Ten years ago this September, chefs, food writers, and gourmands from around the country descended upon downtown Portland for the first-ever Feast. In the years since, Feast has grown into an international affair, with chefs traveling from Thailand and Australia to cook at the event’s night markets and brunch village. In 2020, Feast was canceled as COVID-19 spread through communities around the world, and in 2021, the Feast team hosted something a little different — a series of events throughout the summer, focusing exclusively on Portland talent. Now that COVID-19 number are dropping and states are lifting their pandemic safety mandates, Feast is preparing for its comeback: The festival will run from September 16 through September 18 this year, and with some time to reflect, co-founder Mike Thelin wants Feast to return to its roots.
“Even after 2019, we were ... missing the intimacy of our early years,” he says. “Last year we did the summer series, and that was really fun — I was really stoked that we could do something — but having an opportunity to bring people together and celebrate over one weekend, that’s exciting.”
Details are still slim at this point, in terms of specific events or featured chefs; Thelin says the festival will be “working with local food personalities and people who are really close to the industry on a daily basis to put our programming together.” But Thelin did note a few changes to the format this year: Feast will span a three-day period as opposed to four days, and the events will creep into the area surrounding Portland — specifically, the Willamette Valley.
“During the pandemic, almost everyone I know, myself included, got out of town more than they ever had,” Thelin says. “Being able to tell a broader story, a more regional story, as it relates to why there’s such incredible food here, is the goal.”
Stay tuned for more updates about events, chefs, and tickets in the coming months.
• Feast Portland [Official]