Eighth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival — TICKETS ON SALE!

September 29th, 2017

2017’s Headless Horseman festival poster is by the incredible Mr. Tim Root — as always. The poster is downloadable over at our festival website if you want to have it and/or share it.

The Portland Fermentation Festival aka Stinkfest is less than a month away! I’m pasting the press release that I just sent out here below. Please have a gander and save the date! Want to participate as an exhibitor or do a demo this year?! Info. on how to do so below.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Eighth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival
Thursday, October 26th 6-9:30pm
Ecotrust’s Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center
Rooftop food and drink sales and music
721 NW 9th Ave. Portland, OR
All ages, open to the public, $10 advance, $12 cash at door
Children 12 and younger attend for free
www.portlandfermentationfestival.com
Tickets on sale!

We are now less than a month away from the EIGHTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival! Please join us on the evening of Thursday, October 26th at Ecotrust for Portland’s annual, open-to-the-public, all-ages celebration of fermented food and drink lovingly referred to as Stinkfest. Bring kimchi, try kimchi. Bring miso, try miso. Come out for Portland’s fermented food and drink skill sharing, recipe sharing and tasting event of the year. Taste and share live, fermented food and drinks made by professionals and home fermentation enthusiasts at the annual event that brought out more than 400 attendees in 2016.

Talk to fellow fermenters, exchange cultures and recipes, get advice from local food fermentation enthusiasts, attend fermentation demo’s and sample everything from sour pickles, miso and natto, to cheeses, hard cider and kombucha.

2017 highlights:

Nat West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider will be making and sampling Hawaiian okolehao at this year’s festival! For festivals past Nat has made chicha, kumiss, Angel of Death (LAMB-steeped cider!) and other gutsy ferments. We always really, really look forward to the wild (in more ways than one) ferments that Nat experiments with and brings to the festival. Love it.

Imperfect Produce recently launched in Portland and they’ll be joining the Stinkfest festivities this year in order to talk up what they’re doing, hand out some of their Imperfect Produce and give fest attendees recipes to ferment their produce with.

Some of the fermented treats already on the roster to be sampled in the main festival hall from amateur and professional fermenters include Korean makgeolli, fermented mustards and ketchups, adaptogenic herbal kimchi, Wanpaku Natto from Heidi Nestler, Soma Kombucha and Elixirs, Eva’s Herbucha, Squirrel and Crow Tempeh, Claudia Lucero of Urban Cheesecraft’s vegan fermented cheeses and much, much more.

On the beautiful Ecotrust rooftop (with its lovely open hearth to cozy up to and pretty strung lights) we’ll have food and drink for sale. Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider will be pouring delicious hard cider and Cinder BBQ (at Bushwhacker Cider every Thursday) will serve tasty sandwiches. DJ Jimbo will make his annual pickled playlist for the fest so you can sip on cider, eat a ‘cue sandwich and listen to sweet and salty Jimbo tunes under the stars. We have surprisingly *never* had a rainy Portland Fermentation Festival. Strange but true.

Festival demo’s will take place throughout the night. Please check our social media closer to the date for details.

Admission for the 6pm or 7:30pm Thursday festival tastings and fermentation demos is $10.

Online tickets are on sale! A limited number of tickets will be available at the door the night of the festival and will be $12/cash only.

If you or your business has a ferment that you’d like to sample and/or demo at this year’s festival please visit our website for info. on how to apply to be a part.

Festival coverage:

KGW

Photos from last year’s festival Food Lover’s Guide to Portland

Cooking Up a Story

KBOO Food Show

Portland Monthly

Willamette Week

Portland Mercury

OPB

Facebook Portland Fermentation Festival
Twitter @PDXFermentFest
Website www.portlandfermentationfestival.com

Sandor Ellix Katz Powell’s Books Event for Wild Fermentation 2nd Edition

March 20th, 2017

I’m so lucky!! Me and Sandor signing books after his full house book event at Powell’s for the 2nd edition of Wild Fermentation. Wild Fermentation is the book that’s had the biggest and most positive impact on my life. Photo by Dane Fredericks of Powell’s Books.

