Willamette Valley Vineyards has hired award-winning 11-year restaurant industry veteran, Cory Rom, as its new Tasting Room & Restaurant Chef. In this position, Rom will help lead the vineyards’ efforts in the culinary program and operations of its new locations opening soon in Lake Oswego, Vancouver, Happy Valley and Bend. He resides in Portland, OR.
Most recently, Rom operated Cascade Fare in Southwest Portland. He described it as a very small restaurant with 25 seats and it served locally sourced seasonal cuisine featuring handmade pasta and gnocchi as well as what Rom called a ‘produce-driven’ menu; much of products purchased from local small farms. He said the list of Oregon and Washington state producers included Stoneboat Farm, Bee Local Honey, Jacobsen Salt, Briar Rose Creamery and Cascadia Creamery.
“My goals with the tasting rooms and restaurants are the same as my goals with Cascade Fare,” he noted. “I want to create a culinary program that supports local farmers and producers, using sustainable sourced products from the Pacific Northwest. The menu will be very seasonal and produce focused.”
Rom, a graduate of Western Culinary Institute, is also known for his work with James Beard winners Greg and Gabi Denton at the celebrated Latin American steakhouse, Ox, and as the Executive Chef for the Dossier Hotel. While working with the Dentons at Ox, in addition to James Beard, they won “Best Restaurant of the Year” from the Oregonian in 2013; Portland Monthly’s “Best Restaurant” in 2012 and 2013; Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs” award in 2014; Bon Appetit’s “Best New Restaurants,” as well as other awards and mentions from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and others.