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July 2021

Head to our special spot on the North Coast for a unique culinary adventure with Meridian Restaurant & Bar Executive Chef John Nelson and the Meridian Culinary Team. Venture deep into the spectacular culinary bounty of the Oregon Coast with Chef John as he butchers the catch of the day and shares his vast store of knowledge and family history, perhaps while he paints an elaborate story based on tales of old fishing boats and adventures at sea.  

In fact, Chef John begins many sessions with a poem recited from his father’s book of poetry in order to set the stage for appreciating the fishing culture of the Oregon Coast waters. Learn about its history and how to prepare local seafood in the Chef’s Pacific Northwest Seafood 101 class. Or, if you prefer, master your oyster shucking skills and learn more about how they thrive on the North Coast in the teams Oyster Shucking class.



We stopped by Meridian to ask Chef John about this season’s offerings:  

What inspired you to create the new Pacific Northwest Seafood 101 class? 

Chef John: Pacific Northwest Seafood 101 is a natural evolution from our previously well-received Seafood Butchery Class. When we were doing the Seafood Butchery class, I noticed that guests had lots of questions beyond cutting techniques. What kind of boats are used? What are the best ways to catch different types of fish? What is the history behind each method? The class just naturally evolved into including the whole sea-to-table process and the traditional fishing culture in the Northwest. It’s also given me a chance to share my experiences as a Northwest native—I grew up living and working in the seafood industry just north of Astoria. Each of our classes is unique, and the fish we work on include sturgeon, ling cod, salmon, and oysters. We usually discuss the history of salmon in the Northwest and salmon filleting techniques. Did you know that years ago horses were used to pull the nets in Astoria?  

What should guests expect in your Oyster Shucking class?

Chef John: I think this is a great choice for a guest who wants to get the “flavor” of the North Coast while also learning shucking basics. We discuss why oysters taste the way they do, the environmental issues, the history of oysters in our area, and of course a variety of shucking techniques. We taste some delicious oysters too! 

What can guests expect when they reserve a Culinary Adventure?

Chef John: We create each session to provide Headlands guests a special and truly authentic Pacific Northwest experience. We want our guests to leave with practical knowledge they can use back home, with an understanding of history and sustainability, but above all with the memory of being immersed in a “sense of place” here on the Oregon Coast. 



Featured Seasonal Culinary Adventures:   

Pacific Northwest Seafood 101:   

Celebrate the heritage of our regions fishing and seafood culture in a one-of-a kind session with our Executive Chef, John Nelson. As a life-long resident of the Northwest coast, he has cultivated an unparalleled knowledge of our waters, their bounties, and the people who seek them. This unique class features demonstrations, a chefs’-choice tasting, and a one-on-one conversation with Chef Nelson who is not only a master of his culinary craft, but an invaluable piece of our local heritage. Includes a seafood charcuterie board and two glasses of Kramer “Celebration” to enjoy at leisure in your guest room.  

Oyster Shucking 101:   

Shuck a dozen oysters and refine your oyster-shucking skills while you learn the fascinating history of oysters in the Northwest at this 60-minute hands-on class with a Meridian chef team member. Ingest your work with our house-made mignonette and Bloody Mary cocktail sauce. 

Schedule your Culinary Adventure through the Adventure Center Form when you reserve your next stay at Headlands. Classes change seasonally, so be sure to stay up to date on all our Culinary Adventures. 


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