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:

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:

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