I’ve been very lucky over the years to get to be “in conversation” with all sorts of incredible food and drink people such as Mark Bittman, Dana Cowin and now Sandor Ellix Katz at my favorite bookstore on the planet — Powell’s Books. Sandor was in town mid-February for various events on his book tour for the second edition of Wild Fermentation and I was the lucky one who got to spend the night asking him questions in front of a full house in the Powell’s Books Pearl Room. Thank you life.

For those of you who couldn’t make the event I uploaded the audio of it here. Also, Sandor did some radio and TV segments while in town and you can check out his KATU News AM Northwest spot here and his KBOO Healthwatch show feature here.

Below are bunch of photos from the standing room-only excellent Powell’s event. Thank you Powell’s Books, Sandor and everyone who came out and made the night special.

Full house of Sandor fans and fermentation enthusiasts!

Before the event Sandor served up some of his delicious fermented daikon that he makes every year from a Tennessee neighbor’s cover crop. So generous, so yummy!

Sandor talking about everything from his 55-gallon bourbon barrels that he’s used in the past to ferment vegetables to his recent travels in Asia and all of the ferments that he tried and learned about while there. Photo by Loly LeBlanc.

So cute! And look at all of those beautiful life-changing books. So colorful and inspiring inside and out. Photo by David Barber.

We got through my questions and then opened it up to the audience. When an audience member asked Sandor about the potential spirituality of fermentation he summed it up after thinking about it for a moment as — “unseen forces can be very powerful.” So beautiful and true. Photo by Denise Pasquinelli.

Long line of folks after waited to talk to Sandor and get their 2nd edition of Wild Fermentation signed.

At the very end Dane Fredericks of Powell’s had Sandor and I sign a bunch of books. Such a treat. Such an honor. I am officially the luckiest.

Thank you so very much Sandor & Powell’s! And thanks to everyone who came out for the event.

Purchase the 2nd edition of Wild Fermentation.

Portland Fermentation Festival 2016 Redux

March 20th, 2017

Perennial festival favorite — Choi’s Kimchi. Co-owner Matt Choi on the right and family and business friend Moah Son on the left. Matt’s mom Chong — co-owner of Choi’s Kimchi stopped by for a minute but she’d been up the night before until 4am making kimchi so she was a littttttle tired and headed home. Matt was on last year’s and this year’s Panel of Fermentation Experts.

Well, we did it again — another wild, stinky and super fun Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust! This year’s Seventh Annual fest was chock-full of tasty funky fermented foods, smarty-pants exhibitors and attendees, an excellent Panel of Fermentation Experts, all sorts of fun DIY demo’s, rooftop good vibes thanks to DJ Jimbo (check out his festival playlists here and here) and Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider and much much more. Thank you all for coming out for it and joining the stink!

We put the Portland Fermentation Festival together every year with a shoestring budget + heaps of volunteered hours (thank you sooooo much to all of our kick-ass volunteers!) and as always we’re so grateful that Ecotrust puts up with us year after year. Thank you again Ecotrust! We love you.

We had some great coverage this year including this segment on KGW News with Cassidy Quinn. We’ve posted most of the other coverage on social media. If you’d like to keep up with local fermenty goings-on please check out Facebook and Twitter pages.

Below are a whole bunch of photos from this year’s Stinkfest! If you have some great ones too please post them to the Facebook page or Twitter them with the hashtag #pdxfermentfest.

Thank you, thank you, thank you and see you all again next year we hope! Stay stinky! Oh, and please let me know if I attributed anything incorrectly. Thanks!

Pre-fest KGW News coverage thanks to Cassidy Quinn. She, Nat and Claudia tried Nat’s chicha on camera AND Nat chewed and spit up some of the corn mash that this traditional Peruvian corn drink is made of. You read that correctly — they essentially drank Nat’s spit! (I did too and it was actually pretty good — light, sweet and slightly roasty smoky) Nat always brings something wildly experimental to the fest every year and we love him so much for it.

