Once a year foodies descend on Portland for four days of food, drink and celebration at Feast Portland. I have always wanted to attend but there are so many activities and such a diverse amount of options that I could never settle on just one. Founded in 2012 Feast is more than an opportunity to gorge yourself on the best local food and drink, it donates all net proceeds to ending childhood hunger through Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. The event has something for everyone, large scale festival style food tastings, collaborative dinners with local and national chefs and hand’s on classes for those looking to take their cooking skills up a notch. After carefully studying the schedule I decided to start with the USA Pears Night Market, the festival’s most popular large event.
My first stop was at Langbaan, one of our cities hottest new restaurants. Hidden behind a secret bookcase in the back of a restaurant, it offers a tasting menu that changes weekly. Since they only offer two seatings a night and the space can only hold 24 diners it’s almost impossible to book a reservation. As soon as I left the booth I found myself on my cellphone trying to score a table. The result, I will be taking names of those who would like to join me in March of 2016 for dinner. The dish they served was a southern Tahi style noodle curry with grilled beef, jackfruit and betel leaf. It was bold, spicy and the perfect start to a great evening.
Toro Bravo is hand down my favorite restaurant in town and chef John Gorham didn’t disappoint. It was a big bite in a small package, heirloom tomato consommé served with a skewer of octopus, paper viscera chili, anchovies stuffed olives and house-made chorizo.
Bamboo Sushi is also another family favorite, my son always requests celebratory dinners and Jin Soo Yang is serving up the best sustainable sushi in town. He was serving up some delicious made to order hand rolls with the freshest salmon imaginable.
I was overly ambitious thinking that I could hit every booth during the course of the evening. I did my best and had first bites from some great chefs and I can’t wait to add some new dinner destinations to my rotation. The celebrity chef of the evening was last seasons Top Chef winner Mei Lin and she served up some pork belly pate egg rolls.
My favorite dessert bite of the night came from Rolf and Daughters located in Nashville, Tennessee. It was so great I went back for seconds!
The Night Market was a truly unique event that introduced me to chefs from all over the country, as well as highlight the best culinary talent that resides in our own little city. I will definitely come back for more next year and hopefully get to attend more events. Tickets won’t go on sale until next Spring but you should bookmark the site and make plans to attend next September!