EXCITING FEAST PORTLAND 2018 CHANGES + 2017 RECAP

EXCITING FEAST PORTLAND 2018 CHANGES AND A 2017 RECAP!

Four more days and culinary heaven will be ascending upon us antsy feasters. I am all ready, I have my food and alcohol hangover kit ready with activated charcoal, aspirin, coconut water, and of course I have my car share ride apps all ready to roll. With that said I must share to share more reasons why you should stop neglecting the opportunity to snag some Feast Portland 2018 tickets. While many events have long sold out -within minutes- there are still many festival events open to attend and plenty within a comfortable price range. Scroll below to find a little photo breakdown of what you might be missing out on. 

SANDWICH INVITATIONAL IS OUT AND A NEW KID IS IN TOWN: 80'S VS 90'S

Feast Portland's inaugural Thursday night kick-off event, The Sandwich Invitation, has sadly sliced its' last sandwich during last September 2017's go around.  The sandwiches have gone stale and a new hombre has rolled into town. Introducing the new Thursday night main event The 80's vs 90's. Where a new team era competition is set to take place  with the help of 20 chefs divided into Team 80's versus Team 90's.  Still held at the Rose Quarter Commons -home of the Portland Trailblazers and the Winterhawks- and is still a team competition putting team 80's against team 90's. This new era competition is sure to divide the crowd into Team Pizza Pockets versus Team Tostinos. 

80’s vs 90’s tickets are $125 for 3 hours of unlimited food and beverage.


GRAND TASTINGS: FRIDAY TICKETS STILL LEFT

The Grand Tastings are still the same as previous years and are a great beginner event for any new Feast attendee. They are set up in the sprawling Pioneer Square, right in the heart of Downtown Portland. The event itself feels like a walk through tunnel of every Whole Foods, New Seasons, and Costco store during live demos and sampling from vendor reps (minus the chaos of shopping carts and checkout lanes) just exponentially elevated. 

Just like the years prior there are two Grand Tasting Events, Friday afternoon and Saturday afternoon. As of right now Saturday's Grand Tasting has sold out, but there are still tickets available for Friday's Grand Tasting. Aside from tasting every bite from over 80 vendors, bakers, artisans, and makers, do not forget to fill up your wine glass from a myraid of local and national wineries pouring tastings straight from the bottle and then grab a spot on the bricks for one of my favorite sessions, the fireside chats, or look out for the hourly live action cooking demos like this demonstration from last year's Williams Sonoma Booth where Chef Gregory Gourdet of Departure, Portland and Chef Ray Garcia of Broken Spanish, Los Angeles made Charred Brussel Sprouts, Mole Blanco, Habanero, and peanuts with Finex cookware. 

Ticket sales are for $75 each and are all inclusive of food and drink. 21 and over only.

Don't forget to check the daily schedules for the Fireside Chats

Friday:

1:30p - Sean Brock (Husk, Charleston, SC) with Amiel Stanek (Senior Editor, Bon Appetit)

2:30p - Alvin Cailan (The Usual, New York, NY) with Adam Rapoport (Editor-In-Chief, Bon Appetit)

3:30p - Elias Cairo (Olympia Provisions, Portland, OR)  with Adam Rapoport (Editor-In-Chief, Bon Appetit)

Saturday:

12:30p - Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn, San Francisco, CA) with Julia Kramer (Deputy Editor, Bon Appetit)

1:30p - Edouardo Jordan (JuneBaby, Seattle, WA) with Julia Kramer (Deputy Editor, Bon Appetit)

2:30p Bonnie Morales (Kachka, Portland, OR) with Christina Chaey (Associate Editor, Bon Appetit)


DRINK TANKING, STILL ONE OF THE BEST VALUES AROUND!

I've said it before and I will say it again and again, Drink Tank events is where the party is at! 

For an hour in length ticket holders are sat in front of a table full of whatever highlighted alcohol has creatively lent itself to the headlining theme. Your table placemat will be covered in more drinks than you can carry and enough to make you a little -or very- tipsy -depending on your stamina to drink and will to hydrate. The Drink Tank events are really one of the most underrepresented classes offered. Each year the themes change and dive into the most recent of drinking trends. Have you been following the recent spike of Rose-inspired beers and ciders in production or the recent influx of natural wines appearing on wine lists?

