FEAST 2016 part one – the kickoff

Everything was delicious. I ate way too much. The end.

Go away now, I said “THE END”!

Tomato Basil Salad

Tomato Basil Salad

No? Ok ok.

FEAST 2016, the Portland food festival to end all Portland food festivals, has come and gone for another year. Whether you were in attendance for several events in person, whether you were only able to go to one, or if you simply hearted every Instagram snap all weekend from your snuggly happy couch in your wonderful home, I’d like to take you on a journey—nay, a veritable exodus odyssey (insertwordherethat’smoreromanticthanjourneyandlessdramaticthanexodus)—through the wonders and sights of 2016.

Berry Paleta & Chile Salt from Stella Taco and Oregon Berries!

Huckleberry Coconut Lime Paleta & Chile Salt from Stella Taco and Oregon Berries!


Feast is a food festival with several layers. Layer 1 is comprised of the Main Events: These are where the Chefs and Artisans from all over the country come forth to SHINE FORTH a wonderful dish based on a theme. The main events are The Sandwich Invitational, Night Market, Smoked, The Grand Tasting (Friday and Saturday sessions) and Brunch Village.

Layer 2 is the Fun-Sized events, Layer 3 is Drink Tank sessions (classes and tastings on beverage themes), and Layer 4 offers hands-on classes on a variety of topics like food photography, hands on bartending skills, or an inside look at a test kitchen. Layer 5 offers Dinner series events through the city where a Chef (or Chefs) will collaborate with a winery or brewery to offer a unique several-course dining experience. WHEW! Needless to say, I did not attend all of these events personally; I can only report on the ones I participated in. If I’m missing coverage on one of these you were very excited about, you may need to give me and my distended belly a bit of grace.

I am still in recovery...

I am still in recovery…

Behind the scenes of all of those layers there are also several events for the guests and media that are designed to celebrate the food and drink industry and say thank you for participating. Until this year, I had NO IDEA that these additional secret/hidden events even existed. This is my first year as a media partner with FEAST, and I had anticipated only going to one or two main events…that is until I saw the media schedule and realized there were extra things planned every day. These media events are fantastic and fun, but it’s important to note they aren’t all open and available to the public. You’ll get a secret look into some of these events as well (especially in this first post!), but I’ll try and note those as private events as we go so you know which ones will have available tickets for next year—because you’re already planning to come next year right? It’s September 14th-17th. I need you to help me drink all of this wine. I’m not joking. You’re coming.

Wednesday: The Williams-Sonoma Welcome Party (Private Event)

Wednesday night held the Williams-Sonoma Welcome Party which was hosted at Jacobsen Salt Co. The event space is open, modern, perfect for mingling, and had a small stage set up in the corner. There were several dishes from local PDX restaurants/chefs and a few Williams-Sonoma chefs had created dishes specifically for the evening.


Rubbed Chicken / Pulled Pork / Beef Rib / Beef Cheek / Mama Lil’s Peppers — Look at that char!


The beautiful Top Chef winner, Mei Lin!


Cheese board glory provided by Renata


Scallop Crudo / Oregon Apples / Jalepeños / Almond Crema and Crunch. Impossibly fresh and light and creamy! Possibly my favorite bite!

When I finished my second plate a completely normal amount of Doug Adams’ BBQ I headed to grab my second cocktail. I took a sip just in time for a band to start playing on the small stage next to me. I turned. Portugal The Man. THE Portugal The Man. You know, just starting a casual set in the corner ten feet away from me. If I hadn’t felt like a pampered VIP yet, I certainly felt like one now. Also, did you know that Union Wine Co‘s fantastic wine in a can is basically half a bottle of wine? It’s pretty much all anyone was talking about most of the weekend. This is such a beautiful time in which we live.


The beautiful meat plate under the magical sparkles of the event


Other magical sparkles of the event — the 1/2 bottle wine goodness that is Union Wine Co


THE Portugal the Man


Gather / Cook / Eat / Repeat

Thursday: OpenTable Hospitality Lounge & Bull In China Happy Hour (Private Lounge)

For guest and media, FEAST sets up a Hospitality Lounge. It’s a spot to come have a drink, some snacks, and charge your portable devices that have died because you take too many pictures (I speak from experience). The lounge was organized by the lovely Lindsay of Rosemarried. How she managed to arrange so many rotating snacks, drinks, sandwiches, treats, AND had a masseuse on standby?—I will never know. She is magic.


