Feast Portland, You’re the Inspiration

AlanWeiner_Feast2016_NightMarket
Night Market 2016, Photo by Alan Weiner

It’s an exiting time for us in Portland! Feast Portland, presented by Bon Appétit, officially kicks off to the public tonight with major events including The Sandwich Invitational presented by The Portland Trailblazers, as well as a few other events on this sold out Feast Portland night.

Last night many of us food writers and other members of the media celebrated the night before Feast Portland at Ava Gene’s and OP Wurst, two of Portland’s great eateries who happen to be right across the street from each other on the iconic SE Division Street. The setting inside Ava Gene’s was intimate with an open bar, which featured specialty cocktails for the evening as well as featured chefs who turned out bites for us to sample from the open kitchen. My friends Erica, Jenny, and I started here with Kamakazi Fizz cocktails and tastings of Ava Gene’s Chef Joshua McFadden’s Gnoccho Fritto with Burrata and Caviar. Just an example of how we roll for Feast.

And we were just getting started!

Next, we headed over to the patio at OP Wurst, where we sampled Lambrusco, which paired perfectly with the enormous spread of charcuterie presented by Olympia Provisions and owner Elias Cairo. That pâté sample that Top Chef contestant John Tesar handed to me was definitely the best thing I ate last night. And if I didn’t have to drive, I would have sampled many more of those Negronis that were handed out as well. My friends weren’t fans, but I rarely turn those down.

Last night was a spectacular preview of what lies ahead of us Thursday through Sunday. “Imagine this times a million,” someone on Twitter said. I’m ecstatic because last year I didn’t get to attend any of the night events because they were all sold out. I did attend the Friday Grand Tasting, which was a huge treat and so worth the $65 cost of admission.

Feast2016_GrandTasting_MichaelKraus
Grand Tasting 2016, Photo By Michael Kraus

Tickets for this year are still available to Friday’s Grand Tasting, where 80 vendors, including some of the best chefs, vintners, brewers, bakers, cheesemakers and food artisans from the Northwest and across the country will be on hand to interact with all of us curious foodies. Last year it was a beautiful day to spend outdoors at Portland’s Pioneer Square Courthouse in the heart of downtown.

AlanWeiner_Feast2016_GrandTastingFriday
2016 Grand Tasting, Photo by Alan Weiner

I didn’t realize that many of the wineries at the Grand Tasting were pouring from bottles that were priced at $100 and more, according to Erin of Platings and Pairings. More from her post about Feast Portland Wine Watch here.

This year, I’m excited to join in on Happy Hours and After Parties surrounding Feast with my blogger friends. I’m also attending Night Market, and I’ll be reporting more about that after Friday night!

So many of us are writing about Feast Portland right now because it is such an exciting time of year for the food and libation lovers in us. I wanted to share a few other posts from writers that I follow so that if you haven’t been to Feast, you’ll be inspired to get there this year or the next. It is truly an event not to be missed, and it is so successfully conducted. I look forward to writing much more about this many more years to come. You should also enjoy reading more about Feast Portland, the event that inspires a foodie city full of writers:

Urban Bliss Life

Maxene’s Trail of Crumbs

The Spicy Bee

The Good Hearted Woman

Waz Wu

I was granted a media/blogger pass to attend several events during Feast Portland. All opinions are my own.

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