Just as the themes change so do the attending panelists, for the past 3 years we've had Bon Appetit columnist Marissa A. Ross talk on various wine topics, including my first very interactive Beer vs Wine  Drink Tank from 2016 -an event that had me laughing out of my chair and taste pairing wine, beer, and cheese. The guest panelists are so insightful, often funny, and if you catch them on a good day you can even hear some holesome bar shamming through background stories between the panelists. 

Tickets run from $25 to $55 and there are still tickets left to The New (Old) Italy, Act Naturally: Natural Wine Comes of Age, and Tickled Pink: Why Rose-Inspired ciders and beers are taking over


HANDS-ON CLASSES

Hands-on classes at Feast are just like they sound, hands-on. The class theme and time vary, as do the prices. The classes range from in price from $65 to $160 and the highlights of the class can range from cooking classes with master chefs, turning pie into works of art, learning how to stylize your next dinner gathering into instagramable pictures, to building your very own macrame piece while sipping rose.

Below are scenes from last year's Bon Appetit's "Inside the Test Kitchen" with Brad Leone and Carla Music. Talk about Fangirl moment for me, a longtime reader of Bon Appetit.

There are still tickets available to Macrame and Rose, and Pigeon Toe Ceramics + Lord Birthday: Dream Muggin'. Although these aren't my favorite events I would say this is just more ammo to get tickets early next year.. Just sayin'.


NIGHT MARKET 2018 TAKES A TRIP TO THE PACIFIC RIM

Previous Feast years have taken trips through Latin America and Spanish speaking countries and a long trip through the Asian continent to showcase a global feast very reminiscent of a SE Asian night market. Bright lanterns hang from each food stall, strings of lights illuminate the walkway, a live DJ is pumping out the beats -in the case of last year, spicy latin music-, the atmosphere is absolutely festive and you might find yourself dancing between stands. 

For Feast 2018 Night Market has taken a trip through the Pacific Rim encompassing everything along the America's coast line, across the waters to Polynesia and Australia, and back up the Asian Continent. The Pacific Rim is going to be a festive event with a live DJ, over 20 participating chefs, and many participating sponsors presenting cocktails, and eats.  

Also, if you are an Alaska Airlines Card holder be on the lookout for special perks like VIP entrance to some events but most importantly to VIP lounges, which will be the case at Night Market. 

This event is currently sold out, better try to get them next year!

Left to Right: Potato and Ham Croquetas from Bar Ama, Tuna Tostadas from Local Oceans, and Carrot Nachos from Ghost Donkey. 

The bustling scenes from Night Market


SMOKED! ZERO REASON TO CHANGE AN ALREADY FABULOUS EVENT!

Wonder what's so hot about this famed Smoked event that sells out every year? Well, the key is experiencing Smoked first hand. Nothing can describe the excitement that boils in your veins as you drive up to the Fields Park on night three of Feast week greeted by plumbs of smoke marbling the evening skyline into a hazy fog. If you can't quite make out those smoke signals allow me to interpret, "You've made it to Smoked!" Feast Portland's final main evening event which takes place in the open air in the heart of the Pearl District at The Fields park. 

This grand event runs every Saturday evening of feast week and it happens to be a crowd favorite selling out every year -and this year in under 9 minutes. There are many reasons why some events win the hearts of feasters but Smoked is an event unlike the rest. The event showcases over 20 chefs preparing dishes using their interpretation of smoked. In previous years there were Smoked Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies, Smoked Root Beer Floats, Grilled Snake River Farms Tomahawk bathed in Smoked Bone Marrow, and items without a direct smoked correlation like the Ricotta Fritter, Apple Butter, Rosemary and Pork Fat Powder. 

This event sold out in 9 minutes this year meaning it will only become increasingly popular, with the potential to sell out within the first minutes like many other events have in previous years. 

Montrel Smoked Beef Tartare, Grilled Bone Marrow, Preserved egg, and Shaved Horseradish from St. Jack Restaurant, Portland. 

