Archive | Work RSS feed for this section

Other People’s Houses: Kristen

10 Mar

Meet Kristen D. Murray. Her interests include gardening, hiking the Columbia Gorge and Oregon Coast, bunny rabbits, and Bordeaux wine. She also happens to be one of Portland’s most celebrated pastry chefs (extra bonus points). When she’s not busy preserving homegrown concord grape coulis or mastering black pepper cheesecake she’s working on her next magnum opus, setting down the foundation for building her own shop in town. I was recently invited into Kristen’s adorable NE Portland bungalow to shoot pictures for another project but I couldn’t help but ask to poke around in her extensive book collection, represented in several rooms throughout her home. Basically she’s a gal after my own heart.

Family Shift Meal

1 Mar

I started working at a new restaurant. The space is beautiful and I am happy to be surrounded by a team of wonderful and dynamic people. Thus far it’s been an incredibly fulfilling and exciting endeavour. People seem to really like us. What you see above is one of our post-shift staff meals: seven (count ’em!) griddle burgers with Tillamook cheese curd, mustard, and pickles on a Little T baguette. In case you’re wondering, yes, this is an off the menu item. This picture reminded me of this book so I thought I’d write about it. I also wanted to let you know what I’ve been up to lately.

I Made This

15 Oct

Before yesterday I had never heard of this fish. Swai, also referred to as Basa, is a farmed catfish imported from Asia. The catfish we were using at work came from Vietnam. Swai is a white fish, fairly firm, flakey, and mild in flavor. It’s basically a blank canvas for you to bake, broil, grill and/or baste. What I liked about making this dish is we kept it simple. We seasoned the fillets with salt and pepper and topped them with lemon. The oven was set at at 400 °F. and we baked the fish 10-17 minutes, depending on the size of the cut. The fillets were then portioned and topped with a sauce before serving.

Until Next Year: Plate & Pitchfork

18 Sep

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

If you been keeping up then you know I happen to be a big fan of the farm to table dinner series called Plate & Pitchfork. If you need a refresher you can read my post about the organization here or here. While I have only been involved with P&P since last July, I can tell you that working alongside and under the gracious tutelage of Erika Polmar has been one of the most fulfilling opportunities of my professional career. I have never met someone so connected, knowledgeable and dedicated in the sustainable food movement. She’s the kind of gal you beg to be your friend because of her impeccable palate,  her canning wizardry, and her built-in radar for edible mushroom clusters.

This year I was recruited to shoot a few of the Plate & Pitchfork dinners. I jumped at the opportunity, not because I wanted to expand my photography portfolio–an added bonus no doubt–but because I am consistently inspired by Erika. I always leave her company feeling like I’ve learned something new–which is a fundamental quality of a good friend in my book. What you see above are a few of my favorite shots from the year. I’d like to thank all of the farms, chefs, and diners that allowed me to capture these special moments. Lastly, I’d like to thank Erika for not only making the entire experience possible, but for trusting me with her magnum opus.

While we’ve reached the close of this year’s Plate & Pitchfork season, rest assured that the Plate & Pitchfork team are already hard at work planning next year’s adventures. In the meantime, watch a behind the scenes look of  a Plate & Pitchfork dinner on this episode of Perennial Plate.

We Made This

1 Sep

Blueberry-Black Pepper Pie

with cornmeal crust, lemon cream and basil

This was the final dessert served at the aforementioned horseshoes tournament. We used blueberries picked from a friend’s property. E. Dohrmann made the crust and I made filling and lemon cream, which is really just homemade lemon curd mixed with crème fraiche. Our friend Tim from Pupil Photo took a beautiful photo of our truck in the park. Evan said this is his favorite picture of Lucy to date. She does look mighty fine.

Photo courtesy of Tim Roth, Pupil Photo

The horseshoes tournament was being put on by our friends over at Urban Honking. We were asked to create a custom meal fit for a casual “cookout in the park.” Many of the guests were vegan or vegetarian so we decided to make all of the sides vegan. When Evan and I were vegan we tended to like things fairly spicy. Unsurprisingly, a lot of the dishes we made for the event incorporated chiles, fresh herbs, smoked spices and fresh squeezed lime juice. We shopped a local farmers market for all of the produce. My favorite part came when we selected the beans for the succotash. We used favas, blue lakes and purple burgundy beans. Here is the rest of the menu from the day.

