I'm still not recovered from the weekend, but we're gonna plunge head on into the amazingness that was FEAST Portland 2015! OH MY GOSH.
If I have one recommendation for you next year, it is to make sure you're at Feast Portland 2016. BE THERE. It's 4.5 days of absolute insanity, if you describe insanity as "all the great food and all the great drinks and all the great people IN THE LAND." Un.REAL. Here's what I did this weekend — very VERY quick thoughts on each, otherwise this post will literally go for days and I'll never stop talking about it:
- Pre-party at Jacobsen Sea Salt. Pips was there, Olympia Provision has the most IMPRESSIVE charcuterie setup, Mei Lin made some crazy delicious ice cream, and I fell in love with Bee Local. This was the first event, which meant I had no clue what to expect, but everyone was SO PSYCHED that the vibe was great! Good times were had by all!
- SANDWICH INVITATIONAL. This was the first MAIN event — and dare I say the most famous? I've heard nothing but good things about the Sandwich invitational, and it absolutely lived up to the hype. I think there were something like seventeen chefs, about half from Portland restaurants, who each made a sandwich. This is a COMPETITION, so we had to try as many as possible, then vote! I was a huge fan of the sandwich from Imperial, which won People's Choice award, AND Gregory's crepe from Departure — which won overall! They both hit me right in the "I love pickled Asian-ish veggies" spot, which totally worked well for me! Eggslut was a close third (their bread was PERFECT), and the rest were certainly delicious. I haven't been that full in ... ever? And it didn't quit after that! HUGE thanks to Tillamook for hooking me up with a last minute ticket — I was THRILLED to be there!!
- After the Sandwich invitational we headed over to the Doug Fir for Pork of Ages — SO MUCH MEAT. We all came to the consensus that this year's events all had a big focus on pork — which was not a bad thing! I could barely muster a few nibbles at the party, but was again: blown away. Skewered meat with creative flavor combos? WINNING.
- Media breakfast! SUCH A SPREAD! Big thanks to Hotel Lucia for hosting us for a beautiful breakfast, prepared by more wonderful chefs. I was thrilled to gobble down some grilled bread cheese (THE BEST. SERIOUSLY!) and lox and as much else as I could, all while knowing I was about to keep eating for 6 more hours. The struggle was real.
- FRIDAY OREGON BOUNTY GRAND TASTING PRESENTED BY ALASKA AIRLINES. This was a marathon in the best possible sense — and I met up with Meg (Yay new blogger friends!) and we made sure to get there as soon as it opened to media (an hour before the public) and make the rounds. Everyone was so warm and welcoming, and happy to share their products with us. Those are the best people! It's great to meet others who are psyched about their product — be it cheese, wine, chocolate, fruit, etc. — because it totally made ME psyched for their product. And then, of course, all the samples. We ate, and ate, and ate. All darn afternoon. It was great! And then I didn't eat again for like 20 hours.
- Oregon Media Group SMOKED! Uuuh this was so cool. We were outside at The Fields park in NW Portland, and it felt like the most fun, happy, smokey, family barbecue you've ever been to. With way better food than any other barbecue I've ever been to. I pretty much drowned myself in Wagyu beef and corn and oysters and paella and hibiscus and more corn and brisket — it was really pretty darn impressive. This was the new "Main" event and I think it should be a staple! Everyone I talked to absolutely loved it!
- Tillamook Brunch Village. Uuuh you KNOW I love brunch, and this was essentially a ton of wonderful chefs cooking up little plates of brunchy goodness that did NOT disappoint. I had a ridiculously tasty lemon ricotta pancake, a brisket benedict with a quail egg, lots of coffee, THIS, chicken and waffles, and an over-the-moon Turkish-style egg with chili butter and greek yogurt. I think that last one took the cake, for me! INCREDIBLE!
There were some other parties and media meetups thrown in there to make the whole (long) weekend an incredible non-stop party. More than anything, I was so impressed with 1) How well organized it was (LGP, you guys did an AMAZING JOB!), 2) How SUPER nice everyone was. Maybe it's a Portland thing, or a foodie thing (scratch that, I don't think that's it), but everyone at each event was so happy to chat, connect, enjoy, etc. which made it all the more enjoyable. I WILL BE BACK! There is pretty much nothing you could do to keep me from enjoying Feast 2016 — I'm already counting down the days! Tickets won't go on sale until late next Spring (if it's similar to this year), but you should be checking in with their website, twitter, and instagram to keep an eye on what's up!
HUUUUGE thanks to the organizers! I didn't get to meet Mike, but I was thrilled to meet Carrie and Jannie and others on the Little Green Pickle team — you guys rock! Thanks for treating us bloggers like royalty, and putting on a killer event! I can't wait to see more of you around town 🙂 xoxo