Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party Pt. 6

March 31st, 2017

The only problem with this photo is that Sarah Taft who took it isn’t in it and neither is Sarah Ryan-Knox because she left before we took it. Well, a lot of folks aren’t in the photo who’ve participated in our cook the Toro Bravo book dinner parties throughout the years but it’s hard to get everyone together. So fun.

The time has come for us to literally and figuratively close the book on our cooking the Toro Bravo cookbook parties. Over the years, since the book came out from McSweeney’s in the fall of 2013, we’ve had six big and raucous dinner parties at the homes of a very special group of hungry, good cook friends where we all cooked different dishes from the book. You can check them out here, here, here, and here. I didn’t post the fifth dinner from fall 2015 and I’ll do that soon too.

We looked through the Toro book’s table of contents at the end of our grand finale Toro book dinner party last weekend, and it turns out that we cooked about 85% of the book. None of us are completists in life, so we feel pretty dang good about cooking all of those awesome recipes and not cooking every single recipe.

The biggest holes were in the Charcuterie and Cocktails chapters and meat dishes throughout the book. The first because those recipes take a good amount of time and special equipment (although our group tackled the Coppa Steak twice, the Pork Rillettes, and the Sherry Chicken Liver Mousse), the second because that’s a lot of cocktails for six dinner parties (we made the Toro Martini, Venus 75, Jerez Negroni, Casa Rita and White Sangria), and the meat dishes because we have a few vegetarians and pescatarians amongst us (we made the Harira Lamb and Lentil Stew, Coppa Steak, Drunken Pork, Moorish Meatballs and Chicken and Clams Cataplana). I might have left a few out of those lists but that’s most of them.

So, we ate, drank and were quite merry, as always, and I’m posting a bunch of the photos here for you. We’ll probably do one more Toro party, that’s not strictly recipes but that includes the Paella and Rabbit Fideos, this summer because that sounds like a lot of fun. After that, we’re going to do a one night only James Beard cook from the book night — everyone will choose a dish from whatever cookbook of his they’d like.

After that I’m really hoping that the group chooses Hello! My Name is Tasty: Global Diner Favorites from Portland’s Tasty Restaurants, which comes out August 15th, as its next cook from the book cookbook. More than a little biased. I love that we can have brunch and dinner parties with that one.

If you want to watch a fun video that Rebecca and Fred Gerendasy of Cooking up a Story did of our dinner party series you can check it out here. Love that they captured it.

Alright, without further ado, photos from the night.

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Toro’s White Sangria made with my Concord grape wine
Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade
Bacon-Wrapped Dates
Tapenade
Octopus a la Plancha
Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins
Butter Lettuce Salad
Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash
Coppa Steak with Salbitxada
Panna Cotta two ways
Limoncello
*We also had really yummy Olympia Provisions ham, pork rillettes, chorizo and sopressata that Josh and Sarah brought. Josh is Olympia Provisions’ plant manager.

We started off the night with Toro’s White Sangria that I made with my homemade Concord grape wine. It was really citrusy and yummy with sliced oranges and kiwi. Tastes like summer.

Next up we had my Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade. I made these for our first Toro cookbook dinner at Loly and Faulkner’s so it was fun to make them again at their place for the final one. This is one of my favorite recipes from the book. So simple and delicious.

A little closer…

Josh’s Olympia Provisions spread. It wasn’t from the Toro book obviously but it was a super tasty addition. Pork rillettes, manchego, soppressata, ham, chorizo +++.

Tom working hard on his Bacon-Wrapped Dates 😉 And I love that I captured Alec in the mirror.

Most of Alec’s Toro Tapenade on charred bread got snapped up before I got a photo. Love the Toro Tapenade!!

Loly with one of Tom’s yummmmmy Bacon-Wrapped Dates.

Faulkner and Loly cooking up there Octopus a la Plancha. We are the luckiest. I ate two of these and had a hard time stopping myself from eating more. There was so much more food to come.

Loly with the finished dish.

Dana cooking up another one of my favorites — Toro’s Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins. If you love spinach I HIGHLY recommend making this dish at home.

