Image of Cat Cora's dishes at Bite of Oregon 2008 courtesy Facebook
This weekend's Bite of Oregon festival, which fetes at Tom McCall Waterfront Park beginning at 11am Friday, brings together a slew of Oregon chefs, restaurants, food carts, breweries, and wineries in a gluttonous benefit for Special Olympics Oregon. And in addition to bites and sips from all over the state (more on how to tackle that tomorrow), the Bite of Oregon also provides one of the most accessible (read: affordable) opportunities for some serious chef stalking.
On-hand conducting demonstrations at the main Oregon Chef Stage: Kenny & Zuke's Ken Gordon and Wildwood founder Cory Schreiber (Friday); Nostrana's Cathy Whims (Saturday), and the Gilt Club's Chris Carriker and Lincoln's Jenn Louis (Sunday), among others — just wait 'til they all get off-stage before making that autograph request. Manning Gerry Frank's Oregon Chef's Table (and in theory, thus more open to conversation) are chefs from Domo Dog, belly, and the Original — show up on Sunday for the best two-punch lineup, featuring Soluna Grill and Pitxi.
In the statewide "Iron Chef" competition, with preliminary rounds on Friday and the final on Saturday, iorio's Chris Thompson will represent PDX against contenders from Ashland and Eugene.
And to up the "celebrity" factor, Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano will ready a Coq au Vinguine with chicken, mushroom, Pinot, and linguine both Saturday and Sunday; in Saturday's prime mid-afternoon spot, the Bite whips out the big guns in the forth of Top Chef alum Dave Martin (he of the series' most quotable line ever, "I'm not your bitch, bitch," who will prep his career-making signature truffle mac 'n' cheese dish.
Tomorrow: Your Bite of Oregon Game Plan, Stuff Yer Face Edition. Stay tuned.
· Bite of Oregon [Official site]