Whether catering or teaching about cooking, Diane Clerihue uses fresh ingredients, simple preparations and expert food-and-wine pairings to make memorable meals.
Story by Autumn Gregory, Photos by Christina Dahlstroem Medick
It’s easy to imagine an excellent Umpqua Valley wine served with a mouth-watering dinner — say, a tender steak and garlic mashed potatoes, paired with a good merlot. Or a lemon blueberry cake served with a sweet Riesling.
It’s equally a snap to make such a sumptuous repast a reality simply by walking into one of the Umpqua Valley restaurants offering delicious dining options.
But whipping it up yourself in your own kitchen? Not so much.
Enter Diane Clerihue.
Clerihue, a Roseburg resident with a passion for creating great food and finding the perfect wine with which to pair it, is proprietor of Delish by Diane, a local
in-demand catering company.
But Clerihue goes beyond the preparation of a smoked salmon soufflé or stuffed risotto mushroom cakes. Her dedication extends to teaching local cooking classes aimed at helping would-be home chefs prepare restaurant-quality gourmet meals. Included are wine-tasting tutorials that help clients develop their own palates for finding and serving wines that best complement the food.
Clerihue grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and was a frequent visitor to the nearby vineyards of Napa and Sonoma counties. It was in California that she began attending culinary classes in preparing four- and five-course meals and learning about which wines worked best with each course.
When she arrived in Roseburg a decade ago, Clerihue saw the opportunity to create dining options typically available only in large cities. Co-owner of a wine-tour company, she started her food career catering lunches for tour guests.
Delish by Diane grew out of those lunches. Clerihue focused on pairing food with wine and offering her cooking classes. She also hosts dining events featuring her own culinary creations, caters public and private events in the area, and often donates her services to fund-raisers for nonprofits benefiting children and animals.
Delish by Diane keeps food preparation close to home by using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
The cooking classes are rooted in the idea that delicious food need not be elaborate or complicated. Simple and fresh ingredients, with good wine pairings and artistic presentation, can make a meal memorable.
The classes come in two varieties. Clerihue offers six-week sessions between September and May but also runs an intensive, one-day Saturday class that condenses the six-week course into a single session that focuses on the highlights of the more comprehensive class — including food and wine pairings and full-meal preparation.
The full, six-week course is designed for up to nine students in a session. It includes a beginners’ tutorial on wine-tasting, take-home guides for food-and-wine pairings and copies of recipes used in the class. With the small class size, Clerihue can help more adventurous students experiment with recipes. She has many repeat students, some of whom have been attending classes regularly for years.
By helping students gain a new perspective on food preparation and providing a different take on the cooking experience, Clerihue keeps the classes as fresh as the ingredients. With Clerihue’s guidance, students become more comfortable experimenting with variations on recipes or creating something entirely new.
Clerihue’s catering business serves such occasions as weddings, family reunions and corporate events. But she also does smaller events. Regardless of the event’s size, she prepares menus that appeal to all attendees, including vegetarian and vegan dishes.
To learn more about Clerihue’s classes and catering services, email her at email@example.com or search Facebook for “Delish by Diane.”