IACP Conference in Portland — Judith Jones Remembers Julia Child

April 28th, 2010

Pomegranate margaritas from The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook at the end of the IACP Portland conference...

Now that the dust has settled a bit I’d like to share some more memories of this year’s IACP annual conference in Portland. I gave you the gist here but now I want to give you a little more to chew on.

First off, those pomegranate margaritas above are what I ended the IACP conference with. I made them at my friend Craig’s birthday party on Saturday night and they were delicious. It was the perfect cocktail to end the conference with considering the recipe is from IACP cookbook award finalist Chris and Idie Hastings’ The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook.

One of the best events that I attended at the IACP conference in Portland was the Julia Child talk with Judith Jones. I’m guessing that if you read this blog you know who Judith Jones is but just in case you don’t, she’s the legendary Knopf senior editor and vice president who’s worked with everyone from Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus to James Beard and of course Julia Child. She discovered and edited Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking after all.

Several months ago Julia Child’s program The Way to Cook, which aired in the late 1980s in conjunction with her seminal namesake book (Judith Jones worked closely with her on both) became available on DVD. At IACP Jones talked about the making of the show, the book, and Julia Child. It was a charmed event and here are some highlights…


Jones noted that during the 6-week production schedule of the series The Way to Cook the caterer put cilantro into just about every lunch. They ate it and didn’t bat an eye until finally several days into cilantro Julia Child raised up her arms in a playful way and cried, “No more cilantro!”

Jones mentioned another time when Child was fishing a bouquet garni out of a pot. She finally got it and said matter of factly in front of the camera, “Looks like a dead mouse.”

At some point during taping someone asked Julia Child why she always massaged chicken and she responded dryly, “I think the chicken likes it.”

Jones talked about a dinner at Julia and Paul’s one night when she made a simple potato dish, Paul made cocktails, and Julia made the main. Jones said that she added a little garlic while Julia hovered behind her and watched. At dinner Paul tasted the potatoes, smiled, raised his glass and toasted her. Jones said she was, “in cook’s heaven!”

Jones made a bit of fun of Food Network shows during her IACP talk and the channel’s slick everything prepped and ready-to-go in ramekins way by saying, “Who wants eight small cups to wash when they’re finished with making dinner?”

One time on camera Julia Child was working on a soon to be roasted suckling pig and trying to figure out how to deal with the tail so it wouldn’t burn. Finally, she said with a twinkle in her eyes, “Well, there’s a perfectly natural little hole right underneath it for the tail to go in so you don’t even need to bother.”


“She had a strong impulse to communicate and to teach us to cook.”

“Her biggest desire was to teach Americans the subtle art of French cooking.”

“Julia’s message was always to have fun and enjoy.”

“Julia was always open to change — if it was good change. Her standards were high. The first time she used a food processor she was absolutely thrilled with it.”

“Julia always liked food that wasn’t fiddled with too much and was what it was.”

“She never lost that naturalness.”

On that note I’ll end this post. I feel very lucky to have been able to attend this magical event. My heros — alive and in spirit…

Judith Jones

IACP Conference in Portland — Quick Thoughts…

April 26th, 2010

The IACP Gala Awards Ceremony at the Portland Art Museum hosted by Ruth Riechl and Kim Severson...

A few months back I learned that the 2010 IACP conference (International Association of Culinary Professionals) was scheduled to take place in Portland in the spring and I thought — sounds interesting, I should check out some events. Once I found out more about the association and its conference — and to put it bluntly more about the cost to attend — I decided to volunteer for some of the spendier events and blog about and attend the less expensive ones.

Turns out I judged it right. By volunteering I not only got to attend a lot of fantastic events, I also got to know a lot of local Portland food folks that I’ve been wanting to meet, as well as catch up with some local friends. It was a charmed and memorable week for me. Here are some of the highlights…

Quite the honor to host these two for Portland's IACP conference...

I held this up at the airport last week because I was lucky enough to be asked to pick up this culinary powerhouse couple from the airport and take them to their hotel. They were exhausted from their NYC->PDX flight so I did little more than take them on a quick loop of downtown so they could get their bearings. They’ve been to Portland a bunch but it had been a couple years.

Even though it was a short trip from the airport and they were exhausted Karen and Andrew were nice enough to ask me a bunch of questions about my wee book and give me some expert advice on marketing it. (This is simply to let you know how freaking nice they are.) It turns out their first book was a summer title too!

