Tag Archives: Why I Love Portland

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.

Other People’s Houses: Hannah

25 Oct

This is the bar at my friend Hannah’s house. I love that it’s comprised almost entirely of locally distilled spirits. It also covers my bar essentials: Gin, Whiskey, and Coffee Liqueur.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Until Next Year: Plate & Pitchfork

18 Sep

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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.

Winning the (Foodie) Lottery

25 May

Like many, I’ve pondered what I’d do if I won the lottery. Well, thanks to my friend Geoff Kleinman, I’m pretty sure I know how (and where) to celebrate. Geoff was a recent grand prize winner of Google’s Hotpot Jackpot, which gave him the opportunity to spend $3000 with nine of his friends at the Portland restaurant of his choice. (Yes, I’m aware that this gift—along with my invitation—is as absurd as it is amazing.)

I wasn’t surprised when Geoff informed me he wanted to celebrate his win at Park Kitchen. We share the opinion that this crew consistently delivers inspired food with deep commitment to seasonality, creativity and taste. The service is friendly and knowledgeable, and the bar is one of the best in the city—details which are not lost on this eagerly fortunate group of guests, most of whom are working professionals in the food and spirits industry. Believe me, in the wrong hands this meal could’ve quickly turned into a (bad) Gluttons Anonymous meeting. This was not the case at Park Kitchen. On the contrary, we were in the very capable hands of Head Chef Scott Dolich, Chef de Cuisine David Padberg, GM Anna Josephson, and Bar Manager Adam Robinson, a dream team who found the perfect balance between indulgence and elegance.

Anna greeted us at the door with a tray full of champagne (the real stuff)—though I’m embarrassed to admit I was too busy eating the tempura prawns to notice the label. Later, while slurping down oysters with mignonette sauce, Adam delivered perfectly crafted Hemingway Daiquiris. Needless to say, the evening was off to a great start.

What followed was an incredible, thoughtfully prepared seven course dinner, masterfully paired with an impressive drink selection. I wish to thank all who made this magical meal possible. Twas an enchanted evening indeed, and one story I plan on retelling throughout my lifetime.

Magic Egg and Asparagus Salad

Watari Bune Junmai Ginjo

Foie Gras Torchon, Rhubarb, Pain Perdu

Equipo Navazos Sanlucar Manzanilla Sherry

Sizzling Baby Octopus and Scallops

2008 Chateau D’Esclams “Garrus” Rose

Salmon, Gratin, Trout Roe, Saffron Pickled Clams

2004 Domaine Michel Juillot Corton-Charlemagne Grand Cru

Sirloin of Beef, Morels Bordelaise

1993 Chateau Leoville Barton Saint-Julien

VEP Green Chartreuse

Rhubarb Textures

Dark and White Chocolate, Roasted Strawberries

1981 Kopke Kolheita Port


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

Spotted @: Maddy and Tracy’s

10 Mar

My girlfriends just moved into a new apartment in SE Portland and we decided to celebrate (naturally) with Bloody Marys, homemade hummus and jam. Thank you, Kendra and Mitch for mixing cocktails. Welcome home, Madis and Tracy. Glad we got to break in the new place Portland(ia) style.