We kicked off this year’s fest with a super inspiring and informative Panel of Fermentation Experts with left to right: Tara Whitsitt (Fermentation on Wheels), David Barber (Picklopolis), Matt Choi (Choi’s Kimchi), Nat West (Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider) and Claudia Lucero (Urban Cheesecraft).

A little bit closer. Such a great panel! We ended it on each of their best pieces of advice for the beginning fermenter. The general gist: just do it. You don’t need fancy equipment or lots of know-how, this is a born of mistakes primitive way of preserving food. Tap into that and have fun. Kick your intimidation to the curb.

Once the panel concluded the doors opened for the first of the night’s two tastings and madness ensued. A fun, yummy, wild ferments madness.

Portland Fermentation Festival co-organizers left to right: David Barber, me, George Winborn. We love you!

Nat West serving up his Peruvian chewed/spit fermented corn drink. Nat always makes really unusual experimental ferments just for the fest. Last year he sampled his Mongolian milk wine and the year before that he brought his fermented LEG OF LAMB cider! Wacky and awesome.

Connie and Brian Shaw of Hood River’s Oregon Brineworks always bring the most delicious spread of their ferments. This year was no different. You can find their ferments all over Portland (at New Seasons, Green Zebra, Peoples Food Coop ++) — they’re soooo yummy!

Owner Sash Sunday of Olympia’s OlyKraut serving up all different kraut samples (also available in Portland markets) AND pouring shots of spicy spectacular pickle brine. YUM!! Next level ingredient for rad Bloody Marys.

George Tsesoukas of Soma Kombucha (based in St. Johns) pouring up tart and tasty kombucha samples. So many different tasty flavors.

Out on the mezzanine we had three demo’s throughout the night. Austin Durant of the Fermenters Club (he came up all the way from San Diego!) did this fun and inspiring DIY kimchi and gochujang making demo.

Right across the mezzanine at the same time Claudia Lucero led a fermented nut cheese demo. I definitely am going to try my hand at these now. So yummy, tart, smooth and creamy. She’s currently working on a book all about dairy-free cheeses! Her excellent One-Hour Cheese cookbook came out in 2014.

Festival veteran Heidi Nestler, owner of Pickled Things, sampled her sticky tasty natto at this year’s fest and…

Heidi also led a demo on pickled Japanese vegetables — — nukazuke, misozuke and kojizuke. I really wish I could have gone to that one.

While Heidi did her demo festival volunteer superstar Marty handed out natto samples at her table. Jimbo got to try natto for the first time! He loved it.

I’m bummed I didn’t get any photos of the lovely ticketing ladies in the atrium this year but I did get this one with three of them. Left to right: Michelle, Stacy and Loly. All dear friends.

Lion Heart Kombucha! I asked one little boy at the fest this year what his favorite festival sample was and he said, “ALL the kombucha!” Love it.

Tim Root’s incredible festival poster this year! We’re so lucky that he continues to do our poster year after year. So creeeeeepy awesome.

Colin Franger of Blue Bus Cultured Foods in Bingen, Washington. Colin has been coming to the fest for years sampling his yummy ferments and you can find a lot of them in Portland at New Seasons, Whole Foods, various co-ops and other markets. That’s his green bean kimchi — got more than one sample ?

Careen Stoll — another festival veteran — brought her gorgeous handmade crocks and mortars and pestles again this year. Check out her goods online http://www.fire-keeper.org/

While Claudia Lucero did her demo folks sampled her awesome fermented nut cheeses.

Jon Westdahl and Julie sampling all different Squirrel & Crow tasty tempehs, misos and one of my favorite festival tastes this year — cultured vegan butter. So good.

A little closer…

Festival co-organizer David Barber of Picklopolis sampling his always delicious sour dills. One of my favorite pickles on the planet.

My good friend and super talented animation artist Stephen Bodin put this cool image together for us to announce the festival a few months ago. Love it so much.

First time fest exhibitors Sue and Wendy of NW Ferments (they sell all sorts of fermentation starter cultures) sampling their tasty kombucha.

Rooftop good vibes (and tunes) were provided by DJ Jimbo and Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider. Crazily enough we were rain-free yet another year. The Fermentation Fest is always on a beautiful night. Really pretty view on the Ecotrust roof.

