FEAST PORTLAND: Day 4
Portland, Oregon: We were able to
actually sleep last night, but were awakened very early by a charity road-run in
front of the hotel to raise funds for breast cancer research... so we can't be
too mad... but still not sure why breast cancer research needs a live band and
cheerleaders at 7 o'clock in the morning.
Dave and I walked the few blocks from our hotel to Pioneer Courthouse Square,
host of the final event of
Whole Foods Market - Brunch Village. It was brunch. On steroids. With
hundreds of your closest friends. Held in the same venue as Friday's Grand
Tasting, this event was not as packed with vendors, so it was possible to
actually move around without claustrophobic feelings, and we had time to
really talk with the chefs. This event had a lot of booze - and I don't
mean wine and beer. Spirits ruled this morning. Bloody Mary's, Moscow Mules, Gin
Fizz and all other sorts of "breakfast cocktails".
from San Francisco served babka. This cake is one of Leo's favorites.
Guess I will have to buy some Guittard and bake one for him soon?
Kite Hill, from the
Bay Area, make amazing vegan "cheeses" from nuts. Today they served their
vegan (almond-based) cream cheese on a mini-bagel with red onion, capers and
"lox" - the lox were smoked carrots. Smoked carrots! The texture and flavor
were amazingly like smoked fish. The tongue can trick the mind and the eye
can trick the tongue.
I had a Moscow Mule made with
Reyka vodka from Iceland and some-sort of a bourbon cocktail made from
Portland's own Bull
Run Distillery with smoked citrus. Never mind it was eleven o'clock in
Chef David Guas of
Bayou Bakery in Washington, DC was working for the
National Honey Board today,
sharing a dairy dessert topped with "fall" granola and honey. Right, Jessica
Koslow, of Sqirl in Los Angeles
- famed for her imaginative jam creations - had crispy fried rice for
guests this morning. Lisa visits her shop often.
Tim Healea of little t baker
(Portland) made a Plum Almond Croissant
In the Bon Appetit Magazine tent, they were serving Grand Central
Bakery toasts with mascarpone cheese,
Mama Lil's Peppers, herb
salad, Jacobsen Salt and Bee Local Honey. I think this was my favorite this
morning. Fresh. Sweet. Spicy. Savory.
The longest line all morning was for the Fried Chicken Biscuit with Pimento
Cheese from Chef John Gorham of
Toro Bravo in
Portland. Toro Bravo is a tapas bar. I'm thinking they had more fun than anyone
this morning making a Southern US staple.
Time was up. We had to check-out of our hotel room. Go back
to reality. Back home and back to my cabinet purging tasks.
When checking-out, we were asked the usual "how was your stay" question. I
answered honestly, for once, and explained our bad night Friday, and other
problems with the noisy service elevator that seemed to run through our
bedroom. The clerk immediately offered to remove one night's stay from our
bill! Really? I was so shocked and so happy. Seemed reasonable.
Soon we were home, unpacked and ready to start another week. Very late, we
had dinner. Homemade cheese pizza, with fresh basil... made from whatever
was in the fridge after four-days away. No doubt, the last cheese or bread
will have for a while. I consumed more meat this weekend than I usually eat
in a month. After a four-day food and booze fest, we will be eating low on
the food chain for a while.
At least we ended the weekend on a high note.
Until my next update, I remain, your over-fed correspondent.
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