Portland Fermentation Festival 2014 Redux

October 20th, 2014

The dapper foodists -- ferment fest co-organizers George Winborn, Liz Crain and David Barber.

Thank you to everyone who came out last week and made this year’s FIFTH annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust such a stinky great time. It’s unanimous amongst David, George and I (festival co-organizers/founders) that this year was the most fun for us and I hope for you.

Every year has been fantastic but the three of us got to enjoy ourselves a lot more this year. I got to sample everything! In years past I always find myself running around too much to sample the ferments. I made a pact to try everything this year and I did and it was deeeeeelicious. Thanks in no small part to all of the festival’s awesome volunteers, participants and attendees. We’ve hit our stride. I guess five years has taught us a thing or two about throwing a big fermenty Portland party.

We put the Portland Fermentation Festival together every year with a shoestring budget + heaps of volunteered hours and as always we’re so grateful that Ecotrust puts up with us year after year. Thank you again Ecotrust! We love you.

We had some great coverage this year including this spot on KGW News PDX Tonight with Drew Carney, as well as the KBOO Food Show with Chris Seigel, this Portland Monthly story by Kelly Clarke, Portland Tribune story by Jennifer Anderson, Portland Mercury coverage, Willamette Week and moooooore. I guess Portland is ok with us. Happy.

If you’d like to keep up with local fermenty goings-on please check out our website, Facebook and Twitter.

Below are a whole bunch of photos from Stinkfest! If you have some great ones too please post them to the Facebook page or Twitter them with the hashtag #pdxfermentfest.

Thank you, thank you, thank you and see you all again next year we hope! Stay stinky!

We kicked off the night with a fermentation experts panel with left to right: moderator George Winborn, Josh Grgas of Commons Brewery, David Barber of Picklopolis and Bingo Sandwiches, Nat West of Reverend Nat's Hard Cidery and Eric Finley of Chop Butchery & Charcuterie.

The panel sold out weeks before and folks asked a lot of great questions. Most importantly we all learned that size does really matter especially in regard to fermenting cucumbers for sour pickles ;)

And then the madness of the first tasting ensued.

Perennial festival favorite -- Matt Choi of Choi's Kimchi.

OlyKraut brought all kinds of awesomeness including super tasty krauts and sour pickles and...

Their addictive spicy pickle brine.

Thank you Sash! She recommends using it in Bloody Marys and I am definitely going to.

Sweet Honey Farm's Lil and Jme serving up yummy krauts.

Cute shot of Lil right before the doors opened.

Out on the mezzanine the lovely Claudia Lucero did a fresh cheese demo with recipes from her hot off the presses rad book One-Hour Cheeses. Love her.

And on the other side of the mezzanine another perennial festival fave Heidi Nestler (heidinestler.com) and her husband Daisuke did a natto demo.

KGW News' Drew Carney came and shot the beginning of the fest for PDX Tonight. "Bow ties and beards right there. Surrounded."

Snapped this one during set up of my friends Teresa and Rich of Pitch Dark Chocolate. Kind of wild how many folks don't know that chocolate is fermented.

My boots photobombed their chocolate. So yummy.

Jon Westdahl getting cozy with one of his crocks.

The awesome salame spread from Chop Butchery & Charcuterie.

Connie and Brian Shaw of Oregon Brineworks with all kinds of super tasty ferments including fermented hot sauce and ketchup, beet kvass, ginger gold kvass and more. Love these guys.

My friends Jess Bull and Jemma Stromwick at ticketing in the lobby. Couldn't do it without all of our amazing volunteers. Thank you!

It was a beautiful night and on the rooftop we had food and drink from Bingo Sandwiches, Reverend Nat's Hard Cider and Commons Brewery and...

Music from DJ Pickle Barrel! The first time I got up to the roof he was playing Screamin' Jay Hawkins' I Put a Spell on You. So good.

Ecotrust/Edible Portland superstar and part of the fest dream team Lola Milholland having a tasty Bingo Sandwich with Patrick Barber. We took some swigs from my flask and talked about soy sauce. Geeky goodness.

Cute Colin Franger of Blue Bus Cultured Foods before the flood of people.

Nat West of Reverend Nat's Hard Cidery's favorite ferment of the night -- the Blue Bus Kraut-chi. Pretty stinking tasty.

Definitely the craziest ferment of the night -- Nat's LAMB hard cider.

Nat checking on it at the cidery a week before the festival. Scarier than The Shining.

David Barber's friend Patrick Barber setting up Picklopolis samples. David was probably putting on his NASA socks when this photo was taken.

Love festival moments like this -- Gabe Rosen chef-owner of Biwa, Alem Gebrehiwot owner of Queen of Sheba and Eric Finley of Chop Butchery & Charcuterie shooting the shit and drinking hard cider on the mezzanine.