Grant from Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider poured cider on the rooftop all night long. Nat West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider’s is my very, very, very favorite hard cider maker.

Matthew of Eva’s Herbucha (one of Portland’s first commercial kombucha makers) poured yummy kombucha from their tap to thirsty festival goers.

I always end these posts with a photo of festival co-organizer George Winborn (in the background) in the jetpack vacuum cleaner but this year David got the honor ?

Thank you to every last one of you who came out and were a part of making this year’s SEVENTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival so special. Love, love, love you!

Yard Fresh Pt. 32

February 18th, 2016
In the past couple years since my friend Gillion gave me a vinegar mother I've gotten really into making them. In this photo I was straining the Riesling vinegar and more plum wine vinegar. Both super tasty.

In the past couple years since my friend Gilion gave me a vinegar mother I’ve gotten really into making my own yummy vinegars. In this photo taken a few weeks ago I was straining the Riesling vinegar and more plum wine vinegar. Both are super tasty.

Since the start of the year I’ve been full-time writing again. I did this for the better part of three years between 2006 and 2009 and at the end of that I said I’d never write full-time again. Well, times change, I’ve learned a few things, forgotten a bunch more and now I’m at it again.

The main difference between then and now work-wise is that I’m now working primarily on books — two under contract including the Tasty n Sons Cookbook with Sasquatch Books (out fall 2017) and a secret Tin House project (out spring 2017) as well as a novel (out sometime I hope!). In 2006 through 2009 I was mostly working on freelance food writing projects and a book toward the end — the first edition of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland.

What remains the same is that writing full-time is fucking hard and it’s easy to burn out if you work a more normal five day, eight-plus hours a day work week. I know that this may sound spoiled and/or crazy since working full-time for yourself writing books sounds so dreamy but I have really strong work ethic so in living the dream I pushed myself a little too hard going into this full-time writing thing again. In the evenings after work I ended up snapping at people and drinking a little too much too often and in general I was just moodier than I want to be. And exhausted — mentally and physically.

Now that I’ve realized eight-plus hours of writing five days in a row every week isn’t sustainable I’m figuring out how to manage my time a little better and give my brain and body breaks throughout the day. Things that have helped with the transition — I got a standing desk, I’ve been taking some mornings off, I’ve been taking more long walks throughout the day. I’m basically just being nicer to myself and changing my perception of what a proper work week is. Work smarter not harder. So true.

Oh, and food. Cooking has always been a form of therapy for me and when I don’t do it enough I feel off and not myself. I think it’s similar to how folks who work out regularly feel when they don’t work out enough. Here are some tasty treats that I’ve cooked and eaten in the past couple months. I hope you’ve been cooking some tasty things too. If so I’d love to hear about it in the comments if you care to share. Happy year of the fire monkey!

Tested these open-faced Monte Cristos for The Tasty Cookbook with anglaise soaked challah, gruyere and spiced maple syrup. Ridiculously good.

Tested these open-face Monte Cristos for The Tasty Cookbook with anglaise soaked challah, gruyere and spiced maple syrup. Ridiculously good.

Since I've been at my writing studio so much more lately I've been making more soups and stews that I can heat up in my electric hot pot there.  Kimchi Chijae is one of my all-time favorites. I use Lauryn Chun's  recipe from the Kimchi Cookbook.

Since I’ve been at my writing studio so much lately I’ve been making more soups and stews that I can heat up in my electric hot pot there. Kimchi Chijae is one of my all-time favorites. I like Lauryn Chun’s recipe for it in The Kimchi Cookbook.

Made with my homemade Choi's Kimchi recipe classic kimchi. So tasty.  I put a lot of brined shrimp in it this time.

Made with my homemade — from Choi’s Kimchi recipe — classic kimchi. So tasty. I put a lot of tiny salted shrimp in it this time.

Sandwiches of course are also great to take to work. I made this one with Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen's spicy paprika loaf and my homemade sour pickles.

Sandwiches of course are also great to take to work. I made this one with Edelweiss Market’s spicy paprika loaf and my homemade sour pickles.