Peach-Mint Julep Popsicles
Veggie Beet Burgers
balsamic pickled beets, avocado, butter lettuce and caper berry pesto (goat cheese optional)
80/20 Beef Bacon Burgers
gorgonzola, butter lettuce and tomato-peach Jam
Summer Succotash
corn, green beans, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, sweet onion and shell beans
Spicy Baked Beans
pinto, black, butter, garbanzo and kidney beans baked with onions and peppers in spicy bbq sauce
Jalapeno-Lime Kale Slaw
lacinato kale, cabbage, carrot, red onion and jalapeno with lime dressing
Sliced Watermelon with Lime
Vegan Coconut Peach Rice Pudding

One of my favorite parts from the evening was passing out the peach mint julep popsicles. It was fun seeing adults’ faces light up with glee at the thought of a popsicle containing bourbon. These were a huge hit and a great way to start the meal. Many thanks to our friend and personal girl friday, Erika Polmar from Plate & Pitchfork, who successfully tracked down popsicle molds for us so late in the season.

I also got a kick out of the tournament prizes. 1st:Hancocks Presidential Reserve bourbon, 2nd: Old Grand-dad Kentucky bourbon, 3rd: Pickle juice.

Evan and I would like to thank the peeps over at Urban Honking and specifically Steve, Mike and Judah for including us in this spectacular  (biannual) event. It is definitely one of the highlights from this summer and certainly one of our better catering gigs.

Bakesale For Japan

1 Apr

Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people,
can transform the world. –Howard Zinn

Remember that ridiculously good cake I was telling you about? The banana one with the coconut frosting? Well, in honor of this event we’ll be selling off slices at Ristretto Roasters tomorrow, April 2nd from 10am-2pm. Proceeds from these sales will benefit Peace Winds Japan, a partner of Mercy Corps. This event is actually a nationwide effort originating in Oakland from the brilliant mind of chef Samin Nosrat. Last year sales for relief in Haiti reached $23,000 at the Bakesale for Haiti and we’re hoping to top that number this year. Fortunately for PDX, Intel has agreed to match our donation this year. Please plan on visiting either Barista in the Pearl or Ristretto on Williams tomorrow (from 10am-2pm) for some off the chain baked goods. Many, many heartfelt thanks must go out to Giovanna Zivny and Elizabeth Nathan for helping organize this event in Portland. Can’t make it? You can still make your presence felt by donating here. Thank you for the consideration.

If you get there and our cake is gone, don’t fret.  You can expect yummies from the following bakers (and many more): Little T American Baker, Alder Pastry & Dessert, Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry, Fleur de Lis Bakery and Cafe, Alma Chocolate, Kir Jensen (The Sugar Cube), Kristen Murray (Paley’s Place), Kim Boyce (Golden Oven), Bakery Bar, Suzette, Random Order Coffeehouse & Bakery, Petunia’s Pies & Pastries, Confectionery and Bees & Beans.

UPDATE: (So) Pleased to report we (Portland) earned $7889.93 for Peace Winds America, for a national total of $124,120.38! A big shout out and thank you to everyone who contributed to Bakesale for Japan.

Catching the Ox

29 Mar

It’s official, guys. I can cross “meet/work/collaborate with David Lanthan Reamer” off my bucket list. Or more specifically, I can cross “Catching the Ox” off by bucket list. David let me pick the subject for this one and naturally, I chose jam. Let’s keep this short and just say that having the opportunity to participate in this project was a pretty big deal to me. Many thanks to DLR for making it happen. Click on the link to see the final results. Below you’ll find some shots for the shoot that didn’t make the cut.

Coffee: Courier Coffee, Papua New Guinea Onaka Agoga

Croissant: Fleur de Lis Bakery, Ham and Cheese

Jam: Little Branch, Strawberry-Pinot-Rose