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Portland Food Festival Feast Will Return This Summer as a Season-Long Set of Events

After a year off, Feast Portland will involve things like outdoor movies and collaborative dinners

A square of watermelon comes topped with edible flowers, cucumber roses, and a masa tostada, plated in a pool of chile-scented tomato juice. The dish is one of Lauro Romero’s dishes at República.
Watermelon aguachile from República. The Mexican restaurant will participate in one of this year’s Feast events, making a meal to pair with the film Like Water for Chocolate
Brooke Jackson-Glidden
Brooke Jackson-Glidden is the editor of Eater Portland.

Feast — Portland’s long-running, long-celebrated food festival — is back. After going on an obviously necessary hiatus in 2020, Portland’s large-scale food event will take a different approach, stretching out events throughout the summer.

Traditionally, Feast is a weekend-long marathon of bustling food stall events, lavish seated dinners, and raucous official and unofficial after-parties that take over the city. Chefs will trek from countries around the globe to plate tiny bites of brunch, bowls of noodles, and artsy courses in prix-fixe meals, served in abandoned lots, empty restaurants, parking garages, and wedding venues. It is a major blow-out event; however, this year’s version of Feast will be a more intimate take on the big bash, a nod to its origins.

Portland Monthly broke the news of the food festival’s return, detailing the specifics of the three main categories of events: Meals served over outdoor movies at Zidell Yards, collaborative meals fundraising for Feed the Mass, and live podcast recordings. Feast’s Mike Thelin and Emily Crowley told the magazine they hoped the festival could recreate some of the intimacy of the original event, which will hit its 10-year anniversary next year. “We said internally, ‘the city needs a hug,’” Crowley told Eater Portland. “It’s so important for our city right now, a reminder that we are a community.”

The first of the Feast tickets went on sale June 28, and the festival’s Instagram account has started dropping more details behind the events. The team hasn’t revealed everything about this year’s Feast just yet, but here’s what we know now:

The Main Takeaways

  • As opposed to past years, Feast won’t be flying in chefs from all over the world; instead, the events this year will specifically highlight local chefs, bakers, and creatives. “Flying in chefs, asking people to travel, it just seems hard,” Crowley says. “We focused on our community because this is where we live, and this is where we love.”
  • Most of the events will run through July and August, as opposed to a single week in September.
  • Feast’s charitable partner this year is the nonprofit kitchen Feed the Mass, which will receive a portion of the proceeds from the Feast Family Reunions events. But as opposed to donating a large portion of the proceeds to charitable partners, Feast is now paying the participating chefs “considerably more,” in Crowley’s words. “We want to be sure Feast is compensating chefs fairly for their efforts,” she says.
  • Bon Appetit is no longer the media partner behind Feast, and the Feast team told PoMo the event won’t have a national media partner any longer.
  • In 2022, Feast plans to return to its original format, sticking to a four-day festival in September.

The Events

Feast Flicks: A Drive-In Movie Meets a Dinner on the River

The gist: The Hollywood Theatre is partnering with Feast to essentially host collaborative dinners with a show at the Lot at Zidell Yards, which has become a go-to spot for drive-in movies during the pandemic. On each day of the events, a chef or group of chefs will design a meal inspired by a particular film, which diners will watch over dinner at little outdoor pods with a view of the screen. Each meal will come with at least one bottle of wine and welcome cocktails for each guest, and the tickets are available in two-person and four-person pods.

The dates:
July 29: Like Water for Chocolate with República
July 30: Eat Drink Man Woman with XLB, Hat Yai, and HeyDay
July 31: Big Night with Cooperativa, Montelupo, Nostrana, and Sebastiano’s
August 1: Ratatouille with Paley’s Place and The Multnomah Athletic Club

When tickets dropped: June 28 — find them here.

Feast Family Reunions: Family-Friendly Collaborative Meals at the Redd on Salmon

The gist: Those who were paying attention probably saw this one coming: In May, Travel Oregon announced its chosen grant recipients for its Competitive & Recovery Grant Program, meant to bolster tourism and provide some financial assistance to parts of the state. Travel Oregon gave $50,000 to Feast and nonprofit kitchen Feed the Mass to throw an outdoor food event. Now, we know a little more — in late August, four groups of about 10 chefs will descend upon the Redd on Salmon Street, setting up collaborative meals around a set theme to be eaten at picnic tables. It will feel similar to past years’ “fun sized events,” sort of like a mini-food festival with different stations.

One event has already sold out, but three still have tickets available: On Saturday, August 28, Lardo’s Rick Gencarelli will lead the first of the events, serving dishes alongside Dimo’s Apizza, Sammich, Fills, Grassa, Cooperativa, Kee’s Loaded Kitchen, and Oswego Lake Country Club. On Sunday, August 29, The Nightwood Society leads an event with vendors like Kachka, Lauretta Jean’s, Red Sauce Pizza, Nong’s Khao Man Gai, Equitable Giving Circle, and Normandie. Sunday evening, the Family Reunions end with a nostalgia-themed event curated by Tom and Mariah Pisha-Duffy of Gado Gado and Oma’s Hideaway, with dishes from chef Luna Contreras (formerly of Nightingale, now with the pop-up Chelo), Erica’s Soul Food, Fulamingo, Ippai, Meals 4 Heels, Rangoon Bistro, and Soen. The event led by Carlo Lamagna (Magna) and Han Ly Hwang (Kim Jong Grillin) has sold out. The event will raise money for Feed the Mass, and one of the Sunday events will be kid-friendly.

The dates: August 28 and August 29

When tickets dropped: July — find them here.

Claima Stories, Feast Edition: Live Podcast Happy Hours

The gist: Back in the day, Feast would host talks in Pioneer Square, where Adam Rapoport would interview chefs in front of a live audience. Feast is no longer involved with Bon Appetit (and neither is Rapoport, for that matter), so instead, Feast is approaching the live q&a in a new way. The podcast Claima Stories, hosted by Nike alum Bimma Williams, will host food-themed podcast events interviewing food and beverage industry vets of color. Each day, Williams will interview two guests, with a follow-up discussion and opportunities for questions. The events will also feature a happy hour in the Oregon Contemporary courtyard, complete with snacks and drinks. We know very little about these events for now, but until Feast reveals more information in July, people can catch up on past podcast episodes.

The dates: August 30, August 31, and September 1

When tickets drop: July

Where to Learn More