I tested The Tasty Cookbook collards at home a couple weeks ago. They're so yummy and taste like they cooked for hours even though they only took 30 minute/ and I've borrowed my friend's pressure cooker for way too long. I need to return it and get one of my own.

I tested The Tasty Cookbook collards at home a couple weeks ago. They’re so yummy and taste like they cooked for hours even though they only took 30 minutes. I’ve borrowed my friend’s pressure cooker for way too long. I need to return it and finally get one of my own. Love them.

I also made this crazy good Mark Bittman pressure cooker black bean soup recently. The best black been soup I've ever made in THIRTY minutes from dry bean to rich, inky, spicy soup. If you have a pressure cooker find this recipe.

I also made this crazy good Mark Bittman pressure cooker black bean soup recently. The best black been soup I’ve ever made in THIRTY minutes from dry bean to rich, inky, spicy soup. If you have a pressure cooker find this recipe and make it. I guarantee you’ll love it.

Started the Toro Bravo cookbook limoncella at the end of January so it has another week before I strain it, add the simple syrup and then freeze it for two weeks before drinking. One of my favorite recipes from the book.

I started the Toro Bravo cookbook limoncello at the end of January so it has another week before I strain it, add the simple syrup and then freeze it for two weeks before drinking. One of my favorite recipes from the book.

In the beginning of January my boyfriend Jimbo and I went to Manzanita for a long weekend and it was lovely as always -- especially this simplest of breakfasts. Pomegranate is always such a treat. And The Little Apple is my favorite grocery on the Oregon Coast.

Early January my boyfriend Jimbo and I went to Manzanita for a long weekend and it was lovely as always — especially this simplest of breakfasts. Pomegranate is always such a treat. And The Little Apple is my favorite grocery on the Oregon Coast.

One of my favorite quick eats at home is doctored up boxed mac and cheese. I made this one with kimchi, lots of fish sauce, gochugaru and sesame for my best housemat in the world Jennifer and I. I want some now.

One of my favorite quick eats at home is doctored up boxed mac and cheese. I made this one with kimchi, lots of fish sauce, gochugaru and sesame for me and my best housemate in the world Jennifer. I want some now.

I made a loaded with okra and shrimp gumbo last month and the best part of it was cooking it the next morning with rice and eggs and cheese. I will be doing this for the rest of my life. Highly recommend it.

I made a gumbo loaded with okra and shrimp last month and the best part of it was cooking it the next morning with rice, eggs and cheese. I will be doing this for the rest of my life. Highly recommend it.

My brother Andy, sister-in-law Laura and I toasting via Skype with the Vanilla Porter that Andy and I brewed when I was home in Cincinnati for Christmas this Christmas Eve. They sent me a package of a few bottles of it as they always do. Crazy good. And so cute.

My brother Andy, sister-in-law Laura and I toasting via Skype with the vanilla porter that Andy and I brewed when I was home in Cincinnati for Christmas this Christmas Eve. They sent me a package with a few bottles of it as they always do. Crazy good. And so cute.

Andy bottling the vanilla porter a few weeks ago. Laura sent me a photo...

My brother bottling the vanilla porter a few weeks ago. Laura sent me a photo…

More home recipe testing for The Tasty Cookbook -- Kyle's Granola with homemade sweet labneh and caramelized apples. I'm not all that into cereals but this one is  awesome.

More home recipe testing for The Tasty Cookbook — Kyle's Granola with homemade sweet labneh and caramelized apples. I’m not all that into cereals but this one is awesome.

Making the labneh for it. Recipe testing till the break of dawn! Love it.

Making the labneh for it. Recipe testing till the break of dawn! Love it.

I've been making homemade fruit wines for years but 2015 was the first year I made Concord grape wine and it turns out it's pretty dang tasty. Not as good as the plum wine but yummy.

I’ve been making homemade fruit wines for years but 2015 was the first year I made Concord grape wine and it turns out it’s pretty dang tasty. Not as good as the plum wine but yummy.