Other than Michael Ruhlman calling “Bullshit!” on Karen during a lively panel talk they had a lovely time doing everything from hosting an all-star dinner at Leftbank Annex to benefit The Culinary Trust with Naomi Pomeroy, Steve Jones, Adam Sappington, Jason French and others, to talking about the death of recipes, and signing copies of The Flavor Bible at the IACP Culinary Book Fair…

That’s another one of the many events I volunteered for. At the beginning of my shift I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around to find Madhur Jaffrey (!!) asking me to escort her to her signing table. Well, yes, I think I can do that. Along the way we passed all sorts of well-known writers all signing away and chatting with fans…

Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg at the Culinary Book Fair..

Linda Ziedrich my pickling and now preserving hero…

Linda Ziedrich lives in Scio and is the author of one of my favorite cookbooks...

and many more including the likes of Ruth Riechl, Judith Jones, Kim Severson, Michael Ruhlman, along with plenty of local cookbook authors.

That’s all I have time to say right now but I’ll be back for at least one more installment about the IACP conference. For now I’ve got to hurry up and finish up at the office so I can get over to this big PDX food/drink event happening tonight…

International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP)

We Have a Winner! Two Free Tickets to Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation!

April 19th, 2010

Read it and weep, unless you're...

Dave Taube! That’s right, Dave Taube, please give me a holler at info@lizcrain.com as soon as possible and let me know where you’d like me to send your two free tickets for this year’s Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation next Monday, April 26th at Portland’s LUXE Autohaus.

(Oh and ignore the quotes surrounding the lucky number above. They’re from a book I recently read. I wrote the lucky number in that notebook last week. It’s a great book by the way…)

Just to clear up any confusion — yes, Dave was #16 on the post’s comments
but I stated early on that my comments didn’t count and since I commented three times…that brings Dave to the unlucky turned lucky number of 13!

Anyway, don’t feel too bad about yourself if you aren’t Mr. Taube, because guess what, there are still tickets available and this is a great event to support since 100 percent of proceeds go to hunger relief agencies AND you get to eat and drink all sorts of incredible things from local chefs, brewers, mixologists and more…

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Monday, April 26th 5-9pm
LUXE Autohaus
410 NE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
For tickets, call 1-877-26TASTE, buy them online at www.portlandtaste.org, or visit any New Seasons Market.

IACP Conference in Portland Next Week!

April 16th, 2010

I know you’ve heard all about next week’s IACP Conference in Portland — April 21st-24th — already but I’m going to highlight a few low dough events that I think you might be interested in. That’s where you’ll find me in addition to a few of the workshops and events. Yes, there are plenty of $100 plus events going on but no you don’t have to part with a Ben Franklin or two or three to enjoy some IACP action next week…

IACP CULINARY BOOK FAIR — Friday, April 23rd 1:30pm-3:30pm:

The IACP Conference Culinary Book Fair at the Oregon Convention Center on Friday from 1:30-3:30pm is your chance to meet 50-plus cookbook authors under one roof, for just $10 admission.

Straight from the site:

Held in conjunction with the Annual Conference and Culinary Expo, this special book signing event will give you the chance to meet and mingle with your favorite cookbook and culinary book authors. Books will be available for purchase and authors can sign and personalize your copies. Wine and beverages will be served, and authors will provide tastings from their favorite recipes. For the first time in many years, the event will be open to food-loving members of the public. Please join us in thanking Powell’s Books, the official sponsor of the Culinary Book Fair.

Ruth Reichl, Judith Jones, Michael Ruhlman, Karen Page, and Andrew Dornenburg will be among the 50+ authors at this cookbook signing event.

Pre-register online now. Tickets in advance are $10; tickets at the door ar $15 and subject to availability. (Admission is included for IACP Friday conference attendees.)

IACP FOODISTA FOOD FILM FESTIVAL — Friday, April 23rd and Saturday, April 24th:

The Food Film Festival co-sponsored by Foodista.com. is also open to the public and $10 a film, which includes some treats, a no-host bar and a Q&A with filmmakers afterward.

The Food Film Festival will be held in the Salon Ballroom of the Portland Hilton located downtown on SW 6th Ave. Visit Foodista.com for more information on the film festival schedule and tickets.