My niece’s first grade class is doing the Flat Stanley project right now so she sent me her Stanley from Cincinnati and I brought him with. He had a few too many of the Toro sangrias and not enough food to start so we let him doze on the Toro book for a bit.

Chris who was the ringleader for most of these dinners made the Coppa Steak again. It was awesome! Perfectly smoked, tender and juicy. Alec made the Salbitxada to top it with.

Dana and Oliver made the Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash. Mmmmm.

Loly and Faulkner’s tasty Butter Lettuce Salad. Nice to have some fresh crisp greens in the middle of the feast.

Mid-way through the night we took a walk around Columbia Park to get some fresh air and walk off a little of the food. Beautiful spring night.

Once the Coppa had rested Chris carved it up. Perfectly pink and delicious.

Izzy kitty enjoyed the festivities too.

Eating, drinking, and more eating, drinking. Good times.

With dessert we did a Toro Limoncello taste-off from a couple batches — mine and Loly and Faulkner’s. Both were awesome.

Some of Faulkner and other’s instant photos from the dinner.

Chris’s Toro Panna Cotta. Really good as always. The one in the pie dish is topped with red wine braised pears and apples with cinnamon, cloves and star anise. The individual ones are with his blood orange Campari topping. YUM! Great way to finish the meal.

Cheers to you for reading this! Maybe you’ll put together one of these for a cookbook too? I highly recommend it. So fun. Happy Friday!

Northwest Fresh Seafood, Lentil Underground, Cuvee Weekend

February 25th, 2015

Still tickets left!

There are three tasty events coming up — two of which I’m directly involved in — that I want to tell you about. I also want to acknowledge that I do realize that I haven’t done a Yard Fresh installment in far too long. One excuse, over the summer and early fall I got my kitchen remodeled by my amazingly talented friends at St. Johns Design Build (see some photos of my kitchen remodel here!), beyond that life has been full. Anyway, I haven’t forgotten about that series and I’ll add to it again soon enough. For now, here are some upcoming food/drink events I’m hoping that you might come to and if not that you will help spread the word about. Thanks!

Saturday, March 7 @ 2-6pm at Northwest Fresh Seafood
Newberg, Oregon
BUBBLES & BOOKS

A month ago Zach Elliott of the Newberg seafood market Northwest Fresh Seafood asked John Gorham and me if we’d come out to the market for a spring food/drink/books event and we agreed right away. John and I are both seafood lovers and always up for a fun excuse to get out to Oregon wine country. The result is an afternoon and evening event hosted by these great folks with oysters, bubbles, signed copies of Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. AND Food Lover’s Guide to Portland, live music by Kent Smith and a Q&A with John and I ALL for $65. I hope you’ll come out for it and even if you can’t I hope that you might help spread the word. It’s going to be great. Tickets are available here.

Monday, March 9 @ 7pm at Powell’s
Portland, Oregon
Liz Carlisle, author of Lentil Underground: Renegade Farmers and the Future of Food in America READING

Working as a book publicist at Hawthorne Books, and having covered food and food books since 2003, review copies often come my way. They’re usually from Chelsea Green, which is one of my favorite publishing houses, but sometimes they’re from other publishers — in this case Gotham Books. Liz Carlisle is coming to Portland mid-March for a reading for her book Lentil Underground and if you care about food as much as I do I think you’re going to want to go to this Powell’s City of Books reading. I’ve only begun reading it and I’m inspired by the depth of Carlisle’s research into renegade farmers and sustainable agriculture as well as the tenacity of her subjects and their dedication to new ag. business and cropping systems and a sustainable ag. future. GENTLE PORTLAND LENTILS, please pick up a copy of the book and come out for Carlisle’s Powell’s reading and become a part of the Lentil Underground! If my endorsement isn’t enough…

“What does it take to farm sustainably–and make a living? Liz Carlisle tells the engrossing story of the ‘audacity rich, but capital poor’ Montana farmers who thought lentils were the answer and stuck with them until proved right. Anyone who dreams of starting a farm or wants to know how organic farmers can overcome the obstacles they face will be inspired by this book.” –Marion Nestle, author of Food Politics and professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University.

