Feast Portland – It’s Here! Plans Friday?

It’s HERE! Feast Portland will kick off another year of amazing food and drink in less than 48 hours. Here I am surprised there are still tickets for the Grand Tasting left!! In the following words and images, I’m going to explain how much you’re missing out on, and by the end I think you’ll understand.

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The Grand Tasting takes up the entirety of Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland. This specific event goes for two days during Feast, however, you purchase a ticket for the specific day you’d like to go. Saturday is already sold out, but a few tickets for Friday remain. the event on Friday spans from 1pm-5pm, and once you’re in, you’re in for as long as you’d like. Have I pointed out the forecast for Friday to you yet?

Um, gorgeous.

As for the square itself, it gets separated into quadrants with a central stage for interviews and performances. One area is dedicated to wine of all kinds–talk with the wineries about the terroir of their different vintages, all while sipping away. Wines are not the only drink to enjoy; Breweries, cideries, and many other bevies are also in attendance!

In case the sun starts to get to you, the largest tent is typically home to the most food. I highly recommend doing a full lap before you dive into a specific corner, and at this event, there’s flow enough that you won’t be suffocating in long lines waiting for a bite to eat. You’ll most likely be right in front, or in worst case (and the only worst case in my mind is if there’s something wrong with a beer line), you’ll be 2 people back. That’s it! Keep an eye out for little pop up restaurants with timed seatings or more hands on stations for entertainment.

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Food will of course abound–expect bites of all shapes and sizes, colors and textures–the best advice I can give is try a little of everything and don’t be afraid to talk to the vendors! They are some of the most wonderfully knowledgeable people about their practice. The thing some people think when they go to an event like this is that it will be like other festivals where samples are puny and vendors are hungry for a purchase–Feast is not this. What you will find though are coupons to try the product, or cards so that you can refer back to should you find something you absolutely love–bring a bag, there’ll be a lot to love!

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In another tent, you might come face-to-face with some local celebrities plating up a table reserved for you! What’s up Doug Adams?

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Finally, every year something shows up and literally blows your pants off. Last year it was Salt & Straw’s CHOCO TACO.

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If you manage to make it around the entire block and you’ve still got some extra time, I suggest a second trip for some wine, and then have a seat on the bricks near the stage. Take it all in–all the splendid art at your fingertips.

Do yourself a favor, schedule a long lunch for Friday, and snatch up some of the last tickets for the Grand Tasting–you will NOT be disappointed. Better yet? Take a half day, cuz you’re going to need a nap.

Irving Street Kitchen Fried Chicken: Takeout and Delivery!

Irving Street Kitchen Fried Chicken Portland

Ask me where you can get the best fried chicken in our glorious city of Portland, OR, and you’re going to get a few questions back from me:

  1. What do you normally like to eat with it?
  2. What parts do you like best (we talking wings, whole bird, etc.)?
  3. How long are you prepared to wait for it?

If your answers are: a. with all the fixin’s (mashed potatoes and gravy/collard greens/biscuits), b. whole chicken, and c. I would like to eat it in the comfort of my home–then have I got some news for you.

IRVING STREET KITCHEN DOES PICK UP FRIED CHICKEN.

If you’re not sure why I’m yelling, it’s because not only can you call as you’re finishing up the work day to order your chicken and fixin’s, but you won’t have to wait 45min on site (*cough* Reel M Inn *cough*) for your chicken to be fried up; it will be ready when you are ready to come pick it up! I enjoyed everything about my experience with Irving Street Kitchen so much, I had to share…and I don’t mean share with others in the moment, I mean share with you, my lovely readers, now that mine’s all gone 😀

Take out Fried Chicken from Irving Street Kitchen | TheSpicyBee

Take out Chicken from Irving Street Kitchen | TheSpicyBee

Take out Chicken from Irving Street Kitchen | TheSpicyBee

What I loved most about Irving Street’s chicken is how delectably crunchy and savory the breading is–it’s just right–and I do love that you can mix and match the optional sides to meet the needs of your family. This program is a lovely addition to some other spots (Woodsman Tavern and Mae (only available via her Instagram on Wednesdays), and I think will continue to hold its own nicely as it’s the only offering in NW Portland. 

