winemakers’ Dinner immerses guests in an evening of conversation and storytelling with premier Oregon winery Willamette Valley Vineyards. Scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m., at OCCI, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay, the menu will pair six wines with the fine cuisine of award-winning OCCI Executive Chef Randy Torres and his student chefs. This multi-course meal will feature carefully crafted food and wine pairings that highlight the unique and complimentary attributes of spectacular Northwest cuisine.

Sit down among friends and listen as the storytelling starts relating the tale of Willamette Vineyards’ creator Jim Bernau’s dream to develop an old orchard overcome with blackberry vines into a world class winery known for producing the finest Pinot Noirs. The conversation will touch on propagation, terroir and the art of fermentation. Today, Willamette Valley Vineyards grows grapes in five regions and has assembled a team of winemakers who bring experiences from throughout the West Coast wine industry to create a wide array of award-winning wines.

The event is a collaborative fundraiser to showcase the skills of the college’s Culinary Competition Team and assist the college’s culinary program with investing in equipment. Having participated in the World Culinary Olympics this year, Chef Torres and his student chefs will talk about their experiences and their creative thoughts in creating the menu.

OCCI executive chef Randy Torres demonstrates plating to student chefs, prepping for the winemaker dinner.

OCCI executive chef Randy Torres demonstrates plating to student chefs.

“It’s important to know that we invest 100% of the funds raised from tickets to this event directly into top-quality equipment for our kitchens,” said Chef Torres. “Likewise, being able to hire the finest chef instructors and inspire excellence in our students is a direct result of the college and community’s commitment to our students.”

Tickets for this fundraising event are $190 per person. Seating is limited.  “We are grateful for this support and ultimately being able to support the local economy and provide excellent chefs for the tourism and culinary industries,” Torres said.

For more information or to purchase seats, please contact the Southwestern Foundation at (541) 888-7209, email foundation@socc.edu. or go to www.socc.edu/give.

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