2019 COBA Chefs on Tour




















  • Variety of finger food on catering event. Shallow focus



















By Bridget McGinn for The Bulletin Special Projects








Don’t miss COBA’s 7th annual Chefs on Tour event on July 10






It is well known that the heart of a home is the kitchen—the gathering place and central hub for family life, and the space for preparing and sharing sustenance and connection. It is fitting that the 7th annual Chefs on Tour event—coming up on Wednesday, July 10, from 4 to 7:30 pm—focuses attention on this essential element of a home.

Presented by the Central Oregon Builders Association (COBA), Chefs on Tour invites local chefs to take over the kitchens of six of the new construction home builds included in COBA’s 2019 Tour of Homes, with each chef serving up a tasty bite of their choice, paired with a local craft beer.

The Chefs on Tour event offers ticketed guests a sneak peek into the heart of these featured homes and the opportunity to experience firsthand how they can serve as enjoyable entertaining spaces for up to 100 guests at a time.

“This year we are very excited about our lineup of the chefs who will be placed in each of the amazing homes,” said Kelly Blodgett, event coordinator for COBA. “We have a few participating chefs who are brand new to Chefs on Tour, and there is going to be a fun variety of cuisine for everyone to enjoy.”

Steven Draheim, chef and owner of Barrio, is looking forward to the challenge of serving hundreds of guests from a kitchen that is not his own. He will be preparing a smoked duck wing with his signature Oaxacan mole—a traditional Mexican sauce flavored with chili pepper and a variety other spices and ingredients.

“It is a new opportunity to make a lot of small, sexy plates and serve in a cool setting,” said Draheim. “We won’t be able to use the new kitchens except to plate food, but I don’t want to just mail it in with a cold soup or tapa, so we’ll roll with something a little more complex.”

A chef for more than 20 years, Draheim will be participating in Chefs on Tour for the first time this year. Over the course of his career, he has participated in many similar events and enjoys sharing his skills and meeting new people in an entertaining environment.

“The experience is always great, as long as you’ve put the work and prep into the front end,” said Draheim. “You can then enjoy the patrons and be proud of your product.”

Executive chef Josh Podwils is also participating in the event. Podwils has been in the industry for several decades, and last March he launched Loyauté, a pop-up restaurant that offers high-end, French-influenced dining in a variety of private and public locales throughout the region approximately once a month. While this will be his first appearance at Chefs on Tour, Podwils’ pop-up restaurant experience has uniquely prepared him for the event and the challenges that come with prepping and serving hundreds of guests outside of your own kitchen.

“We are used to bringing our own stuff to wherever we need to be,” said Podwils. “And we thought this would be a great opportunity for us to showcase our skills and offer something different.”

Podwils and his team normally provide a Michelin star style of dining, complete with six-course meals paired with fine wines and extremely attentive service.

“The trick for us at this event will be to translate our personalized style into service for 600 guests,” said Podwils. “I have so many ideas in my head right now of what to serve. We like to push the limits with our food and service—our motto is to provide an experience to live for. We want to capture people’s interest.”

Draheim and Podwils will be competing for the title of Best Chef at the event, along with Eric McElroy of Solomon’s at Tetherow, Alex Chen of CHI Chinese and Sushi Bar, Daniel Volk of 10 Barrel Brewing, and Steve Helt of Zydeco Kitchen and Cocktails.

The chefs will be paired with kitchens in homes from featured builders, including Curtis Homes, Pahlisch Homes, Salvesen Homes, Stone Bridge Homes NW, and Structure Development NW, which has two homes on the chefs’ tour.

Participation in the event for Podwils has a personal element, as he will be featured at the Salvesen Home on the tour, a connection made through a friend from elementary school.

“I grew up in Bend and attended Trinity Lutheran School,” said Podwils. “A friend from school whose husband is an architect on the Salvesen home project reached out to me to see if I was interested in being involved, and we are looking forward to the opportunity to introduce ourselves and Loyauté to everyone at the event.”

The chefs are not the only ones looking forward to sharing their talents and skills.

“It is always a pleasure to showcase our homes on the Chefs on Tour. We love the opportunity to participate in a community event that blends the best of what Bend has to offer—good food, excellent brews, and beautiful homes,” said Maricass Cerny of Structure Development NW.

“The builders and subcontractors work extremely hard to prepare their homes for this big event,” said Mandy Weidman, senior vice president operations and sales manager of COBA. “They are excited to be able to showcase their hard work to the community in a fun, entertaining setting.”

Weidman shared that the event also serves as a great networking opportunity for members of the building industry and friends, serving as a community forum for the housing industry as a whole. And local foodies won’t want to miss the chance to sample the cuisine of some of the area’s most exciting chefs.

“Chefs on Tour is a fun way to get the community involved in the Tour of Homes,” said Blodgett. “Builders have the opportunity to showcase their favorite kitchens and entertaining spaces and host a party in one of their newly built homes.”

The six homes highlighted in the event offer an exclusive preview of the Tour of Homes, which includes 53 new construction homes built by prominent builders in the region. The Tour of Homes will take place over the weekends of July 12–14 and 19–21, on Fridays from noon to 6 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. For 31 years, the Tour of Homes has offered the public the opportunity to explore the architecture, craftsmanship, landscaping, and interior designs available in the area while learning more about the latest building trends.

“COBA’s Tour of Homes is the highlight of the year,” said Cameron Curtis, builder and owner of Curtis Homes. “There is not a better home tour in the country. Curtis Homes loves to participate and enjoys the bar that has been set by builders over the years. It is such a fun way for potential clients and home enthusiasts to see the trends and styles of our modern craftsmanship.”

The Chefs on Tour event normally draws approximately 600 guests, who are provided with an assigned route and detailed directions from home to home to aid in the flow and prevent overcrowding at the various locations. Tickets are required and may be purchased online at COBA’s website or in person at the COBA office. Chefs on Tour is advertised by Western Title & Escrow and generously supported by Harcourts The Garner Group Real Estate, Parr Lumber, Salvesen Homes, Umpqua Bank Home Lending, and Technology Design Associates.

The event is hosted by COBA, a nonprofit trade association with nearly 700 members. The mission of the organization is to represent the building industry before government and the community, promote high ethical standards within the industry, provide service to its membership, and defend the opportunities for home ownership for all. ❦






Chefs on Tour

Wednesday, July 10 4–7:30 pm

To purchase tickets to Chefs on Tour, or to learn more about COBA, visit www.coba.org or stop by the COBA office at 1051 NE 4th Street in Bend. Tickets for Chefs on Tour are $45, $39 for COBA members, and must be picked up prior to July 10. Discounted pricing is available for packages of eight or more.

The COBA Tour of Homes will take place July 12–14 and July 19–21 and is free to the public.

For more information, contact Kelly Blodgett, event coordinator for COBA at KellyB@coba.org or 541-389-1058.



Chefs on Tour

Wednesday, July 10 4–7:30 pm

To purchase tickets to Chefs on Tour, or to learn more about COBA, visit www.coba.org or stop by the COBA office at 1051 NE 4th Street in Bend. Tickets for Chefs on Tour are $45, $39 for COBA members, and must be picked up prior to July 10. Discounted pricing is available for packages of eight or more.

The COBA Tour of Homes will take place July 12–14 and July 19–21 and is free to the public.

For more information, contact Kelly Blodgett, event coordinator for COBA at KellyB@coba.org or 541-389-1058.

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