My Grandma Amy came up with a very special recipe based on a detective series that she read and loved called Wolfe Eggs (named after Rex Stout's character Nero Wolfe) that we had and continue to make for holiday breakfasts and now they're going to be in a very exciting secret book project that I can't tell you about but will one fine day very soon. RIP Grandma Amy.

My Grandma Amy came up with a very special recipe that she called Wolfe Eggs inspired by a dish in a detective series that she read and loved. She named the dish after Rex Stout’s character Nero Wolfe — the obese gourmand of a detective. Growing up my grandma always made these for holiday breakfasts and we continue to make them. Now they’re going to be in someone near and dear to me’s very exciting secret book project that I can’t tell you about but will one fine day soon. RIP Grandma Amy.

Another tasty soup that I took to my writing studio -- Melissa Clark's Red Lentil Soup with Lemon in the New York Times. I love red lentils -- so yummy, pretty and quick to cook.

Another tasty soup that I took to my writing studio — Melissa Clark’s Red Lentil Soup with Lemon in the New York Times. I love red lentils — so yummy, pretty and quick to cook.

Pizza night with Jimbo's nephew Jonah, Jimbo's sister Betsy and her fiancee Sara last weekend. We made six pizzas for five humans.

Pizza night with Jimbo’s nephew Jonah, Jimbo’s sister and her fiancee last weekend. We made six pizzas for five humans so there was plennnnnnty of pizza for breakfast 😉

Eat, drink and be hairy!

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Mark Bittman at the James Beard Public Market Fundraiser in Portland January 22, 2015

January 23rd, 2015

Mr. Mark Bittman and me at the James Beard Public Market fundraiser dinner at Leftbank Annex.

I’m a very lucky lady. I got to be Mark Bittman’s date when he was in town for the James Beard Public Market fundraiser dinner at Leftbank Annex last night. Greg Higgins of Higgins Restaurant put together an incredible Pacific Northwest bounty meal comprised of recipes inspired by Mr. B’s latest book How to Cook Everything Fast which Higgins joked in his intro. to the event was probably “the longest book on fast cooking.” It’s a whopping 4+ pounds after all. (My favorite dishes that I’ve cooked from the book so far: miso glazed catfish with mushrooms, caramelized cod and Vietnamese-style fish sauce brussels. Mmmmm!)

The James Beard Public Market has been in the works now for nearly 15 years and it looks like we’ll finally have a market sooner than later. There have been all sorts of recent developments including the securing of the space at the west end of the Morrison bridge from the county for development, the partnership with the Norwegian design firm Snohetta to design it, the partnership with Bon Appetit Management Company to develop the teaching and demo. kitchens and on and on. In other words, things are moving right along now and gaining momentum. There are so many great local food folks involved including board secretary Janie Hibler, outreach and operations director Ann Forsthoefel, board members Lisa Sedlar and Greg Higgins and many, many more.

The dinner met the night’s fundraising goals and the highlight was Mr. Bittman’s inspiring speech which I uploaded here if you weren’t able to attend. The sound is pretty crappy but if you crank it up you can get most of it. There were a lot of bodies in the room and a lot of wine glasses if you know what I mean.

I’m really looking forward to one fine day when we have a large urban, indoor/outdoor year-round public market. I grew up in Cincinnati with Findlay Market and I really get how important these hubs can be to local culture. I want it! I want it now! Patience. It will soon be. Help make the James Beard Public Market dream a reality. Let’s do this thing.

Leftbank Annex all pretty for the event. Three Leg Torso playing on the stage just out of view of the photo to the right.

Mark and Bon Appetit Management Co. CEO and co-founder Fedele Bauccio before the dinner.

Super tasty menu from Greg Higgins.

EVERYONE left with a copy of Mark's How to Cook Everything Fast.

Mark giving his inspiring speech. Link to the audio is above.

Greg Higgins' yummy dessert.

Mark and James Beard Public Market executive director Ron Paul at the end of the night.

The happiest and luckiest person I know at the end of the night. Yep.

Learn more about the James Beard Public Market at www.jamesbeardmarket.com

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

Rachel Smith: Editorial Assistant Extraordinaire 2nd edition Food Lover’s Guide to Portland

June 25th, 2014

Oh, just hanging out in the Swiss Alps. Rachel Smith, world traveler and on her DOWN TIME editorial assistant for Food Lover's Guide to Portland 2.0.

