Allium + Oregon Tilth Dinner Sunday Dec. 5

November 29th, 2010

I spent some time at Luscher Farm in fall 2008 for Portland's first Organic Gardening Certification Program. I took this photo during one of our classes. Beautiful.

There are a lot of eat for a good cause events in and around Portland so it’s always hard to choose which ones to write about here. I don’t have a complicated formula. It’s usually pretty simple why I write about one and not another. If it’s an event that I’m going to, or would want to go to, and if I like the folks involved and I have time and space to write about it then I do. It’s that simple.

This Sunday’s Winter Neighborhood Dinner at Pascal Chureau’s Allium Bistro in West Linn — The Farm Comes to Allium — has all that going for it. The dinner is in partnership with Oregon Tilth and 10% of the evening’s proceeds go to the organization. I wish I could attend but unfortunately I’ll be at the Oregon Historical Society’s Annual Cheer all day and have plans for the evening. Check out the info. below if you’re interested in attending and be sure to make your reservation soon because there aren’t too many seats left.

More info. from Allium’s site:

Join Farmer Conner Voss of Oregon Tilth’s Demonstration Garden at Luscher Farms & share the farm’s organic provisions and inspiration.

Cheese Plate~local & imported, fruit confiture, toasted almonds, grilled breads
Sautéed Shrimp~citrus marinated shrimp, garlic, almonds, romesco sauce, piri-piris Endive Salad~mache, oregon blue cheese
Coq au Vin~braised chicken, smoked bacon, pearl onions
Steamed German Butter Balls Potatoes~truffle butter, chives
Pan Roasted Rock Fish~confit garlic, cream, mustard, tarragon
Oven Roasted Butternut Squash~ Kruger’s Farm wild blackberry honey, cumin, oregano
Warm Chocolate Cake~caramel crunch, eggnog crème anglaise
Red wine & White Wine

7 dishes + wine ~ $36 per person including wine/ $10 per child

10% of the proceeds will be donated to Oregon Tilth’s Educational Farms

Reservations required– 503.387.5604

Allium Bistro Winter Neighborhood Dinner
Sunday, Dec. 5, 2010
6:30pm, drinks at the bar at 6pm

Signed Copies For Sale

November 22nd, 2010

I'll write sweet nothings and send you some books.

Even though my book is available from all sorts of awesome sellers including Powell’s Books, New Seasons Market, Elephants Delicatessen, Elliott Bay Book Company, and Omnivore Books on Food I’ve gotten a lot of requests lately from afar for signed copies. To remedy the situation I’ve added a magic little PayPal button below for folks who want signed copies of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland for the holidays or otherwise. You don’t have to have a PayPal account to buy books this way. You just need a credit card.

I’m taking care of the shipping on continental U.S. orders via media mail and I’m also offering discounts for multiple book orders. Media mail takes a few days up to a week but there’s also the option for priority mail for a bit more $. If you want even quicker shipping, more than three books, books to multiple addresses, or a chicken in a zebra costume please just drop me a line and we’ll figure it out.

And if you want to give more local books as gifts this season these are a couple businesses that I love and you might too: Hawthorne Books & Stumptown Scribes

From my shelf to yours...

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland
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Holiday Book Events

November 19th, 2010

Good eats at a New Seasons Concordia event I did a couple weeks ago...

I’m doing some fun holiday book events in the next several weeks and thought I’d let you know about them in case you want to head out for any. A lot are giving portions to good causes so there’s that added bonus…

Saturday, November 20th 10am-4pm
Tigard Community Friends Church Bazaar

Saturday, November 27th 2-9pm
Hip Chicks Do Wine’s Portland Thanksgiving Weekend Extravaganza

Tuesday and Wednesday Nov. 30-Dec. 1st 10am-6pm daily
OHSU’s Heart Research 2010 Holiday Bazaar

Sunday, December 5th Noon-5pm
Oregon Historical Society’s 43rd Annual Holiday Cheer

Primal Cuts Comes to Portland Nov. 12th & 18th

November 11th, 2010

Judge this book by its cover. What's is even better...

