Do You Dream Of Becoming a Chef, Vintner, Fisherman, Or…?

Bendistillery's vodka infusion. (Photo courtesy of Greg Robeson)

Then, you might just get a boost to help that dream come true.

The Oregon Travel Commission is hosting a contest to give away seven “cuisinternships” (that’s culinary internships to those in the know). Yes, seven winners will be selected to spend one all-expense-paid week shadowing an expert in his or her preferred culinary craft. The internships up for grabs are:

  • Artisan Food Producer: Become a culinary artisan in Southern Oregon with chocolatier Jeff Shepherd of Lillie Belle Farms and cheese maker David Gremmels of Rogue Creamery.
  • Brew Master: Turn hops and grains into craft beer with brew master Jamie Emmerson of Hood River ‘s Full Sail Brewery.
  • Chef: Immerse yourself in Portland ‘s dynamic food scene working alongside Chef Gabe Rucker — one of Portland ‘s culinary provocateurs — learning how to turn out inventive, gourmet meals that delight diners at the award-winning Le Pigeon restaurant.
  • Rancher: Saddle up and herd cattle while learning sustainable ranching on two of Eastern Oregon ‘s Country Natural Beef ranches with the Pickard and Boyer families, who have been in the business for generations.
  • Fisherman: Head out to sea with charter boat skipper Lars Robison of Dockside Charters and learn the fine art of catching the Oregon Coast ‘s prized wild salmon and rockfish.
  • Winemaker: Walk the Willamette Valley vineyards of Penner-Ash Wine Cellars with renowned vintner Lynn Penner-Ash, learning the hands-on techniques involved in vineyard designate wine-making.
  • Distiller: Get an advanced degree in mixology and learn about Oregon ‘s booming craft spirits industry with distiller Jim Bendis of Central Oregon ‘s Bendistillery.

Lillie Belle Farms chocolates. (Photo courtesy of Greg Robeson)

To enter, submit a short video, along with a maximum 140-word explanation, of why you are the best candidate for whichever internship you choose. Entries will be accepted through Sept. 18. Winners will be announced Sept. 28.

Yours truly is fortunate to be one of the judges for the contest. Sorry, I don’t take bribes, and can’t reveal which category I’ll be judging. But as someone who has visited Oregon several times, I will say that you’ll be enthralled by this lush, green state that has some of the best berries and Pinot Noirs I’ve had the pleasure of indulging in. Good luck to all who enter!

Oregon hops ready to be used in beer-making. (Photo courtesy of Greg Robeson)

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