After attending this festival 2 years ago it had been one food festival that I had been wanting to return too. Feast Portland, an annual food and drink festival held each September in Portland, Or. This was the 8th year since it’s inception which I attended September 12-15, and my second attending this incredible Feast.
The festival is made up of several signature events that run through this 4 day festival, additionally, there are chefs collaboration dinners, hands on workshops, seminars, plus after parties nightly in restaurants and bars throughout the city.
I attended all of the signature main events, starting out with the East Coast vs West Coast on the first night at the Rose Quarter Commons, here restaurant chefs battled it out from restaurants across the USA, the panel judges voted for their favourite dishes from the respective coast; and in the end it was the East coast that took home the trophy.
Each of the restaurants served up tasting dishes that represented ones originating on the East or West coast for all attendees to enjoy along with various beverages that included beer and cocktails. It was a festive gathering of foodies who enjoyed some great eats and a dj spinning music to add to the celebration.
After East Coast vs West Coast, I attended the first After Party of the festival at the Hoxton Hotel on the edge of Chinatown and what a fun and delicious night it was, featuring food and drink stations throughout the hotel from the main floor to the rooftop patio.
The next night it was time for the Night Market event at Zidell Yards for their Asian themed Night Market, such a fun event with Bollywood and other Asian music and delicious Asian food and drinks. There were a wide variety of Asian street food served from Indian to Thai to Vietnamese and more along with cocktails and more.
One thing that was added to this year’s festival was an Industry Panel entitled “Lessons in Running a 21st-Century Restaurant” which featured Moderator, Carla Lalli Music, Food Director, Bon Appétit; along with 3 James Beard House Chefs; two of which were from the West coast and one from the East. Each of the chefs were informative Chef Naomi Pomeroy, Beast, Portland; Chef Edouardo Jordan, Junebaby, Seattle; and Chef Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia. This panel took place at Tom McCall Waterfront Park just before the Big Feast got underway.
The next day, the Big Feast was the signature afternoon event with restaurants from all over Oregon and the USA featuring tasty bites along with sips from wineries, brewers, distillers, and more. Taking place under the big tents along the Waterfront in downtown Portland.
On Saturday night it was time for Smoked at The Fields Park. This signature event was very well-organized featuring restaurants and chefs from across the USA barbqing and cooking up delicious dishes, desserts and cocktails.
Mikkeller Portland was the location for the last After Party of Feast Portland, this Block Party featured a selection of restaurants serving up tasty dishes, along with cocktails, beer and wine.
On Sunday, it was time for Brunch Village, the last signature event of the amazing festival, the theme of this year’s event was Breakfast around the World. Although it was a rainy morning guests mingled at the various Tasting stations located both inside and outside of The Redd on Salmon Street. This one of a kind brunch featured chefs and restaurants serving up tasty dishes and drinks.
One of the other highlights of my Feast Portland experience was the chefs collaboration dinner on the Sunday evening that featured Chefs Andy Ricker and David Thompson cooking up an outstanding Thai dinner at Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok restaurant. It was an intimate dinner that explored the fundamentals of Thai curries and cooking over charcoal.
As I had expected Feast Portland was a food festival worthy of visiting again, one that must be planned ahead, watch for details and for when Feast Portland puts their tickets on sale in early June. Keep an eye out for next years Feast Portland which takes place September 17-20, 2020, I can’t wait to return for more.
By: Richard Wolak
Disclosure: I attended the Feast Portland events in this post courtesy of a media pass. As always, all opinions and photos are my own.