Sustainability, creativity collide as Rick Moonen visits Portland for pop up dinner at Riffle NW
The Top Chef judge and Top Chef Masters alum brings his seafood prowess to Portland with Ken Norris of ‘Catch of the Year’ Pearl restaurant
Riffle NW, a catch-inspired seafood restaurant known for its quality cuisine and ambitious cocktail program is teaming with legendary Las Vegas seafood chef Rick Moonen for a pop up dinner in Portland on February 28th.
“I am really excited to be partnering with fellow former New Yorker Chef Ken Norris, and cooking alongside him for our upcoming dinner at Riffle NW,” said Chef and cookbook author Moonen. “Ken and I have a lot in common and not only share a passion for fresh, sustainable seafood, but also aim to glorify the protein by treating it with respect and altering it as little as possible, letting the natural beauty of the dish shine through.”
The fit is natural enough as Norris continues to push for changes in the way fish is sourced and caught not only in the Pacific Northwest, but everywhere – something that garnered Riffle NW ‘Catch of the Year’ from Portland Monthly. As for Moonen, the former Top Chef Masters contestant and Top Chef judge has garnered accolades for himself and his restaurant, Rick Moonen’s rm seafood at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, since 2005. In 2008, Moonen published Fish without a Doubt a practical, hands-on guide to buying, preparing and cooking a wide variety of seafood.
This incredibly unique dinner at Riffle NW will feature six courses – three dishes from each chef in an alternating manner – a dessert, plus a chowder amuse from each chef, because what’s a Rick Moonen dinner without his signature dish?
As Riffle NW is known for its ambitious cocktail program under bar manager Brandon Josie, a 50-dollar ‘Drinks’ pairing is optional for the meal. The imbibing menu will have both a couple of Josie’s concoctions as well as a few wines. It’s a playful way to pair drinks with the ambitious food that will include lobster burrata, a Thai papaya salad with seared scallops, oysters and a branzino from Chef Moonen that will delight Riffle NW regulars used to Norris’s take, among other items.
Norris too is excited for Moonen’s arrival, as it’s another way to focus on how seafood is caught, cared for and consumed.
“My personal goal is to make Portland known as a seafood town, using all of the incredible resources around us, so that we are on par with Seattle and San Francisco,” he said. “Rick Moonen is a longtime, high-profile, devoted advocate for sustainable fisheries. We want this dinner to draw attention to our shared missions for fisheries and their environments, but most importantly, it will be a couple of days of fun.”
To book your seat, contact Riffle NW at 503-984-8978 or email them at email@example.com. Cost for the dinner: $95.
About Riffle NW:
In Portland’s iconic Pearl District sits Riffle NW, a catch-inspired seafood restaurant marked by a distinctive and unwavering passion for thoughtful-sourcing and skillful preparation of the freshest ingredients available. Executive Chef Ken Norris’s seafood-focused dishes reflect the sense of simplicity you find in the beach and coastal regions around the world. The dishes at Riffle are uncluttered and straightforward with each element thoughtfully rendered and deeply flavored. Seafood and produce are approached in the same way: source the freshest and finest product, treat it with respect, and enable it to shine on its own. The terroir-focused wine program and ice-inspired cocktail program add to the unique offerings of Riffle NW.
Chef Rick Moonen and Rick Moonen’s rm seafood
Since opening Rick Moonen’s rm seafood at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in 2005, both the restaurant and Chef Moonen have enjoyed critical acclaim from some of the country’s top news organizations. For more than 25 years, Chef Rick Moonen has been one of the country’s leading advocates for the sustainable seafood movement, bringing national awareness to this subject. Rick Moonen’s rm seafood showcases this commitment to sustainability without foregoing culinary creativity and innovation. In 2008 Chef Moonen accomplished a lifelong dream with the publication of his cookbook Fish Without a Doubt, a practical, hands-on guide to buying, preparing and cooking a wide variety of seafood. That same year his signature Catfish Sloppy Joe was highlighted in Esquire magazine’s “Sandwich Encyclopedia,” prompting a guest spot on The Oprah Winfrey Show where he served the talk show queen this signature dish and it earned the title of “Best Sandwich in America.” In 2009 he was a guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef Las Vegas and later that year was a contestant on Top Chef Masters. In 2010, Rick was invited back to compete on Top Chef Masters 2, where he was the runner-up, raising both national awareness and thousands of dollars for Three Square Las Vegas. In 2011 Monterey Bay Aquarium honored Rick as “Chef of the Year” for his tireless efforts towards sustainability. Follow Rick on Facebook.com/ChefRickMoonen and Twitter @RickMoonen.