Now that the first annual Feast Portland festival is over, we can all take a brief recovery from the food coma it provided!
If you don’t live in the area, or just are hiding under a Portland-food-scene rock, Feast was a huge food and wine festival “celebrating Oregon’s bounty.” Nearly every restaurant, beverage maker and food purveyor in the city participated, through everything from tastings to full multi-course dinners to panel discussions. Plus, numerous marvelous chefs from around the world came to town to participate and experience all that Oregon has to offer, like April Bloomfield, the Michelin-star awardee based in NYC.
As expected, the general theme of the weekend was how great of a food city Portland is.
I loved this quote from Karen Brooks of Portland Monthly – the three ingredients needed to make Portland’s food scene? “Craft, connection and community.”
Everyone from Portland who spoke described their camaraderie with others in the food industry. Sarah Hart of Alma Chocolate shared her Chevre and Black Pepper truffle which is made using goat cheese from her Portland Farmer’s Market neighbor. David Briggs of Xocolatl de David prepares his decadent chocolate bars in the back of the sandwich shop, Meat Cheese Bread. And Cacao, the wonderful chocolate shop cultivates local chocolatiers by selling their products.
All of us non-food industry professionals help bolster the Portland scene as well. Several people said that in order to press the envelope with new culinary products, your patrons need to trust you. As David Briggs said, “once you build trust with your customers,” they will happily try whatever wacky new food combination you come up with, like his chocolate miso bar using two different kinds of dehydrated miso.
Overall it was a fabulous weekend filled with so much good food, great topics of conversation and places to add to my list of things to read and places to visit (like The Meadow, the gourmet North Portland shop, and the Lucky Peach quarterly journal).
To sum it all up, I quote Francis Lam, the amazing food writer who spoke at the Whole Foods Speaker Series:
“I eat food because I love food.
I cook food because I love food.
I write about food because I love people.”
Did you attend Feast Portland? If so, what were your experiences? What was your favorite event?
Weren’t able to make it this year? Well, mark your calendars! Feast will be back September 20-23, 2013!