See that over there? That's a Velveeta Éclair. Or rather, Éclair Velveeta; its creators, chefs David McMillan and Frédéric Morin, hail from the legendary Joe Beef in Montreal. And they're just two of the dozens of chefs who'll grace Portland's second annual Feast PDX with their presence.
Let me just geek out on you for a minute here: Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese, and the guy named Rising Star Chef 2013 at the James Beard awards two weeks back); Sean Brock (of holy crap Sean Brock is coming! and also Husk, McCrady's); April Bloomfield (of Spotted Pig and three other places you wish you could get into in NYC); Aaron Franklin of Austin, Texas's Franklin Barbecue; Stephanie Izard (Girl and the Goat, Chicago); Matt Lightner, whose food is the first thing I plan to taste next trip to NYC (Atera); Paul Qui (Qui, Austin, TX) who, if memory serves, won the best bite at last year's Night Market; Michael Solomonov of Philly's Zahav; Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar; Andrew Carmellini (The Dutch, NYC) and Kris Yenbamroong of LA's Night+Market.
And I haven't even started listing the Seattle contingent! Which includes Jason Franey of Canlis; Renee Erickson of Walrus & Carpenter, etc; and Tom Douglas.
Plus, the home team: A virtual who's-who of Portland chefs including Jason Barwikowski of Woodsman Tavern (locale of my best meal in Portland last year); this year's Best Chef NW Beard winner Gabe Rucker of Le Pigeon (okay, on second thought it's a tie for best meal in PDX last year); John Taboada of Navarre; the couple from the estimable Ox (third favorite meal in PDX last year); Johanna Ware of Smallwares, plus about 20 more awesome Portland chefs.
There are cooking classes, Grand Tastings, appearances by Bon Appetit Magazine (the event's primary sponsor) writers Andrew Knowlton and Christine Muhlke, as well as a second Night Market (last year's was a highlight!), and the High Comfort event (another huge hit last year).
But if you ask me, the best thing Feast does is collaborative dinners (and this year, brunch!) pairing local chefs with out-of-towners plus a winery (read my report from last year, when I was lucky enough to eat in the divine presence of Fergus Henderson). On the docket this year: Sarah Schafer (Irving Street Kitchen, PDX) and Floyd Cardoz (North End Grill, formerly chef at Tabla, NYC) with Sokol Blosser and Willamette Valley Vineyards on Thursday night; Trent Pierce (of the tiny Roe, PDX) and Sarah Simmons (City Grit, NYC) with Domaine Serene on Saturday night; and Renee Erickson and Eric Joppie of Bar Avignon doing brunch together Sunday morning.
I recommend getting your tickets early. If it's anything like last year, it'll be one hell of a weekend of eating, drinking, more drinking, and much more eating. Don't miss it.