And then we feasted. For four days. In the center of downtown Portland, temperatures pushing 93 degrees, skies blue, people thick in the city from all over the country. Suffice it to say my stomach and head need a weekend from their weekend. I feel like I was hit by a truck. Carrying wine and duck and butter and cured meats. Phew.
Hold on to your hats because this post is food, picture, event, everything heavy.
The Grand Bounty Tasting (Friday and Saturday)
Kale salad with Oregon albacore
Burgerville's blackberry lemonade
Duck breast with blackberry confit and thinly sliced radishes
Heirloom tomatoes and micro arugula on fresh Oregon fish
Endless pours of wine. The last shot is from Anne Amie vineyards here in Oregon.
Panna cotta with raspberry sauce and crumbled local gingersnaps
Irish car bomb cupcakes
Union Wine Co. had the best set-up of the entire range of events at Feast. At the brunch, they were stationed in a small camper van decorated to the nines. They also handed out rubber bands for your pinkies to combat wine snobbery.
Cheese tastings at the Whole Foods Market cheese booth
Local Heirloom tomatoes with Jacobsen Sea Salt
Jane and I
Crispy onion and cabbage slaw from the Bon Appetit tent
Occidental Brewing Co
That apricot and citra hops ice cream was summer in a scoop!
Bethel Heights Winery
The Grand Bounty Tasting at Feast spans two days from 12-5 p.m. and runs (each day) $60 per person (I attended on a complimentary media/blogger pass). Once inside the tents and Pioneer Square, your food and drink and enjoyment is unlimited. I'd highly recommend this event if you're looking at attending Feast and trying to get a sense for the event without shelling out hundreds of dollars. I went by on Friday at lunch (giant mistake as I had to waddle back full of snacks and struggle through the 1-4 p.m. should-have-been-my-nap hours) and filled up on tons of appetizers (the chef tasters like the first images of goose, scallops, duck breast, etc. rotate and each day features a different set).
The wine and beer, being freely poured, is awesome. There were many sparkling roses, some champagnes, a lot of Pinot Gris, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir. I think I spotted a Syrah or two amongst the Pinot-dominated field, but when in Oregon, just drink Pinot. The pours were generous tastings and I found that just visiting 3 wineries at Feast was akin to spending $60 for 3-5 tastings at about 3 wineries in the Willamette Valley. Ticket paid for! I also loved the beers on tap. Portland breweries were pretty well represented as were some breweries from Salem and around the state.
I was particularly impressed by some of the desserts at Grand Bounty - namely that panna cotta and the Irish car bomb cupcakes. Not pictured were a host of gluten free cupcakes, pie from Pacific Pie Co (to die for) and many, many chocolates from Valrhona. I was also blown away by the kale salad (so fresh and delicious), many of the cheese tastings from Bon Appetit's station, the heirloom tomato and Jacobsen sea salt, and the duck breast with blackberries! All in all, there was enough food to stuff me to the brim and render me useless for the entire week.
One of the best parts about Feast was the opportunity to hob nob with Portland's finest chefs and some fine chefs from other cities and states. The lines to snag food (not necessarily at the Grand Bounty Tasting but at some other events to come), brought unfamiliar people together. I spent time in line with people from California, Seattle, Tahoe. With editors of magazines here in PDX, with chefs, with food critics, with food teachers. It was an amazing experience to meet others and discuss quality food. All in all, a weekend well spent.
More to come tomorrow on the other events I attended!