Looking forward to cooking from this one this weekend...

I got The Hot and Hot Fish Club Cookbook in the mail yesterday as a precursor to IACP and I’m really looking forward to cooking from it this weekend. This Running Press title is up for an IACP Cookbook Award in the Food Photography and Styling Category and the restaurant’s PR group sent me a copy to review pre-conference.

The gist: more than 200 recipes from the owners of the acclaimed namesake Birmingham, Alabama restaurant. The cookbook also includes profiles of more than a dozen purveyors who supply the restaurant.

In addition to being a finalist for an IACP award Hot and Hot Fish Club co-owner/chef Chris Hastings is up for a James Beard Award this year in the Best Chef: South category. He’ll be at the Culinary Book Fair on Friday that I wrote about above. I’ll keep you posted…

Win Two Tickets to Taste of the Nation, April 26th!

April 13th, 2010

Tasty treats like this await you if you win tickets here to Taste of the Nation...

No, I don’t know what that is but you might if you went to last year’s Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation. Last week I posted about Taste of the Nation and this week I’m doing it again. No, I’m not a broken record because this time I’m giving away two free tickets to this wonderful event! Considering that tickets to TOTN start at $75 a pop — it’s a pretty exciting giveaway.

All you have to do to win is comment here about the best meal you prepared recently. See? It’s not hard. I don’t want to add any more stress to your life but I do want to know what you’ve been eating. Just because.

I have a lucky number in mind. In fact, I’ve written it down in one of my many notebooks. Promise. The lucky number person to post here wins two complimentary tickets to this year’s TOTN. I’ll announce the winner/s early next week. Until then tell everyone you know to get over here and comment to win. Just so I have proof I’m telling my coworkers the number since they’re disqualified anyway…

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Monday, April 26th 5-9pm
LUXE Autohaus
410 NE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
For tickets, call 1-877-26TASTE, buy them online at www.portlandtaste.org, or visit any New Seasons Market.

Taste of the Nation — April 26th at Luxe Autohaus

April 8th, 2010

Don't know what these are exactly but they were served at last year's Taste of the Nation and they look great...

I’ve never been to Share Our Strength’s annual Taste of the Nation but if I’m not too exhausted from IACP and other events the weekend of April 23rd I’m going to finally check out this Monday, April 26th event — the 23rd annual Taste of the Nation. 100 percent of the proceeds benefit local hunger relief agencies. Doesn’t get much more feel good than that.

The gist is you buy a ticket for $75 and up and get to sample unlimited tasty food and drink from local chefs, brewers, mixologists, food entrepreneurs and more.

***Check back with my blog next week for a chance to win two free general admission tickets to this fantastic event!***

Here are some highlights straight from the event press materials:

50 Restaurants 25 Wineries 5 Breweries
ONE mission to End Childhood Hunger

Oregon is a state known for its abundant production of fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, and yet 1 in 6 kids in Oregon experience food insecurity and do not receive proper nutrition to grow and develop. Taste of the Nation works to end childhood hunger in the United States and abroad by ensuring that children and their families have reliable access to nutritious food, and by addressing the deeper causes of these conditions.

100% of the evening’s ticket and auction revenues will be given to hunger-relief efforts. Local beneficiaries
o Oregon Food Bank,
o Oregon Hunger Relief Task Force,
o St. Vincent de Paul Food Recovery Program,
o Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank.

Since its inception in 1988, Taste of the Nation Portland has raised more than $1.1 million for hunger relief.

Taste of the Nation Portland is one of more than 55 food-and-wine fundraising events taking place across the U.S. and Canada, sponsored by Share Our Strength, a national organization working to end childhood hunger.

Sample of Participating Restaurants:
La Calaca Comelona
Laurelhurst Market
Nuestra Cocina
Saint Cupcake
Screen Door
Steve’s Cheese
Beaker & Flask

Elk Cove Vineyards
Foris Vineyards Winery
Willamette Valley Vineyard
Lange Estate Winery and Vineyards
Illahe Vineyard
Pamplin Family Winery
Cooper Mountain Vineyard
Chehalem Premium Wines
Full Sail Brewing
Southern Oregon Brewing
Sierra Nevada
Captured by Porches
Crater Lake Soda

Cupcake Jones cupcakes from last year's Taste of the Nation...

