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

Food Lover’s Guide to Portland 2.0 Launch Party ++

August 6th, 2014

Oh, just me and me checking out my gigantic book cover in the window at Powell's City of Books. That's all. Thanks Buddy Bodin for twinning me!

I went camping on Memorial Day weekend this year and during that trip I made a pact with myself to spend as much of this summer outside as possible. I succeeded! It’s been an incredible and very lucky summer for me filled with trips back and forth to the coast, day trips to rivers, lots of barbecues, camping and long hot summer nights spent around campfires, on beaches, in backyards. It’s been amazing. And now I’ve been reeling it in and getting back to the business of books and writing and food — all of which I love. Wish summer could last just a little bit longer though.

The second edition of my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland comes out in less than a month and the day that it launches Hawthorne Books is throwing a big launch party for it at my friend’s Reverend Nat’s Cidery & Public Taproom — Monday, Sept. 1st 6-10pm. It’s going to be a whole heck of a lot of fun with Nat’s hard ciders for sale, food donated from folks featured in the book, music from DJ Jimbo of XRAY.fm and more. I really hope that you can come out for it and help me and Hawthorne Books celebrate.

So far, you can look forward to tasty treats from Boke Bowl, Cheese Bar, Toro Bravo, Ken’s Artisan Bakery, Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Ruby Jewel Ice Cream, Fleur de Lis Bakery, Full Circle Creamery, Hotlips Soda, Slow Food Portland, Berry Good Produce, Bowery Bagels and Remedy Wine Bar. AND there will be a cake with an icing-based cover of my book courtesy of Hawthorne Books from Helen Bernhard Bakery. If you have something tasty you’d like to donate to the party spread please contact me at info at liz crain dot com. Thank you!

Three other events to quickly mention that I also hope you might make it out for:

Powell’s Books Food Lover’s Guide to Portland panel with me, Gabe Rosen, Nick Zukin, Nat West and Brett Burmeister
Thursday, September 11th 7:30pm @ Powell’s City of Books

People’s Co-op Harvest Festival fermentation demo with me, David Barber and George Winborn in promotion of the upcoming Portland Fermentation Festival
Wednesday, September 17th demo 3-5pm @ People’s Food Co-op

Fifth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival
Thursday, October 16th 6-9:30pm @ Ecotrust

See you soon at one or more of these events I hope!

Long Live Jorinji Miso

April 5th, 2014

Planning committee.

My friend Earnest Migaki, pictured above, needs your help. It’s not just the residential rental market in Portland that’s tight — the commercial rental market is as well and Earnest has been without a production facility for his Jorinji Miso company for several months now. In a month he will run out of all of his already produced miso currently available throughout Portland in markets such as Uwajimaya and Anzen. Portland, we cannot let that happen.

I first met Earnest and his late wife Sumiko when I was researching the first issue of my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland — they were the first interview that I conducted for it. And every year following they participated in the Portland Fermentation Festival. Earnest’s miso is some of the very best that I’ve ever had (I really love miso) and if you haven’t tried it you better help Earnest find a new commercial kitchen otherwise you won’t get to! Miso takes a loooong time to make. The youngest miso that Earnest makes takes four months of fermentation.

Why should you care? My friend Earnest is an amazing human being and he has endured so much hardship in the past year — more hardship than I’ve endured my entire life. Earnest has been to hell and back again and now he needs Portland’s help. Step one: help Earnest find a commercial kitchen for Jorinji Miso. Please email me at liz crain at gmail dot com with any leads and I will pass them along tout suite to Earnest.

Please SHARE THE FUCK out of this — word of mouth, Facebook, Twitter, bulletin boards, forums, get it tattooed on your FACE. Thank you. Don’t actually get anything tattooed on your face. Your face is beautiful just the way it is.

Earnest is looking to lease:

A standard commercial kitchen space that is 1,000 to 2,000 square feet that is $2,000 or less a month in Portland, ideally Southeast Portland.
The kitchen can be shared but he can’t work with anyone working with yeast because the koji for the miso doesn’t work when yeast is present.
Ideally the space will have plenty of storage space, a 3 basin sink, an 8-10 gas burner, room for a large industrial mixer and AC.

The day I met Earnest and Sumiko five years ago.

From Earnest's Jorinji scrapbook.

www.jorinjisoybeam.com

Portland Fermentation Festival 2013

October 17th, 2013

Come out, come out wherever you are for the 4th annual Portland Fermentation Festival next Wed., Oct. 23rd at Ecotrust.

