The sassy and irreverent Portland-Man-About-Town Byron Beck nailed it Monday in his blogpost “Chefs Night Out: Beard Celebration & Ace After Party“, when he described Sunday’s James Beard in Oregon Dinner at the Multnomah Athletic Club as being “the food equivalent of the Battle of the Network Stars.”
As beautiful Jennifer Heigl of Daily Blender eloquently stated in her article “Portland Hosts James Beard Awards Pre-Announcement Soiree“, it was the “must-attend spring event in Stumptown”, bringing together in community our best culinarians, foodies and food media, hipster elite and high society (the Schnitzer’s bought the first VIP table).
MAC Executive Chef Philippe Boulot was in fine form, even with arm in sling from a reputed vehicle accident, hobknobbing with every VIP guest and almost everyone else. As host, the MAC’s food station was glamorous, befitting the societal stature the club enjoys here in Portland.
Oregon’s “Culinary Old Guard”, including Philippe, Vitaly Paley, Greg Higgins, Cory Schreiber, Cathy Whims and the culinary team of Caprial & John Pence pressed flesh and passed foods, receiving foodie-love like Eric Clapton or Paul Simon at an Earth Day concert. What a pleasure – for me – having been away from Oregon from 1995-2009, to bear witness to these fine chefs thriving so well. We’re so fortunate in Oregon to live in the food-Eden of North America, leading the US in local chef/local farmer philosophy for thirty years.
The other chefs being honored – Daniel Mondok, Matthew Lighter, Charlene Rollins, Scott Dolich, Stephanie Pearl Kimmel, Andy Ricker, Christopher Israel, Oswaldo Bibiano, Jenn Louis, John Gorham, Gabriel Rucker, Jack Czarnecki and Naomi Pomeroy – I have only just begun to get to know over the last two years. It is a distinct pleasure to begin knowing you all.
Nicky USA, perhaps the best meat purveyor in North America, led by the venerable and determined Geoff and Melody Latham, rolled up in style to both the MAC and the Clyde Commons after-party in a stretch white Expedition (yes, I did get to sneak in for a sip of whiskey).
In beverages, while local coffee was not represented, Widmer Bros, Willamette Valley Vineyards, House Spirits, Sokol Blosser, Hawks View Cellars and Anne Amie Vineyards provided delicious sips for a crowd estimated at 650 or so.
Social Media Coverage
Active social media coverage began months ago with a team led by Oregon Culinary Institute and Chalkboarder. Numerous video interviews were produced by Kevin Richards of OCI and distributed on the James Beard in Oregon Facebook Fanpage. The Twitter account @beardinoregon spear-headed the Twitter hashtag #jbfa into Portland’s trending Twitter topic all evening, by tweeting the night’s program in the hours leading up to the dinner.
James Beard Foundation 2011 Nomination Announcement Lunch
For a great description of the media-only lunch at Oregon Culinary Institute on Monday, where James Beard Foundation read-out the final nomination announcements, please visit Daily Blender’s blogpost “Oregon Culinary Welcomes the 2011 James Beard Award Finalist Announcements“. Nice write up over there.
Congratulations are in order to Gabriel Rucker for being one of five Rising Star Chef of the Year nominees. A pleasure to know you, Chef.
Oregon led the category Best Chef Northwest, with nominations going to Christopher Israel, Cathy Whims and Andy Ricker.
Finally, appreciation is due to the students of Oregon Culinary Institute – you represented yourselves with professional distinction in assisting the Chefs, MAC Club, Lane PR and James Beard Foundation in executing this high-profile event.
Social Media Panel at Foodportunity Serves Up Mike Thelin, Nick Zukin, Gregory Denton & Carrie Welch
SOCIAL MEDIA PANEL @ FOODPORTUNITY SERVES UP MIKE THELIN, NICK ZUKIN, GREGORY DENTON & CARRIE WELCH
BUY TICKETS NOW FOR MARCH 7TH EVENT
Portland’s food community gathers to talk food with tastes from some of the new kids in town — St.Jack and Aviary, as well as Beaker & Flask, KOi Fusion, Lincoln, Accanto, Genoa and Serratto.
