Pre-order Food Lover’s Guide to Portland Tique Box

December 5th, 2014

Food Lover's Guide to Portland TIQUE BOX! Available for pre-order!

I had so much fun putting together this Food Lover’s Guide to Portland Tique Box with Tique founders Inger McDowell and Paige Buckner when they reached out to me several weeks ago. The mission of their business is very similar to the mission of my book — celebrate talented and passionate local artisans, oftentimes lesser known ones.

There are all sorts of fantastic Portland foods/drinks/crafts/art that these ladies have put together into pretty boxes for subscriptions (I have a year-long subscription and just got my first box!) or for individual purchase. For my Food Lover’s Guide to Portland box I wanted to include treats made by folks who I love and admire that just about anyone will use and enjoy (in other words — accessible) which is why I included easy to love salt, hot sauce, peanut butter, honey, chocolate, candy and cheese. That said, these are all elevated, unique and, of course, delicious renditions of these classics. Go Portland!

This box makes a fantastic gift for locals and folks afar and you can pre-order it now for $45 here to ship by Priority Mail on Dec. 15th — just in time for the holidays. Here’s what you get:

So many tasty treats in this Tique Box!

Meeting of the minds -- Paige (left) and Inger at our initial Food Lover's PDX Tique Box meeting at Breken Kitchen.

Inger (left) and Paige with their Tique Boxes.

My November Tique Box -- delivered to my doorstep! Love it.

Purchase the Food Lover’s Guide to Portland Tique Box at
www.tiquebox.com
$45, ships via Priority Mail on Dec. 15th

Coverage of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland 2.0

September 22nd, 2014

This shit never gets old. Cover of my book near the entrance of Powell's City of Books. I must be dreaming.

Well, it’s been three weeks since the second edition of my book launched and it’s been a wild ride of press and events. All of both have been great which is something I’m definitely not taking for granted. Nothing but gratitude these days for the big bear hug that Portland — particularly Powell’s Books — has given me. And all of the folks who came out for my book launch party. Nothing but love there too.

I’m including links here to all of the coverage for the book so far. Next step is adding all these links to my website buuuut this is as much as I can muster at the moment so this step will help when I get around to that. My favorite coverage so far has been all of the radio interviews. I love radio (especially this new Portland station — XRAY.FM) and it’s really fun for me to be on the airwaves. I’ve put the radio links at the top of the heap.

I hope that you’re doing well and enjoying the seasonal shift. I really am. I’m happy things are settling down a bit now starting this week and I can do things like stay at home on a Monday — today — and can tomato sauce from the garden before I set to work. Life is pretty fucking great these days. Without further ado…

Radio interview, KBOO Food Show

Radio interview, Carl in the Morning on XRAY.FM Get Lit

Tasty Tuesday radio interview, Portland Radio Project

Guest essay, Powell’s Books

Signing books at Powell’s, Powell’s Books Tumblr

Q&A With Liz Crain On Portland’s Food Scene, Zester Daily

Feature and review, Portland Tribune

Get Outside and Eat Before Summer’s End, Portland Monthly

Portland Fermentation Festival, Portland Monthly

Launch party photo gallery, Hawthorne Books

Book review, The Register-Guard

Book review, Portland Mercury

Book review, Cooking Up A Story

Book review, Portland Food and Drink

Book launch party video, YouTube

Mini review, Booklist

Book review, Food Carts Portland

Book review, Good Stuff NW

Book teaser, Rose City Reader

Thank You Portland! Food Lover’s Guide to Portland 2.0 Launch Party

September 8th, 2014

So much fun at last week's book launch party at Reverend Nat's Cidery!

For the past five years, in addition to food writing ++ I’ve worked as editor and publicity director at Hawthorne Books. Hawthorne published the second edition of my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland so I wrote a blog post over there all about last week’s book launch party. It seems like a big old waste of time to do the same thing here so here’s the link to all kinds of photos and words about the night. CLICK HERE!

