Revered Bendite, Trish Smith, debuts her long-awaited cookbook “Feeding My Friends” during First Friday Art Walk in the Old Mill District in Bend Friday, Jan. 5.
Food and community have always been at the forefront of Trish Smith’s life and the lives of those her presence has graced. Now, her new cookbook “Feeding My Friends” offers up more than 200 of her tried-and-true recipes, and gives an overview of Bend’s culinary history, with colorful stories about the Pine Tavern, Central Oregon Community’s College’s Culinary Institute, and some of the more notable chefs and restauranteurs in Central Oregon. This Friday, Jan. 5, Trish will be onsite at Kara’s Kitchenware in the Old Mill District from 3 to 6 p.m. during First Friday Art Walk. Plates of small bites made from the recipes in the book will be passed, as well as one of Trish’s favorite beverages. Copies of the book will be available to purchase for $35, as well as the opportunity to have Trish sign a copy! No doubt smiles will ensue.
Trish grew up in Washington’s Yakima Valley, where her family embraced the access to fresh produce, as well as milk and eggs from area farms and ranches. “My mother and my grandmother were each superb chefs, making the most of the bounty available to them,” Trish says. “I helped in the kitchen, but mainly washing dishes and cleaning up,” shared Trish about her humble start in the culinary world. “I could make a mean tuna sandwich and tomato soup from a can. But my mother treated us to Sunday fried chicken dinners, homemade French creampuffs after ice skating and lemon pie with mile-high meringue. Those early memories are the genesis for the book. I hope reading and sampling recipes from ‘Feeding My Friends’ brings readers as much joy as it has to me assembling this passion project over the years.”
She moved to Bend in 1970 with her husband, Bill Smith, the founder of William Smith Properties and the Old Mill District. She played a major role in Bend’s evolution from a sleepy mill town to a family-friendly tourism destination as she supported Bill and the development of the Old Mill District, often through one of her expertly curated dinner events. “I did once tell Bill, he’s the only guy I know whose entire business success is based on his wife’s cooking,” joked Don Cobleigh, one of Bill and Trish’s longtime friends from Bill’s time at Stanford Graduate School of Business, at Bill’s memorial service this past spring.
Trish spent the early years of her career as an elementary school teacher before embarking on five decades of volunteer service to state and community organizations. She has served as vice chair of both the Oregon Public Broadcasting and Oregon Health and Sciences University boards, and on the boards of the Gonzaga University, Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board and Portland Art Museum.
She has also supported efforts underway by local organizations including Central Oregon Community College and the Tower Theatre, Cascade Festival of Music and High Desert Museum, as well as OSU-Cascades.
“Feeding My Friends” is Trish’s first book, but a follow-up edition is already being considered.