Phew! The annual conference of the International Association of Culinary Professionals has overtaken Portland this week, bringing with it great workshops, discussion panels, and events revolving around all things culinary. Top food writers, photographers, and industry folks from around the country, including former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl and food writers Kim Severson and Michael Ruhlman, have all congregated in Stumptown to “experience Portland and the New Culinary Order.”
Last night, the conference officially kicked off with a host city reception featuring some of Portland’s top chefs, restaurants, breweries, and wineries at swanky The Nines hotel. The food offerings were fabulous, with dishes like gnocchi & dungeness crab from Paley’s Place and pork lettuce wraps from Biwa to dessert bites from 2010 James Beard Best Chef Northwest nominee Cathy Whims of Nostrana, Pix Patisserie, and Moonstruck Chocolates. The cocktail bar, hosted by House Spirits Distillery, was manned by local mixology talent, with Sokol Blosser Winery, Erath Vineyards Winery, Deschutes Brewery, and Water Avenue Coffee pouring their best offerings at booths around the venue.
The conference continues throughout this week, with workshops on pitching, food photography, and Pacific Northwest food culture, as well as events featuring the popular local food scene like Saturday’s food cart extravaganza, Eat Mobile.