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Tony Starlight.
Chamber’s Bite of Mount Hood offers more than a mouthful posted on 04/01/2017

Allen Bixby, owner and operator of The Shack restaurant in Welches, noted two reasons for participating in the annual culinary mountain celebration, the Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce’s The Bite of Mt. Hood.

The first is to just see everyone in the community come out and have fun, while the second is to share some of their best creations for a low price.

“The event is a ton of fun,” Bixby said. “It’s fun seeing the community relax and enjoy themselves for a good reason.”

Bixby noted The Shack, one of ten local eateries that will participate and present small plates of food, will offer up its Shack slider, made from half bacon and half ground beef, along with another slider variety and cookies.

“Who doesn’t like bacon?” Bixby asked.

The Bite, held at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 29 at The Resort at The Mountain, 68010 E. Fairway Ave. in Welches, will also include entertainment by Tony Starlight, a silent auction and a live auction. Admission is $5, and auction items are expected to include gift certificates, nursery stock, artwork and more. Clackamas County Board of County Commissioners Chair Jim Bernard will be the Master of Ceremony.

Mathias Engblom, Executive Chef at the Rendezvous Grill, will be cooking up creations for The Bite for the third year, and plans on offering creamy tomato basil soup and a beet tartare (which looks like the beef version), and possibly adding beer to tiramisu to make a “beer-amisu.”

“I always enjoy it,” Engblom said.  “I like to try new things and test them out on the public.”

Chamber President Coni Scott described the gathering, now in its eighth year, as a “family reunion,” where the mountain community can get together for a good time. She noted that this year’s event will offer some new twists, including screens for information on area businesses and a non-profit booth selling bottled water and coffee, with proceeds going to the Welches School’s Outdoor School.

Lidia Vento, vice president of the Welches Parent Teacher Community Organization, noted that the funds will help the school’s sixth graders spend three days and two nights, transportation and meals for the Outdoor School program. The total cost for all the students is $9,200, or $256 per student, while the booth at The Bite will be run by sixth grade students and their parents.

“We are thankful that Mt Hood Chamber is allowing us to participate in this year’s event,” Vento wrote in an email.

As in past years, The Bite will also auction off cases of food to benefit the food pantry for Neighborhood Missions of the Hoodland Lutheran Church. And Scott added that after the event, the Chamber will donate the 17 table centerpieces, created by florist Chelle Mansella, to senior citizens in the area.

Each year, a local artist is also honored at The Bite, with this year’s artist being Patty Henninger, who creates papier-mâché pieces including sculptures and Christmas items. Henniger, a mountain resident for 45 years, previously sold her works in a Chicago gallery but now offers them online through Facebook (look for “Paper Patty”).

Henninger, who also works in watercolors and painted birdhouses that were auctioned off last year, noted she’s enjoyed The Bite in the past as a participant.

“I thought it was fun thing for people to do,” she said.

Scott added that the Chamber uses the proceeds from the event to advertise the mountain to other communities, such as last year when the organization used $15,000 to air ads in markets including the Oregon coast, Eugene, Medford, Sisters and Bend. Scott noted that the campaign made more than one million impressions over a three month period.

“That’s what it’s all about, bringing people to our mountain,” she said.

But Scott also added that the success of the event can be credited to everyone who works on The Bite, including approximately 60 volunteers, and the people who come out to support it.

“The community is so responsive to it,” Scott said. “The success belongs to the community and the volunteers.”

For more information, visit www.thebiteofmthood.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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