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Star Chef Eric Rivera Plans Dinner Based on Old School Oregon Trail Game

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And, yes, he says diners may ‘die of dysentery’

A photo of a covered wagon in open terrain on a clear day, with a large rock cropping in the background.
The Oregon Trail dinner will feature many of the same hazards found in the game.

Calling all pioneers? Addo’s Eric Rivera — Eater Seattle’s 2018 Chef of the Year — recently announced on Instagram that he’s planning a special dinner in 2020 based around the strategy game, the Oregon Trail. For those who don’t remember the original computer version from the mid-80s (or haven’t played the newer card game), that’s the one where players have to hunt for their own food across a treacherous cross-country journey, often losing family members along the way to all manner of fatal accidents.

According to Rivera, the Oregon Trail Dinner (slated for Feb. 2, 2020 at 6 p.m. at Addo in Ballard) will have seven courses, including wild produce, and patrons must choose certain cards during the experience. “Prior to each course, the guest will draw a card which will seal their fate, whether they die of dysentery or have to ration their own food or make the decision to split their food with a player that has died,” Rivera says.

“Some people might get extra portions for choosing the right cards that we have made, and some people just won’t make it to the end of dinner, considering the risks involved.”

Along with the many other projects he has going on (including his Puerto Rican dinner, Lechoncito), Rivera has been working on strategy-based dinners for awhile inspired by video games, board games, and RPGs. Among the others in store for next year are an escape room, a Clue-influenced meal, and a game show night.


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