PORTLAND, Oregon (February 15, 2011) – Think of the food blogger you follow daily, but have never met. Or your favorite butcher, artisan chocolate maker or cheese guru. Portland will once again host Foodportunity, an opportunity for people from all different food and beverage careers to mix, mingle and talk about food. Meet local chefs, food writers, photographers, publicists, artisan producers and farmers who have all contributed to Portland’s thriving independent food scene. A regular event in Portland, Foodportunity will be held on Monday, March 7, 2011 from 6-9 p.m. at the Heathman Restaurant and Bar. Tickets are $20 in advance, $26 at a later date (w/ all handling fees) and include bites from a collection of Portland restaurants such as Accanto and Genoa, Aviary, Beaker & Flask, KOi Fusion, Lincoln PDX(Culinary Artistry and Sunshine Tavern opening
Spring 2011)St. Jack, Serratto and The Heathman Restaurant and Bar. Tickets are available now through Brown Paper Tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/154180.
“Our last Portland event was a hit and food professionals love the chance to catch up with colleagues or meet someone new in the food community,” said Keren Brown, Foodportunity founder. Foodportunity is one of the few events of its kind that brings Portland’s food community together in one location on one night – a true meeting of the minds and tastebuds!
Grazing is Encouraged…
Portland restaurants will serve up some tasty bites included in the admission. Beer and wine will be available from a cash bar, and a wide range of food products from local companies will be available to sample. Companies interested in showcasing their product may contact Keren Brown, Kerenlovestocook@gmail.com.
Down & Dirty with Social Media
New to the Portland event will be a social media panel made up of some of our favorite Portland social media stars including Mike Thelin, a local food writer, Cooking Channel contributor, and food event maven. Joining Mike on the panel will be Carrie Welch, formerly the Vice President of PR for the Food Network, Nick Zukin, food writer and host of www.portlandfood.org and executive chef Gregory Denton of Metrovino. Learn a few insider tips to starting a social media campaign in your restaurant or food business and share your personal experiences on Facebook and Twitter.
Speed Networking – for Foodies
The first 30 Foodportunity ticket-holders to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org will get a seat at the “speed networking” session, hosted by Byron Beck, a freelancer for national and Oregon-based publications, who also appears on television and radio, has his own blog at byronbeck.com and contributes to pdx.eater.com. What better way to meet so many foodies at one time (for 1 minute each) and hand out business cards in this intimate and fast-paced setting.
About The Heathman Restaurant and Bar
The Heathman Restaurant exemplifies the best of the Pacific Northwest using seasonal ingredients inspired by the flavors and cuisine of France. Recipient of the James Beard Best Chef: Pacific NW award in 2001, Philippe Boulot partners with the region’s select growers, producers and vintners to find the highest quality ingredients. Boulot was honored by the Academie Culinaire de France as the Academie’s Chef of the Year. The Heathman Restaurant and Bar was chosen as one of the “Best Bars” by Portland Monthly. For more information, please call 503-790-7752 or visit www.heathmanrestaurantandbar.com. The Heathman Restaurant is located in the historic
Heathman Hotel at 1001 SW Broadway in downtown Portland’s cultural district.
Keren Brown, aka Frantic Foodie, conceived of the food networking idea known as Foodportunity and has held more than a dozen food-related events last year in both Seattle and Portland. Recently recognized by MarthaStewart.com as “Doer of the Week”, Keren also organizes monthly events for Seattle food bloggers where she holds Q&A sessions with famous authors, tours of food companies and other events to help bloggers interact. Keren’s food events information can be found at Frantic Foodie in the Seattle PI, www.FranticFoodie.com and on the events page of MyNorthwest.com. For more information, visit www.foodportunity.com/portland and follow us @foodportunityOR and #Foodprtpdx and #Foodprt.