Seasoned Pacific Northwest travel writer & food educator focusing on coastal culture, foodways (esp. fisheries & agriculture), destinations in the West. Ph.D, recipe developer, columnist, radio host.
Nothing beats freshly caught seafood on the Oregon coast, but without knowing which restaurants support local fishermen and farmers, diners may be surprised that dinner has traveled farther than they have. This guide highlights 15 quirky restaurants along coastal Highway 101 from Astoria to Brookings — from fine dining to little hut — that stand out for culinary chops, Oregon Coast seafood, great views, and inventive, award-winning chefs.
Join host and producer Jennifer Burns Bright for a new Coast Community Radio food show: A Fine Kettle of Fish, all about seafood in the Lower Columbia region. On April 29, 2019, she interviewed fisherman Rob Seitz, owner of South Bay Wild Fish House in Astoria, about petrale sole. Seitz is also a fisher poet and performs at the annual Fisher Poets Gathering in Astoria each February.
The Olympia oyster boasts a flavor so intriguingly odd, so unlike other oysters, it has aficionados searching for words. Chef Maylin Chavez, who owns Olympia Oyster Bar in Portland, Oregon, calls it "sweet like a carrot," but also "savory like a shiitake or chicken bouillon" and, most quirkily, "sneaky like a radish."
Feature spread on Oregon's wild and scenic South Coast.
Weekender feature on Vancouver, Washington.
How-to canning basics for progressive farm families in a venerable farm publication, with tips from my Master Food Preserver training.
The four farmers who make up Eugene’s Ant Farm Collective grow staple crops and produce, selling them to local markets and restaurants as part of a burgeoning “new farmers movement” that is using small-scale, sustainable farming to revitalize local food systems. But unlike other beginning farmers who rent or borrow money to buy land, Shelley Bowerman, BA ’09, and her partners rely on shares or work exchanges arranged with landholders.
The “Collective” part of the Ant Farm, in other words, ref...
Sand artist Denny Dyke draws crowds to Face Rock State Scenic Viewpoint in Bandon, Oregon, with labyrinths raked onto the beach. He estimates that 5,500 people walked the 65 spiral works he and his Circles in the Sand team created in 2016.
The ocean's mysteries are largely uncharted. We do know many of its creatures are delicious. Yet the unknowns can multiply (or bioaccumulate), when something edible makes the trip from sea to plate. Jennifer Burns Bright is a food writer who explores these issues, and our collective taste for the deep and briny.
Stroll along waterfront trails, dig razor clams, and peek into Oregon's history at the mouth of the Columbia River. Astoria’s lesser-known neighbor makes a perfect home base for watching ships enter the Columbia River, dipping into history, and exploring the wonders of the state’s northwestern tip.
Weekender for Portland, Oregon: the places frequent travelers visit again and again.
[My new Oregon Humanities community discussion series.] Are we as self-sufficient as we can be? As we should be? What are the pleasures and pitfalls of doing it yourself? This conversation investigates why we strive to be makers and doers in a world that provides more conveniences than ever before. How might the “new industrial revolution” of tinkerers and crafters affect American schools and workplaces? How do maker spaces or skills courses foster greater engagement and involvement?