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland 2.0 Launch Party ++

August 6th, 2014

Oh, just me and me checking out my gigantic book cover in the window at Powell's City of Books. That's all. Thanks Buddy Bodin for twinning me!

I went camping on Memorial Day weekend this year and during that trip I made a pact with myself to spend as much of this summer outside as possible. I succeeded! It’s been an incredible and very lucky summer for me filled with trips back and forth to the coast, day trips to rivers, lots of barbecues, camping and long hot summer nights spent around campfires, on beaches, in backyards. It’s been amazing. And now I’ve been reeling it in and getting back to the business of books and writing and food — all of which I love. Wish summer could last just a little bit longer though.

The second edition of my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland comes out in less than a month and the day that it launches Hawthorne Books is throwing a big launch party for it at my friend’s Reverend Nat’s Cidery & Public Taproom — Monday, Sept. 1st 6-10pm. It’s going to be a whole heck of a lot of fun with Nat’s hard ciders for sale, food donated from folks featured in the book, music from DJ Jimbo of XRAY.fm and more. I really hope that you can come out for it and help me and Hawthorne Books celebrate.

So far, you can look forward to tasty treats from Boke Bowl, Cheese Bar, Toro Bravo, Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Ruby Jewel Ice Cream, Fleur de Lis Bakery, Full Circle Creamery, Hotlips Soda, Slow Food Portland, Berry Good Produce, Bowery Bagels and Remedy Wine Bar. AND there will be a cake with an icing-based cover of my book courtesy of Hawthorne Books from Helen Bernhard Bakery. If you have something tasty you’d like to donate to the party spread please contact me at info at liz crain dot com. Thank you!

Three other events to quickly mention that I also hope you might make it out for:

Powell’s Books Food Lover’s Guide to Portland panel with me, Gabe Rosen, Nick Zukin, Nat West and Brett Burmeister
Thursday, September 11th 7:30pm @ Powell’s City of Books

People’s Co-op Harvest Festival fermentation demo with me, David Barber and George Winborn in promotion of the upcoming Portland Fermentation Festival
Wednesday, September 17th demo 3-5pm @ People’s Food Co-op

Fifth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival
Thursday, October 16th 6-9:30pm @ Ecotrust

See you soon at one or more of these events I hope!

Toro Bravo Cookbook Media

December 19th, 2013

John and I in the green room after his Live Wire Radio interview for the Toro book. A little bit happy.

Wow. It’s been two months since pub. date and we could not be happier with how well received Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. has been! Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who is reading it, cooking from it, talking about it and enjoying it. After spending two and a half years putting it together we’re so happy to have and hold it ourselves. In fact, I cooked from it twice last week — some friends and I cooked the Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash and over the weekend I zested up a batch of Toro’s Limoncello. It’s pretty crazy grabbing my very own cookbook from the kitchen shelf and cooking from it. I’ll never get over the magic of that.

In the past several weeks we’ve had all sorts of great media and coverage for the book so I thought I’d include a round-up here of some of our favorites. Media is wonderful but so is good old word of mouth. So thank you to the writers, editors and producers etc. of these media outlets as well as to all of you who have helped spread the word to friends and family about our book. It means a lot to us.

Largehearted Boy playlist from the book and review:

“Toro Bravo is as much memoir as cookbook, even though it contains 95 recipes from the famed Portland restaurant. This is the story of chef John Gorham, and how his passion for food shaped his life. Gorgeously produced, well-written, and filled with stunning photographs, this is one of the year’s finest food books.”

The Daily Beast with John and my cookbook picks:

“Here are some cookbooks that John and I won’t lend you. We love them too much. Get your own damn copies.”

Food52 Genius Recipe of the week:

“After this salad has served you through the holidays, as the foil to all your rich celebratory indiscretions, these are tricks you can keep at hand year-round. Try it with buttery new lettuces and lighter vinegars in spring, in summertime slaws and fall disbursements of kale. This can be your January cleanse, or your Valentine’s splurge — depending on how heavy-handed you are with the Manchego. But resist the impulse to add noise. Everything you need is right here. You just need to know how to find it.”