I just want to quickly introduce the lovely lady pictured above. I first met Rachel when she interviewed for the fall 2012 internship at Hawthorne Books — the publisher of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland and where I’ve been publicity director and an editor since 2009. Right away, Hawthorne publisher, Rhonda, and I knew that Rachel was in. She’s bright, passionate, always curious, has a great sense of humor and is just a genuine pleasure to be around.

Rachel kicked ass during the 10-week internship and we were sad to see her go. When we decided to do a second edition of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland I was in the thick of completing Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. and felt a little overwhelmed but knew that the time was ripe and that the book needed an update. I thought about how to best manage my time, how to lessen the stress of another book project as much as possible and then I had the bright idea to hire an editorial assistant. Rachel was my number one choice and she said YES!

During the insanity of updating Rachel did everything from fine-tooth combing all of the contact info. throughout the book and making sure addresses, hours etc. were up to date to interviewing new subjects and writing the respective listings. I couldn’t have done the second edition without her. She was on top of every project every step of the way, and most importantly, she was really fun to work with. Love you Rachel! Without further ado…

Sweet, sweet Rachel Smith on food, travel and working on the second edition of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland:

When I was 6 years old, I used to pretend I was allergic to pizza and spaghetti sauce—not tomatoes—just pizza and spaghetti sauce. I disliked mushrooms, melted cheese, and loathed mustard. Strange textures and peculiar flavors were a no-no. I could barely choke down cooked vegetables. Sausage, meat on the bone, and meat cooked rare made me gag.

Eventually, as it happens for most of us, my taste buds and I began to grow up. Traveling became a priority in my life, and being a picky eater doesn’t go along well with it. I came to learn that one of the best parts of going abroad is experiencing the food. I also realize, when I travel, I desperately miss the food at home, and when I’m home, I crave the food from abroad.

Portland is a food-obsessed city. We know it, we love it, we partake in it. My head could explode thinking of the incredible variety of restaurants we have, the locally sourced vegetables and meats, the microbreweries and markets. As Portlanders, it’s in our veins. Outside of Portland, this isn’t as common—no news flash here. Yet every time I travel, I notice I have forgotten this. What, your bar doesn’t serve food? Your grocery store closes at 6? You don’t have any Mexican restaurants, because I could kill for a burrito right now.

I don’t mean this out of ignorance; I mean it is as a fantastic appreciation of what we have at home. It wasn’t until assisting Liz that I came to understand this even more.

As I write this, I’m on the brink of my third month visiting Switzerland. I’ve been eating melted cheese on the regular, devouring pizzas the size of my face, and obsessively ordering sausage. I recently tried horsemeat (and though it’s a horrendous thought to many people, and I vowed I would only try it once, it was quite good). But my stomach is rumbling at the thought of eating chorizo tacos from Uno Más or fresh sashimi from Bamboo Sushi. The idea of a Painted Hills burger with blue cheese and applewood-smoked bacon is enough to make me weak in the knees. Whining is not part of my intention here—I’m thoroughly enjoying the food and the experience, yet I do miss the access to variety.

Eating well in Switzerland...

Sweet Rachel in France...

Working on the second edition of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland was a reminder of our access and diversity. We have the ability to go straight to the source and pick fruit on Sauvie Island, go crabbing at the coast, or take a drive into wine country. We can feast on Vietnamese, Thai, Cuban, African, or Japanese food any day of the week. And we’re really lucky to have that—not only in restaurants, but in our grocery stores too. Did you know how many ethnic grocery stores we have? Or that Cheese Bar sells raclette so I can get my fix when I’m missing Switzerland?

My point is: the delicious world of food is at our fingertips right here in Portland. We can find just about anything we’re after. And when I’m home in 3 weeks, the first thing I will be doing is hunting down and demolishing the tortilla-wrapped goodness of a marinated pork burrito.

Pre-order the 2nd edition of Food Lover’s Guide to Portland
from Powell’s
Pub. date September 1, 2014
$17.95