Biwa's Gabe and Ed demo'ing miso. They brought three of theirs and made a miso soup. Biwa is one of my very favorite Portland restaurants and they always come to the festival.

Careen Stoli's beautiful handmade crocks.

Brad's Bread -- soooo many awesome sourdoughs.

Including...

Cute depot -- Tim Root's daughter Lil and Adelaide and David Barber's tiny lil Junior. Kids 12 and under get in for free.

Tim Root's incredible poster. We are so lucky to have him as our festival poster artist. Yes!

The cuteness doesn't stop -- David and Junior.

Tasty jun and all kinds of yummy kombuchas -- coffee kombucha?! -- from Symple Foods.

Festival fave and veteran Tress Yelig of Salt, Fire & Time. I had seconds of her rose kombucha ;)

Portland Kraut Cooperative filling up samples.

Regular Portland Bread. They got a little newsy love on KGW.

One of their many tasty treats.

Awesome crowd.

Allison Kirley and Cathy right before the panel. Their kombucha was great.

George, me and David before we did our news spot. I love these two so much -- brothers from another mother.

Always my favorite closing shot -- George with his jet pack vacuum cleaner. All cleaned up and ready for cocktails!

Thank you everyone for making this year’s fest one of the very best. We love you!

Fifth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival 2014

September 30th, 2014

Tim Root's sweeeeeet ass poster for this year's Portland Fermentation Festival!

Since 2009 my friends David Barber, George Winborn and I have put on the annual Portland Fermentation Festival with/at Ecotrust and every year it gets bigger and better. We’re only two weeks out from this year’s festival — Thursday, Oct. 16th from 6-9:30pm at Ecotrust — so I’m taking a moment to let you know all the stiiiiinky details in one place.

Most importantly, online tickets are on sale now ($10, $20) and you can purchase them here. Secondly, you can still apply to be an exhibitor — more info. here. Beyond that I’m pasting the press release below and some recent media links. Here’s the Facebook event page.

This year we’re having a panel of experts kick of the fest rather than one guest speaker. The inaugural Portland Fermentation Festival was in 2009 with Sandor Ellix Katz as guest speaker and we were lucky enough to get him back to speak at last year’s fest. Sandor is one of our heroes and favorite people so we asked him to speak again at this year’s fest, knowing full well he’d probably be too busy for it, and that we were being a little greedy. Just want to share these words that Sandor wrote back to us in response:

“sorry can’t make it this year. have fun and keep me posted on future festivals. i’m heading to the boston fermentation festival next month and austin (tx) festival in november. you were the pioneer fermentation festival and they keep spreading…..”

Let’s all be super proud to be a part of “THE PIONEER FERMENTATION FESTIVAL”! We can’t wait to see you all in just over two weeks at the STIIIINK!

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

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 pre-tasting event (special ticket must be purchased to attend this panel) will be a panel of fermentation experts. Nat West of Reverend Nat’s Hard Cidery, David Barber of Picklopolis, Eric Finley of Chop Butchery & Charcuterie and Josh Grgas from Commons Brewery will answer questions and talk all things food/drink fermentation. Bring questions!

Come celebrate pickling season at the Fifth Annual Portland Fermentation Festival at Ecotrust. Taste and share live, fermented food and drinks made by professionals and home fermentation enthusiasts at the annual event that brought out more than 500 attendees in 2013.

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.
  
Enjoy rooftop food and beverage sales from Reverend Nat’s Hard Cider, Commons Brewery and Bingo Sandwiches and music from DJ Pickle Barrel as well as fermentation demos from Claudia Lucero author of One-Hour Cheese, Gabe Rosen chef-owner of Biwa, Eric Finley butcher-owner of Chop Butchery & Charcuterie and Heidi Nestler teacher of Heidi Nestler Cooking Classes.

Tickets will be available online at portlandfermentationfestival.com on September 30th!
Admission for the 7 or 8pm Thursday tasting sessions is $10. 
For $20 you get to attend the 7 pm tasting as well as fermentation demos and the 6pm panel of experts on all things food/drink fermentation.

Visit the website above for more information on how to enter your fermented goods and cultures for the event.

MEDIA COVERAGE THIS YEAR
BuzzFeed
Portland Monthly
KBOO Food Show
Portland Tribune

MEDIA COVERAGE OF FESTIVALS PAST
Cooking Up A Story
My redux on this blog with photos 
OPB
Willamette Week
KBOO Food Show

CONNECT WITH THE PORTLAND FERMENTATION FESTIVAL
portlandfermentationfestival.com
Facebook
Twitter

Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party Pt. 3

June 19th, 2014

Alec serving up the Toro Moorish Meatballs that he and Sarah made.

