Founded in 2012 by Mike Thelin and Carrie Welch, Feast is a food and drink festival that doubles as a love letter to the spirit and innovation of the Oregon culinary world. Now in its seventh year, Feast has evolved into “the best food festival in the country,” according to Thrillist. Featuring demonstrations, intimate hands-on classes, celebrity chef appearances and more, it’s a foodie destination that you’ll need to add to your lists of reasons to visit Portland in September. Here are a few of our favorite events from this year’s mouthwatering food festival.
Picnic AF (Picnic al Fresco)
Food bloggers Ashley Rodriguez (Not Without Salt, Seattle) and Danielle Firle (Secret Supper, Portland) hosted an evening of fresh air, food and friendship at Picnic AF. Foodies had the opportunity to learn about foods that travel well, outdoor table and picnic-blanket scaping, and curating the perfect wine, meat and cheese spread.
Fermentation and all things umami are really having a moment right now. Bon Appetit’s Brad Leone schooled us on the fundamentals of sauerkraut-making at this hands-on class Sauerkraut 101. Brad gave us the chance to see how the process unfolds, start to finish, and all left with a take-home jar of sauerkraut to love and ferment to perfection.
We learned all about another favorite fermented item that’s taking over the wine world: rosé. A panel of partners, brewers and cider makers discussed why they’re inspired by this versatile pink drink including Joshua M. Bernstein (Imbibe, Portland), Thomas Bleigh (Square Mile Cider, Portland), Chad Yakobson (Crooked Stave, Denver), Trevor Rogers (de Garde Brewing, Tillamook) and Ryan Burk (Angry Orchard, NYC).
Cooking over a smoking hot fire is about as primitive as the culinary world gets. At the same time, it’s a cooking technique that yields extraordinarily rich and complex flavors. From meat and fish to veggies and fruits, all sorts of ingredients benefit from a slow caramelization and all-encompassing dry, smoky heat. Smoked! returned for its second year, spoiling us with yet another over-the-top ode to the humble cookout with appearances from two of Provenance Hotels’ very own acclaimed chefs — Doug Adams of the soon-to-open Bullard at Woodlark and James Beard Award-winning Chef Nina Compton of Compere Lapin at The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery in New Orleans. Adams and Compton fired up their best flame-forward cuisine at the festival’s hot ticket event, giving us a taste of what is soon to come at Adam’s flagship restaurant, Bullard, and giving us our fill of much-loved New Orleans cuisine.
We rounded out Feast Portland’s seventh year doing what Portlanders do best – brunch. Taking over the city block of Pioneer Courthouse Square, we filled up on savory breakfast bites from Chef David Nichols of Rider from our sister property, Hotel Theodore, Ebelskivers from Broder, plum croissants from Little T Baker, Meyer Lemon bacon fat donuts from The Waiting Room and all the Bloody Mary’s from Tabasco’s Bloody Mary Bar.