By now we’ve all done the Instagram creep from the epic-ness that was Feast Portland 2015. If you would like to take a quick walk down memory lane at my past Feast posts, make sure to take a look at 8 Dietary Changes to Help You Cope with the Fact That Feast is Over. While I most certainly want to tell you about every mouthwatering detail of each item that passed my lips, I feel like it is better to encourage you to experience it for yourself. Mark your calendars for the third week of September 2016 and be sure to like Feast Portland on social media so you have a great chance at tickets before they’re all gone!
One event to keep your eye on for next year is Smoked. I was most impressed by this event, a new evening feature within the Feast lineup that took place in Fields Park in NW Portland, as it had a different feel than previous Feast events. I think the grass had a lot to do with it (the kind you walk on people, just because it’s legal here doesn’t mean I’m going to start on that kick). The grass was a welcome change to Night Market’s gravel and it offered up what I imagine was a new view for many. I had only just found Fields Park in 2015 thanks to Piqniq’s Wine Bike Piqniq over the summer, and it’s quickly become one of my favorites. The park is a grassy oasis with a picturesque old mill and the Freemont Bridge in the background. As the park filled with smoke, excitement built. Some of my favorite spots to watch chefs in action were Crown Paella (pictured below) and Urban Farmer (see my video of their booth presentation).
One of my favorite bites was Laurelhurst Market‘s Ben Bettinger and his smoked ribeye (made with beef fat poached shrimp, corn salad, pickled fresno peppers, and smoked tomato aioli). This dish was flavorful savory, topped with flaked salt. My other favorite was Castagna‘s Justin Woodward and his spiced corn pudding–it was the ultimate comfort food from the fine dining guru. It was a very refreshing change of pace from him. I will say, too, that watching people walking around chewing on the bones of the Country Cat‘s Tomahawk steaks (bottom picture) was enjoyable.
More times than not Feast Portland ends up falling on the most picturesque weekend of the summer. Warm and clear, the 3rd weekend of September is the perfect backdrop for a mostly outdoor event series. Smoked was the only one of them to take place in a grassy, upscale park just south of the Fremont Bridge. I feel very lucky to have been an attendee of this new Feast Portland feature, and I hope that it was successful enough to open up the possibility of more park events for Feasts to come.
Each year the events get better; the reach grows, and lives are changed. The thing to remember about Feast is that it benefits local charities–No Kid Hungry and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. These non-profits work hard to put food in the hands of those less fortunate and they are supported by the events put on by Feast Portland and its participants. Time, product, and money is donated by the chefs, tastemakers, wineries, breweries, distilleries, and sponsors, and proceeds from ticket sales go straight to the non-profits. Please take a moment and visit and read about the charities–if you’re local, consider the volunteer opportunities each organization offers.
We are hurling towards the season of thankfulness. Remember to hug longer, thank others for their service, and continue strengthening a mantra of a thankful heart. Every breath we take is a gift and an opportunity to change lives for the better!