Eater’s 21 Essential Cookbooks 2013:

“The first thing you’ll notice about Toro Bravo — besides its bright yellow cover — is that the recipes don’t start for a good 90 pages. What you have first is pages and pages of back story, both of chef John Gorham and his Portland tapas restaurant Toro Bravo, as well as food philosophizing and general cooking intel. In addition to that first section and the recipes for tapas large and small, the layout and art direction here is a major draw. When was the last time a cookbook looked so modern and refreshing? The influence of former-Lucky Peach publisher McSweeney’s is strongly felt on these pages and I hope cookbooks in general veer toward more color, more photos, and more user-friendliness. Perhaps a follow-up Tasty n Sons book is in order?”

Late Night Library review:

“One of the highlights of the book is its consistently authentic tone. The first person narratives and headnotes are actually written in a voice that sounds like a real chef, not a cheerful writer paraphrasing one. The sentences are curt, clipped, and brutally honest: ‘I’m not gonna lie, this recipe is a pain in the ass.’ And yet, hilarious and touching all at once…Gorham and Crain manage to braid together their work so it is impossible to distinguish between writers. Their voices meld together seamlessly; it’s almost as if their conversations have been directly transcribed from long dinners with plenty of drinks and food flowing between them…John Gorham and his crew manage to inject soul into every single dish at Toro Bravo, and the book demonstrates how much detail, history and thought go behind every plate you’re passed. While the recipes are inspirational on their own, you also can’t help but ignite a craving to visit the restaurant, too.”

Late Night Conversation podcast:

“This week, Paul meets up with John Gorham and Liz Crain at Toro Bravo, a Spanish inspired tapas restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Liz and John are the co-creators of the recently released cookbook, Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull (McSweeney’s, 2013). Conversation topics include: the beauty of open book people and tight knit collaborations, John and Liz’s culinary trip to Spain, the benefits and consequences of throwing a party every night, and the potential need for an “art guard” at the Toro Bravo restaurant in Northeast Portland.”

Live Wire Radio interview:

Live Wire Radio host Luke Burbank interviewing John about the Toro Bravo cookbook.

Live Wire Radio season-wrap brunch with Stephen Tobolowsky, Dana Gould ++:

Stephen Tobolowosky (!!!) with John and I at Live Wire Radio's season-wrap brunch with Toro food and drinks.

OPB Think Out Loud interview:

John talks about all things Toro Bravo and the cookbook on OPB's Think Our Loud.

KGW book launch party coverage:

Such a fun party.

The Oregonian
Portland Monthly
Willamette Week
Portland Mercury
Culinate
Oregon Humanities
Shelf Awareness
Powell’s Books
McSweeney’s
Vermont Public Radio

Toro Bravo East Coast Book Tour

December 5th, 2013

Our second night in D.C. Dinner at Toki Underground. So good and so fun. There was crawling on the floor dancing. What happens in D.C. stays in D.C...

The bulls have been running and we’ve been running hard for the past few weeks with stops on the Toro Bravo book tour in Brooklyn, Baltimore, D.C., Jersey City and more. The East Coast portion of the tour was pretty rockstar with five to six of us depending (chef-owner John Gorham, me, charcuterie manager Josh Scofield, book editor and Lucky Peach managing editor Rachel Khong, DJ Waffle aka Mike Wathen, John’s brother Brian Gorham) riding from one stop to another in a stolen rented van.

Our friend DJ Waffle from Jersey City played sweet tunes at every event, Toro’s charcuterie manager Josh Scofield cooked and served up all sorts of treats from the book, John, Rachel and I held discussions about everything that went into the book and, of course, there was always plenty of cava and Basque cider flowing. We definitely burned the candle on both ends just like we did this time last year when we were in Madrid and Barcelona for the book. And just like that trip we never got any more hours of sleep a night than can be counted on one hand. We hit it hard and it was a blast.

