Recap: Highlights from Feast Portland 2018

Chris DiMinno's (Trifecta Tavern & Bakery) Fried Oyster & Spam Slider.

Feast Portland 2018 welcomed 20,373 total attendees last weekend (September 13-16)! More than 120 local and visiting chefs participated, as well as wineries, breweries, distilleries, cider makers, artisans and more, in over 40 different delicious events during the four-day festival. 

All the meats. Saturday night’s Smoked event. Photo by Jennifer Liu.

It’s easy to get swept up in all the deliciousness, feeling starstruck seeing and meeting renowned chefs, and the lively atmosphere of Feast, but it’s important to keep in mind the why in why we feast. Feast Portland has a strong charitable mission, raising more than $400,000 to help end hunger in Oregon and across the United States since 2012.

The total 2018 festival donation amount, benefiting Feast Portland’s 2018 charitable partners Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and Urban Gleaners, will be announced by November.

Urban Gleaners is a new partner this year, an organization mostly comprised of volunteers, collecting fresh food before it goes to waste and getting it to people who need it. They pick up from restaurants, grocery stores, corporate campuses, and other donors. Volunteers then re-package the food into family-sized portions and distribute to over 40 sites in the greater Portland area.

Friday’s Grand Tasting. Scott Ketterman’s Black Rabbit Paella (Crown Paella). Photo by Jennifer Liu. 

Now onto gushing about the awesome food and wine events. They did not disappoint. Every year, Feast brings in an impressive roster from Portland, but also from across the U.S. There are five different event types, including Main Events, Fun-Size Events, Dinners, Drink Tank Panels, and Classes.

We focused on main events this year, but we look forward to snagging some tickets to the coveted fun-size events and dinners next year. This year, one fun-size event featured Aaron from Austin’s Franklin’s BBQ! I was super bummed I missed out.


This was the first year of the 80s vs 90s battle. Like its predecessor, the Sandwich Invitational (where did you go? Come back please.), it is done in a bracket head-to-head style competition. Here’s a quick snapshot of our favorite dishes.

  • Melissa McMillan (Sammich PDX – Portland, OR) Pork Belly Sammich
  • Sam Smith (Tusk – Portland, OR) Frito Pie with spicy lamb chili
  • Maya Lovelace (Yonder – Portland, OR) Hot Pocket with pimento cheese, smoked ham, and broccoli
Maya Lovelace’s (Yonder) Hot Pocket. Photo by Jennifer Liu.
Melissa McMillan’s (Sammich PDX) Pork Belly Sammich. Photo by Jennifer Liu.


Night Market is held at Zidell Yards on the waterfront and it’s the most gorgeous setting. Attendees start arriving when the sun is still up and then while we’re walking from booth to booth, the sun begins to set. Paired with the twinkle lights strewn across the walkway, it’s a really special experience.

  • Rick Gencarelli (Lardo – Portland, OR): Fajita Cheese Steaks
  • Andrew Le (Pig and the Lady – Honolulu, HI) Korean Fried Chicken, Watermelon Nuoc Cham, Roasted Strawberries, Sesame aromatic herbs
  • Ravi Kapur (Liholiho Yacht Club – San Francisco, CA): Yacht Dog: Homemade Spam Katsu, Kimchi, Wasabi Mayo, Kings Hawaiian bun
  • John Gorham (Toro Bravo – Portland, OR) Flat Top Burger
Andrew Le’s (Pig and the Lady) Korean Fried Chicken. Photo by Jennifer Liu.
Chris DiMinno’s (Trifecta Tavern & Bakery) Fried Oyster & Spam Slider. Photo by Alan Weiner.


The highlight of the weekend was Smoked. Located in a grassy park in the Pearl District downtown, it was everything I could have hoped for in an event named Smoked. There were open grills, big flames, cheeky neon signs, and some of the yummiest food we had all weekend.

  • Doug Adams (Bullard – Portland, OR) Smoked Beef Ribs
  • Javier Canteras (Urdaneta – Portland, OR) Grilled Pickled Beef Tongue with espresso lentils, romesco, anchovy apple butter
  • Vidal Miguel (Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ – Austin, TX) Mini Mesquite Smoked Brisket Taco
Nina Compton’s (Compère Lapin) Jerk Corn with chicken skin and lime. Photo by Jennifer Liu.
Chef Chris Cosentino (Jackrabbit). Photo by Jennifer Liu.
1927 S’mores Company. Photo by Jennifer Liu.


I’ve missed Sunday’s Brunch Village the past few years for one reason or another, but it’s not to be missed. It’s easily one of the fan favorites. Who doesn’t love brunch?

  • Jace Krause’s (Fried Egg I’m in Love – Portland, OR) Yolko Ono with Aardvark aioli
  • Nong Poonsukwattana’s (Nong’s Khao Man Gai – Portland, OR) Smoked Pork Belly, beans, carrot kimchi, & cured egg
  • Stephanie Thornton’s (Blue Star Donuts – Portland, OR) Mini filled brioche donut with Coava Coffee Cream filling, Eastside Distilling HueHue Coffee Rum pipette
Bloody Mary’s at Brunch Village. Photo by Alan Weiner.
Stephanie Thornton’s (Blue Star Donuts) Mini filled brioche donut with Coava Coffee Cream filling. Photo by Carly Diaz.

The eighth year of Feast Portland is coming September 12-15, 2019! Events usually get announced in May and tickets go on sale shortly after (and it ALWAYS sells out). Make your calendars.