We’ve now officially cooked through half of Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull and we’ve only had three dinners so far — the first one at Loly’s, the second at Tom’s and this last one at Dana and Oliver’s. The dinners have all been a lot of fun and I’m really grateful that my friend Chris Damcke came up with idea. Thank you Chris!

Last weekend’s dinner at Dana and Oliver’s was the lightest of them all in terms of what we ate/drank but that’s pretty absurd because we all consumed so much that we felt super sleepy at 9pm on a Saturday night. So much good food.

The next Toro book dinner will be at my house later in the summer once my kitchen is remodeled. I’m really looking forward to having a fire in the backyard for that one and putting my new gas Dynasty range to good use for it. Yes! I’m also looking forward to doing this cook the book thing with the next book when the time comes too — the Tasty Brunch Book that John and I are working on now. I see a lot of day drinking in our future.

Here’s what we cooked and ate from the book this time around. Really tasty as always.

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Casa Rita
White Wine Sangria (with plum wine)
Halibut Cheeks
Grilled Corn with Cilantro Pesto
Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins
Hazelnut Ice Cream (with strawberry rhubarb compote)
Olive Oil Cake (with balsamic vinegar reduction)
Hand-Cut Noodles with Pimenton Dulce
Moorish Meatballs

Future Toro grilled corn and sauteed halibut cheeks...

Sara has nice cheeks! Toro's Halibut Cheeks with oil-cured Calabrian chiles and marinated olives.

My Toro Grilled Corn with Cilantro Pesto.

Loly and Faulkner's Hand-cut Noodles with Pimenton Dulce.

They also made this gluten-free version.

Alec and Sarah's Moorish Meatballs.

So much good food...

Dana and Oliver's Sauteed Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins and mugolio that they bought at Pastaworks.

Chris's Toro Olive Oil Cake.

Loly, Sarah and Emily dishing it up.

Sarah and Alec's Hazelnut Ice Cream with a balsamic reduction.

Strawberry Rhubarb compote.

Chris and Boscoe mid-meal stretching.

All together now.

Every dog has its day. Thank you Boscoe for the great dinner party.

Yard Fresh Pt. 30

May 15th, 2014

My kitchen is being remodeled by my friends at St. Johns Design Build. Yeah, yeah, yeah!

I haven’t done one of these since last summer! Holy shit time flies. Lately I’ve been wishing that there were a way to expand time to fit more of the best of life in. I don’t necessarily want the days to be longer I just want to be writing, sailing, cooking, loving, swimming, travelling and on and on and on contemporaneously somehow/someway. So that each would be enjoyed fully but a different part of me would be present for each. I’ll go do some more drugs now. Sorry.

So, I’m getting my kitchen remodeled! Finally. My super talented friends at St. Johns Design Build (they don’t have a website yet but once they do I’ll shout it out here) — Brian McVay, Clarence Jacobs and Rude Graves — are kicking ass doing a complete overhaul. Things that I’m really looking forward to: the original fir floor being sanded and finished, my new-to-me kick-ass professional-style Dynasty gas stove, sweet-ass tiling by Rude, old bleachers made into beautiful new cabinets and drawers and shelves by Clarence, a bar, maple chopping block peninsula, paperstone counters and all sorts of other magic by Brian and crew. Life is sweet. I’ll put up some photos of the progress in the next several weeks.

In the meantime, near and dear friends in the neighborhood are happy because I’ve been using their kitchens more and I also have a funky little interim kitchen in the back of my house in the utility room with a hotpot, rice steamer and toaster. It works and it’s actually been fun to have some cooking restraints. It’s like camp cooking, boat cooking etc. — pushes you to be creative and work in new ways with what you’ve got.

It’s been a really fun spring so far and I hope you’ve been doing well too. I just finished writing the Tasty Brunch Book proposal with John (now it’s with our agent, next to the designer), I’m working on all sorts of food-plus projects at Hawthorne Books, working on a still secret book project, little here and there on my novel and Food Lover’s Guide to Portland 2.0 review copies go out NEXT WEEK and it publishes in three short months. Madness. In the very best sense of the word.

Here’s what I’ve been eating. What have you been cooking and eating?

Miso, bacon, fish sauce, broccolini spaghetti. Really good.

Mission Street Food's Braised Sausage with my friend Kalera's kraut, Reverend Nat's Hard Cider and house German sausage from Western Meat Market on Lombard.

Miso rice with homemade kimchi.

Rice cooker steamed Dover sole in homemade miso/ginger/lemon sauce with asparagus.

Nettle'ing with Jess. Made all kinds of dishes with them. Morel nettle risotto, sauces, tea yada yada. Love nettles.

