Bon Appetit's Feast Portland was, by measure of crowd enthusiasm and industry participation, an unprecedented success. Thousands of food enthusiasts from here and abroad descended upon the city's west side for three days of demos, classes, lectures, contests, parties, after-parties, and post-after-parties. The atmosphere was electric, as the energy surrounding this nationally-promoted event proved to us that, hey, while we might have suspected that Portland is kind of a big deal, to the rest of the country, we are a really big fucking deal. Even our chefs seemed struck by the Oscars-level polish and vibe that held steady throughout the festival. It made being in Portland right here, right now, feel like being in Silicon Valley the year the mouse was invented.
The organizers, with Mike Thelin at the helm, pulled off an extraordinary event, so much so that even the buzz in the aisles, during the show, was about how remarkably well things were going, what a good time the participants were having (especially considering the ticket prices). I took away a feeling of, "Congratulations for us, but let's get back to work now, because something big is happening here." Like with a truly great meal, it inspired me to go home and cook.
See you there in 2013, already in the works. More photos after the jump.
The Sandwich Invitational:
The Night Market.
High Comfort, Final Night.