If you haven’t heard about FEAST Portland yet — take a moment now and mark your calendar on the 3rd weekend of September in 2016. Go ahead, I’ll wait..
Portland’s biggest food event of the year, Feast falls on the 3rd weekend of September each year. Proceeds from the weekend events benefit No Kid Hungry and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. Besides the fact that a portion of your ticket goes toward local non-profits for ending hunger here, Feast Portland attracts some of the premier chefs, artisans, distillers, brewers, winemakers, and tastemakers in the country to create delicious things to share with you! Whether you are interested in large tastings, hands-on classes or intimate dinners, Feast has something for every food lover in town.
There are a total of five main events at Feast. These events are a perfect introduction to Feast for the first-timer as you can walk the events at your leisure and imbibe to your heart’s delight. Widmer Brothers Brewing’s Sandwich Invitational takes place at Director Park on Thursday evening and is for those with serious appetite. Make sure to vote for your favorite entry as you go with the #VoteSandwich hashtag–People’s Choice is selected at the end of the evening. The Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting runs Friday and Saturday from 12pm-5pm at Pioneer Courthouse Square. All stands in this event are Oregon grown businesses and food, drink and fun swag abounds. USA Pears’ Night Market at Zidell Yards is a new take on Friday night lights with market stalls, colorful strung up lanterns, and house music. In previous years there have been fire pits and performers along the bank of the river behind the stalls, and who knows what this year has in store! Oregon Media Group’s Smoked is new to this year’s lineup (replacing High Comfort previously hosted at The Nines). Hosted at Fields Park, this blockbuster event will feature grilled and smoked fare paired with an impressive list of Oregon wineries. Tillamook’s Brunch Village on Sunday is a slice of heaven – featuring creations from chefs from all over the country. To Portlanders, brunch is the most important meal of the week–Brunch Village does not disappoint! Expect to be very full at the end of this event.
While I personally enjoy the Main Events Feast offers, there are a lot of smaller events within the long weekend that are worth attending as well. The Dinner Series makes for a memorable date night with more opportunity to see the visiting chefs in their domain. Each meal features two or more chefs, a sponsor winery, and a special paired menu. Most of the Dinner Series sell out quickly once announced, hence it being important to be ready to jump in on one next year!
Drink Tanks are an opportunity to learn more about spirits, wines, and beers with some of the city’s top makers. Tickets are still available for some of the Drink Tank Events and discussions are segmented by item: traditional cocktails, rare beers, farmhouse ales, pinot noirs, margaritas, and bourbons, too! This series is new to Feast hosted at the Portland Art Museum, and I’m excited to see the crowds each event draws. You will definitely see me at the Bourbon Drink Tank – no question!
Last but certainly not least, Feast’s Hands On Classes allow you to rub elbows with very talented individuals. Whether you are making candy at Candy Is Magic (which, seriously, it is with Jamie Curl!) or you’re holding a knife and learning Basic Pig Butchery with Camas Davis, you are going to have an amazing time and learn so much! While many of the classes are already sold out, you can still nab tickets for Beer Bites, A-Game Coffee, and Farm to Cocktail Shaker.
I cannot wait for September 17th! This year’s Feast is going to be one for the books! What events would you most like to attend?