We’re so happy that we’re less than a week away from this year’s 4th annual Portland Fermentation Festival! The 2011 festival was so well attended we had a line down the stairs and around the block at Ecotrust. Last year, the thought of tackling such a popular festival was just too overwhelming for David, George and I so we decided to skip it and come back even stronger this year.

We’ve made some changes this year so that you won’t be crushed during the festival and so that you won’t have to wait and hour and a half to get in. The biggest changes: advanced ticket sales, different types of tickets: two tastings and Sandor’s talk (the talk is sold out — sorry! Tickets to tastings are still available), use of the mezzanine, and rooftop food and drink sales and music by DJ Pickle Barrel. I’ll let the press release speak for itself below. Please come join us for the good, stinky fun on the 23rd!

Aaaand here are a few photos from our crazy 4:30am to 9am stint on KPTV’s Fox News Good Day Oregon early this morning to promote the festival from 4:30am to 9am. Ouch.

KPTV Fox's Good Day Oregon covers the 2013 Portland Fermentation Festival. Left to right: Jeanne Kubal of Ecotrust, Andy Carson of Good Day Oregon, Lola Milholland of Ecotrust and David Barber of Picklopolis and co-organizer of the festival.

Me talking up this year's festival guest speaker Sandor Ellix Katz with Andy Carson on KPTV Fox Good Day Oregon.

Picklopolis fermented foods to show off on-air along with other fermenty festival treats.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Organizers & Media Contacts:
 
Liz Crain
lizcrain at gmail dot com
 
George Winborn
gw.winborn at gmail dot com
 
David Barber
briney at picklopolis dot com
 
Open-to-the-public, all ages celebration of fermented food and drink. Bring kraut, try kraut. Bring miso, try miso. Come out for Portland’s fermented food and drink skill sharing, recipe sharing and tasting event of the year. We are very pleased to announce that this year’s special guest is Sandor Ellix Katz, author of Wild Fermentation, The Art of Fermentation and The Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved. In addition to all sorts of fermented food and drink samples enjoy rooftop food and beverage sales from Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Upright Brewery and Bingo Sandwiches and music from DJ Pickle Barrel.
 
Fourth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival
Wednesday, October 23rd 6:00-9:30pm
Ecotrust’s Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center
Rooftop food and drink sales and music from DJ Pickle Barrel
721 NW 9th Ave. Portland, OR
All ages, open to the public, $10-$20
Children 12 and younger attend for free
www.portlandfermentationfestival.com

 
Come celebrate pickling season at the Fourth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust. Taste and share homemade live, fermented food and drinks made by professionals and home fermentation enthusiasts at the event that brought out more than 500 attendees in 2011.
 
Talk to fellow fermenters, exchange cultures and recipes, get advice from local food fermentation enthusiasts, and sample everything from sour pickles, miso and kefir to cheese, hard cider, and mead.
 
Visit the website above for more information on how to enter fermented goods and cultures for the event. If you’d like to see what past Portland Fermentation Festivals have been like check out some coverage:
 
Willamette Week
 
OPB
 
Food Lover’s Guide to Portland
 
KBOO Food Show
 
Portland Farmers Market video

 
www.portlandfermentationfestival.com
Twitter @PDXFermentFest
Facebook Portland Fermentation Festival

PURCHASE TICKETS!

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern in Portland

April 15th, 2013

Portland shoot for Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods last summer, airs next Monday night!

Last spring I got a call from a producer of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods asking if I wanted to help out with an upcoming Portland episode. She’d seen my book Food Lover’s Guide to Portland, had checked out my blog and wanted me to help choose subjects and themes for the upcoming Portland show. We had a lot of back and forth for a few months before they came to Portland to shoot last summer.

I know a lot of the folks that they ended up featuring but I’m sure that there will be some surprises as well. People and businesses that I recommended include Steve Jones of Cheese Bar, Nat West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Geoff Latham of Nicky USA, Earnest and Sumiko Migaki of Jorinji Miso, John Cleary of Newman’s Fish Company, David Barber of Picklopolis, The Frying Scotsman, The Big Egg, Andrea Spella of Spella Caffe, Gabe Rosen of Biwa, Gena Renaud of Yume Confections and Naomi Montacre of Naomi’s Organic Farm Supply. These are the folks that I remember talking about but I know there were more.

When the crew came to town last summer I got to tag along for a day. I haven’t seen any of the show yet but if you watch it imagine me crouched between storage racks behind the sound guy when Andrew is making a very strange sounding ice cream (hint: smoke and bones). I even got to introduce myself to Mr. Z and we talked a bit about Vassar our alma mater. Now, more than a year later, the show is finally airing — next Monday night on the Travel Channel. I’m really looking forward to tuning in.

Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern