16th Annual Signature Fundraising Event
Taste for a Cure
Friday, April 15, 2011
Beverly Wilshire Hotel
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Beaker & Flask
After growing up in Vermont, Chef Benjamin Bettinger moved to Portland, Oregon in 2001. He attended Le Cordon Bleu's Western Culinary Institute, graduating in 2002 with highest honors. His dedication and leadership in school lead to an opportunity to intern under esteemed Chef Vitaly Paley at Restaurant Paley's Place. Bettinger was hired on after completing his internship requirements, and over the next year he stuck close by Chef Paley's side, developing strong French technique and learning the importance of using local and seasonal products.
In the fall of 2004, Bettinger was promoted to Sous Chef, a position that offered a chance to develop as a kitchen leader, working with local farmers and purveyors. Over the next two years the restaurant received many accolades, including Chef Paley's James Beard award for Best Chef Pacific Northwest. In 2006, Bettinger took on more responsibility at Paley's Place when he became Chef de Cuisine, and the notoriety of the restaurant continued to grow. That same year, Paley's Place made the list of Gourmet magazine's “Top 50 U.S. Restaurants,” and USA Today named their braised rabbit entrée one of the year's “Top 25 Dishes.”
In 2008, after a prosperous tenure at Paley's Place, it was time for Bettinger to further excel his career. He accepted the position as Executive Chef of a new restaurant called Beaker and Flask, which was to be opened by friend and colleague, Kevin Ludwig. In the fall of 2008, while waiting for the new restaurant to be built and open, Bettinger took a temporary Sous Chef position at Clyde Common, working alongside his friend, Chef Jason Barwikowski, at this popular Portland restaurant.
Beaker and Flask opened in the summer of 2009, immediately garnering critical acclaim, including being named “Restaurant of the Year” by Willamette Week. In 2011, Bettinger was honored to be a nominee in Food and Wine’s first ever “The People’s Best New Chef” award, “because the big, knockout flavors he delivers are a perfect match for the restaurant's exquisite cocktails.” Chef Bettinger's inventive take on modern European fare is inspired by the seasons—he calls it, “Euro-Portland Cuisine.”