Lilian Chu of 5 Fusion has completely endeared herself to me. She is a savvy restauranteur with an unprecedented attention to detail and her charity work for the Central Oregon community is quite an inspiration. In the past year, her charity dinners have raised over $45,000 for various local organizations like the Humane Society and Big Brothers & Big Sisters. I was lucky enough to return from my trip to Los Angeles in time to be her guest at this month’s dinner.
The dinner was prepared by guest chefs from two local eateries Barrio and Blacksmith in the dimly lit, sexy upstairs space of 5 Fusion. I had visited Barrio on two occasions with my family food warriors and found it to be very veg-friendly, as long as you communicate your dietary preferences. The chefs created an impressive 5 course meal that was veganized for me. Each course was paired with a specialty cocktail and by the second course, I was already tipsy. The carefully customized vegan menu was:
Chili glazed yam
Jibarito with jicama and orange basil sauce
Crimini mushroom taco
Vegan paella with crispy kale
Yuzu, shiso and marionberry sorbet trio
Both my cousin and I agreed that our favorite dish of the evening was the taco… Full mouth food-gasm! I was sipping on my tamarind cocktail and giggling at the whimsical smashed beer can presentation of the intermezzo.
Lilian had us seated at her table so that she could monitor the servers to make sure my plates were indeed vegan and that no stray avocados would trigger my food allergy. The evening was such a fun event, I’ve recommended it to all of my Bend,OR friends and family. The $100 ticket for a seat is well worth it to have some of the best chefs in town prepare such a stellar dining experience . Check out 5 Fusion’s website and Facebook page to get notices for the upcoming monthly dinners.
Photo credit: Paul Gregory Ong
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