Feasting in Portland: Another epic food weekend

Fried baloney sandwich, by Chef Sean Brock. Rocked my world.

Fried baloney sandwich, by Chef Sean Brock. Rocked my world.

So for the second in year in a row, Portland has hosted Feast, an extravagant food festival that lasts for four days and bring in chefs of international fame. Last year I attended a few events (primarily the Night Market and the Oregon Bounty), this year I attended a few new ones, including the rather exclusive High Comfort dinner.

Here’s a peek into my time at Feast…

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Project Fruit Tree & Adventures in an Urban Garden of Eden

Sous Vide striploin, served on a bed of fresh tomatoes, plums and garnished with puffed wild rice.

Sous Vide striploin, served on a bed of fresh tomatoes, plums and garnished with puffed wild rice.

Last weekend marked the third year that my husband, my friend DB and I cooked for a party of 40 to help benefit the Portland Fruit Tree Project. The PFTP does a series of “Orchard Banquets” every summer to raise money and for the past three years they’ve asked my husband to donate his time by heading one of the dinners.

This year, like last year, we lucked out and had the honor of cooking our dinner at Tabor Tilth, a crazy, magical dream in urban gardening. (If you want your mind blown, click this link to watch a video about the garden, hosted by the woman who owns it.)

My husband, because he is constantly ambitious with his cooking, always dreams up amazing menus for this dinner, which has become the event that DB and I look forward to helping him with the most.

And clearly other people look forward to it too. Many people from last year’s dinner attended this one and we heard from staff that our series sold out a month in advance. I guess the word has gotten out that my husband throws down when it comes to food!

Here’s some pictures from last Sunday’s soiree…It should also be mentioned that many of the produce used came from Tabor Tilth, some of which we foraged for the day of the dinner. Nothing beats the taste of freshly picked fruits and veggies!

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Gratuitous Food Pics: Where the wild things are (eaten)

I’ve written time and again about how much I love my job as a meat distributor. My hands-down favorite part is being able to eat the dishes that chefs create with our meat — from the basic cuts to the more unusual offerings. These pictures are a perfect example of offal at their best.

The restaurant Kingdom of Roosevelt is fairly new to Portland, though the chef has been around for a while and is even slightly infamous in this town for entirely different reasons. The menu is not for the faint of heart — take a peek at the last picture if you don’t believe me — but let me tell you, the food is incredible. Every dish was superbly executed, not something that happens often especially with such ambitious ingredients.

Fallow Venison Heart Tartare, Venison Marrow Bone and Arugula Salad

Fallow Venison Heart Tartare, Venison Marrow Bone and Arugula Salad

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Gratuitous Food Pics: Portland’s Plate & Pitchfork

Grilled Octopus Salad w. White Beans, Calabrian Chilies and Sugar Snap Peas

It’s cold, windy and rainy days like this one that make me long for summer. A big part of summer for me is cooking outside as much as possible, often with my husband who is a chef in Portland. If we’re not grilling in our own backyard, we’re cooking alfresco for special events sourced through the restaurant.

This past summer, we did an extravagant pig roast for Archery Summit Vineyards and an urban garden dinner for The Portland Fruit Tree Project. Last summer one of my favorite events was a collaboration dinner with the chef of Lardo (Portland’s latest media darling who is now a good friend) for an event called Plate & Pitchfork.

Plate & Pitchfork brings chefs together with local farmers, so each chef gets paired up with a farm, uses their produce and puts out a multi-coursed family style dinner at the farm. It’s pretty awesome.

Here’s some scenes from our dinner which was held at Sun Gold Farm in Forest Grove. We served about 120 people, using one gas burner and two huge grills.

Octopus a’grillin

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Gratuitous Food Pic: Foie Gras at Hokusei

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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 Pic — A fabulous charcuterie board

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It’s time for another installment of things that make me happy:

Large platters of various meaty items ALWAYS make me happy. It’s a fact.

This massive charcuterie board had everything from duck rillette to prosciutto-wrapped asparagus and (the best thing ever) deep-fried pork rillette. Holy moly. It was good. Very good.

From Metrovino, circa 2010.