Favorite bites Left to Right: Pork Ribs and puffed rice from Fat Rice, Ricotta Fritter, Apple Butter, Rosemary and Pork Fat Powder and ,Hama Hama Oysters, Smoked Tomato Kasundi, Pickled Mustard Seeds, and Cilantro


BRUNCH VILLAGE

The final day four of Feast Portland has arrived and with it being the last day of all events what better way to send off the throngs of feasters than to send them through Portland's most quintessential meal, Brunch. And not just to a plated brunch buffet of tired eggs, dried out sausage, and a puddle of hollandaise teetering on the verge of the danger zone but to an entire village dedicated to brunch. I'm talking about half of Pioneer Square covered under a tarp with over a dozen talented chefs from across the nation supplying their best morning versions of eggs and biscuits, yogurt parfaits, fried chicken sandos, build-your-own bloody mary bar, kombucha on tap, and mimosas, the perfect start to your sunday funday!

Tickets are still available for Brunch Village: $95 a ticket for three hours of food and drink.


FUN-SIZED EVENTS: BECAUSE BREAKFAST

Feast Portland's Fun-sized events have truly become one of my most anticipated events. They are not quite as grand as the Main events and not as intimate as the Dinner series. The Feast Fun-Sized events offer a more focused, as the name implies, Fun-Sized approach. The atmosphere is a little more of everything with a little less of everything. Less waiting in lines, more places to sit, less of the hurry up and grab ideology, and more time to chat with some of your favorite participating chefs. 

Below are scenes from last years Sunday Fun-sized event "Because Breakfast."  The running theme of this year's event was a collection of instagram-ready breakfast goods, including pastries, crêpes, drool worthy donuts and morning cocktails. Handcrafted creations from Clare Gordon (General Porpoise Donuts, Seattle), Kim Boyce (Bakeshop, PDX), Jehnee Rains (Suzette, PDX) and Michael Scelfo (Waypoint, Boston). Treats so pretty, you might feel guilty eating them.

There are still tickets the following 2018 Fun-Sized events:

Tickets are still available to a few events, if you have the chance, you do not want to miss out! Head to www.FeastPortland.com to snag the last few!


Disclosure: I was invited to participate and provide Feast Portland social media coverage with a staff pass which included entry into all main events, hands-on classes, fun-sized events, and Drink Tanks. I was not provided the pass in exchange for coverage but to help with their social media platform. I wrote this post because I am a big fan of Feast Portland felt the need to share my love.

As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

FEAST PORTLAND 2016 RECAP PART 4. THE BEST THINGS I ATE AT NIGHT MARKET AND SMOKED!

FEAST PORTLAND 2016 RECAP PART 4. PHOTO RECAP OF THE BEST THINGS I ATE AT NIGHT MARKET AND SMOKED! 

Can you believe that we are just a few days away from the foodie wonderland that is known as Feast Portland? I know, me neither! This year's Feast crept up on me. Did it come quickly for you, or was that just the way my life rolls because I have an infant, and all months have flown by. Little side note, last year I was 34 weeks pregnant and very sober at all of the feast events, and this year I am not pregnant and hoping to not be sober, because I did my required sobriety. Also, this year is extra special for me as I am not going there as a blogger -like last year's 2016 events-, but as extra help with some of the Feast Team's social media accounts! I am absolutely elated to be there as a staff member, this is a huge accomplishment and I get to handle the behind the scenes media which is even more up my alley!

Basically, I get to take pictures of food and eat it like it's my job, I'd say that is the ultimate goal in foodie life!

So please tell me, what events will you be at and which are you excited for?

I basically lost my shit when I saw the line up for the Late, Late Show: Adventures in Takeout; the lineup of chef's include my ultimate list of past feast participating chef's; Chefs Abraham Conlon and Adrienne Lo of Fat Rice, Chicago; Han Ly Hwang of Kim Jong Grillin’, portland; Bonnie Morales of Kachka, portland; and also Kyo Koo of Danwei Canting, portland; Gabe Rosen of Biwa, portland; Victor Deras of OP Wurst, portland. 


NIGHT MARKET PRESENTED BY ALASKA AIRLINES VISA SIGNATURE CARD


Night Market is one hell of a fun event, from the colorful banners strung about the open air market to the party vibes projecting across the zindell yards from the on-site dj mixing latin reggaeton music, to the seemingly never ending array of tasting possibilities. What other food event go south of the border to bring you Mexican street corn -known as elote- to across the Atlantic ocean to bring you one of Spain's most famous of dishes, paella. everything about Night Market is a party, the only thing missing is a pinata and some flamenco dancers.

Below is a photo recap of some of the amazing offerings from over 20 chef's, numerous wineries, distilleries, and artisans from near and far all available for three hours of non-stop eating and drinking on a large patch of gravel.

