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Our Story

What started as a simple idea -- a meal that celebrated the amazing food grown in our own backyard -- has evolved into a hallmark of summer in Oregon. Each Plate & Pitchfork dinner is a celebratory gathering that reinforces the connection between the farm and the food on your plate.

We're committed to increasing your awareness of the multiple benefits of eating local foods – social, environmental, health, economic, gastronomic. As preachy as that might sound, we're not here to give you a lecture. We just want you to know your options when you're purchasing food. And we want you to remember what it feels like to have the juice from a freshly picked peach trickle down your chin.

Plate & Pitchfork is an adventurous evening that celebrates and supports local farms. In fact every Plate & Pitchfork dinner begins with a farm tour. We want to make sure that you have a chance to meet your farmer and get to know a little bit about them and how they run their business. Our host farms range from 10 to 110 acres and their business models and produce are varied, but they all have one thing in common and that's a commitment to using sustainable farming and business practices. Once your tour is complete you'll sit down for a four-course dinner prepared and served in the middle of a field by some of our regions finest chefs.

Plate & Pitchfork has a long standing tradition of re-investing in our community with donations to Oregon Tilth, Zenger Farm, Pineros Y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (PCUN) and Farmers Ending Hunger. In tandem with 20th Anniversary Season we are thrilled to introduce you to a new non-profit organization -- The Plate & Pitchfork Fund.

Meet the Team

The Plate & Pitchfork Crew
Each Plate & Pitchfork event is staffed by an amazing group of individuals who are passionately committed to making Oregon a better place to live. Amidst our ranks we have accountants, college students, account executives, technical product developers, product & process engineers. They join us every summer to serve dinner, wash dishes, schlep tables on their weekends and we are ever grateful for their support. If you'd like to join the crew, we encourage you to apply by following this link.

Erika Polmar: Founder, Event Producer, Chief Dishwasher
Erika has been building things for as long as she can remember -- first with Crystal Climbers and now through technology or a good old-fashioned handshake. She has spent the last 20+ years in positions ranging from Santa's Helper to pink-slip wielding acquisition manager to corporate spy. Somewhere in the midst of all that Plate & Pitchfork began as a summer project and a decade later, Erika is still building. Plate & Pitchfork has allowed her to hone a funky blend of culinary, technology and marketing expertise, while developing a keen awareness and understanding of the issues facing both the culinary & agricultural communities. She puts these skills to the test every day as she builds Plate & Pitchfork from a simple farm dinner series to an organization that brings complex issues to the fore so that together, as a community, we can create a healthy, economically viable and delicious place to live.

In March 2020 Erika found herself at the forefront of the grassroots movement of chefs, restaurant & bar owners, operators, employees and other industry supporters working to secure vital protections for the nation’s 500,000 independent restaurants and more than 11 million employees during the COVID-19 pandemic first as a volunteer and now as the Executive Director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition and an advisor to the Oregon Independent Restaurant Alliance.

The photos and video you see on this site and in our various promotions come from Erika and a number of talented individuals who have graciously spent time with us in the field. Learn more about these terrific photographers by following the links below.
Josh Chang ~ Jeremy Fenske ~ Andrea Lonas Photography ~ Alan Weiner
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