If you missed Feast Portland, create your own celebration of Oregons Bounty

If you read Bon Appetit, you probably knew the magazine was presenting Feast Portland: A Celebration of Oregon’s Bounty last week.

Feast co-founders Mike Thelin and Carrie Welch — with the very capable assistance of festival coordinator Julia Raymond — and hundreds of chefs, brewers, artisans, farmers, winemakers, distillers and volunteers, threw a super party that drew people from all corners of the world together to celebrate Oregon’s Bounty.

The event included dining experiences, cooking demonstrations, lectures and discussions, samplings and more. To say it was a rousing success would be mild. It was an impressive show and those who came to experience Oregon like us, they really like us!

And what is not to like? Welch and Thelin believe that Portland and Oregon are living food festivals — places where people celebrate good food and good living every minute of every day. But don’t think this was all just hedonistic gluttony. Festival net proceeds benefited the national childhood hunger relief organization Share Our Strength and local charity Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.

This week and for the next few I want to share with you what I experienced at Feast Portland. I ate great food, drank delicious beverages and learned a whole lot about the politics of food. I met some new friends who were excited to share information about their food products with me, and in turn I’ll share that information with you.

Feast Portland kicked off with the Sandwich Invitational, which pitted local and visiting chefs against each other in creating the best sandwich. Portland’s Naomi Pomeroy of Beast was deemed the winner with her maple glazed pork belly sandwich served with pickled watermelon slaw on a house made bun.

My personal favorites were the crab roll with tarragon, lemon and fennel created by Lincoln’s chef Jenn Louise and the mini espresso ice cream sandwich created by Molly Moons from Seattle. To sip with our sandwiches we could sample a wide assortment of Oregon coffee, soda, beer and wines. I might suggest you try Widmer’s Krystal Pear and OKTO.

On Friday and Saturday guests were invited to attend the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting as Portland’s living room — Pioneer Courthouse Square — was transformed into Portland’s dining room. More than 50 of the region’s most celebrated wineries, breweries, vendors and artisans exhibited their products.

The lineup included: American Lamb Board, Bob’s Red Mill, Brazi Bites (you gotta try these snacks! Look for them in your freezer section), Cacao (they serve delicious drinking chocolate, soon available in powdered form to add to your milk at home), Crave Bake Shop (we are so proud of our local baker’s success!)

DRY Soda (you have to try this - it is good and good for you!) Farm to Fork (a very special dining experience!), Foods in Season (beautiful!), Grand Central Baking Co. (ask them about their U-bake pies), HOT LIPS Soda, Jacobsen’s Salt Co. (actually harvested from the cold waters of the Pacific at Netarts Bay), KitchenCru, Kombucha Wonder Drink (delightful new flavors), Moonstruck Chocolate (always a treat), Nicky USA (the only place to go for game), NW Elixirs (I love the Hott Sauce), Oregon Olive Mill (3 flavors to choose from), Portland Creamery (delicious chevre!), Salt & Straw (ice cream - need I say more?), Snake River Farms (impressive Kurobuta pork and Wagyu beef), Stumptown Coffee Roasters, The Pie Spot (delicious!), Tillamook cheese, Woodblock Chocolate, USA Pears, Whole Foods Market, Xocolatl de David.

And then there was the wine and the beer: A to Z Wineworks, Adelsheim Vineyard, Angel Vine, Anne Amie Vineyards, Apolloni Vineyards, Archery Summit, Argyle Winery, Bergstrom Wines, Biggio Hamina Cellars, Boedecker Cellars, Brittan Vineyards, Brooks Winery, Chehalem, Coleman Vineyards, Domaine Serene, Elk Cove Vineyards, Erath, Columbia Crest-H3, King Estate, Montinore Estate, Matello Wines, Patton Valley Vineyard, Penner-Ash Wine Cellars, R. Stuart & Co., REX HILL, Roots Wine, RoxyAnn Winery, Sokol Blosser, Soter Vineyards, Van Duzer Vineyards, White Rose Estate, Willamette Valley Vineyards, 10 Barrel Brewing, Burnside Brewing, Deschutes Brewing, Fort George Brewery, Full Sail Brewing, Gigantic Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewing, Laurelwood Brewing, Lompoc Brewing, Ninkasi Brewing, Oakshire Brewing, Occidental Brewing, Pelican Brewery, Sasquatch Brewing, Southern Oregon Brewing and Widmer Brothers Brewing.

Many of the events occurred after press time. I’ll share more information on some of the individual products and events in subsequent columns. But in the meantime, create your own Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting.

Visit the websites, go and visit them and get to know these craftspeople. They are excited to share their products with us and we need to support them.

Bon appetite! Celebrate Oregon’s bounty!

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