Portland Fermentation Festival 2017 Redux

October 31st, 2017

Nat West and Sarah West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider. Nat ALWAYS brings something interesting and experimental to the fest. So fun. This year he brought some of his ciderkin to sample. Ciderkin is made by using the traditional cidermaking technique of re-wetting the spent pomace (what Nat is holding) after the first pressing of juice is extracted from the apple. It was a bright yummy and appley sample that most festival-goers had never tried before. Thank you Nat and Sarah for always bringing your fun and wild energy and ferments!

Thank you so very much to everyone — there were hundreds of you! — who came out last week for our EIGHTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust! We had 100-plus tasty funky fermented foods and drinks to sample, smarty-pants exhibitors and attendees, all sorts of fun DIY demo’s, rooftop good vibes thanks to my fine fellow DJ Jimbo (I’ll post his 2017 playlist once he puts it up), Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider and Cinder BBQ.

Thank you all for coming out for it and joining the stink! And thank you to our newest recruit who joined us as a co-organizer this year — festival friend and participant since day one Heidi Nestler of Wanpaku Natto. Heidi kicked-ass and you could feel her awesome months-long event organizing effort in many ways throughout the festival. Heidi really helped us focus on more diversity on the exhibitor floor. She got a lot of new folks to sample their yummy ferments this year and we are so grateful.

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 Christine Pitawanich and this Portland Monthly story by my friend and one of my all-time favorite editors Kelly Clarke. We’re very excited that Japan’s Elle Magazine was in attendance to cover the fest. I will shout that feature out from the rooftops once it prints. 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 our festival 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 or Instagram them with the hashtag #portlandfermentationfestival.

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!

Festival founders — the Dapper Foodists! Marty snapped this one of us a few minutes before we opened the doors. Left to right — David Barber, me and George Winborn. Year after stinky year. XO

People were lined up and chaming at the bit to get in. As always.

And once the doors opened it filled up quickly with hungry folks ready for fun and all sorts of special food and drink ferments.

Maria Llull brought her delicious fermented whole grain mustard.

Maria’s fermented mustard!

It makes me really happy that Gabe Rosen of Biwa /Noraneko comes to the festival every year. This year he made one of my favorite festival bites — freshly fried potato chips tossed in dehydrated powdered house kimchi and served with a sour cream dip blended with dehydrated flaked and powdered house sour pickles. Chip and dip dream come true!!

So fun having Thubten Comerford bring his sweet energy and super tasty fermented sour pickles, corn relish and sauerkraut to this year’s festival. They were all so good and it was really nice to have so many new, vibrant folks sampling this year. We were aiming for more non-commercial fermentation enthusiasts and we got it with Thubten and others. Love this pic.

Thubten’s tasty trio of ferments.

I am the lucky one who gets to organize the ticketing table volunteers annually and it makes me really happy to have my strong female friends volunteering as the fest welcoming committee in five shifts of two. Here are my friends Phoenix and Kelli at the lobby ticketing table’s first shift before the doors opened. XOXO

One of the first two demo’s of the night was the packed fermented nut cheese fondue with my friend Claudia Lucero pictured here. Claudia is working on a step-by-step vegan cheese book at the moment and I can’t wait to get my hands on it when it publishes!

I got to try some of the vegan nut cheese fondue and it was sooooo good. Everything Claudia makes is delicious.

Festival co-organizer Heidi Nestler was doing a fermented natto demo (her biz is Wanpaku Natto) at the same time across the mezzanine. I really love that we have all of these tasty demo’s every year. Inspiring and empowering.

My youngest in the best friends realm — almost 11-year-old Kylie (my Michelle’s daughter). She loooooves the Portland Fermentation Festival. Her favorite tastes this year were Heidi’s natto and a couple of the kombuchas.

Me and Kylie before the doors opened.

And if you were wondering what those cute pink things are that we are wearing they are festival SCOBY (the host of bacteria and yeast that you use to make kombucha) pins that fest volunteers and dear friends Loly, Phoenix and Kelli dreamed up and made. So cute.

This year’s festival poster that the talented artist Tim Root designed for us — as he does every year. Headless Horseman!!

Lovely Amelie Rosseau brought her pinot noir and homemade fermented hot sauce to the festival. Thank you Amelie! So happy that you came and sampled this year.

Susan Laarman of Swarm Portland brought her tasty fermented honey! She has a few accounts in Portland but please check out her website swarmportland.org for more info. about what she does.

Close-up of Susan’s yummy fermented honey.