JACOBSON SALT CO. 

Jacobson Salt Co. : making a tasty tijuana thunder cocktail: hornitos tequila, ancho reyes chile liqueur, peach, lime, rainer beer, bee local honey water, and a dash of salt to enhance the overall flavor of this beerita.

MILAGRO TEQUILA

Milagro Tequila: serving up spiked aqua frescas, I was lucky enough to try a batch before they added the prized spirit!

A LOADED TRAY:

Clockwise pictured on tray: upper left: ranchero arancini ball from Taylor Railworks, double chocolate chip cookie and denver lamb ribs barbacoa from Lardo, and a non-alcoholic pepino from Milagro Tequila.

OLYMPIA OYSTER BAR

Olympia Oyster Bar: oysters on the half shell with agua chile rojo, pickled cactus leaves, avocado, and micro cilantro

SALT & STRAW

Salt & Straw: sweet corn copo layered with lime zest shaved ice, oregon sweet corn ice cream, cilantro kola syrup, fresh candied marionberries, and topped with black raspberry sweetened condensed milk. 

A LOADED TRAY:

Clockwise on tray, starting with chicken wing, green chile chicken wing from Craigie on Main,  totopos from Xico, and pozole rojo from Dove's Luncheonette.

RINGSIDE STEAKHOUSE GRILL

Ringside Steakhouse: bistec, chorizo y pulpo antichuchos, and dulce de leche profiterole 

TAQUERIA NUEVE

Taqueria Nueve: surtido de res, oaxacan black bean puree, and spiced mexican crema, on a tostada


SMOKED! PRESENTED BY TILLAMOOK


2016 was my first year attending Smoked! and wow was I further surprised by the innovative ways the smoked theme carried over into all of the food items. I initially thought this was going to get tiresome real quick, smoked-everything peaked in Portland a while back and it has been a trend I just can't get into. Smoked ice, smoked bourbon, smoked bitters -okay not sure on that one- but let's just say the taste is not a happy familiar, instead, i taste the notes of a week's worth of unwashed campfire hair, yuck right! So to say I was surprised is an understatement, the only smoked I tasted out of feast was on the grilled meats, and if you're worried about it being a meat-extravaganza, do not! There was more than a fair share of non-meat items like the negroni s'more, Cocquine's famous smoked almond chocolate chip cookie, and the delightful smoked tomato gazpacho from Pacific Fruit Company was a great break from all smoked and grilled meats. Also, if you're just at the events to drink, then a drinking you shall do, from straight up spirit tastings, to regional wines, mixed cocktails, and kombucha there is plenty of drinks to be had! 

Below is a photo recap of some of the amazing things i ate at Smoked.

THE ORIGINAL SAILOR JERRY SPICED RUM 

PARK KITCHEN

Park Kitchen: smokey sunday morning sunday with bourbon ice cream with Breakside Brewing smoked porter, caramel sauce, malted whipped cream, and topped wth "hair of the dog granola" beer nuts, cocoa nibs, and puffed barley. This was a favorite of mine, the textures knocked me out of the park, from the crunchy granola topping, to the smokey and creamy ice cream this was a hit!

A LOADED TRAY:

Clockwise on tray, top left American flag toothpick musubi sliders with togarashi spam slices, grilled and basted in teriyaki sauce on a king’s hawaiian roll with japanese mayo, cabbage, and nori slaw from a partnership between Old Major, colorado and Pasture, virginia. Top right left: snake river farms beef tongue "big mac" with pickled green almond, little gem lettuce, roasted tomato mayo, and caraway-celery salt from Kachka, portland. Bottom right: smokey sunday morning sundae with bourbon ice cream from Park Kitchen, portland. and lastly: smoked mussels a la crawfish boil from Holdfast, portland.

HUGH ACHESON OF 5 & 10

5 & 10: cremini-lamb burger with charred scallions, boursin, and pickles, on tomato on a potato roll

Pacific Coast Fruit Comapny: smoked tomato gazpacho topped with dill creme fraiche, preserved lemon, and fried shallot.

A LOADED TRAY

Clockwise from left corner: a negroni s'more: wormwood and cocoa nib graham, campari marshmallow creme, orange gin glaze, and juniper dust from a collaboration with Ninteen 27 S'mores and Douglas Derrick. Top: smoked tomato gazpacho. far right: a cake that I can't name but it was delicious from Isa Fabro, los angeles.  Center: pork cheek over szechuan eggplant with sweet bean bao, Boke Bowl, portland.