100 percent of proceeds go to local and national hunger relief agencies.

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Monday, April 26th 5-9pm
LUXE Autohaus
410 NE 17th Ave.
Portland, OR 97232
For tickets, call 1-877-26TASTE, buy them online at www.portlandtaste.org, or visit any New Seasons Market.

Sliders Revelation — Dinner Roll Buns

April 5th, 2010

Sorry I didn't invite you...

I debated about whether or not to post something about burgers because honestly this town has had a lot of freaking burger action lately — to the point where it’s just about overkill. Pun intended.

But it’s not often that something this delicious comes around in a bun so I’d feel bad if I didn’t tell you about the incredible beef sliders that we cooked up recently.

I’ve been a little burnt out on burger buns lately. As funny as that sentence sounds it’s true. You know, I put together these rad burgers with great meat, sometimes cheese and all sorts of tasty fixings and then they go on mediocre store bought buns. The first way out was to buy nice crust ciabatta buns. I still do that and they’re great — fluffy, porous and perfect for sopping up juices since they hold up well.

Last week I entered new terrain — beyond ciabatta. I was perusing the New Seasons Market Arbor Lodge baked goods area when I came across Marsee Baking’s take and bake dinner rolls. I had sliders on my mind and these little guys were just the right size. You know where I’m going with this.

Once home I left the meat out to get to a good temp. while I gathered the condiments — mayonnaise, whole seed mustard — and prepped the fixings — butter lettuce, cilantro, homemade spicy garlic pickles and french-cut dilly beans. Once that was done we stoked the grill and formed the patties with salt, pepper and hunks of Rogue Creamery’s Smokey Blue inside for good measure.

When my boyfriend put the sliders on the grill I threw the dinner rolls in the oven and several minutes later both were ready. I think the pictures speak for themselves but in case there’s any doubt these were the best burgers of the season so far. Too good not to share.

Burgers are about the easiest thing to cook but if you want some tips I think this is a great article.

Blue cheese beef sliders baby...

Grape Talk — Hardy Plant Society Kitchen Gardening Group

April 1st, 2010

According to Lon Rombough: Never give a sucker an even break. A grape vine sucker that is...

My friend Karen does all sorts of things that make me jealous. Lately she’s launched into her new career as a landscape designer as well as working part-time at a local nursery. She gets to work with plants and people who care about plants all day long. That’s pretty fantastic in my books and if that’s not enough she also has the largest urban edible garden of anyone I know.

Not only is the garden amazing but Karen and her husband Chris have built a ceramic studio and sauna in the sprawling backyard portion of it. Another reason why I’m jealous of Karen is that she’s a member of the Hardy Plant Society’s Kitchen Gardening Group.

From the HPSO website:

The Kitchen Gardening Group is focused on edible landscaping, and sharing food and recipes from their bountiful gardens. They meet on the 4th Tuesday at 7pm at members homes, typically rotating from Eastside to Westside.

Karen goes to these monthly events and they always sound great. A while back there was one that I really wanted to go to — how to grow and cook with Asian vegetables. Although I didn’t attend that one I recently joined Karen for the March 23rd open-to-the-public grape growing Kitchen Garden event with Lon Rombough author of The Grape Grower.

Lon Rombough's favorite grape captured from his website...Swenson Red grape.

The event was held at a Unitarian church in Beaverton and although I didn’t count I’m guessing there were about 30 people in attendance. They asked for a donation of $5 or more at the door but I’m sure they would let you attend if you couldn’t afford that. I learned a lot and I’m definitely considering joining the Hardy Plant Society and its Kitchen Gardening Group as a result.

A few highlights from Lon’s talk:

100 plus varieties of table grapes grow well in the Pacific Northwest.

We can grow good wine grapes here but outstanding table grapes. Why? Most of the wine grapes grown in the PNW are European varieties so they’re not perfectly suited to the climate. Most locally grown table grapes are American varieties which are disease resistant and better suited to the area.

You can bury a sprawling grape vine at any point and it will sprout anew.

Swanson Red grapes are one of Lon’s favorite table grapes.

Buds that are close to old wood are usually not too fruitful.

The best time to prune grapes is in the spring or late winter.

The biggest problem with growing grapes in Oregon…birds.

Lon Rombough
Buy Lon’s books