Training oriented to sauce components will provide invaluable insights into basic food chemistry and how the senses operate.

At once beguilingly sweet and juicy, with a kiss of tartness, cherries are seduction on a stem. And the fruit’s appeal is only enhanced by its limited availability within a season that lasts just a few weeks in most locales, and less than three months overall across the country. Although most other fruits are now predictable fixtures in the food supply, the cherry’s appearance marks a moment for restaurants to enjoy—and exploit—one of nature’s special treats.

“What we are doing in wine and agriculture is very special,” added Alejandro Bulgheroni. “We believe we can make an important contribution there in terms of sustainability and innovation. Food and wine are the essence of life.”

Even in Portland, a city with so many microbreweries and brew pubs that it’s been nicknamed “Beervana,” the handpicked and constantly changing lineup of esoteric labels at Higgins is a standout.

Apart from skilled and curious mixologists, who else knows about bitters, that under-appreciated collection of “secret” potions on the backbar? Within this category are complex spirits that stimulate the appetite, aid digestion, and make a good drink much better.