A new vegan pop-up is coming to SE Belmont. Brown Sugar Bistro, a new meat-free dinner series from cookie queen Sakile Mitchell, is coming to Suzette this March, kicking off a monthly series with everything from soul food to Afro-Caribbean cuisine.
Mitchell, a lifelong Oregonian, didn’t dream of a life in food service. “I wanted to be Beyonce,” she says, with a laugh. While growing up in Hillsdale, her first toe-dip into the world of cooking was her Easy-Bake Oven, with which she started to teach herself to bake cookies. “Most of the dinners we had when I was a kid were Hamburger Helper or spaghetti, so I taught myself how to bake the things I wanted to eat,” Mitchell remembers.
After years hopping around kitchens, she decided to do her own thing while lying on a beach; she came back to Portland and opened her baking business, Brown Sugar Cookie Company. After slinging piles of sweet potato cookies and honey pecan brownies for a year, she was itching to get back to the savory side. She threw her first dinner in late 2018, before going vegan in 2019. “I’ve missed making actual food for people,” Mitchell says. “I wanted a way for people to enjoy the food I love and grew up on in a way that’s healthier.”
Her first vegan dinner, March 5, begins with roasted red pepper and sweet potato stew served with vegan cornbread, followed by Cajun red beans and quinoa corn salad; mini eggplant Po’boys with okra etouffee, roasted corn, and truffle-fried okra; and sweet potato beignets. Future dinners are still up in the air, but Mitchell says she’s playing with the idea of an Afro-Caribbean dinner, Italian and French meals, and dishes like mac-and-cheese, collard-green egg rolls. Tickets for her March 5 dinner are $40, with seatings at 5 and 8 p.m.
Correction: A previous version of this story misstated Mitchell’s hometown. She grew up in Hillsdale, not Hillsboro.
• Brown Sugar [Official]
• Brown Sugar Bistro’s Vegan Fat Tuesday Pop-up Dinner [Facebook]
• Tickets [Eventbrite]