La Ruta PDX Presents
Analemma Winemaker’s Dinner
Saturday, June 15
PLAZA DEL TORO. 105 SE Taylor
Doors 6:30pm. Dinner 7pm
PLAZA DEL TORO chef Michael Kessler teams up with Analemma winemakers Kris Fade and Steven Thompson for a 6-course “Spain Meets NW” dinner complete with wine pairings for each course. Chef Kessler will build his menu paired to three Spanish varietals that Analemma exclusively grows on the Oregon side of the Columbia river gorge and three traditional Pacific Northwest wines, all grown using Analemma’s organic practices, minimal intervention and native ferments. DJ Jimbo will spin a playlist vibing on Spain and the Pacific Northwest. Presented by La Ruta PDX.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Street Roots, a nonprofit creating income opportunities for people experiencing homelessness and poverty by producing a newspaper and other media that are catalysts for individual and social change.
Founded by Steven Thompson and Kris Fade in 2010, Analemma Wines was built upon the opportunity to lease one of the oldest vineyards in the Pacific Northwest: The Atavus Vineyard. With just twelve acres of history and a vision, the two set out to breathe life back into the old vines, ferment rare fruit and bottle a truly unique vinous expression of the Columbia Gorge.
The years to follow led them to the Mosier Hills, the home and heart of Analemma. Here with their team they find a deep sense of purpose by creating wines of time and place through a commitment to stewardship and community. Kris and Steven continue to be inspired by the wholistic practices of other model producers, Galician wines, and the discovery of each new day.
Street Roots creates income opportunities for individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty by producing a newspaper and other media that are catalysts for change. They work with 170 vendors who circulate nearly 10,000 copies of their award-winning newspaper every week.
For the past 20 years, Street Roots has operated with the hand-up, not hand-out mentality. As such, their vendors are all small business owners who purchase each paper for a quarter and sell it for a $1.00, keeping the profits. In 2018, they worked with nearly 700 vendors and Portlanders put more than $500,000 in their pockets. Street Roots is a micro-economy that works.
In addition to working with their vendors and printing the weekly newspaper, Street Roots also prints the Rose City Resource, the most comprehensive list of services available to folks experiencing homelessness and poverty in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties. Over 200,000 copies of the resource guide are printed bi-annually and distributed by more than 500 partner agencies around the metro region.
Street Roots also advocates making housing more of a reality for everyone in our community, and against criminalizing our homeless neighbors. They were instrumental in helping pass two affordable housing measures in the most recent election cycle, and have been the drivers behind The Portland Street Response, their proposal to create a compassionate, non-police response to mental health and other crises on the streets.
At the forefront of Street Roots’ work is changing the way housed people see and perceive houseless folks. There is power in the interaction between a vendor and a customer to shift hearts and minds, and re-center conversations about homelessness with an emphasis on our intrinsic rights to human worth and dignity.
Chef de Cuisine
PLAZA DEL TORO
Michael began his culinary career volunteering part-time at a sushi bar on the weekends until he was good enough to accept the lofty title of “Sushi Apprentice” for $7 an hour and eventually became the head sushi chef at Aubergine in San Diego.
After 15 years of sushi in the San Diego area, he left California for culinary school in Las Vegas, where he started working for his first Michelin-starred restaurant, the acclaimed Andre’s French Restaurant. From Andre’s he worked at Koi in Planet Hollywood, RM Seafood in Mandalay Bay, and opened Bar Masa in Las Vegas, which soon moved him to the 3 Michelin-starred Masa in New York. Michael went on to work for April Bloomfield, David Burke, and was a sous chef for Masaharu Morimoto.
Kessler traveled to Portland with his wife for a two week visit in 2011 and never left. Michael says: “I’ve been looking for this job and this place for a long time. Found the right boss. The right job. The right city. Everything has just kind of come together in a perfect sequence of events.”
In his spare time, Michael enjoys cycling, going to the gym, and preparing for the zombie apocalypse at Washington Park Archery Range.