Deschutes Brewery’s Chef Challenge

By Jason Randles

For the fourth year in a row, Deschutes Brewery hosts the Chef Challenge on December 10, at 6 p.m. where six of Portland’s finest chefs will vie for the coveted “Golden Growler.” The event is a benefit for Morrison Child and Family services, a non-profit organization that delivers specialized services to children and families coping with adversity and trauma in the Portland area. 

Last year, Deschutes Brewery’s own Chef Jeff Usinowicz won both the “People’s Choice” award and the judges’ “Golden Growler” award with his selection of dry-aged baby back ribs with tart cherry BBQ sauce paired with Armory XPA, an experimental IPA brewed exclusively at Deschutes Brewery’s Portland Pub. As promised, this year he’s stepped aside from the competition to allow the brewery’s Pastry Chef, Jill Ramseier, a chance to compete for the prize.

Each participating chef is striving to prepare the best dish and beer pairing of the evening in hopes of winning the vote of both the celebrity judges and the crowd.

Participating Chefs

  • Jason French from Ned Ludd
  • Gavin Ludson from Jamison
  • Tommy Habetz from Bunk Sandwiches
  • Jeff Emerson from Castagna Café
  • Scott Newman from ¡Oba!
  • Jill Ramseier from Deschutes Brewery Portland Pub
  • Dessert: Jeff Usinowicz from Deschutes Brewery Portland Pub (2011 Chefs Challenge winner) 

During this Top Chef-styled evening, guests are introduced to each chef as their dish is being served. Next, Deschutes Brewery’s Assistant Brewmaster, Ben Kehs, explains the flavor nuances of the beer paired with the dish. Beer sommelier Christina Perozzi (aka The Beer Chick) will be emceeing the event to ensure the evening flows perfectly. The guests then check the boxes on their ballots according to taste, best pairing and creativity while enjoying dessert. Will the People’s Choice Award match up with the top pairing as determined by the panel of expert and celebrity judges? The outcome has been surprising each year! 

Tickets are $95 each and a very limited number are available. The event will be held at the Deschutes Brewery Public House on 11th and Davis in Portland Pearl District. For more information, and to purchase your tickets, visit 

About Morrison Child and Family Services

Morrison Child & Family Services is the leading provider of children’s mental health services in Multnomah County. A private, non-profit organization headquartered in Portland since 1947, Morrison employs proven, evidence based practices to support children who have suffered from family abuse, substance abuse, neglect, and other traumas, resulting in mental and emotional issues. For more information about Morrison Child & Family Services, call 503-258-4200 or visit

About Deschutes Brewery

Founded in 1988 as a brew pub in downtown Bend, Oregon, Deschutes Brewery is known for such brands as Black Butte Porter, its flagship brew and the nation’s number one selling craft porter, and the popular Mirror Pond Pale Ale. In addition to its original Bend pub, the brewery opened a second pub in Portland’s Pearl District in 2008. The company’s main brewing facility is located in Bend’s Old Mill District and produces approximately 250,000 barrels of beer annually for distribution in 19 states and two provinces.

Contact Info

Company: Deschutes Brewery
Contact: Jason Randles