One thing I really love about the Portland culinary scene is how collaborative it is. From Alma Chocolates using Smith Teamaker blends, to popup dinners featuring multiple chefs all over town, you see the support everywhere. But who doesn’t also love seeing a great competition, right? That’s what makes shows like Top Chef so successful and fun to watch. (And side note, am I the only one who totally wishes I could be one of those diners during Restaurant Wars? Someone please tell me how you get that gig.)
This is part of the reason I’m super excited about Sunday’s Bûche de Noël pastry chef competition, where guests get to sample the traditional holiday cakes and vote for their favorites. But of course this is still a Portland-style friendly and casual event.
The idea of this dessert competition came from Clyde Common‘s pastry chef Kristen Napoleoni, who really wanted to see a pastry-focused event in Portland, celebrating those who love to bake and eat sweets (she’s my kinda girl!). She has gathered together five other supremely talented pastry chefs from Portland area restaurants and bakeries to participate and get creative with their Bûche de Noëls, which are often referred to as Yule Logs since they are typically shaped and decorated like a log. Expect to see “pretty interesting flavors and styles” according to Kristen, as the contestants were offered “all creative freedoms.” For Kristen, she plans to stray a bit from the traditional but not get too far out there. Should be fun to see what they come up with!
Even better, as this is the giving season afterall, this event will benefit Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon, an organization dedicated to fighting childhood hunger in Oregon. All net proceeds from the event and the raffle, where guests can purchase raffle tickets to receive a replica of the winning Bûche de Noël (made at a later date by the winning pastry chef), will be donated to this great non-profit.
Hope to see you there!
What: Bûche de Noël Competition
Where: The Cleaners at Ace Hotel, 403 SW 10th Avenue, Portland, OR 97205
When: Sunday, December 11th, from 4 to 7 pm; it is open-house style with the official Bûche de Noëls on display throughout the event, so come as you wish!
Entry Price: $10 per person in advance: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2718110. $15 at the door.
Competing Pastry Chefs include:
- Kristen Napoleoni of Clyde Common
- Lauren Breneman of Beast
- Amelia Lane of Perfect Company and Portland Culinary Alliance
- Nicholas Flores of RingSide Hospitality Group
- Geovanna Salas of Castagna
- Anja Spence of Miss Zumstein Bakery
In addition to getting to taste all of the delicious desserts, guests will have access to a cash bar for wine, beer, and seasonal cocktails.