Oregon Truffle Fest recap and a look into faith, family and food

The Finer Things in Life- a Personal Account of Food as Art

Hey, friends! I’ve taken a two-month sabbatical from social media to travel and enjoy my family, and during that time, I’ve been doing some soul searching about what I really love to write, shoot, and share. A few years ago, I attended the Oregon Truffle Festival  (the underground fungus, not the chocolate) with my camera in hand for four days of fun work, new friends, and forest foraging. Here’s my Oregon Truffle Fest recap and a look into faith, family and food of the weekend. A fellow guest I met while shooting Friday night’s  One Big Table awards dinner said, “I bet not all your jobs are this much fun.”

“Actually,” I replied, ” they are! I don’t do much of anything that’s not fun!” If you know me, surely I live that “the joy of the Lord is my strength!”

An Oregon Truffle Fest recap and a look into Faith, Family and Food

yours truly holding 17 pounds of French perigord truffles- $1100/pound. Do the math.
Yours truly holding 17 pounds of French perigord truffles- $1100/pound. Do the math.

Raise a Glass

Because of our involvement in the food & wine industry, I have fabulous times, memories, and countless friends all met around the table with a toast. That’s where I thrive shooting. Give me a plate of gourmet and a glass of glee, and my Canon 7D sings!  If you’ve been following my blog at all, you know I’m a devoted wife and homeschool mom, and that is my primary “job.” And, through Luis’ amazing career as a sommelier and certified wine educator, we’ve seen and experienced wine areas all around the world. We’ve brought our love of hospitality home as we’ve opened our doors to others. We’ve even grown spiritually through our meals around the table and time spent in the vines.

Something in me experienced a paradigm shift during the truffle fest, and I’ve been thinking about it again on this summer’s sabbatical and at the wine dinner Luis and I attended last weekend in North Carolina.  I was there to shoot and write, sure. I learned about scent training our truffle dog, the lagotto romagnolo. But mostly, I was there to connect. Make friends. Experience authentic community around a passion (cuisine) and a table. And this connecting is truly where my greatest passions merge. The Oregon Truffle Fest was a deeper look for me into faith, family and food,

Food, friends, faith, wine, and the pursuit of the undiscovered.

Some of my food and wine photos have ended up gracing the pages of magazines, and the walls of galleries and restaurants. Food and wine photography has been my focus, yet I’ve not shared it with you, yet.

Food as Art

The food was art: full of the sensuous seasonal Oregon truffles from morning’s hot cocoa and eggs to evening’s main course and desserts- and everything in between. Amazing chefs including Josh Feathers from BlackBerry Farm and winemakers (like friends at Big Table Farm) gathered to share their art as I created some more. Food, photography and faith, and of course, our truffle dog were topics of conversation.


Art in Each Bite

I discovered something with each artful bite.

It truly takes a team of committed and passionate people, and a few miracles, to feed the masses with style.  Jesus did it, multiple times, and it’s still talked about today.

truffled vanilla bean panna cotta- chef Jason French of Ned Ludd

I was blessed to glean from renowned authors, and now good friends, Molly O’Neill and Kathy Gunst. I tasted everything from Merry’s award winning parsnip and celery root soup with shaved Oregon white truffles and pomegranate arils to Chef Josh’s two-day roasted white truffle beef short rib with white truffle purée,  finished nothing, yet savored everything. People, places, experiences, and tastes. Business cards, phone numbers, and emails exchanged. Friendships formed. Pass the seconds, please.



I need your help

So, I ask you, my friends and readers, after I’ve taken a two-month sabbatical thinking of what I really love to write, shoot, and share…. do you want to see more recipes, food, wine, and toasts, and to hear from some of the amazing people we’ve met along the way? Should I drag out my camera and shoot plates and parties? How do faith and food and the finer things play a part in your life?

Tonight, dinner will be wild mushroom and truffle risotto, and more searching through summer photos, with some incredible places to share, soon. All in His time.

Cheers! Enjoy the journey, and the pics!


Vaya con Dios-

Jen is the founder of the faith and family travel community, WordTraveling.com. Based in South Florida, you’ll most often find “Team Reyneri” world-schooling and exploring God’s amazing creation on the road. Follow their ed-ventures online!

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chefs Josh Feathers and Robin Jackson IMG_1173 truffled Tuscan white bean puree Tom the lagotto and his trainer, Jim Sanford of BlackBerry Farm  truffled scrambled eggs for breakfast IMG_0892 my find in the forest Oregon Truffle Fest recap and a look into faith, family and food   Clare of Big Table Farms serves up lunch at the Grange Oregon Truffle Fest recap and a look into faith, family and food  Oregon white truffles Oregon Truffle Fest recap and a look into faith, family and food



Buen Viaje! ~Jen