Now that I’ve made you hungry–I’m sure you’re wondering how you can get your hands on some for yourself! You can order a la carte or in a family bucket format ($55) that feeds 4-6 people and comes with 1 whole bird, smashed potatoes, red-eye gravy, choice of slaw or collards, and 4 biscuits with butter (what you see above!). Picking up just for yourself? I highly recommend a half bird ($15) plus smashed potatoes ($4) and the red-eye gravy ($4). You can either order for pickup via ChowNow linked through Irving Street Kitchen‘s website or order via Caviar for home (or office!) delivery. 

Take out Chicken from Irving Street Kitchen | TheSpicyBee

Had I nearly forgotten to mention dessert? The butterscotch pudding–do not miss it ($9). It comes adorably wrapped in mason jars and tagged–it’s practically a gift!

Even more exciting, beginning September 22nd, Irving Street Kitchen‘s fried chicken will be available to-go (pick up and delivery) for LUNCH, in addition to the daily availability for dinner pick up/delivery – Fried Chicken Fridays for the win! #FCFFTW

FEAST Hands on Classes – QUIN Candy

QUIN Candy Interview Feast Portland

Delicious little candies. I still remember spending my allowance on all the Rock Candies or Fun Dips or Jolly Ranchers I could hold in both hands–or God forbid I have a baseball game that evening and was out of my Big League Chew Bubblegum or remember that one time Dad had eaten all my Neccos? Or perhaps it was me that ate all his… 😉 Candy was definitely a central to my life as a child–yes of course my parents kept it in moderation, but they seemed to trust me from a young age to learn how to make the decisions of “how much is too much” on my own, and looking back, I am grateful as it’s helped me create a balanced relationship with sweets into my adulthood. I’ve always maintained a love for the occasional gumdrop or lollipop–so I’m obviously very excited to attend Feast this year as Jami of QUIN Candy will be hosting a hands on class (sold out!) to help us harness that favorite candy memory.

If you were one of the lucky ones to get your hands on Jami Curl’s QUIN Candy Class on Saturday, September 16th from 1pm-3pm, you are in for a treat! This hands on class to create a candy from scratch! I had the pleasure of discussing the course with Jami as well as the opportunity to ask her questions about her practice.

First, a little about QUIN – started in 2013 by Jami Curl, QUIN Candy is a company founded on using top notch ingredients. In every sucker, Dreams Come Chew, etc. you’re going to find local fruit (like Oregon berries!), or in the caramels you might find coffee syrup derived from locally roasted coffee beans. They only use pure granulated cane sugar and GMO-free glucose and real dairy (no powdered stuff!). This makes for chocolate mix that melts to the touch, suckers with delectable real berry tartness, and caramels that linger on your palate, tempting you to eat just one more. All QUIN Candy products are made by hand locally and can be found online as well as all over the city–from specialty shops to their own retail store located at Union Way in downtown.

I’ve been enamored with QUIN Candy‘s candies since mid-2014 when I had my first candy of theirs, a scrumptious little bag of caramels, which I found out recently was Jami’s very first featured candy item at QUIN–and here I had assumed she perfected the Dreams Come Chew (think somewhat starburst-y but on steroids) first! I was so excited to talk a little candy with Jami and I found her answers so insightful, I thought it best to share things with you directly from her!

Dreams Come Chew

 

Where did the name company’s name, QUIN, come from?

A QUIN is a type of sprinkle – the little flat pastel rounds that kind of look like tiny necco wafers.
Before I started QUIN I had a bakery for many years and used a lot of those sprinkles. QUIN as a name was a way to connect the two loves of my life at the time.

 

What’s your personal favorite candy QUIN makes?

I love everything equally but have weeks where one thing or another rises to the top. Right now I am eating a ton of our new Christmas caramels – they are caramels that we’ve made to taste like marshmallows. We have three flavors – one plain marshmallow, one chocolate marshmallow, and one coconut marshmallow – the coconut is the one I wish I’d brought home with me at night. 

 

How have you seen the candy industry change since you’ve entered it? 

