Archive for June, 2011

Open Kitchen Feast: Oregon Game and Belgian beer pairing

June 15th, 2011

open kitchen

Sitting at the same table with the brewers of the beer has its benefits.  I attended the Open Kitchen Dinner this last Sunday which featured a five course meal from Chef Andrew Garrett paired with beer from Ambacht brewery over in Hillsboro.  I sat across from Brandy Grobart and Tom Kramer, the brewers and owners of the Belgian style ales coming from the Ambacht Brewery.  Not only was I able to evaluate the beer with the personality of the brewers as the back drop behind it, I was generously topped off towards the end of the dinner.

I skipped the Amuse Bouche of oyster en la half shell for personal reasons.

The first course: SuDan Farms chicken liver pate with pomegranate balsamic gastrique

This was paired with the Matzobrau.  Yes, beer made with Jewish Matza, about 10% of the mash is donated Matzo ends.

I liked the pairing.  The earthy, umami-laden pate had a delicate, sensual touch of fruit with a hint of thyme.  A bite, and then a dutifully moderate sip of beer.  It was fantastic, the toasty, wheaty burst of beer complemented the range of flavors still lingering on the tongue.  The experience was not dissimilar to drinking a a buoyant, liquid piece of coarse country bread dashed liberally with dollops of herbed pate and scatters of bruised pomegranate .

The golden rye came next paired with a NW bouillabaisse.  The broth was a tad cold (I watched as the Chef ladled all 30 ceramic boats with the brothy seafood before he sent them out) but the citrus/seafood paired nice with the grassy, refreshing beer.

The next little enjoyment was the spiced boar filled ravioli.  The pasta was made with duck eggs and so had an enjoyable elasticity to it and the roasted, braised pulled boar meet had a slight chilied heat pleasant to taste.  The light golden ale had just enough sweetness to bind the flavors together.

The rack of lamb was well paired with the pie cherry pale.  The sweet hints of cherry offset the roasted protein flavors of the lamb.

The last course was a chocolate cake, with sour cream cherry with bing cherry pinot noir syrup.  The beer paired with this little extravagant morsel was the pie cherry dark.  And successfully paired it was: the fruity, chocolate roasted malt of the beer was splendid and carried the salty-cream filling of the cake.

The Open Kitchen is an ongoing event that challenges chefs, farmers, vintners and brewers:  none of this is explained to the chef; none of this can be regurgitated en rote from a recipe book; none of this is easy.  So many chefs shy away from criticism and the spotlight of the media, that it is a lovely opportunity to have a young chef invite you into the intimate, personal kitchen of the mind.  Bravo, Chef Andrew Garret, a dinner well done!

Thanks to Ambacht brewery and especially Brandy for supplying that delightful taste of the golden rose ale made with rose hips.

Junior Chef Cook Off: a duckspoon family event

June 9th, 2011

farmers market open

junior chef

On June 5th we opened up the 2011 season of the Montavilla Farmers Market with a cooking demonstration focused on having family fun in the kitchen. Three local chefs, all nationally acclaimed, showed up that 80 degree partially cloudy sky (it’s Portland!) with youngsters in tow.

Tim Daly, from the Cheese Bar, showed with his daughter Hannah and her friend.

Adam Sappington from the Country Cat showed up with the boys, Atticus and Quinn.

Kenny Hill from Trebol showed up with his daughter, but 3 month old baby girls aren’t allowed to compete.  So Helena and little Iris showed up to stand in.

I sent the kids into the market, they grabbed the fresh produce and cheeses and breads and raced back to the kitchen stations to make some food. It was great to have my original duckspoon crew there plus some new folks helping the chefs out and filming all the fun. Thanks guys!

The audience voted by submitting tokens or cash into the voting boxes and we raised $192 for the Dougy Center. Thanks everyone!

This is just a sneaker promo as I dig into these little cutie culinary videos and excavate all the little gems and focus on their actual recipes. Stay tuned!

Portland Monthly article about Duckspoon’s Junior Chef Cook Off

June 4th, 2011


Top Chef: the Next Generation

Local kids get the chance to outshine familiar local chefs at the opening day of the Montavilla Farmers’ Market.

Posted by: Allison Jones on Jun 02, 2011 at 01:00PM


Whisks, forks, beaters, and measuring spoons deck out the trophies for the Junior Chef Cook-Off.

Prepare your awwwwws: TheMontavilla Market is kicking off its 2011 season this Sunday, June 5th, with the Junior Chef Cook-Off. Five young cooks will be paired with a notable Portland chef assistant to prepare a dish made with ingredients straight from the farmers market.

Chefs from The Country Cat,Trebol, and Cheese Bar will hand over the knives and step into sous chef roles for the day. After shopping for their cook-off among the farm-fresh produce and artisan products at the farmers’ market, the junior chefs will prepare a custom dish to serve the audience.

Here’s the line up of Portland’s next top chefs:

-Helena Bockstadter (age 11) and Iris Roy (age 3 1/2) and their assistant Chef Kenny Hillfrom Trebol.

Quinn (age 6) and Atticus (age 8) Sappington and their assistant Chef Adam Sappington from The Country Cat

Hannah Daley (age 11) and assistant Chef Tim Daly from Cheese Bar.

Farmers’ Market visitors will have the chance to vote for their favorite dish by donating market tokens or cash. All proceeds will go to the Dougy Center, which provides a safe atmosphere and counsel for grieving children and families. The Junior Chef who raises the most money will be named the Montavilla Farmers Market 2011 Junior Chef Champion, and will get an awesome trophy decked out with the tools of the trade.

The forecast for Sunday looks great – 80 degrees and sunny – so grab your totes and head out to support local kids and local produce!

Montavilla Market 7600 Block of SE Stark St.
Sundays from 10am – 2pm, June to October