No More “Northwest Cuisine”… It’s “Cascadian Cuisine” Now

The World Food Travel Association has kicked off a “Cascadian Cuisine” initiative. From the press release,

…a new initiative focused on the development of a regional food and drink brand as a tool for economic development. The goal is that the new regional food brand will drive consumer awareness, create jobs and support the tourism efforts of communities across the region. At the meeting, the Association welcomed some of the most fervent food, drink and tourism players in the region to discuss topics such as borders, agricultural hallmarks, local entrepreneurship and sustainability in Cascadia.

Erik Wolf, Executive Director of WFTA explained the vision, “At its very core, Cascadian Cuisine is about economic and community development – bringing awareness, infusing fresh cash from outside the area, creating jobs, and preserving communities and the culinary culture of our region.”

Cascadian Cuisine draws deeply on the passion and unsurpassed quality of food and drink found in the bio-region that includes northwestern California, Oregon, Washington, southwestern British Columbia, Idaho and western Montana. In other words, as Jason French, Chef/Owner at Portland’s popular Ned Ludd Restaurant, says “the quality of our food and drink is very much grounded in the quality of the agricultural products found in Cascadia.”

Jason Knibbs, a tourism specialist from Vancouver, BC, Canada said he was “glad that the Association started the discussion about Cascadian Cuisine – a regional partnership like this has great opportunities.”

Do we really need our own regional cuisine? How about “Good Food”? Maybe we should just designate neighborhoods – “Inner Northeast Portland Cuisine”. Where does it stop!?

Feel free to argue/educate me. More information here.

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. man-o-steele says

    “Do we really need our own regional cuisine?” Is this a rhetorical question? How is it that regional cuisine in many parts of the world wonderful, but if we try it here it is stupid? Provençal? Tuscan? Normandy? Bourgogne? Penang? Kanto? etc. . . These great cuisines evolved because they were connected to their own regions and developed their own identify. “Good Food” is not enough and not something that can develop a long, sustainable food culture. Good food is often defined by context and tradition as much as it is an absolute standard. I have eaten food that was good as experienced and prepared in that region and place, but once exported would cease to be good–raw chicken anyone?

  2. pastamaven says

    The same idiots that call five blocks on the west side of downtown “The West End” and 82nd Avenue “The Jade District”.

  3. Justjane says

    FWIW, Canadians in British Columbia dislike the term “Northwest cuisine” because British Columbia is in the southwestern, not northwestern, part of Canada. Folks in BC’s food industry often refer to “West Coast” cuisine for this reason. I have no problem with “Cascadian” as a general marker of geography, and I think a good argument CAN be made for this region being blessed with the conditions that make for a culinary bounty that translates into a particular kind of “good food.” Just try being a locavore in North Dakota.

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