bearYou are invited to join The Epicurean Bears Dinner Club! Please call to join for 2014. See schedule below.

Big Bear Camp is such a wonderful setting for a dinner party and we have great cooking facilities. We want to support the local foods movement, build community, meet new people and have fun together at our beautiful forested retreat. That’s why we’ve started a dinner club for people who love food, fun and cooking. We call it “The Epicurean Bears”.

How The Epicurean Bears Dinner Club works:

Up to 20 members and guests will meet the first Thursday or Saturday of every month* for a prepaid dinner cooked by a volunteer “Guest Chef”.along with his/her group of 2-3 cooking friends.

To join The Epicurean Bears, call Hal at 541-228-5372 and ask for a membership form. (Sorry we don’t have internet here at the Camp). Return the form with your $1 annual membership fee, plus the required $20 advance dinner payment, which goes into your member account. This enables you to attend a dinner of your choosing. We realize that it’s really nice to be able to bring a guest or two. This is great. An additional payment of $20 per person is required. Reservation are first come first serve, so you’ll want to reserve your spot(s) early. Your reservation will be confirmed by PHONE. Once you are confirmed your fee is non-refundable BUT you may give your spot to anyone you wish. Members may go to multiple dinners, as long as there is at least $20 in their account at time of reservation.

Who Cooks?

If you have always had a hankering to prepare a fantastic meal using the best ingredients in a professional kitchen for a group of admiring people, we encourage you to volunteer as a “Guest Chef”. As the Guest Chef, not only do you get a big pile of cash (approx. $400) to buy those yummy ingredients, you and up to three assistants receive overnight lodgings at Big Bear Camp the night before and the the night you cook. Also you have the option of inviting up to 3 more of your friends. (They must pay the advance $20 dinner fee.) If interested, please ask for the “Guest Chef” info package.

A note about fees:

Of the $20, $3 goes to Big Bear Camp for the use of facilities and $17 goes into the Guest Chef’s “Ingredient Pot” for the Guest Chef. Any money not spent stays in the “Pot.”  Each fall there will be a harvest picnic for all members using the excess club $ to help cover its cost.

2014 SCHEDULE: (Meals start at 6 p.m., but come early to visit, watch or help the chefs

*NOTE: From March until July we will meet on the first Saturday of the month. From August through September, we’ll meet on the first Thursday of each month (due to conflicting camp reservations). October is our last meal for the 2014 season and we’ll dine on the first Saturday. If we are unable to find a volunteer chef, we’ll still dine together with a themed potluck meal.


March 1, 2014 – Hal and Tonia, Big Bear Camp Hosts cook “Comfort Food”.P1020958

Meat Loaf, Mac n’ cheese, spinach salad, mashed potatoes, and for desert: brownies with ice cream. Ingredients from local sources, including Big Bear Camp.            .

April 5- no chef. We’ll have an Italian themed potluck.                    (There is no fee.) Big Bear Camp will make a big pot of pasta with homegrown tomato sauce. Bring another sauce or another dish.

May 3 -  Sarah Pattee cooks Bavarian.Sarah3

Sarah Lincoln Pattee, the cook/chef does not have a drop of German blood in her, but she grew up in four different neighborhoods in Munich; her family still lives there in Unterhaching, a small suburb of the city. She remembers eating heisse Marroni (hot chesnuts) from the old Bavarian street vendors, pommes frites (French fries), gebrannte Mandeln (burnt sugared almonds) and Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes) at festivals and the Christkindlmarkt at Christmas. She loves Wurst and Kraut—and has tried almost every possible pastry in almost every Konditorei in Munich.

.Sarahs menu: Germans love food and Germans love celebrations that include lots of food. What better time to celebrate Frühling than a German picnic dinner in May?


June 7, Saturday – Back by popular demand – Lindy Burtis from Woodland CA!Lindy in Lebanon with a little help from her sister, Teri and brother, Hal and sister in-law, Tonia

FRENCH COUNTRY CUISINE:                                      Hors d’oeuvres                                                         Salad fresh from Big Bear Camp’s organic gardens.

French Onion Soup (Ala Julia Child’s as well as vegetarian)

Quiches – Lorraine; leek and blue cheese; nettle and   mushroom


Homemade french bread (Of course)

Dessert: Lemon custard/souffle and another surprise


July 5, Saturday – back by popular demand John and Brenda Rivera cooks 4th of July feast including:john and brenda

Main Dishes:                                                    smoked tri-tip, (satisfaction guaranteed!)             BBQ chicken

Side Dishes:                                              homemade baked beans                                         fire roasted sweet corn                                  Avocado, strawberry, spinach salad,

Star-spangled Desserts:                                                                                                     in celebration of July 4th, an  offering of watermelon, mini blueberry pies and home made ice cream. YUM!

Delightful Drinks:                                                                                                          Sweet tea                                                                                                            Unsweetened tea                                                                                                             Fresh Fruit Iced Tea                                                                                                         Fresh Lemonade



Aug  7, Thursday- Pizza Night with Garth Hitchings an Diana DeFazio Note: kids welcome for $5!

Garth and Diana are Walton neighbors, members of Epicurian Bears, and in their words “big fans of Big Bear Camp.” Diana was raised in Walton, then spent over a decade in Alaska where she met her husband, Garth. She returned to her home “town” of Walton in 2010 with Garth to run her family’s wooden toy business, Papa Don’s Toys. They’ve been in search of great pizza since arriving in Oregon and think that the pizzas that come out of Big Bear Camp’s wood-fired pizza oven are the best around. Their pizza topping combinations are inspired by their all time favorite pizza place – Moose’s Tooth Pizza in Anchorage – but will also include original creations featuring wild foods from the Walton area.


Wood-fired pizzas – many kinds

Big Bear Camp garden salad


Homemade root beer


Sept. 4, Thursday- No Chef so we will have POTLUCK Far Asian Fun – Bring your favorite food from Japan, China, Thailand, Korea, or other country (not India as we hope to get a chef focusing on Indian later.) Come around 6 o’clock. Remember no fee.

October 4, Saturday- Back to the Saturday schedule – Carl and Tonya will make  Rubin sandwiches using homemade pastrami, rye bread and homemade sauerkraut made from Big Bear Camp garden cabbages; German potato salad, green salad, and pumpkin spice cake..

November 8,  Saturday – The last dinner of the year. Our Pre-Thanksgiving-Thanksgiving  POTLUCK at 2:00 P.M..-. Big Bear Camp will provide ham and a nut loaf.. All Epicurean Bears Welcome. Please RSVP..