All of the events were super well attended and fun, fun, fun. Thanks to everyone who came out and made them just that. We love you and we couldn’t be happier with how well the book has been received on the road, in the wide world and here at home in our beloved Portland. Very happy. Rather than write about each event at powerHouse Arena, Atomic Books, 826DC and Jersey Wine & Spirits I’m going to throw a whole bunch of photos up here and you can see for yourself. Hope you’re doing well, eating well & reading all sorts of great books!

Our first night! Book event at powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn. So fun! Photo courtesy of Krzysztof Poluchowicz.

Lining up at powerHouse for Josh's Toro cured meats, spherical olives inspired by our trip to Tickets in Barcelona, cava, Basque cider and more. Photo courtesy of Krzysztof Poluchowicz

The line didn't get shorter...

Rachel and me with the bullseye of a book!

Next stop D.C.! At 826DC pre-event with executive director Joe Calahan.

John and his brother Brian. Looooove Brian!

Rachel and me in 826DC's Museum of Unnatural History.

Josh's incredible spread of foods from the book.

Family affair. Left to right: John's aunt Robin, brother Brian, stepdad Gene, John and I.

Laaaaater that night Waffle, John and Josh at Toki Underground. Loved it so much!

This explains the above photo. John ordered A LOT of "desserts" for the kitchen.

Mystery NPR interview shot that will run very, very soon!

Waffle at Kabob Palace in D.C. where John filled the table with food as he does and we ate as if we hadn't eaten in days. Really good.

Atomic Books in Baltimore!

I wish Atomic Books was closer -- I'd be there all the time...

Our talk at Atomic with slides from the book.

DJ Waffle in the house!

Road food on the way back to NY -- Bojangles!

Jersey City Wine and Spirits!

Eating, drinking and being merry.

Excellent music.

Into Manhattan and last meal in K-Town at Cho Dang Gol.

Freakishly delicious.

Thanks to everyone who came out and ate, drank and was merry with us! We had an incredible time and want more! We’re thinking the next tour is going to be a Midwest one. More details soon here. Till we meet again!

Toro Bravo Cookbook East Coast Tour & Recent Media

November 11th, 2013

John and I on KGW news at the Toro Bravo cookbook launch party mid-October.

East Coast we’re heading to you! In less than a week we’ll be all up in your business with Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. The bulls are running and we’ve got a lot of horns pointed in your direction for book events in New York, Baltimore, DC and Jersey City.

Our entire remaining tour schedule can be found here. The East Coast bulls include John and me, McSweeney’s editor Rachel Khong, Toro’s charcuterie manager Josh Scofield and tour DJ extraordinaire Mike Wathen aka DJ Waffle.

At every event we’ll have food, music, drink and books along with a discussion between John, Rachel and me about everything from blood sausage to red pants wearing Spanish men. It’s going to be a whole lot of fun and we hope we get to see you at one of more events and/or that you’ll be so kind as to help us spread the word about them. The more in attendance the merrier!

We’ve also had some great media lately since the book came out less than a month ago that I’m shouting out here. We have some very exciting media planned for the East Coast (one in particular!) that I’m itching to share but can’t quite yet. After these links and the tour info. there are a bunch of photos from recent Toro book events.

Recent media for Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull.

KGW News
OPB Think Out Loud
Live Wire! Radio (Toro segment starts at 14 minutes)
Vermont Public Radio (Toro segment starts at 5 minutes)
The Oregonian
Eater
Powell’s
McSweeney’s

East Coast events for Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull.

Tuesday, Nov 19th: Toro book event at The POWERHOUSE Arena
With John Gorham, Liz Crain & Rachel Khong
DJ Waffle
37 Main Street, Brooklyn NY 11201
7 p.m.
Details here.

Thursday, Nov 21st: Toro book event at 826 DC
With John Gorham, Liz Crain & Rachel Khong
DJ Waffle
3233 14th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20010
Details to come.

Friday, Nov. 22nd: Toro book event at Atomic Books
With John Gorham, Liz Crain & Rachel Khong
DJ Waffle
3620 Falls Rd., Baltimore, MD 21211
Details here.