Photographer Shino Yanagawa (on the left) of Japan’s Elle Gourmet Magazine came and shot photos of the fest this year! Can’t wait to see them when the story publishes!

Photographer Joshua Eddings (check him out on Instagram at skyturtlestories) took this great shot on the rooftop this year. It always amazes me that we never get a rainy festival despite the fact its always in September/October. It’s always beautiful. We had ciders from Reverend Nat Cider up there, barbecue by Cinder BBQ and…

Music by DJ Jimbo. Every year my sweetie Jimbo makes us a festival playlist that cycles good vibes on the roof. Once he posts the playlist online I’ll share it on our festival social media.

Me and George taking a quick and sweet rooftop breather. We found out he can emcee from the roof and everyone can still hear him in the main hall of the festival a floor below. Hilarious. Photo by Loly.

Us earlier in the day hunting and gathering for the festival. AND getting a little sweet pick-me-up from Nuvrei which we both adore.

Festival favorite Sash Sunday of OlyKraut! We look forward to seeing Sash (she lives in Olympia) and tasting all of her awesome ferments year after year.

Really yummy fermented breads spread from Tabor Bread at SE 50th and Hawthorne. We LOVE Tabor Bread…

And John from Tabor serving them up.

Careen Stoll is another tried and true festival friend. Every year she brings her beautiful hand thrown porcelain crocks that you can purchase at various galleries and shops around town.

Careen and one of our favorite festival veteran volunteers — Marty Dooley.

SOMA brought all sorts of tasty kombuchas this year. Love that they had kombucha taps to serve from.

This was a really, really yummy fest sample — Cultured Manifestation’s Yummus. Hummus made with fermented garlic, lime kefir whey, cumin, sumac and more.

Made by these two! Val Pena and Paul Castoral of Cultured Manifestations.

We loved having Madi Kay of Imperfect Produce at the festival this year to talk with attendees all about the good work that the company does. Please check them out at imperfectproduce.com if you haven’t already. Inspiring.

KGW’s Christine Pitawanich came and did a live segment in the main tasting hall at 7pm and we had fun showing her different ferments and taking her around. You can check out the segment at the link in my post above.

We first took her to the Choi’s Kimchi table with Matt and Chong Choi and Elmo. Choi’s is my very favorite kimchi. Matt and his mom come to the fest every year. We love them.

We also took them by Fumiko and Jason’s Obon PDX table. Fumiko was sampling their delicious tofu misozuke.

We tried to make it to the Jorinji Miso table with all of these fine folks including Earnest and Yuri Migaki but they were too popular and their table was too crowded. Earnest and Yuri are my dear friends and I love them and their miso so much! If you haven’t tried it before get some! Photo by Loly Leblanc.

A close up of their misos. They made all sorts of tasty miso treats throughout the night including white miso granola, roasted miso chicken and miso dressing, tonjiri with red miso, pork and winter vegetables plus miso soup. YUM!

Heidi Nestler at her Wanpaku Natto table — natto sampling (navy bean natto with mustard and natto kimchi) and educating.

Heidi’s felted SCOBY looks A LOT like her new Wanpaku Natto logo. Cute!

Another festival friend year after year — Colin Franger of Blue Bus Cultured Foods with all of his tasty treats.

Tina Johnson giving her super informative demo all about fermenting and curing olives.

Tina’s cute sign.

Anja Spence and Bill Jones of Miss Zumstein’s Bakery and Coffee Shop sampled their bright and delicious house fermented hot sauces. So yummy!!

John Westdahl of Squirrel & Crow Tempeh serving up his fried chickepea and sunflower seed tempeh along with his split green pea tempeh aka tempea ;

Festival ticketing volunteers Loly and Kelli (thank you also to Jess, Jemma, Phoenix, Michele K, Michelle G and Stacy!!) enjoying the festival fun.

Brian Shaw of Oregon Brineworks serving up the wild and beautiful array of super tasty ferments that he and Connie always bring to the festival. I helped at his table a bit under the guise of “helping” — really I just wanted to be closer to all of those yummy samples 😉

And a sweet goodbye from all of the fine folks at SakeOne in Forest Grove who came out and poured all sorts of lovely sakes. They sent me home with a bottle of their pear sake. Happy.

And, as always, the final festival shot goes to George Winborn — co-founder/co-organizer extraordinaire. The final fest pic is usually of him wearing the shoulder strapped vacuum pack but I guess Ecotrust finally got rid of that vacuum so now no vacuum pack. Still so cute 😉

Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came out this year for our EIGHTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival. This year felt really special. I think we all needed to get together and have some good old fashioned stinky fun. I know I did. Thank you and see you next year. Happy fermenting!

