Food, Oregon

Looking Forward to Feast

September 18, 2014

Director Park: Site of the soon-coming Widmer Brothers Brewing Sandwich Invitational Presented by Dave’s Killer Bread

Is it really any surprise that “the best food festival in the country” (thank you, Thrillist) is right here in our own back yard? I’ve been looking forward to attending Feast Portland for three years, and the week has finally come!

When Ted and I were traveling overseas during Feast’s inaugural year, I scanned Twitter and Instagram from afar, pining after flavors of home, and my heart surged with pride as locals and visitors alike masterfully prepared and shared Oregon’s bounty with the world.

Lucie was born smack dab in the middle of Feast 2013, and in the haze of new-parenthood, I told myself, “Next year, next year…” while September 2014 sounded so far away.

Now, wow.

I have a one-year old, Feast is kicking off its third fantastic round, and soon my favorite park in Portland will be one of many hot spots in the city buzzing with renown chefs and artisan food makers sharing their work with a hungry crowd.

Culinary Tourism in Portland

It’s exceptionally fun to see Oregon featured on the food and travel scene.

In the autumn of 2011, before we left on our tour of the world and a year before Feast came to life, Travel Oregon hosted some fifty food bloggers to participate in the “Full on Oregon” program, featuring fine food, wine, craft brew, and the producers, farmers, and servers who make our region special.

I was revisiting some of their posts recently, and I grinned like silly watching other visitors share their impressions of the place we are grateful to call home:

Video by Debra and “The Professor” at Smith Bites

Feast for Good

As press continues to confirm that America is hungry for a taste of Portland favorites (Salt & Straw heads to L.A., Country Cat heads to the Portland Airport…) and as Feast has surged to the front of the national food scene, attracting folks from across many borders, I’m interested to observe how the festival ultimately contributes back to the community.

Feast Portland calls themselves “a festival with a mission,” and they are committed to giving all net proceeds toward the goal of ending childhood hunger in Oregon and around the country.

They raised $99,000 for Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign in the first two years, and they’re aiming to top those numbers this time around.

The #whywefeast hashtag on Twitter follows the project, and I’ll be keeping an eye on it, too.

Come Eat with Me

If you’re game for meeting up, there are still a few tickets left. Come find me at Thursday night’s Widmer Brothers Brewing Sandwich Invitational, or share a bite with me at Friday and Saturday’s Oregon Grand Bounty Tasting. (I may also try to squeeze in a visit to the wine, beer, and cocktail tasting panels at the Portland Art Museum, too – the Art of the Louvre’s Tuileries Gardens exhibit is only open for a few more days, and I still haven’t made it!)

You can find me indulging in that silly practice of Instagramming #feastpdx food along the way: @bethanyrydmark and sharing tidbits on Twitter @twoOregonians.

And, if all else fails, you can tell yourself “Next year, next year…” and block it out on the calendar, because, hey, September 2015 really isn’t all that far away…

Feast PortlandHead to Feast’s website for details on their Fighting Hunger Campaign and while you’re there, scroll through the who’s-who list of chefs, restaurants, and producers participating in Feast 2014. This post sponsored by Feast Portland. All opinions and ridiculous excitement over delicious food are entirely my own.

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