Mark Bittman at the James Beard Public Market Fundraiser in Portland January 22, 2015

January 23rd, 2015

Mr. Mark Bittman and me at the James Beard Public Market fundraiser dinner at Leftbank Annex.

I’m a very lucky lady. I got to be Mark Bittman’s date when he was in town for the James Beard Public Market fundraiser dinner at Leftbank Annex last night. Greg Higgins of Higgins Restaurant put together an incredible Pacific Northwest bounty meal comprised of recipes inspired by Mr. B’s latest book How to Cook Everything Fast which Higgins joked in his intro. to the event was probably “the longest book on fast cooking.” It’s a whopping 4+ pounds after all. (My favorite dishes that I’ve cooked from the book so far: miso glazed catfish with mushrooms, caramelized cod and Vietnamese-style fish sauce brussels. Mmmmm!)

The James Beard Public Market has been in the works now for nearly 15 years and it looks like we’ll finally have a market sooner than later. There have been all sorts of recent developments including the securing of the space at the west end of the Morrison bridge from the county for development, the partnership with the Norwegian design firm Snohetta to design it, the partnership with Bon Appetit Management Company to develop the teaching and demo. kitchens and on and on. In other words, things are moving right along now and gaining momentum. There are so many great local food folks involved including board secretary Janie Hibler, outreach and operations director Ann Forsthoefel, board members Lisa Sedlar and Greg Higgins and many, many more.

The dinner met the night’s fundraising goals and the highlight was Mr. Bittman’s inspiring speech which I uploaded here if you weren’t able to attend. The sound is pretty crappy but if you crank it up you can get most of it. There were a lot of bodies in the room and a lot of wine glasses if you know what I mean.

I’m really looking forward to one fine day when we have a large urban, indoor/outdoor year-round public market. I grew up in Cincinnati with Findlay Market and I really get how important these hubs can be to local culture. I want it! I want it now! Patience. It will soon be. Help make the James Beard Public Market dream a reality. Let’s do this thing.

Leftbank Annex all pretty for the event. Three Leg Torso playing on the stage just out of view of the photo to the right.

Mark and Bon Appetit Management Co. CEO and co-founder Fedele Bauccio before the dinner.

Super tasty menu from Greg Higgins.

EVERYONE left with a copy of Mark's How to Cook Everything Fast.

Mark giving his inspiring speech. Link to the audio is above.

Greg Higgins' yummy dessert.

Mark and James Beard Public Market executive director Ron Paul at the end of the night.

The happiest and luckiest person I know at the end of the night. Yep.

Learn more about the James Beard Public Market at www.jamesbeardmarket.com

Queen of the Sun Sneak Peek this Saturday

March 17th, 2010

This Saturday night...

This is where I’m going on Saturday night. Queen of the Sun is Taggart Siegel’s soon-to-be new movie (he last directed the film The Real Dirt on Farmer John) and there’s a sneak peek screening in Portland this Saturday night at 8pm at Sunnyside Methodist Church. The film has been in the works for three years and the screening honors the film’s main character Gunther Hauk who’s visiting Portland for it as well as some beekeeping workshops — see details below.

This special screening will raise money for Hauk’s Spikenard Farm Honeybee Sanctuary as well as for the world premier and national release of Queen of the Sun later this year.

Details for the Saturday, March 20th screening:
Cost: $10 advance, $15 at the door
Time: Reception @ 7pm, film @ 8pm
Location: Sunnyside Methodist Church, SE 35th Ave. and Yamhill
Q&A with Gunther Hauk and filmmakers following the screening at 9:30pm

Beekeeping Workshop

March 19th-21st beekeeping workshop from biodynamic expert and teacher Gunther Hauk. All workshop activities will take place at Portland Waldorf School in Milwaukie.

Cost: $90-$125 — lunch and snacks included.

To register and get full details contact Cathy at beeworkshop10@yahoo.com

Queen of the Sun Movie
www.queenofthesun.com

Blog For Food! Oregon Food Bank Needs You

February 18th, 2010

I’m a big fan of Oregon Food Bank. I began volunteering for Oregon Food Bank after I took the Organic Gardening Certification Program in fall of 2008. There’s a volunteer component for that program and for mine I volunteered at Oregon Food Bank’s Eastside Learning Garden as well as planted a row of veggies in my backyard for its Plant a Row for the Hungry program.

