School Is Cool In PDX

[trip style = urban]

Whether it's just-pressed apple juice, just-cured bacon, or just-foraged mushrooms, everything tastes better fresh. This farm-to-table approach to food defined my weekend at the first-annual Bon Appetit-sponsored Feast Portland, a culinary celebration of Oregon's biggest export besides music, hipsterdom and Pendleton. If you read TS regularly, you know that I'm a big fan of the place and its provisions, so when I got the chance to see the faces behind the food and the techniques behind the craft, I was in like {barrel-aged} gin.

Like iron sharpens iron, diners and chefs keep each other accountable in Portland. There's truth to the Portlandia sketch where Fred and Carrie sit down at a local restaurant for a chicken dinner and ask to visit the farm where the bird is sourced. Putting this to the test, when eating brunch yesterday morning at The Woodsman Tavern, I jokingly asked my server where my bacon was from and he responded with a cheerleader-like fist pump: "It's hyperlocal; the pork hails from a nearby farm and we cure it in house." Touché.

Attending Feast was like going back to school {except cool}. At "Feast U", the principal is a fashionable foodie magazine editor, the gym coach bartends, the teachers dish up 10 courses of passion and the dress code is denim-on-denim. After class, foodie grand central keeps boiling with grand-scale events---sans tuxes or gowns---and a baker's dozen chef-led tasting menus at restaurants like Luce, which was recently voted one of the top 10 new restaurants in the US by Bon Appetit.

Did my culinary classes measure up? My teacher evaluation would give four heaping tablespoons of YES.

A Taste Of Feast

{Thursday Night :: The Sandwich Invitational. Multiple chefs, a bajillion sandwiches. Shown: maple-glazed pork belly with pickled watermelon slaw on housemade semolina buns from Beast---the evening's big winner.}

{Friday Morning :: Coffee That Rocks with the guys behind Portland-based Stumptown Coffee, who demonstrated how to make the most of your morning ritual with five home-brewing techniques.}

{Friday Afternoon :: Strange Brew with local brewers, where I learned about commonplace to experimental craft brews, like lychee beer aged in white wine barrels, or cucumber and lime zest beer with hint of sea salt.}

{Friday Night :: Feast Portland Night Market. An outdoor street food party with corned duck pancakes from Departure, smoked salmon poofs from Bent Brick and a DJ on the side!}

{Saturday Afternoon :: Thai Street Food with Andy Ricker of the always-busy Pok Pok. Note: you can only get Andy's pad thai at sister restaurant the Whiskey Soda Lounge---across the street from Pok Pok---from 10pm onwards.}

{Culinary Techniques for the Home Bartender with Jeffrey Morgenthaler, experimental barman and cocktail blogger from Clyde Common.}

{Sunday Morning :: Brunch at The Woodsman Tavern. Shiffed eggs with local bacon.}

If you can believe it, I did a ton of eating outside of Feast too---my belt has since been adjusted accordingly. I'll share my best extracurricular meals on TS at a later date. Stay tuned.

Fashion Friday :: Falling For Portland
PDX'ing in Pictures
Ace Portland
IMG_FRI :: Portlandia
Vancouver to Seattle Must-Stops

[photos taken by @tripstyler when in portland as a guest of oregon cvb]