Look at that fuzzy gentle lentil behind the book! Rubin is my favorite photo bomber.

Saturday, March 21st @ Noon at The Allison Inn & Spa
Newberg, Oregon
Cuvee Weekend PANEL

In celebration of Women’s History Month The Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg is hosting an inaugural Cuvee Weekend on the weekend of March 21st. Couples are invited to purchase weekend packages and attend everything from a cooking demo. by Kristen Murray of Portland’s Maurice and a 4-course winemakers’ dinner with Tamara Murphy of Seattle’s Terra Plata to a guided vineyard tour and a panel discussion on women in food on Saturday, the 21st with me, Kristen Murray, Tamara Murphy and Veronica Vaga of Deschutes Brewery. Please help spread the word!

The Allison Inn & Spa rated #1 Hotel Spa in the Continental US by Travel + Leisure.

Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party Pt. 4

January 12th, 2015

Loly with one of the crunchy delicious Toro fried anchovies.

I finally got to host our Toro Bravo cook the book party last night (check out the first, second and third here) and it was really nice to do it in my newly remodeled kitchen. My kitchen has been pretty much done since early November but there were a couple final details and now it’s complete! It’s a beauty and I’m going to post about it here soon. I couldn’t be happier with it. My friends Brian McVay, Clarence Jacobs and Rude Graves of St. Johns Design Build are so incredibly talented. And you’ll know they’re good people when I tell you this — I was genuinely sad to see them go when my kitchen was complete. I truly enjoyed the entire remodel process and having those awesome fellows in my home. I miss having them see me in my pajamas. Wink.

It was really, really fun to have a whole bunch of friends packed into my kitchen last night for our fourth eat, drink and be merry cook from book party for Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. We’ve now passed the halfway point having cooked 60-plus recipes from the book. I’m guessing we’ll complete the book after three more dinners. Quite the feat. We’ve even started talking about which book we’ll cook through next. Potentials discussed: Yottam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, Jerusalem and the Pok Pok cookbook. I mentioned that I’d love to cook through a comprehensive Southeast Asian cookbook. Unfortunately I think Pok Pok requires a bit more pantry building than our group is up for.

Another sweet thing — Shane Welch founder of Brooklyn’s Six Point Brewery recently moved to Portland and he gifted us (he’s friends with my friend and contractor mentioned above — Brian McVay) some of his Bengali IPA for the party which is super tasty. Really sweet of him. We also poured a lot of cava, various Spanish wines and we drank some of my early plum wine that I pulled off over the weekend while racking it. So crisp and tasty.

Anyway, I’ll let the photos tell the tale as usual. Happy 2015! I hope you’ve been cooking and eating well. I bet you have.

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Toro Martini and Fried Anchovies, Fennel and Lemon with Romesco
Gazpacho
Charred Bread with Chanterelles in Sherry Cream
Chard and Eggs
Chicken and Clams Cataplana
Lamb Ragu with Eggplant
French Kisses and Pickled Beets and cheeses
Sherry Chicken Liver Mousse
Apple and Pear Clafoutis

NO ONE in Portland is carrying fresh anchovies at the moment so the super sweet John Gorham gave me a pound from Toro for the Fried Anchovies, Fennel and Lemon dish from the book.

They were deeeeelcious with Toro's romesco.

We started the night off right with my piping hot anchovies and chilled Toro Martinis. Not too shabby.

Next up was Nancy's super yummy Toro gazpacho.

Really nice to have so many friends around the kitchen table.

Alec charring the bread for...

Toro's Charred Bread with Chanterelles in Sherry Cream.

Dana cooking up Toro's...

Chard and Eggs.

Sara and I in our animal shirt finery -- giraffes and stags.

Loly and Faulkner cooking up Toro's Chicken and Clams Cataplana.

Soooooo good! With Olympic Provisions cured meats.

Left to right: Loly, Nancy, Faulkner and Jim. The best.

