Great things are happening at Cascade Culinary Institute and Elevation!

Great things have been going on here at Cascade Culinary Institute.
We now have our own food truck.
This state of the art food truck will be used to teach our students how to build, license, and operate this type of foodservice business.
Be on the lookout for “Shirley Ray” this coming spring.
Also, Elevation- our student operated restaurant, has a new mixology lab.
Stop by to check out this shiny new classroom space that we will use to educate our students about mixology, wine sommelier, beer sommelier, and barista training.
Please stop by for a tour of our award winning culinary school and to get more information on how to enroll.

Elevation- fall 2015

Hi everyone!
here’s a look at our new fall menu.
The students are working hard, using the techniques they have learned in all of their culinary foundations courses to turn all of these great ingredients into a menu that everyone will love.
Please join us in our classroom- Elevation restaurant, for lunch or dinner.

Elevation Lunch- Fall 2015
New England clam chowder 6
Chilled iceberg lettuce wedge –candied apple wood smoked bacon, marinated tomatoes, blue cheese dressing 6
Late summer tomato salad- shaved fennel, aged sherry vinegar, olive oil, toasted fennel pollen 6
Smoked wild salmon cakes- ginger, grilled scallion-sesame aioli 8
Beef and barley soup- braised beef, carrots, mushrooms, duchesse potatoes 6
White bean and root vegetable cassoulet-sweet potatoes, russets, carrots, parsnips, and white beans in white wine cream sauce topped with parmesan bread crumbs 8
Curry chicken salad wrap-golden raisins, toasted almonds, greens, served with red lentil salad 8

Elevation Dinner- Fall 2015
New England clam chowder 6
Chilled iceberg lettuce wedge –candied apple wood smoked bacon, marinated tomatoes and blue cheese dressing 6
Late summer tomato salad- shaved fennel, aged sherry vinegar, olive oil, toasted fennel seeds 6
Smoked wild salmon cakes- ginger, grilled scallion-sesame aioli 8
Beef and barley soup- braised beef, carrots, mushrooms, duchesse potatoes 6

Grilled Filet Mignon-sauce béarnaise, wilted greens, potato frites 20
Grilled wild Salmon- root vegetable hash, fennel infused sauce maltaise 15
Steamed clams- galric, white wine, fresh herbs, toasted baguette 14
Chicken Roulade- Chicken breast stuffed with sundried tomatoes and pesto, root vegetable hash, wilted greens 14
White bean and root vegetable cassoulet-sweet potatoes, russets, carrots, parsnips, and white beans in white wine cream sauce topped with parmesan breadcrumbs 12

Deschutes Brewery Beer Pairing

Deschutes Brewery
and Cascade Culinary Institute
5-Course Beer Pairing Dinner

Featuring Chef Katrina Spatrisano, Brewer Veronica Vega, Elevation Executive Chef John Nelson and supported by Cascade Culinary Institute students.

Cost: $75/person includes dinner, beer and gratuity.

June 5, 2013 ~ 6:00 – 9:30 pm

Make your reservation today:


Passed Appetizers
with Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Quail Scotch Egg
garlic aioli, pickled radish

Smoked Salmon Gougere
boursin, arugula, pickled onion

Plated Courses

Pork Rillette
poached apple, mustard seed, baby kale
Mirror Pond Pale Ale

Hazelnut Crusted Salmon
grilled asparagus, beernaise, preserved lemon
Fresh Squeezed IPA

Porter Braised Lamb Shank
asiago polenta, natural jus, pea sprouts
Smoked Imperial Porter


Caramel Hazelnut Tart
malted shortbread, chocolate ganache, spun sugar
Obsidian Stout

Our Nose To The Wind

Recently I just drove across the country.    Why is a long story but there was one constant the whole way.  The scenery was ever changing, the sun rose and set yes but over a different horizon each time.  The one constant,  my dog Sophie’s nose out the window.  Usually it is just her nose but some times she is so joyous about the feeling that the wind fills her mouth and her jowls flap in the air.  Its a site to see, a 75 lb. German Shepherd in pure bliss.  What can we learn from this.  It can relate directly to food. Food is an adventure.  Sophie spent the whole trip tasting smelling creating memories just from the air.  As people we have the good fortune to create meals, share them and remember the time we had through flavor memories.  Sophie does the same.  Sniffing her way across the country remember most likely how to get home.  We do this with food.  Tasting our way through life, Sushi, Thai, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Caribbean, whatever it may be we smell the air taste through our travel, but when we want to relax what do we do? We go home.  The comforting smell of a dish our mother or father or grandparents make.  No matter where we are we can smell our way home through food.  Keep your nose to the wind and enjoy your holidays, family and friends.

Chef Justin

Week 2 and we are Elevating our game.

Elevation, what a great name.  Bend, the place we live, the high desert the goal of every service of every day, the direction the students are going, the game of life.  Elevation Restaurant is on its way.  Day three of service for the term was so far our best.  Ticket times have improved, the students are communicating wonderfully, the food is running out the door.  Of course there are stumbling blocks but it is ability and willingness to listen, learn, and change.  Next time you come to Elevation drop in the kitchen, say hello, get to know the Elevation family.

Elevation . . . Fall is in the air.

