Cathy Whims, former executive chef at Genoa restaurant in Portland, Oregon has been serving classic Italian fare to Portland diners for years. In the course of her professional career, Cathy has studied with Marcella and Victor Hazan at their home in Venice, with Madeleine Kamman at the highly respected School for American Chefs, and with Giancinto Albarello in his own kitchen at the Antica Torre Trattoria in Barbaresco, a renowned restaurant of the Langhe. Her extensive travels throughout Italy where she meets with chefs, restaurateurs, wine producers, distillers and artisan producers brings Cathy close to the heart of Italian cooking. Cathy has been nominated for Best Chef, Northwest by the James Beard Foundation six times. Nostrana, a rustic Italian restaurant, opened its doors with Whims as Executive Chef and received The Oregonian’s Restaurant of the Year in 2006. Nostrana is a relaxed restaurant specializing in the regional cuisines of Italy using ingredients provided by many of the best farmers, cheese makers, and meat producers in the Northwest. Nostrana has also been mentioned in many local and national magazine including Sunset, Cosmopolitan, Details, Esquire, Food and Wine, the Northwest Palate, Gourmet, The New York Times Travel magazine, Alaskan Airlines magazine and Italian Cooking and Living.
Beyond Nostrana, Cathy and husband David West are partners at Oven and Shaker, a modern urban saloon specializing in wood-fired pizzas, as well as Hamlet, a sweet li'l bar with salty snacks, both located in NW Portland's Pearl District.