THE HUNKS OF FEAST

Clockwise: Gregory Gourdet of Departure, portland. Hugh Acheson of Five & Ten, georgia.  Brad Farmerie of Saxon + Parole, New york. William Werner of Craftsmans and Wolves, San francisco.

THE BABES OF FEAST

Molly Yeh of food blog My Name is Yeh, Michelle Lopez of food blog Hummingbird High, and Nong Poonsukwattana of beloved food cart turned brick and mortar Nong's Khao Man Gai

Voila! C'est moi friends! This was me at 2016's Smoked! event with Feast Portland. I was 34 weeks pregnant, a little cold, very rained on, but still putting along and enjoying three full days of Feast foodie love!

PREVIOUS 2016 FEAST COVERAGE:

GENERAL TIPS FOR FEAST:

  • READ THE LINE UP AHEAD OF TIME: you will miss someone's table, you will find yourself overwhelmed by the massive amounts of food and celebrity chefs, you will undoubtedly find out, after the fact, that so-and-so was there who you happen to be a big fan of. Do yourself the favor of looking at the line-up for your main event. To lessen the urge to overwhelm yourself and visit everyone, build a strategy and write down your top five stops to make during each event. 
  • TRANSPORTATION: most of the events are going to be at very public areas, that means parking is going to sparse and very pricey to park privately, best option is to take public transportation, call on a friend for a lift, a taxi, or uber your way there! Plus if you plan to imbibe staying away from the wheel is the best case scenario. 
  • DRESS COMFORTABLY: you will be on your feet over 80% of the time, wear some comfortable shoes, and bring at least one layer to add-on if going to a night event, and if going to an outdoors/sunny event add a lightweight layer to discard -best to bring something that can easily tie around your waist.
  • PACE YOURSELF: although it might be possible to eat a little bit of everything at the main events, the real side is some of the servings are pretty hefty. One strategy I learned from last year: split items with a friend. don't both wait in line for the same item, instead split up and get different items and then share down the middle, think: devide and conquer you will keep yourself decently paced and will be able to try more options before walking away stuffed to the gills. 

disclosure: I was invited to participate and provide Feast Portland coverage with a blogger's pass which included entry to the 2016 grand tastings, the night market, and the drink tank events in exchange for festival coverage before, during, and after. And just to attest to my love for this food festival I have purchased tickets to many Feast events on my own dime; my attendance to smoked was one of those events I paid for out of pocket. As always, all opinions expressed are my own.

FEAST PORTLAND 2016 RECAP PART 3. DRINK TANK'S PRESENTED BY IMBIBE

Let's just preface this post by saying in the past scurry of buying Feast Portland tickets, I may have severely overlooked some knockout, smaller, intimate Drink Tank events -like really really overlooked- because I favor the variety the main events offer and the crowds really don't bother me.

Last year I was fortunate enough to attend a few of the Drink Tank Events on a Feast Portland media pass and although I was super pregnant (like 34 weeks) and unable to partake in drinking, I was completely impressed by the entire event set up, the fun joking atmosphere, the amount of knowledge behind every individual on the panel, and, of course, how much drinking was involved! Although Feast Portland is very much a food forward festival let's not forget about the drinking that is to be done during Feast week!

Two things you must know about Feast Portland's drink tank series: 

1. The Drink Tank's are one part interactive drinking audience and two parts education.

2. The Drink Tank events are a really good deal, for under $60 you get a dedicated hour of learning, a reserved seat, personal cocktails; beer; wine; cider (depending on what course you choose), paired snacks to share amongst your table-mates, water, education on what you're imbibing on, and a guest panel of very serious drinkers to answer all of your serious or canny questions. 

Just scroll down my list of 2016 Drink Tank events presented by Imbibe below to read the reasons why you and I should never overlook these events again.


