This past Tuesday, I was lucky enough to attend Portland's Taste of the Nation food festival, a gathering of some of Oregon's best chefs, winemakers, brewers and distillers to raise money and awareness for Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. No Kid Hungry is an effort to eliminate childhood hunger by providing children from low-income families access to nutritional school meals and other related education programs. Every ticket purchased for Taste of the Nation helps the campaign.
A LOT of my favorite restaurants, distilleries, and wineries were there at the jam-packed event (held in Portland's ever-so-hip Crystal Ballroom), providing various bites and tastes:
The cool part was that, not only did the restaurants step up and provide snacks, a lot of famous and big name chefs were actually on-site themselves to help out and hand out food. Pictured below is Kat Whitehead from Aviary (one of my favorite restaurants in town, check out this old post of mine featuring some of their killer cocktails) serving up soup dumplings and famed bartender Brandon Wise, currently serving up epic cocktails at Imperial and Portland Penny Diner:
The last picture up top? I think I already instagrammed this, but that dish was probably one of my favorites from the night. Truffle oil mac and cheese from Grassa. Simple and delicious and decadent, all at the same time.
And the bites below are:
- fresh pan-fried latkes with smoked salmon from James Beard winning chef Vitaly Paley (who you might also know from his victorious stint on Iron Chef)
- sweet sticky rice with duck egg custard from Portland (and New York City!) darling Pok Pok
- pickled asparagus with airy bonito flakes from Biwa, one of my favorite restaurants around town
- chocolate bon bons from Batch PDX, another winner of the night
- Aaron Barnett, chef of the much acclaimed Restaurant St. Jack (who I haven't forgiven for moving out of my neighborhood)
And below we've got Chris Pacquette, the Chef de Cuisine of Bamboo Sushi, known as the first LEED-certified restaurant in the country, serving up Japanese beef short rib lettuce and rice wraps. Also pictured is Ed from Laurelhurst Market, serving up mac & cheese topped with potato chip crumbs:
And finally, I'm gonna leave you with these tasty things — Pimm's cup cocktails, Aviary's soup dumplings that I was raving about earlier, mac and cheese with potato chips from Laurelhurst Market, and some sort of green soup that tasted like spring time and might have been made from stinging nettles:
- Learn more about Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign and visit their events page to find an event near you!
- This isn't the first time I've done work with No Kid Hungry. Earlier this spring, I participated in their No Kid Hungry's "Baking a Difference" campaign and whipped up some Mexican chocolate rolls. My recipe was featured in their e-cookbook (which you can download for FREE on their Facebook page), and contains recipes from other talented bakers and bloggers like Joy the Baker.
- Portland folks — there are other No Kid Hungry benefits coming up soon! A group of lovely local bloggers are participating in their National Blogger Bake Sale this weekend. My friends Erin of Bakery Bingo and Marisa of Margaritas in the Rain will be there, along with other talented bloggers. All proceeds go to Share Our Strength and visit local blogger Fabi's Not Just Baked blog to learn more.
- Feast Portland is also coming up soon, which also benefits No Kid Hungry. If Taste of the Nation appeals to you, you should definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY check out the Night Market, which is like Taste of the Nation but outdoors in the summer. I've got photos from last year!
- Finally, a shameless plug (please forgive me) — like the photos you see? You can now hire me as a food photographer! Check out more of my pictures on my ever-burgeoning portfolio and email me for more information.