Because Portland chefs love a good friendly competition, the weekend of July 22 & 23rd features two culinary showdowns-slash-tastings. The first, on Saturday (July 22), sees six locals chefs competing in a Berry Cook-Off that's part of the larger Oregon Berry Festival in the Pearl's Ecotrust Building. Chefs Kat Whitehead (Aviary), Greg Denton (Metrovino), Michael Stanton (the Heathman), Byrn Robson (Bluehour), Michael Wilkinson (Trebol) and Phil Oswalt (the Multnomah Athletic Club) will each create a berry-themed dish, with guests able to sample the spoils and cast their votes for the winner. The event benefits the Oregon Food Bank — cost of admission is one can of food.
The next day (July 23), Denton throws down again — this time, taking on 10 other chefs during the first annual Pickle Throwdown, at Kenny & Zuke's NW Sandwichworks location. The all-afternoon block party (from noon to 6pm) features a heavy-hitting lineup of chefs and picklers, submitting their creations in four categories — classic cucumber, sweet pickles, "not involving a cucumber," and the ominous-sounding "Portland Weird". In addition to Metrovino and Kenny & Zuke's, the line-up borrows heavily from Eater 38 occupants: Biwa, Garden State, Gruner, Lincoln, Ned Ludd, Olympic Provisions, Picklopolis, Spirits Alehouse, and Toro Bravo will all be on-hand to compete for Judge's Choice and People's Choice awards. And just like the Berry Fest, this one's also a fundraiser for the Oregon Food Bank — the $5 entrance, in addition to netting guests tasting of all pickles — will be donated to the OFB.
· Berry Cook-Off [Official site]
· Pickle Throwdown [Official site]
Image of Biwa's pickle plate courtesy Suzi Edwards via Flickr