Last week, Wonderful Pistachios hosted a dinner at Elder Hall featuring the pistachio-inspired creations of Chef Jason French. The Pop of Wonderful evening brought together a variety of creatives from around Portland and kicked off with cocktails made with Jamaican rum, pistachio syrup, and orange bitters with a sugared pistachio rim. I was able to toast the evening with some of my favorite food ladies around Portland.
The dinner was the first of two popup dinners sponsored by the brand with the second dinner taking place in New York. I was happy to welcome the Wonderful Pistachio team back to Portland, after working with them in the spring, where they were able to witness the city's expansive popup culture. It was great to see the Pop of Wonderful dinner come to life, two long tables filled with people in the center of Elder Hall. Candlelight bounced off the walls and gorgeous centerpieces with pistachio-filled vases lined the tables.
Chef French created a menu inspired by Central Asian cuisine, the area where pistachio trees originated. The menu included:
Spiced carrot soup with pistachio relish
Chilled soba noodle salad, sweet chili pistachios, cucumber and daikon radish
Cacao and chili mole, pistachio-crusted cod, spaghetti squash, queso fresco and lime crema
Coffee-crusted beef short ribs, celery root, pistachio crumble
Vanilla bean and pistachio crème caramel, brown butter sablée
One of my favorite things about pistachios is the fantastic crunch, a variation in texture that contrasted well with the whole menu. Now that The Wonderful Co. offers bags of shelled pistachios, it is so much easier to integrate pistachios into everyday cooking. To celebrate the holidays, I've partnered with Wonderful Pistachios to create a holiday dinner centered around recipes with a healthy pistachio twist. Stay tuned next week for the recipes!