Northwest Wine and Food Society announced the third award in their Restaurant Reboot program. A $2000 grant was awarded on October 9, 2020, to Keri Buhman of C’est la Vie French café in Vancouver. The grant is for the support of reopening and ongoing expenses in wake of the pandemic.
Keri Buhman started her wine education in Walla Walla, Washington in 2004 where she received her Associate degree in Viticulture and Winemaking. Her real interest was in the history and styles of wine from around the world, which took her to New Zealand to attend the Sommelier program at NZ School of Food and Wine. Keri worked as Head Sommelier at a five-star resort in New Zealand, while she earned a Diploma from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust in London.
After traveling the world, Keri returned to her home town of Vancouver and opened C’est la Vie, a French café and crêperie, in Battle Ground. In 2015 she opened Soirée Supper Club and Catering in Hazel Dell. Soirée is a special events venue for monthly Sommelier dinners, wine classes, and special occasions. C’est la Vie is now located with Soirée on 78th Street in Hazel Dell.
In accepting the grant, Keri said: “This award will really help with the rent, I just opened for one additional day of the week and this will help with payroll.”
The Restaurant Reboot Program was created by the Northwest Wine and Food Society (NW&FS) in response to the challenges faced by the food and beverage industry through the Covid-19 crisis. While the Mission of the NW&FS is to provide educational opportunities in the fermentation sciences, viticulture, and culinary arts through scholarships, grants, and endowments, the organization recognized the critical need of our local restaurants and wanted to make a difference. The aim of this program is to provide support to local, community-loved restaurants in the Portland metro area for reopening and ongoing expenses.
Previous grants have been awarded to Blue Door Bakery and Arden. Awards are determined by NW&FS based on community impact and overall excellence.
An initial grant of $10,000 was to be distributed in five $2000 allotments. NW&FS has since raised an additional $5000 toward additional grants. Tax-deductible donations can be made online through NW&FS. here.
Through grants, scholarships, and endowments, Northwest Wine & Food Society, a 501(c)3, has provided over $100,000 in support for Pacific Northwest educational opportunities in the fermentation sciences, viticulture, hospitality, and culinary arts programs, as well as support for local restaurants.