Super Tasty Six Point Bengali IPA. YUM!

Tom and Heather's (just engaged!!) deeeelicious Lamb Ragu with Eggplant.

Chris assembling Toro's French Kisses -- foei gras torchon stuffed brandy-soaked prunes. Perfect.

Tom overseeing. He approves.

Dana and Oliver's apple and pear clafoutis. Mmmmm.

Aaaand the final dessert plate -- Sara's sherry chicken liver mousse, Chris's French Kisses and Spanish cheeses. We are so lucky.

Cheers to 2015! I hope you are in good company and having a fine time of it.

Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party Pt. 3

June 19th, 2014

Alec serving up the Toro Moorish Meatballs that he and Sarah made.

We’ve now officially cooked through half of Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull and we’ve only had three dinners so far — the first one at Loly’s, the second at Tom’s and this last one at Dana and Oliver’s. The dinners have all been a lot of fun and I’m really grateful that my friend Chris Damcke came up with idea. Thank you Chris!

Last weekend’s dinner at Dana and Oliver’s was the lightest of them all in terms of what we ate/drank but that’s pretty absurd because we all consumed so much that we felt super sleepy at 9pm on a Saturday night. So much good food.

The next Toro book dinner will be at my house later in the summer once my kitchen is remodeled. I’m really looking forward to having a fire in the backyard for that one and putting my new gas Dynasty range to good use for it. Yes! I’m also looking forward to doing this cook the book thing with the next book when the time comes too — the Tasty Brunch Book that John and I are working on now. I see a lot of day drinking in our future.

Here’s what we cooked and ate from the book this time around. Really tasty as always.

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Casa Rita
White Wine Sangria (with plum wine)
Halibut Cheeks
Grilled Corn with Cilantro Pesto
Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins
Hazelnut Ice Cream (with strawberry rhubarb compote)
Olive Oil Cake (with balsamic vinegar reduction)
Hand-Cut Noodles with Pimenton Dulce
Moorish Meatballs

Future Toro grilled corn and sauteed halibut cheeks...

Sara has nice cheeks! Toro's Halibut Cheeks with oil-cured Calabrian chiles and marinated olives.

My Toro Grilled Corn with Cilantro Pesto.

Loly and Faulkner's Hand-cut Noodles with Pimenton Dulce.

They also made this gluten-free version.

Alec and Sarah's Moorish Meatballs.

So much good food...

Dana and Oliver's Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins and mugolio that they bought at Pastaworks.

Chris's Toro Olive Oil Cake.

Loly, Sarah and Emily dishing it up.

Sarah and Alec's Hazelnut Ice Cream with a balsamic reduction.

Strawberry Rhubarb compote.

Chris and Boscoe mid-meal stretching.

All together now.

Every dog has its day. Thank you Boscoe for the great dinner party.

Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party Pt. 2

February 27th, 2014

Faulkner with Chris's Toro Oxtail Croquettes.

I didn’t think we could surpass the amount of food and drink cooked and consumed during our first Toro cook the book potluck last month but holy shit I was wrong. This past Sunday the original gang — minus and plus a few — gathered at my friend Tom’s house in Southeast Portland for part two and we put in a full EIGHT hours of cook/eat/drink. We cooked 16 recipes from the book (at the first one we made 11) and It was so much fun that I think everyone hurt at least a little the next day. I know I did. So worth it.

For this round Rebecca and Fred Gerendasy of Cooking Up A Story and Food. Farmer. Earth. came and filmed. It’ll be awhile before that airs — most likely early summer. They left after a few courses and there were six courses so I’m fairly certain we were all at our finest while they were there. Guess we’ll find out!

We’re going to keep having these parties until we cook through the entire book — Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. Here’s the menu from our second Toro Bravo cookbook party followed by photos from it. I can’t recommend this sort of dinner party enough. Leave any questions about it in the comments below and please, please let me know if you’ve done something similar yourself. I’d love to hear about it. Eat, drink and be merry!