Now, thanks to Tami Parr of Pacific Northwest Cheese Project I’m participating in the annual event that Parr founded — Blog For Food! — a big, beautiful blog project geared toward raising money for OFB.

Mid-March harvest of collard greens from OFB Eastside Learning Garden

From February 15th until March 15th Oregon bloggers are blogging it up in an effort to raise dough for OFB.

According to Tami Parr:

The reality is that the economy has tanked over the past few months. That’s not news. And as I’m sure you’re already aware, joblessness is increasing rapidly. Unemployment rates all over the country are skyrocketing. What that means is that there are a lot of people in need…the Oregon Food Bank set a record for food distribution in 2008-09; according to CEO Rachel Bristol, OFB distributed more food last year than it ever has in its history. That’s pretty incredible. (see the full news release here).

If you’re able to donate go here and/or click the link on the logo at the top of this post. When donating be sure to add the note “blog for food” in the “In Honor of” section on the Food Bank donation page, so that the totals can be tracked.

If you’re a blogger and want to participate head here.

A friend’s wife just started a new position at Oregon Food Bank and I’m looking forward to keeping up with the organization more through her. A little trivia: guess where Portland Farmers Market executive director Ann Forsthoefel first worked when she moved to Portland? You got it — Oregon Food Bank.

Oregon Food Bank
7900 NE 33rd Dr., Portland
503.282.0922
www.oregonfoodbank.org

It’s Getting Chile: Homegrown Spice

October 2nd, 2009
The containers might be small but the flavor and heat is fierce.

The containers might be small but the flavor and heat is fierce.

I’ve never had huge success growing chiles. And although the Pacific Northwest isn’t exactly the best place to grow them I often see friends and neighbors’ chile plants often grow two, three and four times the size of mine. I know that our yard isn’t the best spot in Portland to grow chiles since the arc of the summer sun is so often interrupted but I keep trying anyway. Heat is a big factor and some people in cooler climes surround their chiles with heat holding stones or cover the surrounding soil in black landscape plastic to keep the soil temperature up. I’ve thought of doing both but never have.

Our friends Anthony and his girlfriend Deborah grow incredible chiles. Lucky for us they process a lot of them and often give us everything from pineapple juice and bourbon soaked, dehydrated and toasted habaneros to sundried tomato and chile powder blends…

Just like bay leaves -- don't forget to remove the habaneros before serving like I did.

Just like bay leaves -- don't forget to remove the habaneros before serving like I did.

Anthony and Deb's habanero, cayenne and tomato powder.

Anthony and Deb's habanero, cayenne and tomato powder.

This year Anthony even gave me a bunch of rare chile seeds and starts — most of which he got here. I did my best with them and although none took off like theirs I’ve been making all kinds of tasty hot sauces and salsas with them as they ripen. And if I hadn’t lost my copy of The Spicy Food Lover’s Bible I’d be tapping into that for hot recipes too. At least I finally found my lost recipe satchel (recipes from old restaurants I’ve worked at, family recipes, old neighbors’ recipes) which is much more important than a still in print book.

Left to right: white bullet habanero hot sauce, jamaican hot chocolate habanero salsa and kung pao chile hot sauce.

Left to right: white bullet habanero hot sauce, jamaican hot chocolate habanero salsa and kung pao chile hot sauce.

Here are some shots that I took today of my front and backyard chiles. It’s amazing how many colors some of them go through as they ripen.

These Jamaican hot chocolate habaneros are going into hot sauce this weekend.

These Jamaican hot chocolate habaneros are going into hot sauce this weekend.

According to my friend Anthony the best thing he ever did with Jamaican hot chocolate habeneros was sautee orange marmalade with some dried pieces of them and a little brandy for about 15 minutes. He said it was an amazing cooking glaze.

From pale yellow, to purple to orange to red…

Twilight chile peppers

Twilight chile peppers

Wrinkled old man chiles are sweet and flavorful.

Wrinkled old man chiles are sweet and flavorful.

And finally one that’s really good pickled…

Just beginning to ripen hot cherry peppers.

Just beginning to ripen hot cherry peppers.