Thankfully we are not a typical candy manufacturer and are still very much outliers when it comes to the industry.
That said, something that is very noticeable, even from a consumer standpoint, is that manufacturers are looking for ways to turn candy into “snacks”. The snack food segment is the fastest growing segment in food in the US. More and more Americans are turning to snacking throughout the day instead of regular meals. Big candy has caught on and now you see “snackable” marshmallows and other candies that are made without individually wrapped pieces – this is all to encourage us to see candy as a snack (vs. what it really is which is CANDY).

How do you think QUIN has influenced the candy market—either regionally or nationally?

I think we’ve shined a real light on the use of high quality ingredients in non-chocolate candy.
It’s super easy to make candy with crappy/artificial ingredients. But it’s incredibly expensive and difficult to make it on a mass scale using high quality, real food ingredients.

 

What’s something that surprised you since starting QUIN production?

Everything is more difficult and more expensive than you plan. Everything. Every time. It’s hard work made harder by always having to plan for the unexpected – supplier price increases, delivery schedules, customers not paying on time – the REAL business ins/outs of doing this. All surprising, every day. Yet it’s still fun. Most of the time!

 

Your chocolate dust has always hands down been my favorite, and so I understandably always have at least one jar in my house—how do you like to use it at home?

I do mix the dust with a little boiling water to create a chocolate syrup, then I store that syrup in a squeeze bottle in my fridge – then I use that syrup to make chocolate milk each morning. 

How do you prefer to make your cocoa with the chocolate dust?

My milk of choice for hot chocolate is whole milk, and I like 2 tablespoons of dust to 8 ounces of milk that I’ve allowed to reduce a tiny bit on the stove. I like vanilla bean marshmallows on top (when I have them), but am generally just fine having it plain!

 

Are there any candy cardinal sins in your opinion? What is/are they?

There are so many. My entire life in candy is built around unbreakable rules. You have to be that way because candy isn’t a craft with grey area. It’s black and white. It works or it doesn’t. And we know why things work, so we stick to the rules of what makes things work. For home candy making I always tell people to never put warm candy in the refrigerator and to never stir a pot of candy that’s cooking. 

 

What’s on the horizon for QUIN?

We’re looking forward to the holiday season. It’s something we start working on a minimum of six months ahead, so around this time of year I am always thinking WHY CAN’T CHRISTMAS JUST GET HERE. We are our busiest, of course, during the holidays. I’m traveling to Charleston in March for the Charleston Wine + Food festival where I’ll be teaching a class that covers baking and candy making. I’m super excited about that. And QUIN has a book now that I wrote, so I have lots of upcoming travel around that – always exciting. (Get Jami’s book, Candy is Magic via Amazon Here.) But in general this time of year we just come to work every day and do the work – trying to get that Christmas candy ready!

 

I know you’re doing a survey for QUIN class attendees—how are the responses stacking up for how you will shape the class? Are you open to sharing a little about the class direction you’re planning? 

We’re going to make candy at the class, but first we’re going to talk about the IDEA of candy and how to generate creative ideas in general (for more than just candy). I am continually seeing people turn to the internet for “ideas”, and I never do that – so we’re going to basically talk about how to think of new things in old ways – before you could create a pinterest board or read a blog. The surveys are a precursor to that idea development. I’m taking the answers and compiling them all then making a candy inspired by the responses. Then I’ll teach that exact candy at the class.

 

What’s the most interesting application of your candy that you’ve seen to date? (Use in a savory dish, a wedding cake topped with it, etc.)?

I did a pop up at a Japanese restaurant in San Francisco and made toasted rice tea ice cream and topped it with whiskey barrel aged soy sauce caramel – then I crushed our tangerine sparkling candy into “sprinkles” and showered them over the top of the sundaes. I’m not sure if that’s the most interesting use of the candy, but it’s certainly been my favorite of what I’ve seen!

 

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You can follow Jami and her sweet creations on Instagram @QUINcandy.

Are you still hoping to attend FEAST?! There’s still time! You can enter to win tickets via their partnership with Williams Sonoma or purchase tickets to some of the remaining events! Click on the images for more info!