5 Tastes and Takeaways from Feast Portland 2016

Posted by: Cody Sanger in: Food/Beverage -

And just like that, Feast Portland came and went in the blink of an eye. Between all of the prominent tastemakers, industry influencers and show-stopping events, here are the standout gastronomic themes you can expect to start popping up in your local grocery store, restaurant or neighborhood pub:

Meat is King

From BBQ brisket to goat tacos, meat reigned supreme at this year’s Feast Portland. Smoked! and Franklin Family BBQ put red meat front and center.

(Photo credit: @Backyardbite)

Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot!

Everyone was feeling the heat this year – especially at this year’s Night Market which was Latin-themed, instead of Asian as in year’s past. There were jalapeno margaritas, spicy tacos al pastor and zingy salsas galore!

At the Friday Grand Tasting, people were lining up for seconds, thirds, one guy claimed fifths, of one of our favorite bites, a dish that had an interesting combination of traditional Latin and Japanese flavors. Courtesy of Williams-Sonoma Chefs’ Collective, Top Chef winner Mei Lin created an amazing Hamachi dish with unexpected flavor combinations of spicy little corn nut-like crunches and a cocoa mole sauce. Amazing.

(Photo credit: @Feastportland)

For the Love of Wine

Everyone was talking about: Natural Wine. Marissa Ross (Bon Appétit Magazine wine queen) gabbed all about her love of natural wine at panel discussions at the Grand Tasting on Friday as well as her Beer vs. Wine Drink Tank on Saturday.

Many wineries also did an exceptional job engaging with consumers. Whether targeting millennials or not, there were a few stand out wineries that got themselves a LOT of attention with a less serious, think about wine differently approach. OMERO was a big standout and their Wino Oregon hats were in high-demand, with several hundred being distributed at the events. We even saw a gal ask if she could have the one off of the OMERO pourer’s head when they ran out.

Evolution Wine also brought back the Sabertron this year, teaching Night Market goers the technique of sabering and handing the knife and bottle over after a quick demo. It was a ton of fun and arguably the best Instagram-worthy photo op of Feast.

(Photo credit: @Evolutionwine)

“Fun-Sized” Events

Feast’s new-to-this-year “fun-size” events were definitely the way to go if you wanted to rub elbows with choice media, chefs, winemakers, brewers and distillers. From intimate dinners to cocktail crawls to Sunday picnics, these bite size festivities featured a smorgasbord of small plates and had capacities of less than 100 people.

Sweet & Sour

We love sweets and they were everywhere! QUIN’s fresh and fruity spiced lime candy was topped with a sprinkle of Tajin spice and served on a neon stick. Salt & Straw’s Sweet Corn Copa was a decadent delight that included Oregon sweet corn ice cream, fresh lime zest shaved ice, cilantro kola syrup, black raspberry sweetened condensed milk, topped with fresh candied marionberries. Tillamook was there once again with its Tillatruck serving boozy ice cream floats that featured their authentic sweet cream farm-style gelato or salted caramel toffee farmstand gelato topped with a choice of local beer.

Meeting your daily intake of fruit was also easily and deliciously achieved by sipping – or slurping – your way through a wide range of fruit-infused beers, meads, ciders, and pourable fruit.

(Photo credit: @Guittardchocolate)

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