Saturday, Nov. 23rd: Toro book event at Jersey Wine & Spirits
With John Gorham Liz Crain & Rachel Khong
DJ Waffle
492 Jersey Ave., Jersey City, NJ 07302
More details to come but for now:
4-9pm book signing and tasting with John, Rachel & me, local acoustic music & wine tasting with Liz Farley and Kermit Lynch.

Full tour schedule here.

And last but not least, some photos from the whirlwind of recent events since the book launched a little less than a month ago. Phew! See you soon I hope. Be bullish!

Me and the amazing Cheryl Strayed who blurbed the book and has been huuuugely supportive at Wordstock!

Our McSweeney's publicist extraordinaire Isaac Fitzgerald pimping the book at the McSweeney's booth at Wordstock.

David, John and I after our Powell's reading.

Renee and John right before we opened the doors for the book launch party.

The three of us well into the launch party merrymaking.

Josh, Renee and John in the green room for Live Wire! Episode 231.

John and I after the Live Wire! taping.

At the Powell's warehouse signing books...Powell's bestseller books!

At Copperfield's Books in Santa Rosa for a Toro Bravo reading/tasting.

Laaaaater that evening with our McSweeney's publcist Mr. Isaac Fitzgerald.

Signing books at Green Apple Books in San Francisco.

Signing books at Omnivore Books in San Francisco.

Last but not least John and I demo'ing bacon-wrapped dates for a book event at Baker & Spice's The Cakery for their Pages to Plates series last week.

More soooooon!

I Love Powell’s

September 23rd, 2013

David Reamer, John Gorham and me at Powell's for our Toro Bravo cookbook event. Happy.

Our first official book event for Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. was over the weekend at Powell’s and it was great! Thanks to everyone who came out for it and to the Powell’s folks who made it so great esp. Darcy, Morgan, Gin and Jeremy. If you weren’t one of the lucky ones to get a pre-release copy of the book at it (we only had 18 copies and folks entered a raffle to get to buy them) Powell’s will be locked and loaded with plenty of copies in a couple weeks.

After the reading. Before the bourbon. Sort of...

Signing on the dotted lines.

The official launch date for the book isn’t until October 15th after all. (And that’s the night of the book launch party at Toro from 5-10pm! Open to the public.) This Friday tune into OPB’s Think Out Loud if you want to hear us talk about the book. And if you’re around the weekend of October 5th we’ll be at Wordstock that Sunday doing the same thing. Our incredible publishing house will be there too!

Hope you’re doing well & burning the candle on both ends too. Because that means you’re living life to the fullest. Love you.

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipe. No Bull
pub. date Oct. 15th
$35, McSweeney’s Books
Buy from Powell’s

Upcoming events & tour schedule

Toro Bravo Cookbook Events

September 5th, 2013

Got my first advance copy in the mail of the Toro Bravo cookbook!

It’s real! I got my first advanced copy of Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull and I couldn’t be happier about it. Two and a half years in the making and it’s finally here! The launch date is October 15th but you can pre-order copies from Powell’s, McSweeney’s and Amazon now.

We’re going to seven cities so far for the book tour this fall — New York, D.C., Baltimore, San Francisco, Boise, Seattle and Eugene. Below are events that we’ve already slated in Portland and beyond including the book launch party on Wednesday, October 15th at Toro. I’ll keep updating with posts here as we add new events. If you’re interested in having us visit for a book event or any sort of media please contact McSweeney’s director of publicity Isaac Fitzgerald. You’ll like him. He’s really nice.

New York City James Beard House dinner + Toro Bravo cookbook preview
Essence of Spain: Tapas to Sherry
Thursday, Sept. 19th 7pm
$130 for members, $170 otherwise
Call 212.627.2308 to reserve a seat

Portland Powell’s City of Books reading and signing
Saturday, Sept. 21st 4pm

Portland Wordstock panel — On and Off the Menu: PDX Chefs
Sunday, October 6th noon
John Gorham, Liz Crain, Gabriel Rucker & Meredith Erickson for the Toro Bravo and Le Pigeon cookbooks
Moderated by Karen Brooks
Wordstock event description: “Two famed Portland chefs. Two books hot off the cutting board! What does it take to convert perfect food from restaurant plate to cookbook page. These panelists are shaken not stirred.”

