FEAST PORTLAND DIGS INTO LOCAL FOOD AND DRINK
Feast Portland is just a month away, and all your friends and coworkers will be talking about it.
If you haven't yet snatched up tickets to what's easily the hottest food and drink festival of the year, don't despair — we're here to help.
For those who aren't familiar with this much-anticipated extravaganza, Feast is a series of 40-plus events over the course of four days, Sept. 13-16, at venues across the city. There are dinners, classes, workshops, panels, tastings and all-out spotlights of some of the best talent by Portland and nationally renown artisans, bartenders, winemakers, distillers and chefs.
Last year's Feast featured 134 chefs, 31 wineries, 15 breweries, 11 artisans and 12 distilleries, drawing 18,000 attendees in all.
Far from formal, many of the events are filled with quirky, larger-than-life personalities and a playful approach to the craft of food and drink. All are a celebration of Oregon's bounty — from the oysters and crab to the craft beer and wine to the farm-fresh produce and ranch-raised beef.
All of the tickets are all-inclusive, meaning your event wristband gets you access to everything the event has to offer.
Some of the events are small and intimate, while others are like a giant party. If you're smitten with local celebrity chefs, you'll have a very good chance of seeing them in person or even meeting them, since they're almost always on hand cooking and offering their own samples of their tasty dishes.
While September weather is typically mild, events happen rain or shine — and past years have brought some serious rainstorms, but the show goes on.
There's one other major element that Feast co-founders Carrie Welch and Mike Thelin want to keep at the forefront.
Since its inception in 2012, Feast has raised $372,000 to help end hunger in Oregon and across the country.
This year, a portion of proceeds go to two Portland-based nonprofits: Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and Urban Gleaners.
The first organization supports free school breakfast across the state as well as lunch and summer and after-school meals for children who need it, as well as SNAP outreach.
Urban Gleaners, meanwhile, addresses the epidemic of food waste while also working to end hunger.
The organization picks up perfectly edible but unused food items from local restaurants, grocery stores, corporate campuses, event sites, colleges and universities, farms and food wholesalers, and sorts and packages it into family-size portions.
Then they distribute it to 40-plus sites in the Portland-metro area, including their Food To Schools program, at their public Mobile Markets at parks and apartment complexes, and through various other organizations.
"Given our appreciation of all things culinary, we are truly honored to be joining Feast Portland in this occasion of taste, talent, and sharing of food," says Tracy Oseran, Urban Gleaners' executive director.
"The issue of hunger in Oregon is a contradictory one — we have an abundance of astoundingly wonderful food, yet nearly 20 percent of the children in our community are going to bed on empty stomachs. We are pleased to be a part of this event in order to help bring awareness to our mission of food for all."
Feast Fab Collab
If you can't make it to any Feast event but still want to support the cause, there are lots of ways to do that.
The annual Feast Fab Collab is a partnership with local designers, chefs and artisans to offer stylish and tasty goods with a portion of proceeds benefiting both of Feast's charities.
You can find limited-edition apparel such as Feast T-shirts, hats and tote bags for sale from Portland-based Bridge & Burn, available at www.feastportland.com.
You can also find a lineup of items only on sale at New Seasons now through Feast weekend.
Here's what to look for:
• Feast Mode lager with 10 Barrel Brewing Co., a refreshing lager featuring pilsner malt, flaked rice and a subtle hopping for an ultra-light beer.
• Mini ice cream sandwiches with Maya Lovelace and Ruby Jewel, launching Aug. 22.
• Maya's Southern strawberry ice cream sandwich, featuring cornmeal from Bob's Red Mill and strawberries from Oregon Fruit Products.
• Grandma Mae's sweet molasses ice cream sandwich, inspired by the molasses and apple butter sandwich cookies found in Maya's grandma's secret cookie stash.
• Olympia Provisions Chef Sausage series with salumist Elias Cairo, launching Sept. 3.
• Ava Gene's chef/owner Joshua McFadden's specialty Italian sausage stuffed with kale and provolone cheese.
• Chef Abe Conlon of Chicago's Fat Rice collaborated on this Goan-style pork sausage heavily spiced with turmeric, garlic, chilies, cinnamon and other spices, then smoked.
Here are the Feast tickets that were still available as of Aug. 12 — it's up to you to do the rest:
Friday, Sept. 14
1-5 p.m. Friday Grand Tasting
2-3 p.m. The New (Old) Italy
4-6 p.m. Basically Bar Trivia
4-5 p.m. Act Naturally: Natural Wine Comes of Age
6-8:30 p.m. Big Feast in Little China
Saturday, Sept. 15
10 a.m. Healthyish 5Kish
11 a.m.-noon Macrame + Rose
12:30-1 p.m. Iron Mixologist: City of Roses Edition
Noon-5 p.m. Saturday Grand Tasting
Noon-1 p.m. Tickled Pink: Why Rose-Inspired Ciders and Beers are Taking Over
6-8:30 p.m. Nouveau Bistro
10 a.m.-noon Pigeon Toe Ceramics + Lord Birthday: Dream Muggin'
11 a.m.-2 p.m. Brunch Village
2-4:30 p.m. Feast Sunday Tailgate
Feast Portland 2018
• Sept. 13-16, various locations
• Tickets: Series events range from $125-$225, Drink Tank panels range from $45-$55 per panel, Fun-Size Events range from $35-$175, classes range from $25-$160 per class, and main events range from $75-$165.
• Find all tickets and info at www.feastportland.com.