It’s finally here . . . one of the best events of the year. Happy Feast Portland everyone!!! This event is like Comic Con for Foodies. For me, it’s Culinary Christmas. Actually, it’s better than any holiday ever because it celebrates food & happens in my own backyard (so to speak). Part of why I moved to Portland 5 years ago was because this city is a culinary mecca. Being a food fan and member of the service industry, this is the right city for me. Since moving here I have grown in my career and come to appreciate the cycle of food production even more. Onto the show though . . .
This morning when I woke up and realized that it’s Feast Day, the excitement started kicking in. Once I had my coffee and changed into my volunteer shirt, reality really kicked in. As you can tell, I LOVE THIS EVENT! Naturally I’m attracted to anything that involves food; however this is extra exciting because it involves multiple events which feature professionals and celebrate food in an intellectual manner. Feast is different that Bite of Oregon in that it is more of a sophisticated and professional event. The Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting is a huge event that takes place at Pioneer Square. I have volunteered for this event both last year and this year. The things that I remember most about last year include a steak and wheat berry dish, being introduced to Eliot’s Adult Nut Butters, finally getting to taste Salt and Straw ice cream, and the overwhelming amount of food and beverage vendors.
This year, the amount of vendors was still completely overwhelming. It’s amazing how Pioneer Square is transformed into feeling like a bigger space than it actually is. Upon arriving I was immediately thrown into the mix of volunteers, vendors, and guests. The atmosphere was a lot more relaxed than I remembered and I was encouraged by other volunteers to visit the vendor booths and enjoy the event while helping out where needed. This was very exciting because I love free food and the opportunity to interact with other chefs.
The most exciting part of my day was running into (almost literally) celebrity chef Elizabeth Faulkner! I got to chat with her a little bit, ask her advice about culinary schools, and geek out about seeing her on TV. She was pretty nice and didn’t seem to mind me bothering her. Although it’s happened before, I didn’t expect to run into any celebrity chefs. Duff Goldman was also there again, which was pretty cool. He and Elizabeth participated in an interview onstage about what it’s like to be chefs on TV.
My favorite bites from today: Annie Pies!! Their sweet morsels give Pie Spot a run for their money. I also enjoyed the drinking chocolate from Moonstruck, some coconut pudding, and the pumpkin ketchup with sweet potato tots from Red Duck. Speilman Bagels had some good brat and hot dog bites. Oh, and Breville was offering a beet soup and grilled cheese sandwich that was tastier than expected. I can’t wait for more Feast-ing tomorrow!