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Photo by Gary Hayes Executive chef Lynne "Red" Pelletier of the Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria began her culinary career at the age of 15, cooking at a roadside stand on Cape Cod. Following a path from New England to Florida to the Pacific Northwest, she consistently explored and experimented with food while honing her natural talent for creating exceptional meals. Red owned a candy store in Rhode Island, worked at a Japanese teppanyaki in Florida, built both a catering business and a baking operation in the Northwest, and served as the head chef for numerous restaurants along the way. Ten years ago she found a home working with restaurateurs Ann and Tony Kischner at The Shoalwater Restaurant in Seaview, and today commands the kitchen at the Kischner's latest venture, Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria. Never formally trained, Red is a self-proclaimed master of "confusion cuisine," combining improbable elements to build extraordinary dishes. Situated in the historic Red Building on the Columbia River, Bridgewater Bistro is the perfect venue in which to enjoy her fantastic creations. Northwest flavors find their way into dishes such as a farm-raised maple leaf duck, embellished with a cranberry and blackberry demi-glace and truffles. Most chefs wouldn't consider using cheesecake and crab in the same sentence, yet another of her creations is a Dungeness crab savory cheesecake on a pecan crust with a mushroom meuniere sauce. International influences can be seen in dishes like the puerco pibil with Central American orange and lime marinated pork shoulder that is slow roasted with bell peppers, onion and achiote paste. Try one of her many incredible soups, like coconut-lime chicken, creamy Reuben or tomato-bleu cheese, and her famous Chop-Chop salad. Chef Pelletier is a genuine food artist; don't miss the chance to experience Red's outstanding innovations! Bridgewater Bistro is located at 20 Basin Street in Astoria (503) 325-6777.