I get a fair number of review copies in the mail and I have to say that Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers is one of the more exciting ones. One reason I got a review copy is because of the 50 US butchers that Marissa Guggiana interviews in what her publisher Welcome Books calls “a modern meat bible” three are from Portland:

Ben Dyer of Laurelhurst Market
Jason Barwikowski of Olympic Provisions
Berlin Reed aka The Ethical Butcher

I wish I had a scale here at my studio because I’d weigh this meat tome. Oh wait, there’s the online oracle — ok so it’s an impressive three-plus pounds. This is a hefty book that costs a pretty penny and although I know you can get three-pounds of pork butt for significantly less — and then you can make Ben Dyer’s Little Smokies pickled in a hot vinegary brine on page 125 — the book is worth every penny.

Each butcher profiled introduces him or herself and then there are great, big photos of them with their meat (excuse me but it’s true) as well as recipes for everything from cinnamon oxtail stew (Gabriel Claycamp, formerly from The Swinery, WA) and pork belly confit (Olivia Sargeant, Farm 255, GA) to boudin (Donald Link, Cochon Butcher, LA) and venison jerky (Scott Leysath, The Sporting Chef, CA). In addition to recipes the books includes DIY for homemade sausage, bacon and dry cured meats as well as advice for kick-ass burgers, deboning a chicken and making stock.

It’s a fantastic book and I’m really looking forward to learning and cooking from it. Even though it’s a little over the top when pulled out of context I really like what Dario Cecchini says in the book’s introduction:

Here is the essence of our craft as butchers: a task crude and compassionate, strong yet delicate, always respectful toward the killed animal, with the ethical imperative of always using the meat in the best manner possible, knowing that, since the beginning of time, these animals were were given to mankind as a gift from God.

Saving the best for last, Primal Cuts is coming to Portland:

Friday, November 12, 7:30pm
Dinner with Marissa Guggiana, Jason Barwikowski, & Ben Dyer
Simpatica Catering & Dining Hall
828 Southeast Ash Street
Portland, OR 97214

The menu from Simpatica’s site:

Sliced Corned Veal Tongue and Fried Oxtail Roulade with Broken Sauce Gribiche, Grilled Toasts and Bitter Herb Salad

Turnip and Turnip Top Soup

Wood-Roasted Whole Cattail Creek Lamb with Chickpea and Viridian Farms Grilled Pepper Stew and Skordalia

Blood Orange Curd Crepes with Chantilly Cream

Price is $40 per person plus wine and gratuity. Dinner begins at 7:30pm. Please email Simpatica or call the kitchen at 503.235.1600 to make reservations.

And Thursday, November 18th:

Info. from the press release:

$20 PRESALE. $30 DOOR.
Buy your ticket today at
Thursday, November 18th 7-11pm
The Cleaners at Ace Hotel
403 SW 10th Avenue

After you fill up on all that local meaty goodness and get dancing to the beats at The Cleaners you’ll want to keep going. Head down the street to Beauty Bar for Homo Deluxe/Primal Cuts After Party.

Beauty Bar

111 Southwest Ash Street, Portland

Friend Food

November 10th, 2010

Lots of good times with friends last summer. Including taking a bite out of Steve's skull.

It seems like every week or so we give and receive delicious homemade and often homegrown food. You know, the old take over a pot of soup one week and the next week get your pot back and it’s filled with something else delicious. What can I say, we have great friends and lucky for us they are all good eaters and many are fantastic cooks.

Especially our neighbor Alison. Every time I take Alison something I’ve made to eat (she’s vegan so it’s not as frequent as I’d like) she brings us back something incredible. She’s a really good baker and her sweets — especially her pies — are hard not to make a meal out of. They’re that good.

The last few weeks we’ve been gifted some really tasty food and drink. Here’s some of what I’m talking about…

Nick Zukin's guajillo salsa. He handed this to me at a food event late this summer. Awesome. I got to try all sorts of his homemade salsas and Mexican dishes at a dinner party at his home a few weeks ago. There's a very important reason for that. Mum's the word now but you'll find out more soon...

Culinate's Kim Carlson dropped off a bag of these tasty local sweet dream peaches and summer flare nectarines in September...

Pine State Biscuit's Kevin Atchley gave me a jar of his oh-so-very-good homemade pickled okra.

Our friend and neighbor Alison brought us back all these tasty treats from her cross-country trip this summer.

Our friend Karen gave us a tray of seed saver celery starts this summer and we've been enjoying a lot of great soups and stews the last several weeks as a result.

Our friend Craig gave us a bunch of different hot and not-too-hot chiles from his garden and we've been making lots of sautees and salsas with them.

