The Fireside, the hip, fire-themed restaurant and bar located on NW 23rd, has a new head chef. Joey Hart formerly cooked at Xico and served as The Fireside's sous chef, and he's also the pork-minded man behind one of Portland's most outrageous uses of pig: Pig candy. Pig candy is pork belly glazed with house-made aromatic bitters and dusted with local bee pollen, and it was such a hit at OMSI's Bourbon & Bacon event that the Huffington Post noticed.
"We couldn't be more thrilled to have him," Sue Erickson, who owns The Fireside with Wendy Hessel and Dick Singer, tells Eater. "He's a super passionate, dedicated, and creative chef who you will be seeing lots of tasty new dishes from." The Fireside has yet to release specific examples of forthcoming dishes, and we'll keep an eye on developments as they unfold.
Hart stepped up to the burners after chef Jason Blair left in July. Blair was formerly Chef de Cuisine at The Woodsman Tavern, and he also had a hand in opening Ava Gene's and Roman Candle. He in turn took over The Fireside kitchen from Jake Martin in January 2015.
According to Erickson, Blair got a "random opportunity" to buy Hogan's Goat Pizza, located on NE Sacramento, and is "pursuing dreams of being a business owner and spending more time with his son."
"We wish him the best," says Erickson.
Eater has reached out to Blair. Look for forthcoming coverage of Hogan's Goat Pizza here on Eater.
Above: Joey Hart's "Pig Candy"; photo courtesy of The Fireside