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Best Cookie Exchange Ever? Food & Wine Mag's PDX-Centric Party

Portland chefs, von Trapp singers and Thomas Lauderdale convene in the December issue.

We have party envy.

The December issue of Food & Wine magazine features an all-star cast of Portland food and drink veterans, who came together to swap cookies (!) in the house of Pink Martini bandleader Thomas Lauderdale (!!) and sing with the von Trapp family (!!!).

The players included Gregory Gourdet of Departure, Sarah Hart of Alma ChocolateKir Jensen of The Sugar Cube, Jenn Louis of Lincoln and Sunshine Tavern, bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Pepe Le Moko and Clyde Common, and coffee pioneer/restaurateur Duane Sorenson. Everyone looks dapper in their holiday best, though we suspect Sorenson didn't get the dress code memo. His only appearance in the photos comes via his tattooed hand and a sliver of his faded blue jeans.

But even though the feature is cookie-centric, the catalyst and common denominator was Portland's ice cream cousins, Kim and Tyler Malek of Salt & Straw, who had collaborated with all of those folks at one point or another.

"Kim and Tyler came to visit us back in the spring," says associate editor Chelsea Morse, who produced and wrote the feature. "And the more we learned about the huge, crazy web of Portland food-world folks that they collaborate with, the more we realized that the most fun story to do would be about the bigger picture of the interconnectedness of the food scene out there. It was a chance to get to know so many of the awesome people working in food and drink in Portland that we love."

But why was it at Thomas Lauderdale's house? And why were The von Trapps there? That was Kim's idea. "I've known Thomas Lauderdale since the early '90s when I first moved to Portland," she says. "He was just starting Pink Martini and was really the person who introduced me to the city and the idea that this place is unique in the way folks are about coming together, collaborating, and creating community. This story was such a great opportunity to come full circle to tell the story of Thomas' collaboration with The von Trapps and our collaborations at Salt & Straw with our pals in the Portland food community. It brings to life the point that combining talents really results in a more interesting and pleasantly unexpected result. Plus, it's more fun!

Sarah Hart says the best part of the party was getting to sing along with Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp, new Portland residents and great-grandchildren of Captain and Maria von Trapp of The Sound of Music. "The amazing moment was getting to sing "My Favorite Things with The von Trapps," she says. "Jeffrey Morgenthaler and I were both kind of boggling, having grown up with The Sound of Music, to be having that experience."