Drum Roll Please…

Cork & Barrel focuses on the time-honored relationship between wine & food over the span of three days of fundraising events. We aim to bring together wine + food + philanthropy at the private Winemaker Dinners on July 20; throughout A Sip of Cork & Barrel on July 21; and at the Grand Cru fundraising gala on July 22.

Wine and the culinary arts never stray far from our hearts during Cork & Barrel and we are ecstatic to announce our Guest Chef for the Grand Cru gala fundraising dinner on Saturday, July 22.

Drum Roll Please…

Armed with a veritable PhD of culinary experiences spanning across the globe, Chef John Eisenhart of Nel Centro restaurant in Portland is our partner in culinary crime at Cork & Barrel 2017. “Chef John”, as he prefers to be called, will be working in tandem with our Central Oregon based caterer, Tate & Tate, to create the menu for Saturday night. He and his team are also the culinary design behind an intimate evening with Woodward Canyon & Gramercy Cellars during one of four Winemaker Dinners held on July 20. This is the first time that Cork & Barrel has had a Guest Chef for the Grand Cru fundraising gala evening of events and we look forward to making Saturday evening sizzle with a menu that will be thoughtfully paired with 2017 partner winery wines. Nel Centro has impressed us with their professionalism and “joie de vivre”, thus far, and their collaborative spirit in working with Tate & Tate is outstanding – we very much look forward to the dining journey they have planned for Cork & Barrel 2017.


More about Chef John Eisenhart of Nel Centro

John Eisenhart enrolled in San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, and then graduated to the fabled kitchens of San Francisco’s Aqua and Masa’s, eventually moving to New York to work at La Grenouille. Having gained a notoriety of his own, John earned the coveted position of Sous Chef at Babbo and the chance to study at the clogs of Mario Batali. It was Batali who sent John on a year-long culinary tour through Italy, where he furthered his culinary training in Lucca, Venice and Alba. More importantly, John discovered that the slower pace of life in Italy was in his blood, and he would no longer be able to live in New York. Now with a strong resume and reputation, John chose Portland for his next home where he was drawn by the people, the pace and the fresh local produce of Oregon.

John served as the Executive Chef at Pazzo in 2003 and transferred his talents to Nel Centro in 2015 for esteemed chef and restaurateur David Machado, who has been a standing supporter of KIDS Center since its inception.