Hospitality Lounge Bites – Toffee Bark, Lemon Tarts, Apricot Chèvre Rosemary Truffles


Bull In China Photo Bomb

Each day the lounge featured a Happy Hour event hosted by a different artisan. Thursday I had the pleasure to chat and drink with the founders of Bull In China, my favorite local PDX purveyors of barware. If you haven’t checked them out before, I highly recommend it.

Thursday: After Party—Pork of Ages 3.0 (Private Event)

The Pork of Ages 3.0 was sponsored by Pork Be Inspired and Portland Monthly Magazine. This event was hosted at the oh-so-cool and Portlandy Doug Fir Lounge. There were drinks, wine from my favorite winery Sokol Blosser, a photo booth, temporary pork tattoos, and several pork-centric dishes including a hand-sized Plum Pork Pie Hole from Pie Spot that was exquisite! The dimly lit interior didn’t allow for the best food shots, but believe you me I ate all of the things. Pictures or no pictures.

Cocktails at Doug Fir Lounge for Pork of Ages

Cocktails at Doug Fir Lounge for Pork of Ages

Can you see the mood spoon?!? My ice cream is moody!

Can you see the mood spoon?!? My ice cream is moody!

As an extra dessert perk the Tillamook Gelato Truck was parked outside and had my very favorite takeaway from the whole week: MOOD SPOONS! Have you guys seen these before? Apparently they were all the rage at some point but I must have missed it. Mood spoons are almost the opposite of mood rings so they blue when very cold (like in your ice cream) and go back to white once your mouth warms them back to room temp. The geek in me was more than pleased. I don’t think they expected me to take my spoon home, but I am going to carefully handwash that treasure and make it last as long as possible.

Thursday: After After Party—Annual Flip Cup Competition (Private Event)

I am honestly not even sure what to say here. Just as I was unaware of mood spoons I had never heard of the glory that is Flip Cup. Not even one time. I’m not sure what kind of sheltered life I’ve led (actually, I DO know what kind of sheltered life I’ve led and that will have to be saved for another blog post), but Flip Cup was sadly missing from my education. Each year, teams from the food service industry and a fantastic team of PDX Bloggers get together to decide who will take the ultimate prize. There are competition brackets, jungle juice drinks, beer, a DJ, a costume contest, and an official trophy that is engraved with the yearly winners. I’m seriously considering practicing at home. I think Flip Cup will be making an appearance at my fall dinner parties on the horizon.


The Flip Cup Arena at Evergreen. Can you see the trophy gleaming on the table? Swoon.


The PDX Blogger team CRUSHING their first round!

Ok… I think I need to go and have a nap now. My belly is too full. We’ll have to save the rest of my FEAST thoughts for the next couple of posts; up next are the Grand Tastings!

Did you know about all the layers of events available at FEAST Portland? Which of the dishes from the kickoff sounds most delicious to you? Let me know!


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14 thoughts on “FEAST 2016 part one – the kickoff

  1. Marlynn @ UrbanBlissLife says:

    Feast is the BEST! I was out of town on a media trip and missed the opening night party, pork of ages, and flip cup for the first time this year. Thanks for the pics to make me feel like I was there! Looking forward to hearing what your faves were from the Grand Tasting!

    • thehappylittleapron says:

      Thanks, Erin! I feel like my first event photos ended up the best because I was most clear headed… the other ones are after I’ve been eating for days and the belly-bloat may have clouded my photo judgement. HA!

  2. Renee @ The Good Hearted Woman says:

    You captured some beautiful images, and it looks like you had a great time! This was my first year attending FEAST, and I have to admit – I had a fantastic experience, but it was a little overwhelming at times. There was just so much to do and see… and eat!

    • thehappylittleapron says:

      Thanks, Renee. I did have a great time. Did we have a chance to meet? I’m so sorry if we did and I forgot…I’m horrible with names! It was a bit overwhelming for me too. I’m really glad to have experienced everything so I know how to pick and choose what to focus on next year. We were first year twins! <3

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