Portland Farmers Market Cookbook Fest
PSU Farmers market
Sat., Oct. 12th, 9am-1pm

Portland Toro Bravo book launch party at Toro
Music. Food. Drinks. Books. Partaaay!
Tuesday, Oct. 15th, 5-10pm

San Francisco Omnivore Books on Food Toro Bravo dinner at Contigo + book signing
Wednesday, Oct. 23rd
Fixed price TBD

Brooklyn Powerhouse Arena book event
Tuesday, Nov. 19th
7pm

Mario Batali thinks you should PRE-ORDER THE BOOK!

Toro Bravo according to him:

“These guys make Portland one of the most exciting restaurant cities in the world today.” -Mario Batali

One of David L. Reamer's many amazing photographs in Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull.

Back of the book with all of the fantastic blurbs from Mario Batali, Cheryl Strayed, Gus Van Sant, Carrie Brownstein, Paul Bertolli and Karen Brooks.

And the beautiful spine. Love!

Yard Fresh Pt. 27

July 19th, 2013

In late May I went on an incredible morel hunting camping trip in Washington and collected SIX pounds of morels! This is a morel cream sauce with eggs and rice for breakfast after I got back to town. So good.

I’m really sorry that it’s been so long since I’ve written anything here but I’ve been crazy busy finishing up two book projects and now I’m shutting down the mind machine a bit for some much needed summer fun. I plan to work as little as possible this summer. I’ve already been on a trip to Missoula and now I’m off for a week in Maine. After burning the candle on both ends for the past year I have absolutely no guilt about telling my usually very strong work ethic to fuck off.

Even though the Toro Bravo cookbook (you can pre-order it now!) is pretty much out of my hands now and soon to be on press for its fall release I’ve still been cooking from it. (I’ll put together another cooking from the book post again soon too.) I’ve cooked and eaten a lot of other tasty things lately as well now that the garden is just about in full swing. Lately I’ve been eating a lot of arugula and greens, sugar snap peas and various herbs and berries from it. I harvested the garlic and it’s curing in the utility room. Next up: tomatoes, cukes, chiles, green beans and more. I love summer.

Here’s some of what I’ve cooked and eaten lately…

This is what went into the sauce above the night before -- morels, lemons, garlic, homemade plum wine and cream.

With sorrel from the garden and Edelwiess sausages over toast. Yum!

The dehydrated haul after eating a bunch fresh while camping and once home.

Homemade kimchi rice, egg and cheese never gets old.

Baguette sandwich with Freybe salame, tapenade and pickled peppers.

Some of the best deviled eggs I've ever made with fish sauce, kimchi, chives, sprinkled with togarashi.

Used these spring onions in a bunch of things...

This year's plum wine! 100 bottles!

More morel fixings...

Not too pretty but very, very tasty.

The end of the arugula...

Arugula hazelnut preserved lemon pesto and my little friend.

Yard Fresh Pt. 26
Yard Fresh Pt. 25
Yard Fresh Pt. 24
Yard Fresh Pt. 23
Yard Fresh Pt. 22
Yard Fresh Pt. 21
Yard Fresh Pt. 20
Yard Fresh Pt. 19
Yard Fresh Pt. 18
Yard Fresh Pt. 17
Yard Fresh Pt. 16
Yard Fresh Pt. 15
Yard Fresh Pt. 14
Yard Fresh Pt. 13
Yard Fresh Pt. 12
Yard Fresh Pt. 11
Yard Fresh Pt. 10
Yard Fresh Pt. 9
Yard Fresh Pt. 8
Yard Fresh Pt. 7
Yard Fresh Pt. 6
Yard Fresh Pt. 5
Yard Fresh Pt. 4
Yard Fresh Pt. 3
Yard Fresh Pt. 2
Yard Fresh Pt. 1