Cathy Whims

Cathy Whims

Chef/Owner at Nostrana

At the core of the Maialata is Cathy Whims. She is the creative power behind all that we do. In addition to curating the Maialata, she also teaches a hands-on gnocchi class.

Cathy is the former executive chef at Genoa restaurant in Portland, Oregon and 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.

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Rob Roy    


Rob Roy is the Butcher and Charcutier at Nostrana Restaurant in Portland Oregon. He was born and raised in Indianapolis Indiana and received B.A. Degrees in Communication, Fine Arts, and Art History at Indiana University. While studying art and language in Florence Rob became enthralled with the values of Italian cuisine. Rob continues to seek out artistically fueled culinary adventures that resonate with similar ideas of food sourcing, sustainability, and cooking. He moved to Portland in 2001 and worked at Assaggio as the Sous Chef then at Genoa. In 2008 he found an amazing opportunity with Cathy and David at Nostrana and has enjoyed their company ever since. In addition to butchering, chefing, and educating he has a passion for drumming, leisure suits, and river-time.