Chef Cathy Whims of Nostrana to speak at the 2011 Sun Valley Harvest Festival

Chef Cathy Whims has built quite a following in the Portland area, receiving much critical acclaim and recognition for her latest culinary adventure, the opening of Nostrana, an Italian roadhouse restaurant. Named Oregon’s Restaurant of the Year twice since it’s opening, Nostrana has become known for Cathy’s historically-based, authentic dishes that are classically Italian yet inventive, seasonal, and reflective of flavors found in the Northwest.

The menu at Nostrana reflects Cathy’s love of traditional Italian cuisine. On frequent trips to Italy, Cathy spends time in family kitchens and restaurants in order to better understand the roots of traditional Italian cuisine. Cathy then brings this authenticity back to Nostrana to create a menu of simple dishes with few ingredients yet complex flavors. However, to create these Italian flavors Cathy sources only from farmers and vendors in the Northwest. A strong belief in sustainable cuisine and using local ingredients has therefore influenced the menu at Nostrana and given the classic Italian dishes a Northwestern flair. Blending a love of Italian cuisine and a strong eco-consciousness, Cathy has created a uniquely local, international restaurant.

As a member of the Board of Advisors for Slow Food Portland, Cathy has also brought the Slow Food Movement to Nostrana. The Slow Food Movement encourages the pure enjoyment of food and its natural flavors. To truly enhance dishes served at Nostrana, Cathy insists upon using a wood burning oven and grill to create uniquely complex, smokey flavors. Cathy believes when food is stripped down and dishes are ingredient driven, the flavors of fresh, local ingredients cooked in a wood-burning stove can truly shine.

Cathy will bring her love of Italian culinary tradition, as well as her enthusiasm for the food and wine options of the Northwest, to the 2011 Sun Valley Harvest Festival. Come prepared to experience Italian cuisine in an entirely new way!

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