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

Eighth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival 2017

September 14th, 2017

Portland Fermentation Festival attendee 2016, “I can’t get the sound of the wailing, howling pickles out of my head! Never again. Those poor pickles.”


Online tickets are on sale now for $10! A limited number of tickets will be available at the door the night of the festival and will be $12/cash only.

Well, the days are getting shorter, the nights are getting cooler AND the pickles are getting longer. Wait, what?! The date for the EIGHTH Annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust (as always — we love Ecotrust!) has been set and we’re happy to let you know that it can serve to jump start your Halloween weekend yet again this year on Thursday, October 26th from 6-9:30pm.

Below are all the details from the press release that we have set so far for this year’s stinky good time!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Organizers & Media Contacts:

Liz Crain
lizcrain at gmail dot com

George Winborn
gw dot winborn at gmail dot com

David Barber
briney at picklopolis dot com

Heidi Nestler
heidi dot nestler at gmail dot com

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 curated by DJ Jimbo
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

Tickets on sale!

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. 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.

Come celebrate pickling season at the eight annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust. Taste and share live, fermented foods and drinks made by professionals and home fermentation enthusiasts at the annual festival 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. We *just* learned that Nat West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider is making okolehao for the festival this year! Nat always tries his hand at something awesome and experimental year after year for the festival. Check out the chicha he made for last year’s festival!

Admission for the 6pm or 7:30pm Thursday tastings and fermentation demos is $10. Enjoy rooftop music by DJ Jimbo, food and drink from Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Bingo Sandwiches and others TBD.

Festival coverage past and present:

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

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

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

Portland Fermentation Festival 2013

October 17th, 2013

Come out, come out wherever you are for the 4th annual Portland Fermentation Festival next Wed., Oct. 23rd at Ecotrust.

We’re so happy that we’re less than a week away from this year’s 4th annual Portland Fermentation Festival! The 2011 festival was so well attended we had a line down the stairs and around the block at Ecotrust. Last year, the thought of tackling such a popular festival was just too overwhelming for David, George and I so we decided to skip it and come back even stronger this year.

We’ve made some changes this year so that you won’t be crushed during the festival and so that you won’t have to wait and hour and a half to get in. The biggest changes: advanced ticket sales, different types of tickets: two tastings and Sandor’s talk (the talk is sold out — sorry! Tickets to tastings are still available), use of the mezzanine, and rooftop food and drink sales and music by DJ Pickle Barrel. I’ll let the press release speak for itself below. Please come join us for the good, stinky fun on the 23rd!

Aaaand here are a few photos from our crazy 4:30am to 9am stint on KPTV’s Fox News Good Day Oregon early this morning to promote the festival from 4:30am to 9am. Ouch.

KPTV Fox's Good Day Oregon covers the 2013 Portland Fermentation Festival. Left to right: Jeanne Kubal of Ecotrust, Andy Carson of Good Day Oregon, Lola Milholland of Ecotrust and David Barber of Picklopolis and co-organizer of the festival.

Me talking up this year's festival guest speaker Sandor Ellix Katz with Andy Carson on KPTV Fox Good Day Oregon.

Picklopolis fermented foods to show off on-air along with other fermenty festival treats.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Organizers & Media Contacts:
 
Liz Crain
lizcrain at gmail dot com
 
George Winborn
gw.winborn at gmail dot com
 
David Barber
briney at picklopolis dot com
 
Open-to-the-public, all ages celebration of fermented food and drink. Bring kraut, try kraut. Bring miso, try miso. Come out for Portland’s fermented food and drink skill sharing, recipe sharing and tasting event of the year. We are very pleased to announce that this year’s special guest is Sandor Ellix Katz, author of Wild Fermentation, The Art of Fermentation and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved. In addition to all sorts of fermented food and drink samples enjoy rooftop food and beverage sales from Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Upright Brewery and Bingo Sandwiches and music from DJ Pickle Barrel.
 
Fourth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival
Wednesday, October 23rd 6:00-9:30pm
Ecotrust’s Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center
Rooftop food and drink sales and music from DJ Pickle Barrel
721 NW 9th Ave. Portland, OR
All ages, open to the public, $10-$20
Children 12 and younger attend for free
www.portlandfermentationfestival.com

 
Come celebrate pickling season at the Fourth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust. Taste and share homemade live, fermented food and drinks made by professionals and home fermentation enthusiasts at the event that brought out more than 500 attendees in 2011.
 