Alison gave us these delicious apple tarts this Monday. We had them Tuesday morning with coffee. So good.

Go make some yummy things and give them to your friends. They deserve it.

Oregon Culinary Institute Pig Project Dinners

November 5th, 2010

Red Wattle piglets...

In October I got an invitation to attend one of two Oregon Culinary Institute dinners that I’ve been looking forward to ever since. Both dinners sound great but by process of already-have-plans elimination I’m going to the first one next Tuesday night.

What exactly am I talking about? Here’s some info…

Tuesday, November 9th, 7pm @ Oregon Culinary Institute — Suds & Swine five-course fundraiser dinner with beer pairings from Upright Brewing to benefit Chefs Collaborative. MENU & TICKETS.

Wednesday, November 10th, 7pm @ Oregon Culinary Institute — Wine & Swine five-course fundraiser dinner with wine pairings from Chehalem Winery to benefit Ecotrust’s Farm to School program. MENU & TICKETS.

Tickets for each dinner are $75.

Oregon Culinary Institute chefs at Heritage Farms Northwest.

A little background…

In May, OCI purchased three Red Wattle hogs from Heritage Farms Northwest in Dallas, Oregon. Red Wattles are a breed of hog listed on Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste. According to Slow Food USA, “Red Wattle pork is exceptionally lean and juicy with a rich beef-like taste and texture.” Mmm.

The breed is named for its color and distinctive wattles that hang from either side of its neck — similar to the wattles of some goat breeds. Since May two of the pigs have been pen-raised at Sweet Briar Farms in Eugene and the other pasture-raised at Heritage Farms Northwest. All OCI culinary students were invited to participate in the project.

On November 9th and 10th OCI Chef Instructor Josh Blythe and a crew of students will prepare five-course dinners with each dish featuring side-by-side comparisons of the pasture- and pen-raised pork. OCI Baking and Pastry Chef Instructor Salvatore Hall and his students will prepare dessert. Each course will be tailored to the beverages served that night.

Wealth Underground Farm, an organic CSA farm located on Newberry Rd. off Skyline Blvd. in Portland, is providing produce for both dinners.

All events surrounding this project, leading up to and including the final dinners, are being filmed and edited into a final video production by Actual Industries.

Learn more about the dinners here.
Learn more about the pig project here.

About Oregon Culinary Institute:

Established in 2006 as a division of Pioneer Pacific College, Oregon Culinary Institute offers a complete, practical and affordable culinary arts education where students can earn Associate of Applied Science degrees in Culinary Management, Baking and Pastry Management, and Restaurant Management. The school also offers diplomas in Culinary Arts, Baking and Pastry Arts, and Restaurant Management, Students may also earn a Sommelier Diploma at Oregon Culinary Institute in cooperation with the International Sommelier Guild. OCI’s student-run fine-dining restaurant serves lunch and dinner, most Mondays through Fridays. Reservations are recommended.

In the walk-in until next week's dinners...

New Seasons Market: Meet the Author Event

November 2nd, 2010

Look at dem apples. The produce department a day before the grand opening at the newest Hawthorne New Seasons Market.

There are two places in Portland that I’ve always dreamed of working. Powell’s Books is one of them and New Seasons Market is the other. I’ve applied many times for jobs at various New Seasons Markets (and at Powell’s) and never been hired. That’s ok — no grudge. It’s been years since I’ve applied, and well, I’m pretty happy with my working life at the moment. I’m telling you all this now because…

Although my book events have slowed down as the leaves have changed colors and after I passed the three month marathon promotion line (I told myself I’d give three months to non-stop events and promotion for the book and then I’d take a breather) I still have book events lined up. This Thursday I’ll be doing an informal meet the author at the Concordia New Seasons Market from 4:30 to 6pm and I hope you’ll stop by if you’re in the area.

It’s been fun planning this one because in addition to selling and signing books the lovely crew at New Seasons has put together a sampling menu of local food and drink featured in the book that New Seasons carries. Included in the sampling menu are tasty treats from:

Hot Lips Soda
Grand Central Bakery
Columbia Gorge Organic
St. Johns Coffee Roasters

So if I can’t tempt you with myself or my book I’m hoping that getting bites and sips of all of the above will seal the deal.

Meet the Author event @
New Seasons Market Concordia
5320 NE 33rd Ave.
Portland, Oregon
Thursday, November 4th, 4:30-6pm