Field & Forest to Table in Westport


A couple of weeks ago, I had the great honor and pleasure of participating in a photo/video shoot and cooking opportunity in Westport. I fell in love with this cute town by the Pacific this past summer when Captain Wonderful and I were babysitting the Motor Yacht Taconite on her trip down the Coast. We had to do a multi-week layover while crew had to get reorganized back aboard so we could continue our journey to, ultimately, Mazatlan.

But, that is a story for another post.

This shoot was supposed to be about what to do in Westport (other than the obvious of surfing and fishing), particularly in the non-summer season. It was the second week of October and we had it on good authority that the Porcini were starting to pop! The Coastal pine forests of Oregon and Washington are great places to look for this delectable Boletes and I was itching to get out into the woods.

The producer/directors had an idea of my going out and foraging for this gourmet mushroom, then combining it with some other local faves, including locally sourced spot prawns and beef tenderloin to make a real “field to forest to table” experience.

This calls for a GRILL! But, then I read the fine print in the rental agreement for the condo — because of their wood decks and construction, absolutely no charcoal or gas grills. Ah, but there’s where I have the secret weapon.

Meet my Frontier Portable Electric Grill by Kenyon Grills. I recently had the opportunity to work with Kenyon Grills on another project and, while I used to scoff at how underpowered most electric grills I’ve worked with have been, the Frontier is a serious piece of equipment.

I mean, no matter how hot you want it, it’ll give it to you! And, when I say, it’s “portable,” it really is. I packed my trusty grill and tool set into the back of the Blue Crush and off we went on our roadtrip to Westport.

Last time I used it, I grilled peaches and later thick-cut brined pork chops. But, for this gourmet meal, I was really going to put it to the test.

After we came back from a fabulous day out foraging, wine tasting and more (I don’t want to give the whole story away!), I had to come back to the condo to prepare the meal.

First, appetizers. Bacon wrapped dried apricots, stuffed with almonds and Havarti. Grilled. So I’ve flare up potential from bacon, but I want to get a good crisp on it, without having the Havarti leak out from the apricot.

Kenyon…can you do it! Oh, yeah. Perfect crispy, caramelized bacon, warm soft apricots and melty cheesy filling.

Next up…grill the Porcini. Ingredients this perfect don’t need much so all they got was a brush of olive oil, coarse salt and a grind of fresh pepper. Onto a hot grill. Get those perfect sear marks without letting the mushrooms get…well, mushy! Kenyon worked like a champ.

Then, we have super thick Beef Tenderloin steaks that, again, need a pro-quality sear, scorchingly hot, but then able to control the heat enough so I don’t overcook them past the perfect medium-rare. Man, these steaks were a thing of beauty.

The final challenge was a mess of local spot prawns that I’d just briefly marinated in olive oil, garlic, a little mustard and honey. These babies cook in a flash so, while the steak was resting, I popped them on the heat, turning it down just a tad so I wouldn’t blacken the shrimp in the marinade.

Four different dishes, two courses, a variety of ingredients and cooking temperatures and it all turned out perfect. I had set the grill up on the patio, with the dunes and the sunset in the background and the crash of the waves as our sound track.

Kenyon likes to say “Any day is a weekend,” but I’d like to go a step further. With its easy portability, any day can be a weekend…anywhere!

Look, you don’t have to be a professional to cook on a top-notch grill, but, with the Frontier Portable Electric, you can COOK like one, whether it’s at home, outdoors or indoors, take it with you RV’ing or be the envy of the next tailgate party. All you need is someplace to plug it in and you are ready for your next epic grilling experience. Try it for yourself; you will NOT be disappointed!

Thanks, Kenyon, for creating an electric grill that really works.

Full disclosure: I was paid a fee for this post, however, the opinions and impressions of the product are all mine! Couldn’t write about it if I didn’t believe in it!


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