And yet another reason to love pork…as if you needed one!

As promised, a few mouth-watering tidbits from Cochon 555, undoubtedly the porkiest culinary event in the country:

Pig in the Sky: Cochon 555 in Seattle, WA 2013

Pig in the Sky: Cochon 555 in Seattle, WA 2013

Cochon 555 is essentially a competition that features different chefs from the same city all cooking a different heritage breed of pig. Beyond that it’s a celebration for chefs and food fanatics across the nation to eat as much pork as possible in one afternoon.

This year’s PNW bout was held on St. Patrick’s Day at the beautiful Cedarbrook Lodge just outside of Seattle. Each chef put out several pork-filled courses to be first scored by a panel of judges and then enjoyed by the masses. The highest-scoring chef will go on to compete in Aspen for the title of “King or Queen of Porc.”

As a very lucky attendee, I suffered the hardship of walking around, gorging on pork in various forms, sweet and savory.

Here’s a few of my favorite swine-filled sweets:

Chef John Sundstrom of Lark wowed the crowd with his chicharone nutter butters.

Chef John Sundstrom of Lark wowed the crowd with his chicharone nutter butters. This was one of my all-time favorite bites.

Continue reading

Gratuitous Food Porn: Brunch of Champions

Image

A while ago, I helped my husband do a Brunch and Bloody Mary event at the Oregon Zoo’s World Forestry Center. He was one of several chefs sampling out amazing bites to a very hungry crowd. I was lucky enough to attend as his assistant, which meant I spent the morning double-fisting bloody marys and dishing up divine treats like these:

Cherry Toaster Strudels with Foie Gras Mousse

Cherry “Toaster Strudels” with Foie Gras Mousse

Continue reading

Gratuitous Food Porn: Dinner at the Herb Farm

The Herb FarmEarlier this year, I posted about taking a tour of my company’s elk farm with my boss and two co-workers. We brought the chef, owners and several employees from the Herb Farm with us because they were planning to us some of our elk for their winter menu. These are the types of field trips you get to take when you sell meat for a living! Anyways we had such a fantastic time together that it really motivated me to take a trip to Woodinville to try some of elk when it appeared on their harvest menu.

My husband and I ended up making the trek in early December and it was just as wonderful as we could have hoped. The food was fabulous and meat sourced from my company was scattered throughout the menu — including our rabbit, venison and, of course, elk.

Here’s what the experience was like…

The scenery:

Statues outside of the Herb FarmThe little things that made it extra awesome:

Love the little booklet for the menu!

Love the little booklet for the menu!

Along with the included wine flight, my husband and I also got the "Three Muscat-Tiers," a trio of muscat wines from Australia.

Along with the included wine flight, my husband and I also got the “Three Muscat-Tiers,” a trio of muscat wines from Australia. I couldn’t stop laughing at the pun. Brilliant!

My favorite dishes from the 9-course tasting menu:

Continue reading

Gratuitous Food Pic: Foie Gras at Hokusei

Image

Seared Foie Gras, Shrimp & Scallops on Eggplant…with a touch of gold leaf for extra luxuriousness. It was amazing! Hokusei, Portland, OR 2012.

Gratuitous Food Pics: Dinner at Restaurant Beck

Course 1 of 7: Salad of beets, tomatoes and cucumber

Restaurant Beck is quite unique — and one the most unusual things about it is its address. Sure, we have good restaurants all over the state of Oregon — from Eugene to Cannon Beach, even the best Japanese restaurant is in Beaverton, not Portland. But to have one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs cooking in Depoe Bay (population approximately 1,400) is really a strange thing to contemplate.

But, it’s true. Chef Justin Wills is turning out some amazing food in a tiny town (which is situated between Newport and Lincoln City) and people are willing to make the trek to see eat it for themselves. If you don’t believe me, check out the accolades he has received (most recently a James Beard nomination).

So, when my husband and I made our journey to the coast last weekend, he surprised me with reservations at this lovely little spot.

A destination restaurant in Depoe Bay? It’s true!

Continue reading

Gratuitous Food Pic: Fry Bread with Pulled Pork

Image

Navajo Fry Bread with Pulled Pork, Radishes, Cilantro and Chive Creme Fraiche

My husband did a cooking demo at the Montavilla Farmer’s Market last month and I got the opportunity to help him. This is the dish we gave out as samples to the very eager crowd, alongside several dessert versions topped with fresh berries, nutella and/or whipped cream. Needless to say, it was a hit!