Well it has happened again.  The anticipation, the start of the term the new eager students, the sharp knifes, new menu, reservation booked.  The beginning of fall quarter has arrived and the students and I have restarted the machine.  The kitchen is a human machine. Infinite moving parts.  The fuel is creativity, eager students, amazing produce and our growing base customers.  Each one of these is essential to the machine running.  Without one our machine does not function.

The students arrived that first day.  They may have communicated with previous classes but seeing is believing.  The anticipation of the first day in Elevation is thick in the air.  Even i am nervous and a little, dare i say, scared.  The great thing is that with all the smiles and the warm greeting as soon as we all step into that class we become one, a human machine.  It takes time to build the machine properly.  The student have the skills the class has its structure it is just a matter of plugging those two things together.

I am thrilled with this group of students.  Cheerful, passionate, eager, skillful are just some words.  We are ready to take this kitchen for a drive.  The fall air keeping us cool and harvest season kicking in.  Fall term is gonna be great.

Eat Well, Love Life. See you in the restaurant.


Summer is a Sparkaly Spritzer / Fall is a Warm Fuzzy Sweater

To me Summer is a time for meals that remind me of wine spritzers and bathing suits, running through the sprinkler and sitting by the lake.  These ideas for the autumn menu make me feel like i am wearing a nice cozy sweater.  Breathing in the crisp air that is pungent with leafs on the ground.  The smell of the dessert air when it has just rained, the juniper and sage strong pungent, refreshing.  Then after spending a day out in the crisp weather there is nothing better than putting on a warm dry sweater.  These menu teasers to me embody all of this.  This is not our entire menu.  These may not even be there.  Cozy up to the blog, and enjoy.

Grilled Lamb Belly, White Bean Rillette, Lamb Glace

Oregon Coast mussels, Oregon curried butternut squash béchamel

Chicken leg and thigh braised in Crux Fermentation Sour Beer, Herbed Spaetzle, Chorizo, Mustard Greens, sage brown butter Beerchemel

Grilled Poblano Chili Stuffed with Barley, Quinoa, and autumn squash, Crisp Fried Polenta, Sauce Creole

Rock Fish, cumin Black Bean cake, Grilled Fennel, Salsify Root Puree

This is a work in progress. The students and I are discussing what we can use for fall time. Tell us what you think. Do you have any favorite Autumn dishes. Let us know. it may just turn up on our menu.

Fall Is In The Air

Well no. Its not actually. But the summer is rolling on. Berries are going out of season strawberries are all but gone and stone fruit is just arriving as well as the watermelons from Hermiston. The beet salad evolved to include these little jems from the trees. The peaches are golden with red spots in them. The plums are a bit sour still but the firm texture is amazing. Different from the sweet drippy goodness that will come later but still very appreciated for what they are. I love this part of working in a kitchen. Cooking through the seasons. Utilizing the produce that abounds in the northwest. It is great to see the students learn from the progress of the produce. How the lettuce is different when the weather is hot, dry, damp, wet, cold. Everything that mother nature throws at us changes the way we must cook. Just because we had amazing dry mushrooms one time does not mean we will have dry mushrooms the next. This is the art and science of the kitchen. This is what you can be told over and over but until you see it with your own eyes and touch it with your hands and heat it in a saute pan you will never truly understand. The bounty of the earth we rarely appreciate enough. Just in this small part of the world the earth offers us hundreds of different items. In our kitchen not one of them is canned, bagged, or processed. (except for wine, oil and vinegar)

We are all in this together. Creating amazing feasts every night for our community. Seeing smiles, meeting people, nourishing our community. That is what we are here for

The Kitchen is Rockin’

The students have done it again.  Each night i anticipate the buzz that goes on in Elevation restaurant.  Each night starts with the nervous energy of students jumping into something new.  By the last order we all wish we could keep going.  Everybody learns the flow and is in the groove.  Tasting products as they are made to order i am consistently amazed by how much flavor we are packing into each dish.  The lamb with its herbed dry rub is ridiculously juicy,  the basil and sweet potato farce is elevated by the sous vide method.  The dish though that blows my mind is the Pasta Lagane.  The saying, “The whole is more than the sum of its parts,” rings so true with this dish.  House made pasta, sun chokes, patty pan squash, lemon basil and oh so ripe tomato.  Each piece sounds humble but together at their peak ripeness the sing.  Not your ordinary song but a Radiohead song that builds and builds until it gives you shivers.  Yeah its just pasta but oh its so much more.

Eat well and learn, always…

First Service of the Semester

Well it has come and gone.  That is the game in the restaurant industry.  You try your best, your team works hard.  everybody puts their head down and works as one.  The machine churns on.  All words uttered often by people in the industry.

Tonight was no different.  The students at Elevation restaurant have the skills and it shows.  The tickets start rolling in, at first there is apprehension and questions, but soon you see it come together.  Everybody is communicating.  Short quick words that let everybody else know what they are doing and how close they are to ready.  The servers file in in and take colorful plates away and the process starts all over.

Service as we call it is a game, almost a sport, a craft and a bit of art.  We do it because we love the game, we love the craft, we love the art and across the board everybody would say its a work out.

Great job to everybody on this first day.  Just like the student i was nervous, i had questions but i would never admit it. 😉