Talk to fellow fermenters, exchange cultures and recipes, get advice from local food fermentation enthusiasts, and sample everything from sour pickles, miso and kefir to cheese, hard cider, and mead.
 
Visit the website above for more information on how to enter fermented goods and cultures for the event. If you’d like to see what past Portland Fermentation Festivals have been like check out some coverage:
 
Willamette Week
 
OPB
 
Food Lover’s Guide to Portland
 
KBOO Food Show
 
Portland Farmers Market video

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

PURCHASE TICKETS!

Taste of the Nation Portland 2013

May 30th, 2013

Bollywood Theater's bhel puri with green and tamarind chutneys.

This year’s 26th anniversary Portland Taste of the Nation at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom was incredible as always and rather than type up all of the reasons why I’m going to lay it all out in photos for you. This was the first year Taste was held at the Crystal Ballroom and it’s a great venue although next year they should consider cranking up the air. It got a little toasty. If you weren’t able to make it please consider attending next year. It costs a pretty penny but 100% of proceeds go toward hunger relief in Oregon. Without further ado…

Biwa's soy cured escolar with shaved beets.

Lardo's beautiful porchetta.

Boke Bowl sui mai action.

Craggan hydrating and about to eat a Boke Bowl pork and shrimp sui mai.

Racion's chicharrons topped with tuna? Ahhh, took too long to post this and can't remember exactly but DO remember they were super tasty.

View from the balcony an hour or so into this year's Taste of the Nation.

Our plates of Trigger hot wings and other tasty things with Captured by Porches kolsch.

Anthem Cider's organic hops cider.

Departure's grilled scallop hand roll with coconut miso.

St. Jack's not so pretty but delicious chicken liver mousse with port poached prunes.

Laurelhurst Market's corned beef tongue reubens with a smoky bourbon cocktail. One of my favorites of the night.

And for dessert, 50 Licks soft serve churros and chocolate ice cream.

Stay tuned for next year’s Taste of the Nation! Always delicious and always 100 percent to a great cause.
www.portlandtaste.org

Winner of Taste of the Nation Portland 2013 Tickets!

May 3rd, 2013

Lucky commenter #4 wins two VIP tickets to this year's Taste of the Nation Portland on Tuesday, May 7th! There are still tickets available to purchase.

You know who you are lucky #4 commenter. You’ve won yourself two VIP tickets to this year’s Taste of the Nation on Tuesday, May 7th at McMenamins Crystal Hotel & Ballroom! Drop me a line at info at lizcrain dot com with your name and contact info. and I’ll pass that along to the organizers who are donating the tickets. Your pair of VIP tickets will be available the night of the event at will call.

Thanks everyone for all of your tasty comments. I hope that some of these businesses come to fruition. As for me, I want a soft pretzel cart in my North Portland neighborhood, near my house, or fuck it, in my driveway with all sorts of homemade mustards and sauces.

For those of you who didn’t win tickets there are still tickets available for this year’s 26th anniversary Taste of the Nation. It’s one of the best food events in town and I highly recommend it. In addition to it being delicious and super fun 100% of proceeds go toward ending local child hunger.

Thanks everyone!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
6:30-9pm
McMenamins Crystal Hotel & Ballroom
1332 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97205
Tickets $85 and up (order by phone 877.26TASTE or online)
www.strength.org/portland

Taste of the Nation Portland 2013 — Ticket Giveaway!

May 1st, 2013

Oven & Shaker's meatball sliders were super tasty at last year's Taste of the Nation Portland.

Share Our Strength’s 26th annual Taste of the Nation on Tuesday, May 7th at McMenamins Crystal Hotel and Ballroom is less than a week away and in an effort to help generate last minute ticket sales I’m offering a ticket giveaway here. The bighearted, hardworking folks at Taste of the Nation Portland have donated a pair of VIP tickets ($150 dollars EACH, gen. admission is $85) to me for this year’s event. (Actually, two pairs. I get to go as well.) VIP ticket holders head in to Taste of the Nation and sample select food and drink an hour before everyone else and they also get complimentary valet parking.

I love Taste of the Nation because 100% of ticket sales go toward working to end child hunger via Oregon Food Bank, Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul Food Recovery Program and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. Read about last year’s Taste of the Nation here.

This year’s TOTN will showcase food and drink from 30-plus restaurants, 17 wineries, 7 distilleries and 7 breweries. The list is growing daily.

