To win tickets, describe your perfect mix of wine, food, people, places

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - The Zucchini Spirals make an attractive dish, almost too pretty to eat.

I can feel a perfect storm brewing and rather than battening down the hatches I think I’ll put on a party dress and jump into the whirlwind. Come on, join me.

The perfect storm I am talking about is the Northwest Food and Wine Festival, a celebration for wine lovers and gourmet food enthusiasts to experience the best our region has to offer. It will take place Nov. 16 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Doubletree by Hilton Lloyd Center, 1000 Multnomah Blvd., Portland.

This is the eighth season of the festival and it’s bigger and better than ever. Enjoy sampling Northwest wines, beer and spirits and foods prepared by some of the area’s best-known chefs. The festival always boasts an incredible array of food, and this year several new culinary focuses are planned. Enjoy the Fungus Affair, featuring mushroom dishes, a Bit of Culture: Cheese at its Best, Lovely Lamb and a Sausage Slam, showcasing the best sausages in Portland, plus Oysters — Get Shellfish.

And you won’t want to miss the returning chef competition, Paté in Portland. According to event director Chris Cannard, the Paté in Portland has garnered quite a reputation in the professional chef world as they compete to win the coveted Golden Goose Award along with cash and bragging rights.

“Portland is well known for handmade charcuteries, locally grown proteins and gourmet chef creations,” said Cannard. “The judges declare a winner from a blind tasting and then guests get to enjoy as well and decide for themselves. There isn’t anything like what we’re doing that we’ve found anywhere else. Portland is the perfect place for this.”

Cannard is also excited about Portland’s vibrant distilled spirits and encourages attendees to visit the Cocktail Camp area, where they can learn new recipes and tricks to making smashing cocktails at home.

Tickets to this perfect storm of food and wine are $75 for general admission and $95 for VIP tickets, which allow admission at 4 p.m., all others can get in at 5 p.m.

Care to go? Two lucky readers will win a pair of VIP passes to this perfect storm of food and wine. Describe that rare combination of wine, food, people and places that would create your perfect storm, an event of unusual magnitude. Keep your submission to 150 words or less and submit it via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Deadline is Nov. 7 at 5 p.m.

Get creative; our editorial staff will select the winner. If you don’t feel competitive or creative, you can purchase tickets online at

All this focus on storms has me thinking of soup. Today’s recipe comes from The Soupmaker’s Kitchen, in which author Aliza Green tells you how to save your scraps, prepare stocks and craft the perfect pot of soup.

Bon Appetite! Eat something wonderful!

Gombaleves Hungarian Woodlands Mushroom Soup

Makes 1 gallon, serves 8 to 12

1 large onion, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

6 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 pounds cremini mushrooms, diced

1 ounce (about 1 cup) dried porcini mushrooms reconstituted and chopped

2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3 quarts mushroom stock*

1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup sour cream (optional) for garnish

In a large, heavy soup pan sauté the onions and garlic in the butter until the onions are softened but not browned. Add the chopped cremini and chopped porcini. Cook until the mushrooms give off their liquid and the liquid evaporates, about 10 minutes. Stir in the paprika. Add the flour, stir to combine and cook together about 5 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.

Pour in about half of the stock, bring to a boil while stirring, until thick and smooth. Pour in the remaining stock, bring back to a boil and stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into individual serving bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream.

*Cook’s note: Mushroom stock is made from cremini and shiitake stems and porcini mushroom liquor.

Barb Randall welcomes your food questions and research suggestions. She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by phone at 503-636-1281, ext 100. Follow her on Twitter at @barbatthereview.

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