How are your chiles growing? Any great recipes? I can never have too much hot sauce or salsa but some new fiery recipes would be great.

Wordstock + Livestock: Portland Books and Butchery

September 29th, 2009

IS GETTING COZY WITH…

I think now’s as good of a time as any to let the cat out of the bag. I have a new job working for Hawthorne Books — my favorite Portland publishers. I’ve been slowly phasing in the past few weeks for an early October start date just in time to help out with two very exciting upcoming spring and summer 2010 titles. AND just in time for Wordstock — a delicious and more food writing focused Wordstock to boot.

For the two of you that don’t know — Wordstock is Portland’s annual fall weekend-long literary festival with stages for all kinds of author readings, a book fair of mostly regional publishers and presses and lots of writing workshops. It takes place next weekend — October 10th and 11th all day at the Oregon Convention Center.

This year’s festival includes more than a dozen food writers including The Accidental Hedonist herself Kate Hopkins; Veganomicon and Vegan with a Vengeance author Isa Chandra Moskowitz; Piper Davis and Ellen Jackson will present their hot-off-the-presses The Grand Central Baking Book; Julie Richardson and Cory Schreiber will read from their new title Rustic Fruit Desserts; and Ivy Manning will present her The Farm to Table Cookbook and The Adaptable Feast.

If you’re hungry for more check out this Wordstock food panel at 4pm Saturday, October 10th:

Seasons of Change: How much should people be encouraged to eat seasonal food? Hear three authors discuss the challenges of providing a seasonal menu, the impacts of rising demand on farmers and others aspects of eating seasonally.

Wordstock's Book Fair. I think this man just asked, So people still, you know, read?

Wordstock's Book Fair. I think this man just asked, So people still, you know, read?

Not only does this year’s Wordstock include more food writers than ever it’s also promoting the new November event Livestock — a series of Portland farm-to-fork events designed to explore the literary and literal aspects of killing our dinner.

Gleaned from the Livestock press release:

Watershed Culinary Productions in partnership with Camas Davis, food writer and founder of the soon-to-be-launched Portland Meat Collective, presents the first ever Livestock which will be held on two consecutive Wednesdays, November 4th and 11th, from 6pm to 8pm at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland. Tickets are $25 each with $10 from every ticket sold going to Friends of Family Farmers. Space is limited so please call (503) 827-6564 between 9:00am and 5:30pm to reserve your place. Pay by Visa, MasterCard, American Express or cash. Sorry no checks.

Cathy Whims of Nostrana and Adam Sappington of The Country Cat will display their butchery craft as ranchers discuss their bond to the land, and writers present short stories exploring the food politics and emotions embedded in eating meat. The evenings will wrap up with a flight of beef or pork from three local farms cooked by the evening’s featured chef.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Local writers, chefs, and other artists are encouraged to submit personal essays of no more than 1,200 words for consideration as part of Livestock. Essays can explore anything from the politics of eating (or not eating) meat to the emotional (or unemotional) context of killing (or not killing) your dinner. Submissions might only explore the chop or the rib, or they might go as deep as the tail or the trotter, but metaphor and style will be prized above technicalities and generalities of any sort. Six finalists will be chosen to read their essays at the event. An honorarium will be offered to each author, along with all the charcuterie they can consume in one evening. To submit please contact Camas Davis by October 12th at: camas.davis@gmail.com

Livestock 1: The Butchery of a Cow

What: The Country Cat Dinnerhouse & Bar Chef Adam Sappington and Sweet Briar Farms, with readings & butchery demonstration. Chef Sappington will prepare three cuts from three different farms, and guests will be invited to compare and contrast flavors.
When: November 4, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland
34 NW 8th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 228-6528
Cost: Tickets are $25 each. Please call (503) 827-6564 to reserve your seat.

Livestock 2: The Butchery of a Pig

What: Nostrana Chef Cathy Whims and Laughing Stock Farm, with readings & butchery demonstration. Chef Whims will prepare a flight of meat and invite guests to compare and contrast flavors.
When: November 11, 2009 from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Where: The International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland
34 NW 8th Ave
Portland, OR 97209
(503) 228-6528
Cost: Tickets are $25 each. Please call (503) 827-6564 to reserve your seat.