By Mattie John Bamman
THE OREGON COAST IS PUNCTUATED WITH HIDDEN, one-of-a-kind dining experiences, from eating crabs straight off the boat dock-side, to shucking oysters fresh from the sea. And now, you no longer have to be best friends with a fisherman to experience them, thanks to a new culinary series offered by one of the coast’s most renowned inns.
With a true dedication to detail and rooms just steps from iconic Cannon Beach, the Stephanie Inn is one of Oregon’s most luxurious coastal stays. Every room has a gas fireplace as well as a Jacuzzi bath, making it an especially top-of-the-line pick for a romantic getaway. For the best of the best, book an ocean-facing room on the third-story: It comes with its own terrace for a crow’s nest perspective of the happenings on the beach—not to mention nearby Haystack Rock.
A stay at the Stephanie Inn has always been an immersive experience, but on the Sojourns, you get even closer to coastal culture. On each of the one-day tours this summer and fall, Stephanie Inn Executive Chef Aaron Bedard invites curious eaters to kick back with some of his favorite local chefs, food artisans and brewers.
Capped at ten participants each, the 2017 Sojourns begin and end at the Stephanie Inn, and they each promise a full day of food-focused activities, including lunch and concluding with dinner. Some excursions will focus on coastal tours and others will include more hands-on activities and classes. In July, you can hit the water to see how salmon, Dungeness crabs and clams are harvested; in August, hang out with Ben Jacobsen of Jacobsen Salt Co. and visit a shellfish farm and salt fields; and in October, go foraging for mushrooms and more with chef-brewer Will Leroux.
Chef Bedard worked his way up at the Inn since graduating from culinary school in 2005, so he knows how to show off the best of the coast, having built strong relationships with its farmers and fisher people. This is paramount, as every Sojourn involves learning about or harvesting ingredients and then turning them into a feast that same day.
Perhaps the most sought-after Sojourn this year will be Harvesting the Coast: Shellfish, Salt and Supper, with Ben Jacobsen of Jacobsen Salt. Founded in 2011, Jacobsen Salt helped to bring about a salt revolution in the United States, prompting home cooks and famous chefs alike to take a closer look at the different flavors of various salts. On this Sojourn, travel to the salt fields where the famous company got its start and learn how Jacobsen produces its many salt varieties. You’ll also visit an oyster farm and eat freshly harvest oysters right on the spot—truly one of the world’s greatest culinary experiences.
The Stephanie Inn has already established itself as one of the North Oregon Coast’s top fine-dining destinations, so a stay at the Inn naturally compliments the day’s activities. Each morning begins with the Inn’s far-above-average breakfast— included in the price of the room—and its freshly baked signature scones are a must; the basic recipe is always the same, but the flavors change with the seasons. (Too full? At least wrap one up for later.)
The meals prepared by Chef Bedard always feature local seafood when available, and the Stephanie Inn kitchen has a knack for transforming technical cooking into comforting flavors, as it did with a recent spring-pea and Dungeness crab soup. Every evening at the Inn concludes with the complimentary Nightcap in the Library, and, if at all possible, make sure to head down in time for a last drink—followed by an evening walk on the beach.
Your Stephanie Inn Sojourn just may be the most luxurious culinary experience on Oregon’s North Coast. To find out more and book your stay, visit stephanie-inn.com. To make the most out of a Cannon Beach getaway, check out cannonbeach.org.