Digging into Feast Portland
Portland's eighth annual popular food event, Feast Portland, is set for next week, Sept. 12-15.
Some events are sold out. For information on tickets, see feastportland.com.
The eighth annual event features collaborative dinners, intimate classes, thought-provoking panels and more. There'll be 50 events in all.
The Tribune caught up with Adam Rapoport, editor in chief of Bon AppÉtit, the Feast sponsor, for some thoughts on Portland food:
Tribune: When you think of visiting/eating in beautiful Portland what leaps to mind? Cheese, wine, coffee, all of the above?
Rapoport: The first thing I do is book a table at Ava Gene's — not only one of the best restaurants in Portland, but the entire country. Joshua McFadden is a wizard when it comes to vegetables, particularly salads. And his pastas are just as delicious. I'll definitely be heading to Matt's BBQ Tacos for both breakfast tacos and the brisket. My favorite domestic wine right now is Oregon's own, The Marigny. And speaking of wine, I hope to be doing plenty of sipping at Bar Norman this trip. And, finally, because I'll need to do at least a bit of exercise, I'll walk up to the farmers market Saturday morning. The produce it features, come September, is amazing.
Tribune: Why do large-scale food events like Feast matter? Is the point here to throw a light on our amazing, creative local food culture to just indulge, or is something bigger going on?
Rapoport: What's unique about Feast is that participating chefs really want to come to Portland. It's a town that has so much food cred — an abundance of creative, passionate restaurants that, while successful, never feel overly commercial. And unlike New York, you can actually get a table at them.
Tribune: Which events on the festival itinerary are a must-see, and which are you most intrigued by?
Rapoport: I'm always blown away by how delicious and well run Smoked is. To have that many chefs grilling over live fire in one space is always a blast. I'm also intrigued to see how The Big Feast (at Waterfront Park) plays out this year. The editors of Bon AppÉtit will not only be hosting fireside chats with guest chefs, but we'll also be recording a live podcast.
Tribune: What food trends interest you most now?
Rapoport: Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables. As much as I love a beautifully charred rib eye, it's what chefs in America are doing with this country's never-ending bounty of produce that is making food interesting these days.
Tribune: You get to ditch work for the day and head to the beach. What's in your picnic basket?
Rapoport: A couple bottles of The Marigny carbonic red, really well chilled. Ham and butter sandwiches, with the best French ham, the best French butter and the best locally-baked baguette. A big bag of Utz potato chips (do they have Utz in Portland?). Sunscreen.
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