  • 2016 APERITIFS ASCENDANT: UNDERSTANDING VERMOUTH, QUINQUANAS AND APERITIF WINES

1. Reserved seating. No lines, no juggling drinks and eats, overall, a nice sit down atmosphere.

guest panel lineup:

  • Kate Bolton, Maven, Portland, OR
  • Paul Clarke, Imbibe, Portland, OR
  • Neil Kopplin, Imbue Cellars, Beaverton, OR
  • Ryan Magarian, Hamlet, Portland, OR
  • Jake Parrott, Haus Alpenz, Bristow, VA

  • 2016 WASHINGTON WINES ON THE RISE

2. A guest panel of enthusiastic and knowledgeable speakers. 

guest panel lineup:

  • Kate Derby Raymond, Spring Valley Vineyard, Walla Walla, WA
  • Brennon Leighton, B. Leighton Wines, Seattle, WA
  • Tony Rynders, Tendril Wine Cellars, Carlton, OR
  • Bruce Schoenfeld, Saveur, Boulder, CO

  •  2016 THE DAY OF THE DAIQUIR: HOW RUM AND LIME CONQUERED THE WORLD

3. Lots and lots of ALCOHOL!

guest panel lineup:

  • Paul Clarke, Imbibe, Portland, OR
  • Simon Ford, The 86 co, Studio City, CA
  • Jim Romdall, Rumba, Weattle, WA
  • Michael Shea, Rum cCub, Portland, OR

Although I didn't participate in the drinking, I was dumbfounded at the bits of knowledge tossed out behind the rum making process and how to concoct a great daiquiri.

[PS. how much more alcohol do we need to hammer the point of a great cocktail? As I was leaving this event people from the audience were asking to take the cocktails I was sitting in front of, apparently these were really good!]


  •  2016 BEER VS WINE, THIS TIME IT'S PERSONAL

4. Audience interaction and participation from your own seat.

For not drinking at any of the Drink Tank events, this event was possibly my favorite events to sit through. So much audience interaction, and I had a girl-crush moment listening to wine aficionado Marissa Ross defend her choices in wine and cheese pairings, while Christian contested the moods of his beers, which made for some great laughs and a desire to pair my beer with cheese.  

the guest panel lineup:

  • Christian debenedetti, Wolves & People Farmhouse Brewery, Newberg, OR
  • Marissa Ross, Bon Appetit, Los Angeles, CA
  • Steve Jones, Cheese Bar, Portland, OR

Although a majority of the participating audience had pre-voted wine as their choice drink between wine and beer, the cheese pairings and marissa's charming rebuttals definitely won the audience over as wine won the overall vote. 


Tickets go on sale for Feast Portland's 2017 festival this Friday, June 2nd 9a. The schedule goes live Thursday, June 1st at 9a, don't forget to spend all 24 hours from when the schedule drops to when tickets go on sale to figure out which events you want to attend.

If you don't enjoy sifting through crowds of people, standing for hours while juggling your drinks and eats, a Drink Tank series might be the event for you. with all Drink Tank events you get reserved seating, a sit down intimate atmosphere, all of the conversation realness from your favorite food/drink celebrity, the ability to ask drink or personal related questions to said food crush without too much rush, and, oh snap, let's not forget that there is a whole lot of drinking to be done at these events! don't hesitate on the trigger, tickets drop Friday, June 2nd 2017 at www.FEASTPORTLAND.com


full disclosure:

i was kindly provided a Feast Portland 2016 pass that included entry to the Drink Tank events in exchange for media coverage. all opinions expressed are my own.


PREVIOUS FEAST PORTLAND COVERAGE BELOW:


FEAST PORTLAND 2016 RECAP PART 2. THE GRAND TASTING

Last year was my first year EVER year attending feast -I know super late bloomer here. After experiencing all of the magic of eating and drinking to my heart's fill I knew I couldn't do another year sans feast. 

One of the main events, the grand tasting, is held across two days, Friday and Saturday and located within the pioneer courthouse square -a brick amphitheater within the city center. The grand tasting is an event set up to sip and sample many new-to-the-market items and many wonderful food items prepared by local chefs. This year I was given an amazing opportunity to attend as a guest blogger -which allowed me entry to both grand tasting days. Since I had attended the grand tasting the year prior I had a great idea of what to expect and even planned a strategy on how to get the most of my time at the grand tasting. 

Below are a few highlights from my time at the Grand Tasting events that from both Friday and Saturday:

FEAST PORTLAND 2016 GRAND TASTING

USA PEARS

Just like the year prior I had a good guess that there would be a tasting station with a food and wine pairing somewhere within the grand tasting, so this year I made it my mission to find it straight away. After doing a quick run-through the grand tasting I found it immediately and got to enjoy some tasty bites before the massive crowds discovered it.