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Jerez Negroni
Bacon-Wrapped Dates
Tortilla Espanola
Fennel Salad
Romesco
Butter Lettuce Salad
Pork Rillettes
Squash Dumplings
Braised Lamb with Apricots and Coriander
Squid Ink Pasta
Drunken Pork
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Sherry Cream
Oxtail Croquettes
Potatoes Bravas
Panna Cotta
Limoncello

Tom wet our whistles with Toro's Jerez Negroni.

And then he pan-fried up Toro's Bacon-Wrapped Dates.

Dana and Oliver's tasty Tortilla Espanolla with kale.

Sarah and Alec's Toro Fennel Salad went with.

Oliver prepping his Toro Drunken Pork.

Five hours later. Just kidding. He did lose some arm hair while grilling them though.

Rebecca and Fred filming Chris and Sarah forming the Oxtail Croquettes.

Alec frying them up.

Chris's Toro Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Sherry Cream. So good.

My Toro Squid Ink Pasta.

Lolybite.

Active kitchen.

Taking it all in. Literally.

Loly and Faulkner's Braised Lamb with Apricots and Coriander and Squash Dumplings

Focus!

Soooo much eating.

Oliver got the lucky cinnamon stick in the lamb braise!

Sara and Zo's Butter Lettuce Salad.

And their Toro Potatoes Bravas. Their Pork Rillettes were awesome too but didn't get a good photo.

Endless rounds of Toro food and drink.

The gnome got so drunk and full he pulled down his pants and fell asleep face down in the backyard.

If you decide to host a dinner party like this please, please let me know and send me photos! I’ll post them here. So fun. Eat, drink and be merry AND hairy!

Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party

January 16th, 2014

Toro Bravo Salt Cod Fritters window a la Sara and Zo!

I have the best friends. So grateful. Several weeks ago my friend Chris Damcke said we should have a potluck dinner party and invite everyone to cook and bring something from Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. I said that was a great idea and then pretty much left it at that because I felt too busy to organize it.

A couple weeks ago I got a call from my friend Loly inviting me to it at her place! She and Chris made it happen. Sooooo last weekend thirteen of us gathered at Loly’s with all sorts of tasty treats cooked from the book. We filled her kitchen, dinner table and our bellies with all sorts of deliciousness from Toro Bravo. It was so great that we decided to do it again next month — this time at Tom’s house. We’ve also decided to have these parties until we cook through the entire book.

I’ve never done this with any cookbook before but I hope to do more in the future. So fun! And I’m very proud to say that no one had any problems with any of the recipes — not a one. It was all so good and so fun.

Here’s the menu from our first Toro Bravo cookbook party followed by photos from it. I can’t recommend this sort of dinner party enough. Leave any questions about it in the comments below and please, please let me know if you’ve done something similar yourself. I’d love to hear about it. Eat, drink and be merry!

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Radicchio Salad
Potato Salad
Salt Cod Fritters
Chili Shrimp a la Plancha
Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade
Seared Cauliflower with Salsa Verde
Coppa Steak with Salbitxada
Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash
Pepino cocktail
Red Sangria
Panna Cotta with wine poached pears and Campari blood orange topping

Table FILLED with Toro Bravo cookbook food and drink!

So much goodness...

Ryan and Nancy on Toro's Chili Shrimp detail. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Chris checking Toro's cold-smoked Coppa. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Dana and Oliver putting the finishing touches on Toro's Harissa-Stewed Butternut Squash. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Me plating Toro's Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Sara and Zo frying up Toro's Salt Cod Fritters on Loly's front porch. Photo by Faulkner Short.

Loly and Faulkner post-Radicchio Salad prep. Photo by Chris Damcke.

Ryan and Nancy taking on the feat of trying all the Toro book foods.

The Chili Shrimp a la Plancha that they made. Mmmmm.

Tom's Toro Potato Salad with chorizo.

Ryan and Nancy's Seared Cauliflower with Salsa Verde from the book.

My Toro Boquerones with Toasted Bread and Piperade.

Toro's Panna Cotta by Chris for dessert -- some with wine-poached pears and others with Campari blood orange syrup.