So it’s a VERY worthwhile cause that I highly recommend buying tickets for. You can also try your luck for a pair of VIP tickets here on my blog. I’ve got a number in mind and I’ve written it down and taken a photo of it as proof. That numbered person to comment takes the cake — you get me your name and contact info. Please help me to spread the word about this ticket giveaway and Taste of the Nation on Twitter, Facebook etc. so that we can all help promote and support the event and generate ticket sales. I’m foodloverPDX on Twitter.

So what to comment about? Let me know what sort of food/drink business you’d love to see launch in Portland. It could be a food or drink product, a market, a non-profit, coffeeshop, brewery. It could be something that already exists and you’d like to see replicated in another neighborhood or it could be a business you’ve just always wished existed here that you’ve never seen. Leave a comment and let me know — I’m curious.

I’ll announce the lucky winner this weekend or early next week!

Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation
Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
6:30-9pm
McMenamins Crystal Hotel & Ballroom
1332 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97205
Tickets $85 and up (order by phone 877.26TASTE or online)
www.strength.org/portland

Barcelona for the Toro Bravo Cookbook

December 17th, 2012

Just off the plane from Madrid John and David cava in hand at Quimet Quiemt in Barcelona. One of my favorite spots from the trip.

A couple weeks ago I posted about the first part of our trip to Spain — to Madrid — late September for the Toro Bravo Cookbook and this week I’m posting about the second part of our trip, in Barcelona, with Toro Bravo’s chef-owner John Gorham, our McSweeney’s Books editor Rachel Khong, the book’s photographer David Reamer, the restaurant’s chef de cuisine Kasey Mills and charcuterie manager Josh Scofield.

The Barcelona part of the trip went much as the Madrid part — loads of great food, lack of sleep, loads of good drink, lack of moderation, loads of exploring, lack of inhibition. In other words, it was an adventure and we had so much fun. Here are some photos…

Our tiny table at Quimet Quimet filled quickly with tapas. These tinned razor clams, mussels and calamari were super tasty.

The food kept coming...

Another view of the tiny but mighty Quimet Quimet in Barcelona.

Outside La Boqueria. Had heard so much about this place. Dream come true to go...

Inside! So many raw and cured meat stalls. And everything else that is Spanish and delicious...

If only this was in Portland.

John and Josh checking out one of the many processions of the last day of the La Merce Festival -- Barcelona's largest annual street festival.

We got the grand tour of Avinyo Cava that's been run by the same family since 1597. Toro serves Avinyo's cavas and wines so we toured the caves here, the production facility and, of course, tasted cavas, wines and house vinegars.

Mmmm cava.

Our last day in Barcelona. Sad but true. Kasey and Rachel in a happy blurry sunny haze. Viva Espana!

You can check out the first part of our trip to Spain — in Madrid — here.

Cocotte Contest

October 29th, 2012

Comment here for the chance to win two $25 gift certificates to Portland's Cocotte!

Have you checked out this year’s Willamette Week Restaurant Guide that came out last week? I look forward to it every year. Partly, because I always get to review restaurants for it but also because it’s a great compass for Portland dining and always makes me hungry to try more places.

This year I wrote three reviews for the guide — Ocean City, Bamboo Sushi and Cocotte. I’d never been to Cocotte and loved it and think you might too. Here’s a bit of what I wrote:

“For all of the complaints that Portland doesn’t do seafood right beyond a few sushi spots, let’s have a drum roll for Cocotte. This pretty little corner bistro on Northeast 30th Avenue’s restaurant row (neighbored by Beast, Yakuza, Autentica and DOC) is all about small plates and entrees from le mer. The smoked salmon salad over a fallen potato soufflé with tarragon aioli is topped with farm-fresh greens, moist and not too smoky salmon, and slivers of radish in a lemony shallot vinaigrette. It’s perfect…”

Read the full review

Cocotte’s co-chef/owner, Kat LeSueur, sent me two $25 gift certificates for a blog contest so I’ve chosen a lucky number and that numbered commenter gets both gift certificates. This is what I’d like you to comment about here — what’s one of your favorite dishes to prepare solo at home when the days get shorter? When the weather gets cold a lot of times we tend to want to make big pots of stews and soups and braises — enough to feed a small army. What’s a smaller dish — just for you — that you love cook in the fall and winter?

Cocotte
2930 NE Killingsworth Street
Portland, Oregon 97211
503.227.2669
www.cocottepdx.com