Press Release: Culinary Contest Invites Foodies to Live Their Dreams

Oregon Bounty Offers All-Expense-Paid “Cuisinternships” for Seven Winners

Ever dreamt of being a vintner, a chef, a chocolatier or other culinary genius? Travel Oregon is calling all food and drink enthusiasts to fulfill their dreams by applying for a cuisine internship, or “Cuisinternship” (pronounced: quiz-een-turn-ship).

Seven winners will be selected to win all-expenses paid trips (airfare, lodging and $1,000 meal stipend) to spend one week shadowing an Oregon expert in his or her field of culinary crafts. The contest opens today as part of Travel Oregon’s largest statewide tourism promotion, Oregon Bounty, celebrating the state’s culinary products and the artisans who make them.

Oregon Bounty Cuisinternships are offered in the following categories:

  • Artisan Food Producer: Become a culinary artisan in Southern Oregon with chocolatier Jeff Shepherd of Lillie Belle Farms and cheese maker David Gremmels of Rogue Creamery
  • Brew Master: Turn hops and grains into craft beer with brew master Jamie Emmerson of Hood River’s Full Sail Brewery
  • Chef: Immerse yourself in Portland’s dynamic food scene working alongside chef Gabe Rucker—one of Portland’s culinary provocateurs—learning how to turn out inventive, gourmet meals that delight diners at the award-winning Le Pigeon restaurant
  • Rancher: Saddle up and herd cattle while learning sustainable ranching on two of Eastern Oregon’s Country Natural Beef ranches with the Pickard and Boyer families, who have been in the business for generations
  • Fisherman: Head out to sea with charter boat skipper Lars Robison of Dockside Charters and learn the fine art of catching the Oregon Coast’s prized wild salmon and rockfish
  • Winemaker: Walk the Willamette Valley vineyards of Penner-Ash Wine Cellars with renowned vintner Lynn Penner-Ash, learning the hands-on techniques involved in vineyard designate winemaking
  • Distiller: Get an advanced degree in mixology and learn about Oregon’s booming craft spirits industry with distiller Jim Bendis of Central Oregon’s Bendistillery

“Oregon has a rich and varied culinary landscape,” said Travel Oregon’s Director of Brand Strategy Holly Macfee. “It’s a down-to-earth-place where visitors can meet the people who craft the wine and beer, grow the produce, cultivate the cheese and create the chocolate confections,” she explains. “We’re inviting foodies to enjoy Oregon’s culinary abundance, whether through a Cuisinternship or a self-guided tour with family or friends. Our online culinary trip planner is now available to help travelers research, plan and organize the details of their next visit.”

To enter the Oregon Bounty Cuisinternship Contest, applicants must submit a short video, along with a statement containing no more than 140 characters, describing why they are the best candidate at Seven winners will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Oregon to shadow their mentor for one week. Entries must be submitted between Aug. 24 and Sept. 18. A panel of judges, including the Cuisinternship mentors, will select winners which will be announced beginning Sept. 28.

To give entrants an idea of what they can anticipate on their trip, Travel Oregon produced video vignettes of each culinary mentor and the experience their Cuisinternship offers (view them here: A longer video will also be available, which follows Chef Gabe Rucker as he visits the seven cuisine-related locations and mentors with the goal of making the perfect Oregon meal. The video culminates with all participants gathering together for an Oregon feast at Rucker’s restaurant, Le Pigeon in Portland, where the culinary masters discuss why they consider Oregon to be the ultimate foodie destination.

Want to plan your own culinary getaway? Travel Oregon today launched a new comprehensive culinary website at This planning tool provides an enticing portal into everything there is to see and do in Oregon—from wineries, distilleries and breweries to chefs, artisan producers, farmers markets and insider tips on where to taste the best local flavors—all in a searchable database. Visitors may also order a print travel guide through the site.

Media can learn more about the Cuisinternship Contest and mentors, Travel Oregon’s new culinary website, and Oregon Bounty here:

For a complete list of contest rules, and to enter, visit

The Oregon Bounty Cuisinternship Contest is presented by Travel Oregon, Horizon Air and Best Western Hotels of Oregon.

About Oregon Bounty and Travel Oregon

The annual statewide Oregon Bounty promotion celebrates the state’s culinary abundance during three months of unique travel experiences, fall harvest events and special overnight packages at historic inns and hotels—all designed to highlight Oregon’s diverse and plentiful culinary landscape. Oregon Bounty is produced by the Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon—with support from Oregon’s regional destination marketing organizations, Oregon Lodging Association, Oregon Restaurant Association, Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild, and Brand Oregon, among others—with the goal of encouraging economic growth and enhancing the quality of life in Oregon through a strengthened economic impact of tourism statewide. Travel Oregon collaborates extensively with local communities, industry associations, government agencies and private businesses, and is proud to grow the Oregon Bounty promotion as a key campaign in the state’s $8.4 billion tourism industry, helping Oregon to be recognized as a not-to-be-missed culinary travel destination. Visit for more information.