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Chef Collaboration Dinners are Taking over Portland

So many fancy feasts.

Avila/EPDX

Even for chefs, cooking is a lot more fun when you're in the kitchen with friends, which must be why chef collaborations have become increasingly common. Rick Gencarelli at Lardo has turned the monthly tradition of inviting chefs over to help create a custom "Chefwich" into a menu staple. But now, chef collaborations are exploding all over town.

Stray Dogs: Tonight, Monday Feb. 2, Stray Dogs is popping up again at Big Trouble bar in Old Town. But this time they're bringing along a new dog, courtesy of a collaboration with Le Pigeon chef Gabriel Rucker. The Le Pigeon Dog is a garlic sausage dog wrapped in emmentaler swiss and ham, steamed in a baguette and topped with an endive and black truffle slaw. The Stray Dogs menu is available tonight through Wednesday from 6 p.m. to midnight. Look out for more chef collaborations in the coming weeks.

Ned Ludd: Tonight, Monday Feb. 2, Ned Ludd kicks off its monthly Pizza Social series, when some of Portland's favorite pizzaiolos come by to share the Monday night pizza fun. Tonight Brian Spangler from Apizza Scholls will help man the ovens and set the menu, which will be heavy on classic Italian-American flavors. Pizzas will come in meatball, clams casino, and eggplant parmesan varieties. Plus there will be insalata mista, cannolis and negronis. On March 2, Sarah Minnick of Lovely's Fifty-Fifty takes a turn. And on April 4 Sean Coyne of Pizza Maria gets in on the action.

Chefs Week: Perhaps the city's most epic chef collaboration dinner series (aside from Feast) runs Thursday Feb. 5 through Sunday Feb. 8. Chefs from Portland and the West Coast will team up to produce themed, multi-course dinners, complete with food and drink collaborations with local artisans like Quin Candy and Woodblock Chocolate. There are, miraculously, still tickets available to the Bound by Tradition dinner Feb. 7 at Elder Hall, as well as the grand final dinner at Departure, which features all the chefs (including the three current Top Chef finalists Doug Adams, Gregory Gourdet and Mei Lin) on Sunday Feb. 8.

Fenrir: Cozy, Scandinavian-ish Fenrir recently launched a collaboration dinner series, and the next one is coming up Sunday, Feb. 8. The Fenrir trio of chef Ian Wilson, sommelier Tyler Hauptman, and bartender John James Dudek, are teaming up with chefs Reid Ashwill and Jim Kavanaugh, who are described as "future restaurateurs and friends of ours who create amazing food based in American tradition and localized, curated ingredients." Tickets are $60 for dinner and $85 for dinner with drink pairings. On Sunday March 8, The trio will partner with Megan Walhood and Jeremy Daniels of Viking Soul Food on a multi-course Scandinavian-influenced dinner. Tickets are $65 for dinner and $90 for dinner with drink pairings.

Holdfast Dining: The duo behind Holdfast Dining is getting ready to open the doors to their new location at Fausse Piste urban winery on Feb. 12. Meanwhile, they've announced a monthly collaboration series with other chefs from around town and around the country. Holdfast's Will Priesch and Joel Stocks will concoct one half of the 10-course menu, while the guest chef will handle the other half. The first three dinners are lined up, with Scott Dolich of Park Kitchen and The Bent Brick kicking things off Feb. 26. Gabriel Rucker will come by in March, and Jose Chesa of Ataula is on the books for April. The dinners cost $125,  including five wine pairings but not including gratuity.

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