Wine cork Olympics post-dinner with Tom and Oliver.

If you decide to host a dinner party like this please, please let me know and send me photos! I’ll post them here. So fun. Eat, drink and be merry AND hairy!

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!

Portland Fermentation Festival 2013 Redux

October 30th, 2013

Festival co-organizers me, George Winborn and David Barber with this year's special guest speaker Sandor Ellix Katz.

We couldn’t be happier about this year’s fourth annual Portland Fermentation Festival. We got Sandor Ellix Katz back as guest speaker, we had more exhibitors sharing fermented foods and recipes than ever, we took the party to another level literally on the rooftop with D.J. Pickle Barrel, Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider and Upright Brewing, we had advance tickets sales and the talk and first tasting sold out and we had demo’s on everything from natto to nightshade-free kimchi.

It was a stinky good time and thank you so much to everyone who participated and attended! We put Portland Fermentation Festival together every year with a shoestring budget + heaps of volunteered hours and as always we’re so grateful that Ecotrust puts up with us every stinking (literally) year. Thank you again Ecotrust! We love you. Thank you to festival sponsor Willamette Week and to this year’s poster designer Tim Root as well.

If you’d like to keep up with local fermenty goings-on please check out our website, Facebook and Twitter.

I was able to take a good amount of photos at the festival last week so here they are in no particular order. I know that I missed some exhibitors and I may have even mixed up some names and folks. If so please let me know and sorry in advance. Alright, on to the photos. See you at the stink next year!

Let the madness begin!

Special guest Sandor Ellix Katz's talk.

First tasting!

Perennial festival faves the Biwa crew with their housemade miso. So good.

Andie Thompson sampling her super tasty liquid non-dairy kefir and ice cream.

Connie and Brian Shaw made the trek from Hood River with all sorts of delicious Oregon Brineworks ferments.

Heidi Nestler's very well attended natto demo. Heidi teaches some great cooking classes check out heidinestler.com.

Festival co-organizer Brineyman aka David Barber giving out all sorts of Picklopolis magic.

Tressa Yellig's Salt, Fire & Time kvass samples. As tasty as it is pretty.

Joshua Unterman's beautiful/functional handmade crocks.

Rebecca and Fred Gerendasy of Cooking Up a Story documenting the stink!

Eric Christensen of It's Alive! with his tasty krauts, raw crackers and bars.

Thomas Trotter's spicy/tangy/yummy fermented hot sauce.

Colin and Kristein Franger's of Blue Bus Kraut brought spicy kraut-chi and tasty straight-up kraut.

Lost Art Kitchen's Chris Musser's super informative nightshade-free kimchi demo. Check out www.lostartskitchen.com.

Sash Sunday's OlyKraut with yummy sea vegetable kraut.

Annie Moss with all sorts of fermenty good Tabor Breads.

Jon got Sandor to sign some of his crocks!

Toro Bravo charcuterie manager Josh Scofield sampling Toro's chorizo with the Toro Bravo Cookbook in tote that I was lucky enough to co-author. The charcuterie chapter was one of my favorites to write.

Choi's Kimchi in the house! Sooooo good.

Party on the rooftop with DJ Pickle Barrel, Reverend Nat's Hard Cider, Upright Brewing and Bingo Sandwiches.

DJ Pickle Barrel and one of Portland Fermentation Festival's best, best friends -- Ecotrust's Lola Milholland.

Amanda Englund's Lion Heart Kombucha.

Robert Jordan's tasty sourdough bread and pancakes.

Coreen Stoli's beautiful porcelain crocks.

More madness!

The dynamic Bitz curtido demo duo.

Ivy Stovall's shiso pretty pink pickles.

Eva Sipple's yummy Eva's Herbucha.

Judge D. Finklea and Lindsay Dekey's fruit kimchi and kombucha.

Megan Denton of Able Farms sampled her kraut and kombucha.

What better way to end this with Lynne Van Dusen's beautiful smile sampling her Vine to Brine lacto-fermented sodas?

See you all at the stink next year & thanks for making this one so fantastic!