My haul.

Found this huuuuuge morel in my backyard. Was too waterlogged and gone to eat but still had...

The last of the dehydrated/foraged ones from last spring. Have been making a lot of risottos with them. My friend Jess, different Jess, took these from the Mother's Day risotto I made for her and Rich with red-veined sorrel from the yard and my homemade plum wine. Tasty.

Racked and then...

Bottled the plum wine. 100 bottles this year from the Brooks plum tree in my front yard.

Also bottled last year's dandelion wine and started this year's. Make it every year with my friend Michelle and her daughter...

These guys!

Dinner becomes breakfast. Spag and eggs. One of my favorites.

Still cooking from the Toro cookbook. Forever and always. Toro's piperade and boquerones over pan-fried polenta.

For our first kitchen remodel meeting/party made a big batch of kimchi fried rice and it, of course, became breakfast the next day. So good.

Cook and eat something good tonight!

Yard Fresh Pt. 29
Yard Fresh Pt. 28
Yard Fresh Pt. 27
Yard Fresh Pt. 26
Yard Fresh Pt. 25
Yard Fresh Pt. 24
Yard Fresh Pt. 23
Yard Fresh Pt. 22
Yard Fresh Pt. 21
Yard Fresh Pt. 20
Yard Fresh Pt. 19
Yard Fresh Pt. 18
Yard Fresh Pt. 17
Yard Fresh Pt. 16
Yard Fresh Pt. 15
Yard Fresh Pt. 14
Yard Fresh Pt. 13
Yard Fresh Pt. 12
Yard Fresh Pt. 11
Yard Fresh Pt. 10
Yard Fresh Pt. 9
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Yard Fresh Pt. 6
Yard Fresh Pt. 5
Yard Fresh Pt. 4
Yard Fresh Pt. 3
Yard Fresh Pt. 2
Yard Fresh Pt. 1

Cooking the Toro Bravo Book Party Pt. 2

February 27th, 2014

Faulkner with Chris's Toro Oxtail Croquettes.

I didn’t think we could surpass the amount of food and drink cooked and consumed during our first Toro cook the book potluck last month but holy shit I was wrong. This past Sunday the original gang — minus and plus a few — gathered at my friend Tom’s house in Southeast Portland for part two and we put in a full EIGHT hours of cook/eat/drink. We cooked 16 recipes from the book (at the first one we made 11) and It was so much fun that I think everyone hurt at least a little the next day. I know I did. So worth it.

For this round Rebecca and Fred Gerendasy of Cooking Up A Story and Food. Farmer. Earth. came and filmed. It’ll be awhile before that airs — most likely early summer. They left after a few courses and there were six courses so I’m fairly certain we were all at our finest while they were there. Guess we’ll find out!

We’re going to keep having these parties until we cook through the entire book — Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. Here’s the menu from our second Toro Bravo cookbook party followed by photos from it. I can’t recommend this sort of dinner party enough. Leave any questions about it in the comments below and please, please let me know if you’ve done something similar yourself. I’d love to hear about it. Eat, drink and be merry!

Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. dinner party menu

Jerez Negroni
Bacon-Wrapped Dates
Tortilla Espanola
Fennel Salad
Romesco
Butter Lettuce Salad
Pork Rillettes
Squash Dumplings
Braised Lamb with Apricots and Coriander
Squid Ink Pasta
Drunken Pork
Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Sherry Cream
Oxtail Croquettes
Potatoes Bravas
Panna Cotta
Limoncello

Tom wet our whistles with Toro's Jerez Negroni.

And then he pan-fried up Toro's Bacon-Wrapped Dates.

Dana and Oliver's tasty Tortilla Espanolla with kale.

Sarah and Alec's Toro Fennel Salad went with.

Oliver prepping his Toro Drunken Pork.

Five hours later. Just kidding. He did lose some arm hair while grilling them though.

Rebecca and Fred filming Chris and Sarah forming the Oxtail Croquettes.

Alec frying them up.

Chris's Toro Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Sherry Cream. So good.

My Toro Squid Ink Pasta.

Lolybite.

Active kitchen.

Taking it all in. Literally.

Loly and Faulkner's Braised Lamb with Apricots and Coriander and Squash Dumplings

Focus!

Soooo much eating.

Oliver got the lucky cinnamon stick in the lamb braise!

Sara and Zo's Butter Lettuce Salad.

And their Toro Potatoes Bravas. Their Pork Rillettes were awesome too but didn't get a good photo.

Endless rounds of Toro food and drink.

The gnome got so drunk and full he pulled down his pants and fell asleep face down in the backyard.

If you decide to host a dinner party like this please, please let me know and send me photos! I’ll post them here. So fun. Eat, drink and be merry AND hairy!