Big Wave Café’s ‘Springtime on the Oregon Coast’ dinner to feature internationally renowned celebrity chef

Chef Roland Henin.
Chef Roland Henin.

MANZANITA, Ore. –  It isn’t every day that a Certified Master Chef prepares dinner in north Tillamook County.

However, Tuesday, May 6 is that day. At 6 p.m. that evening, internationally renowned celebrity Chef Roland Henin will prepare a Springtime on the Oregon Coast Dinner made with local ingredients, with proceeds benefitting the Rinehart Clinic.

“This is a rare opportunity for lovers of fine food to experience a multi-course meal prepared by a culinary virtuoso,” said Brian Williams, who, with wife Carol Williams, owns the Big Wave Café, in Manzanita. “I met Roland in 1987 when I was a student in culinary school in Portland. He was an advisor.”

Today, Henin is one of only 66 Certified Master Chefs in the United States. The title, issued by the American Culinary Federation following successful completion of a rigorous series of tests, is the highest level of certification a chef can receive.

Based in Seattle, Henin serves as corporate chef for Delaware North Companies, a global food service and hospitality corporation with headquarters in Buffalo, N.Y. In that role, he directs culinary operations for all of the company’s venues, from resorts to sporting facilities and serves as a mentor to all company culinary teams.

In 1992, he served as the coach of the gold medal U.S. Olympic Culinary Team, helping the American chefs bring home the World Cup from Luxembourg. The following year, he received the first National Chef Professionalism Award ever granted by the American Culinary Federation.

Henin continues to mentor famous chefs, including Thomas Keller, of the Napa Valley’s French Laundry, and Timothy Hollingsworth, who represented the United States at the Bocuse d’Or World Final in 2009.

“Brian is an old friend of mine and I was so happy when he decided a couple of years ago to settle down on the Oregon coast,” said Henin. “Is there a better place? When he asked if I would consider helping out with his fundraising dinner for the local medical clinic, it was difficult to say no, so here I am. Chefs, as a rule, are givers by their very nature.”

Rinehart Clinic staff, board and volunteers are no strangers to giving themselves. The nonprofit clinic, which has served north Tillamook County for more than 100 years, serves anyone who needs medical care, regardless of that individual’s ability to pay.

“We are so grateful to Brian and Carol for hosting this benefit dinner,” said Ellen Boggs, Rinehart Clinic CEO. “They give so much to the community, and with this dinner, they’ve outdone themselves.”

Chef Brian Williams
Chef Brian Williams

While Henin and Williams have yet to finalize the menu, tentative plans include poached darne of Columbia River spring chinook with an Oregon white wine veloute served with a jardinière of local vegetables and oven-roasted Yukon gold potatoes for the main course. The salad will consist of Oregon dandelion greens tossed with sliced Hood River Granny Smith apples, Point Reyes bleu cheese, toasted walnuts and mache lettuce. For an appetizer, they will serve fresh Oregon bay shrimp with plum tomatoes and green onion served on French baguette toast. Dessert will be a roasted rhubarb clafouti, which is Carol Williams’ special inspiration.

A complimentary glass of wine is included with the price of dinner. Additional wine, as well as beer and a variety of non-alcoholic beverages, will be available for purchase.

The Williams, who have owned the Big Wave since 2011, have hosted many benefit dinners for local nonprofit organizations over the last few years. Brian is former senior vice president at Career Education Corporation for Le Cordon Bleu, while Carol, who makes the Big Wave’s desserts, is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Portland. She also studied with renowned French pastry chef, Pascal Tisseur at Petite Provence, an upscale French bakery in Portland.

As for the upcoming Springtime on the Oregon Coast dinner, Henin said, “We’ll give it the best shot we have, hoping that some others chefs in the future will joins us, so that we’ll eventually make this event the place that anyone who’s anyone on the Coast will want attend. Watch it happen.”

Tickets, which cost $50 per person, are available at Manzanita Lumber, Ticor Title in Manzanita or the Rinehart Clinic. For more information, contact Leila Salmon at 503-368-6132.

Big Wave Cafe to host benefit dinners

MANZANITA — Following the success of last year’s dinner that raised several thousand dollars for a local handicapped access ramp, Brian and Carol Williams plan to use their Big Wave Café, 822 Laneda Ave. in Manzanita, to drum up more support for the Pine Grove Community House, the Rinehart Clinic and the Manzanita Business Alliance.

The first fundraiser, scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, is an all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner that will benefit the Pine Grove Community House. The cost is $10 per plate. Those who attend are invited to bring a dessert to share.

Last year, the Williams hosted a benefit for the local nonprofit organization, raising $2,400 toward the $15,000 needed to build a new handicapped access ramp at the downtown Manzanita venue.

At 6 p.m. Feb. 4, the Big Wave Café will host a low-cholesterol, low-sodium, low-fat meal in conjunction with American Heart Month, with proceeds benefitting the Rinehart Clinic in Wheeler. Tickets will cost $20 each, and will be good for a complete heart-healthy, multi-course served dinner with pre-dinner heart-healthy appetizers and post-dinner heart-healthy desserts.

Tickets will be available at Manzanita Lumber and the Rinehart Clinic. There will be 70 tickets available for one seating.

“Brian and his family at the Big Wave exemplify the community spirit which makes the area so special in supporting the time-honored medical care provided to North County for the past 100 years,” said clinic CEO Ellen Boggs.

The Williams will round out their series of fundraising events with the Manzanita Business Alliance March Open House, at a future date.

The Williams moved to North Tillamook County from Chicago to purchase the Big Wave Café in September 2011. Brian Williams left his job as senior vice president at Career Education Corp. for Le Cordon Bleu to return to Oregon, where the couple grew up. Carol Williams, who makes desserts, is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Portland and studied with French chef Pascal Tisseur at Petite Provence, a bakery in Portland.