Last night's conference dinner in Crescent City was catered by Chef Thomas Wortman of the Historic Requa Inn prepared from local ingredients sourced from the Yurok nation of Klamath. Chef Wortman is a member of the nation and promotes native foods in his signature style of cuisine. I and the rest of the Bay Area contingent were blown away by the freshness and bright, clean flavors of his cooking.
Our repast was arrayed as a buffet for the 60+ guests. The well-planned menu for readily serving a crowd included dishes that could be served room temperature, a braise prepared in advance, and a wild rice risotto prepared a la minute. It was easy for us to eat off paper plates with plastic forks and no other dinnerware.
Red and green cabbage slaw with thin slices of sweet salad turnips (aka Tokyo turnips) and scented with green garlic
Firm-textured roasted red beets in a light vinaigrette topped with crunchy dried seaweed and slivered almonds
Wild rice risotto with smoked lamprey eel and a blizzard of parmesan
Lightly smoked steelhead trout served with tender and dewy fresh assortment of brassicas
Juicy braise of grass fed beef and pastured pork with waxy fingerling potatoes
Vegetable quiche for the vegetarians (I did not taste it)
Chewy and fudgy chocolate brownies with a touch of salt
Labrador tea made from Rhododendron
Chef Wortman with his mother, the co-owner of the Inn
With this high quality of cooking for a crowd, I'd love to dine in the more intimate setting of the Inn some day. After this wonderful dinner, we watched a screening of "We Can't Eat Gold: A Documentary". The opportunity to taste Native American foods harvested from land and sea in the way of the chef's ancestors paired with the powerful presentation of the threats to indigenous culture and food sovereignty was the most moving dining experience of my lifetime.
Historic Requa Inn
451 Requa Road
Klamath, California, 95548, United States
707 482 1425