With three restaurants in the top 10 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year, Spanish chefs are simultaneously making some of the most intellectually fascinating and humble food on earth right now, and in June, experienced chefs Mikel De Luis and Gemma Gray are visiting Portland to cook their most famous dishes in a series of special dinners and events as part of Tapas Week PDX.
Tapas Week PDX runs June 12 to 18, with myriad feasting opportunities each day, and Portland’s biggest Spanish restaurants, from Ataula to Toro Bravo, are also taking part. Thus, it’s best to have game plan. Here are three events to have on your radar:
The Roving Free-Tapas Food Truck
The latest update from Tapas Week PDX, a food truck will hit the streets of Portland for two days to serve free tapas prepared onsite by headlining chef De Luis. De Luis was sous chef at the Ritz Carlton in the Canary Islands, whose restaurants have earned multiple Michelin stars, beneath accomplished Spanish restaurateur Martin Berasategui. Dates, times, and locations are still TBD and will be announced here.
June 16, Michelin Dinner at Chesa
This is the number-one chance to taste De Luis’s restaurant-level cooking. At this dinner at Chesa, De Luis teams up with Chef Jose Chesa to serve a five-to-six-course meal of modern Spanish plates with drink pairings. Chef Gemma Gray — Tapas Week’s other big-time chef — will also prepare dishes. She’s known for Mediterranean-by-Califorian flavors, having grown up on a farm in Salamanca. It all goes down at 6 p.m., and tickets cost $200.
June 17, Cycle Portland Bicycle Tapas Tour
Ever wanted to ride your bike from tapas bar to tapas bar sampling the most traditional Spanish flavors found in Portland? This bicycle tour on the West Side will visit Mediterranean Exploration Co., Can Font, Conserva, Ataula, and Pollo Bravo to taste a selection of tapas. It costs $79. If interested, act fast, as the East Side version of this tour is already sold out.