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 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.


PREPARATION TIPS FOR FEAST PORTLAND 2016

2015 was my first year attending Feast: I went to Friday Night Market, and Saturday's Oregon Bounty. for both events i showed up like any event with my cross-body purse containing my normal items within; over-stuffed wallet, smart phone,  cosmetic bag, sunglasses with case, and entrance tickets. aside from what was within my purse i was also carrying my big DSLR camera and let me tell you, i was overwhelmed with the amount of items I came with and even more overwhelmed when i started to load up on food, drink, and swag. below are the mishaps i experienced and the solutions to tackle them for this year's events!

ISSUES/SOLUTIONS

below:


  • ISSUE: camera strap and purse strap were constantly tangled.
  • SOLUTION: between lugging around my big DSLR camera and my cross body purse, both with straps, i was a tangled mess. my solution this year: ditch the purse and bring only the bare minimum, so i purchased a fanny pack and will only pack my event tickets, smart phone, ID plus debit card, and a few cosmetics, that is all the extra i am bringing besides my big camera. i know a fanny pack might be a bit extreme for ya'll but once you experience hands free, it is a life saver.  fortunately there are tons of options out there HERE, HERE, and HERE. having used a fanny pack for multiple adventures in the past i know this is a great option for myself and anyone else that can go to an event with just the basics.  

  • ISSUE: dropped and cracked very expensive sunglasses
  • SOLUTION: well the easy answer is to not ever drop them but somewhere between hanging my sunglasses off my shirt and bending over to tie my shoe gravity took over and down went my sunglasses. the lens cracked and lets just say the cost to replace the lens and the hassle of installing were too much, i wound up just replacing the glasses with a fresh new pair, so this year i will not let them fall and will be wearing glasses retainers.

  • ISSUE: dead phone battery
  • SOLUTION: of course my phone died, i was snapping photos, and drained the battery with every media post and extra little item i just had to document. the best solution is to invest in a battery case like this one  HERE. there are multiple case charging options available, this one suites me as it can simultaneously charge the case and phone using the same port, and the case also provides some drop protection for my wonderful clumsy life. this case has already come in handy over a recent road trip where i had forgotten to place my phone in airplane mode while i drove for hours through an out-of-range area, needless to say my battery was drained by the time i did receive service. once the case was on my phone the battery came to life with the hit of a button. i will have my phone in case during the festival and full of juice to start the day's events.
  •  

  • ISSUE: lost camera lens cap
  • SOLUTION: this is an easy fix, buy a lens cap strap like this one HERE. the funny part of the lens cap strap is it does allow for you to remove the cap and have it still attached to the camera, however, depending on the camera angle, i would go a step further and remove it entirely, so just save yourself the headache and place it around your arm like a hair tie or put it in your back pocket! i found a pack of five and bought those online, as i'm sure i'll be losing more lens caps in the future.

  • ISSUE: switching between my camera phone and DSLR camera
  • SOLUTION: well before the solution, the story is, i typically use my smart phone to post immediately and my DSLR camera to obtain blog quality photos, so there is a lot of switching back and forth between the two cameras. the DSLR beats the quality of camera phone every time, but i can't help the need to want to post to social media as the event unfolds, so my solution this year: purchase a wi-fi SD card for my fancy camera. the plan is plain and simple: only whip out my smart phone to download the needed photos and do immediate posting to social media as needed, no need to cover the same shot on both cameras, however i will be doing some snapchat and instragram stories, so the smart phone will never lose its place in my social media line up.

picture 1: three straps too many; wine glass strap, camera strap, and purse strap.

 picture 2:  dressed appropriately for the evening; additional layer tied around my wait to add-on when the temperature drops.

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 pricy 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 add a lightweight layer to discard if going to an outdoor/sunny event. 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, you will keep yourself decently paced and will be able to try more options before walking away too stuffed for another bite!