The venue was the Historic Governor Hotel and the celebrity chef list included:
NAOMI POMEROY – Beast
JASON BARWIKOWSKI – Olympic Provisions
ANDY RICKER – Pok Pok
CATHY WHIMS – Nostrana
Butcher: RYAN FARR - 4505 Meats
Special Guest Chefs:
ADAM SAPPINGTON - The Country Cat
ETHAN POWELL / TOBIAS HOGAN - EaT
GREG DENTON - Metrovino
DAVID ANDERSON - Genoa Restaurant
The food as one might imagine pretty much too advantage of the theme ingredient (Pig) from snout to tail. Charcuterie, blood sausage, pate as well as a host of Asian and Mexican influenced stews.
Olympic Provisions "Meat" sign
To be honest as much as I love bbq and whole hog roasts, the single item that stood out for me was the Posole, Cilantro Puree & Cabbage Cotija. It may have been the reason that when the final tally was done by the judges and the eating public the winning chef was Jason Barwikowski. When his name was announced his sous chef's rushed the stage and hoisted him like he was Tom Brady and had just tossed the winning Super Bowl pass! It is great to see that Portland has so much talent and passion when it comes to pushing the locavore movement..........plus you gotta love kitchen geeks getting star treatment!
I had a friend who just got back from three weeks in Italy and she spent time in and around Rome. Her thoughts were that Portland has a much stronger food scene than what she encountered in Rome.
The highlights for me were the offerings form Jason Barwikowski at Olympic Provisions and Andy Ricker of Pok-Pok (and their respective and sizable crews)..
In the wine category, when you have both Domaine Drouhin and Domaine Serene show up for a tasting event like this the competition usually feels like they brought a knife to a gunfight. Actually, while DDO and DS were great, I was impressed by the offerings from Elk Cove (the dry Reisling was fantastic). Soter was right in there and made an impression with their Mineral Springs Ranch (MSR) Pinot………..but, for my money
Ben & Mimi Casteel-Cute enough to be the King and Queen of this Pig Prom
Bethel Heights Winery brought some serious thunder and having the second generaton winemaker & vinticulturist (Cousins Ben & Mimi Casteel) sharing the love with four single vineyard Pinot Noir offerings was a special treat. This is a 30 + year old winery in the Central Willamette Valley. I love these family owned and operated wineries (note to self, get on the mailing list).