Local guest Chef Doug Adams, formerly of Imperial and currently working on his proposed restaurant Bullard (opening 2017), was behind the cutting board at the USA Pears tent serving up delicious bites featuring USA PEARS. An additional wine pairing featuring wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle was also present.


DECADENT CREATIONS BAKERY

beaverton

Being the big fan of sweets I made a mad dash to find Decadent Creations Bakery as this bakery has been on my list to try. The baking gods must have known I was coming because the gals were serving up a few of my favorite flavors; pumpkin, passion fruit, and salted chocolate. For starters anything pumpkin flavored will always get my personal taste test, as does salted chocolate, and passion fruit so slap me a little because I couldn't believe my eyes when I noticed three of the four items they were featuring were among my favorite taste profiles.

Decadent Creations' drunken pumpkin cake was by far my favorite bit of the entire grand tasting. The cake was super moist with a wonderful balance of pumpkin spice, a rum cinnamon ganache layer, and a thick creamy dollop of hazelnut meringue buttercream. This little bite was heaven. I may have had a few extra pieces, more than my share as it was so darn good!


DRY SPARKLING

I've been a big fan of DRY SPARKLING for years, the beverages are fizzy, and delightfully light in flavor. 


BON APPETIT TENT

For two days there were so many goodies featured under this tent, Olympia Provisions featured a beautiful array of their finest charcuterie, Bee Local Honey and Jacobsen Salt Co. shared bites highlighted by their flavor enhancing salt and honey, Yogi Tea served up hot tea, and Wolf Gourmet featured grilled chicken tacos and roasted plum and ricotta tartine with their high-performance countertop items.


OREGON FRUIT PRODUCTS

Oregon Fruit Products featured three wonderful items: crispy pork belly bites topped with black berry gastrique and whipped herb goat cheese on a bed of endive and frisee, and vanilla bean wanna cotta topped with dark sweet cherries  poached in oregon pinot noir and topped with salted pistachios, aside from the eats Oregon Fruit Products was also serving up refreshing strawberry lemonades with their pourable fruit.


OREGON CHEESE GULID

The Oregon Cheese Guild featured four local artisan cheeses, chubut wedge, chèvre with cajeta drizzle on a apple chip, fiesta cheesorio in a cup, and brindisi squares.


RANGER CHOCOLATE


WILLIAMS-SONOMA + JACOBSEN SALT CO.

I hope you all had a chance to get you hands on any of the dishes that came off this table. Both days at the Grand Tasting featured back to back chef demos from our very own local chef talent and chefs across the nation.

Guest Chef Gregory Gourdet of portland's Departure restaurant and finalist on Top Chef behind the cutting board prepping his dish for his upcoming demonstration time slot. 

Local Chef Peter Cho of Han Oak helping being the scenes at saturday's grand tasting


SALT & STRAW

Hello, a Salt & Straw cart and no line?! You bet I got in the non-existent line and ordered up three mini scoops of every flavor I was curious about, the tom douglas triple coconut cream pie, the white toast and apple butter, and the strawberry honey balsamic with black pepper!


NECTAR CREEK MEAD

I cannot wait to get my hands on some more of that Waggle Mead, a lightly carbonated and fermented honey adult beverage. 


NATURE'S PATH

Nature's path featured two yummy dishes, a vegan raspberry eton mess with coconut cream, crushed meringue, raspberry and chia granola, and crispy avocado tacos with panko bread, pumpkin flax, granola, avocado and tahini.


PORTLAND SANGRIA

Portland Sangria is a spritzy blend of rose and juice in a can


ADDITIONAL FEAST BITES


MY FEAST STRATEGY

My biggest tip for all Feast main events: find the biggest plate that you can and save, this will be your tray during the remainder of the event. I figured out this method last year when I recieved an alaska airlines tray, that tray was put to great use during my first feast weekend but since I didn't keep the tray from last year I scooped up this plate and used it during the entire event. Having this plate helped me gather more than one bite at a time which meant I was able to stay in lines longer while I stocked up on bites. It made taking the time to enjoy my food loot much more enjoyable as I was able to sit and enjoy it all at once.


full disclosure: i was kindly provided a Feast 2016 pass that included entry to the grand tasting and media events in exchange for media coverage. all opinions expressed are my own.