In the Kitchen
Clay Blake, Executive Chef of Portals Restaurant at Suncadia Resort, takes us inside the kitchen, and his inspiration behind the reconceived menu.
What was the concept for the new menu?
I really wanted to bring to life the fall flavors and ingredients of the area where our guests stay and play. My culinary team takes great pride in working with growers, ranchers, butchers and food artisans right here in Kittitas County and from nearby areas througho
ut Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho. This menu is a celebration of the best of the region has to offer. In doing this, not only are we able to incorporate the freshest ingredients available, but we are also able to help support the community around us.
What do you love about the new menu, and why do you think it will be different for Portals?
I love that we designed a menu that can appeal to all of our guests, whether it’s a couple having a romantic dinner to celebrate an anniversary, or a family who wants something that can please both kids and grandparents. Another element of the menu that I think is really important and new for Portals is that it’s not static or written in stone. I work closely with our master gardener at our on-property farm, Nelson Farm, and she provides us with new fresh ingredients every week, like basil, carrots, beans, tomatoes, and more. It’s also been important to me to build relationships with local farmers and vendors at the Roslyn Farmers Market to get the freshest ingredients of the week. With all of this, I work with my team to regularly create new salads and dishes that incorporate these ingredients, so you never know what you might find.
Your three favorite dishes on the new menu?
This is definitely a hard decision, but if I had to narrow it down to three, I would choose:
The Portals Burger served in our Fifty Six Degrees lounge, which is a Wagyu beef and elk blend, topped with griddled onion, cheddar cheese, bacon, and served on a fresh pretzel bun. The combination of Wagyu beef and elk is a really special and unique flavor, not something you often find.
The Long Bone Pork Chop, because we cure and smoke it in-house and serve it alongside grilled local peaches and black eyed peas, which round out the delicious, smoked flavor of the pork chop.
The Penn Cove Clams, which brings together so many different, local flavors. The clams come from Coupeville, a town in Washington out on the coast, and are cooked in Rainier beer. It’s a beer that holds a special place in the hearts of many Washingtonians. It’s served with bits of Glondo’s sausage, which is a Cle Elum-based company that specializes in handcrafted, Old World artesian meats.