Last night, Share Our Strength’s national Taste of the Nation event came to Portland, corralling nearly every talented chef in Stumptown for bites, brews, and spirits for a good cause. Revered kitchen artists in attendance included Cathy Whims of Nostrana, Chris DiMinno of Clyde Common, Naomi Pomeroy of Beast, Matt Lightner of Castagna, David Anderson of Genoa/Accanto, Gregory Gourdet of Departure, Sarah Schafer of Irving Street Kitchen, and Gabe Rosen of Biwa.
The food and drink was plentiful, with pours to pair with everything from chilled cucumber soup to beef tongue crostini, though pork seemed to be the king of the evening, appearing in a number of dishes – pork ssam lettuce wraps, char sui pork steam buns, tamarind pork sliders, roast pork shoulder sandwiches, Berkshire pork served three ways, and a crab ravioli with pork belly confit! In addition to savory dishes being served, there was an unusually abundant flow of dessert items as well, including ice cream cones from Fifty Licks, petit fours from St. Honore Boulangerie, mini sundaes from Ruby Jewel, and a winning assortment of bite-sized cupcakes from Cupcake Jones.
Mixers from around the city were on hand to teach the crowd how to shake a few of their top cocktails, with bartenders Jabriel Donahue, Nick Keane, Mark MacMinn, and Leslie Bucher all taking the main stage before Oregon governor John Kitzhaber wrapped up the evening with his closing statements.
Now in its twenty-fourth year, Taste of the Nation, which is held annually in a number of cities, is coordinated by Share Our Strength to raise funds for local food banks and food initiatives, with Portland’s evening of food and wine supporting St. Vincent de Paul, Partners For A Hunger-Free Oregon, the Oregon Food Bank, and the Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank. For more information on Share Our Strength events, you can check out their website.
*Photo credits: Jennifer Heigl / Daily Blender