All-women chef line-up will test – and delight – the city’s taste buds
Portland, Ore., January 16, 2013 – Starting February 7, Ecotrust and Edible Portland are bringing back Blind-Tasting Bingo, a game of sensory deprivation and heightened exploration that first premiered at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival in September 2012.
The new six-month series, running from February through July, features six brilliant Portland women chefs taking inspiration ranging from Bangkok street stalls to Northwest forests to amber fields of heirloom grains. These women innovators—including Nong Poonsukwattana (Nong’s Khao Man Gai), Naomi Pomeroy (Beast), Kim Boyce (Good to the Grain and Bakeshop), and more—will place players at their mercy while expressing their ability to satisfy and amaze. How does the game work? The chef will prepare a flight of 15 distinct bites. The players – eyes covered – will try to identify what they taste on a bingo board that includes both correct and false answers. A few lucky winners will receive a bottle of high-quality local booze!
Masterful Thai chef Nong Poonsukwattana is kicking off the series on February 7, sharing thoughtfully composed bites true to her Thai roots. Poonsukwattana has built a local cult following and received national press for her one-dish carts, featuring khao man gai, a soulful chicken and rice dish. Asked about her ingredients, she says, “Stay passionate, stay hungry. Come with me to Asian spice adventure. You will love it!” We’re excited for this intimate tour of her flavor repertoire.
At several games, Ecotrust and Edible Portland will invite local food producers to offer insights into how they create flavor. Co-creator Jeanne Kubal of Ecotrust reflects, “These games bring to life one of Ecotrust’s goals: to engage people with thought-provoking questions about food: Why does food taste the way it does and make us feel the way we do? How is it grown and who brings it into our lives? It’s a sideways approach, but we hope that makes the experience especially vivid.”
Expect enticing specialty cocktails created for each chef’s flight by local beverage artisans New Deal Distillery, Merit Badge Co., and Bull Run Distillery, which will take different nights hosting a cash bar. Ticket proceeds benefit Ecotrust’s work to create a robust regional food system and provide the Portland community with events that explore issues of place, food, and wellbeing.
Dates, Themes and Chefs
February 7 – SE Asian Off the Beaten Path
Nong Poonsukwattana of Nong’s Khao Man Gai
March 7 – Regional Mexican
Kelly Myers of Xico
April 11 – Theme TBD
Cathy Whims of Nostrana and Oven & Shaker
May 2 – Wily World of Whole Grains
Kim Boyce of Good to the Grain and Bakeshop
June 6 – Grown in NE Portland Soils
Stacey Givens of The Side Yard Farm
July 11 – Theme TBD
Naomi Pomeroy of Beast
Where and When
Ecotrust Natural Capital Center
721 NW 9th Avenue, Second floor
Portland, OR 97209
One Thursday evening a month, 7:30 pm – 9 pm
Get your tickets today!
Seating is limited. Each game costs $40.
Learn more: http://www.ecotrust.org/
Purchase your tickets to Nong’s game on February 7: http://blindbingofebruary.
Ecotrust’s mission is to foster a natural model of development that creates more resilient communities, economies and ecosystems here and around the world. Over more than 20 years, Ecotrust has converted $80 million in grants into more than $800 million in capital for local people, businesses, and organizations from Alaska to California. Ecotrust’s many innovations include co-founding the world’s first environmental bank, starting the world’s first ecosystem investment fund, creating a range of programs in fisheries, forestry, food, farms and indigenous affairs, and developing new scientific and information tools to improve social, economic and environmental decision making. Ecotrust works locally in ways that promise hope abroad, and it takes inspiration from the wisdom of Native and First Nation leadership. Learn more at www.ecotrust.org
About Edible Portland
Edible Portland is published four times a year by Ecotrust. The free publication, available at local farmers markets, grocery stores, restaurants, cooking schools and other locations throughout the region, addresses food and farming issues, and shares untold tales from the local food community. In every issue, look for the new Eat Here Dining Guide featuring restaurants dedicated to building a robust regional food and farming community. Advertising and subscription information is available at www.edibleportland.com.
About the Chefs
Nong Poonsukwattana is a Bangkok native who arrived in Portland in 2003 with $70 to her name. Today, she has created a local cult following and received national praise in Gourmet, Men’s Health, and more for her food carts, where she sells her exceptional, lovingly-prepared rendition of khao man gai, a Thai standard that translates as ‘greasy rice chicken.’ She reflects, “I started up with a little money that I had and I could only afford the 8 feet by 8 feet cart. What can I do in such a little tiny space but kick ass?”
Kelly Myers has worked at the heart of Portland’s culinary culture across her broad career, as chef at Genoa, longtime chef de cuisine of Nostrana, and instructor at the Art Institute of Portland Culinary School. In July 2012, she opened the doors of Xico (pronounced “chee-ko”) as executive chef, where she maintains her uncompromising commitment to fresh, local, producer-direct ingredients. Myers’ cooking explores the fertile and flavorful ground where regional Mexican food meets Northwest ingredients and farmers’ market philosophy. Myers is on the steering committee of the Farmer-Chef Connection.
Cathy Whims has set the highest standards for Portland restaurants throughout her momentous career, during years as chef/owner of the legendary Genoa, and in her current tenure as chef/owner of rustic Italian, wood-fired eatery Nostrana and its more laid back counterpart, Oven & Shaker. Whims is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on regional Italian cooking, utilizing time-honored recipes and techniques to make incomparably delicious food that expresses her relationship with local producers. She has been honored as a James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef Northwest from 2009 to 2012.
Kim Boyce moved to Portland in June 2010 as former Spago and Campanile pastry chef, on the heels of publishing her James Beard award-winning cookbook, Good to the Grain. Boyce’s cookbook broke the mold for whole-grain baking. By teaching home cooks that you can have your rye flour cake and eat it too, she’s opened up a new world for bakers interested in heirloom, whole grain flavors. You can find her most days at her recently opened retail and wholesale bakery, Bakeshop, in northeast Portland. She has contributed to Bon Appétit, O, and the Los Angeles Times.
Stacey Givens is the magical combination of urban farmer and talented chef. Based in northeast Portland’s Cully neighborhood, she and a squad of dedicated volunteers grow diverse vegetables on several urban lots. She sells her harvests to nearby restaurants, including Cocotte, Grain & Gristle, Lincoln Restaurant and Ned Ludd, in what she calls “chef-to-chef” produce service. She also uses her fresh produce in her own meals as chef at Raptor Ridge Winery and during brunches and suppers at the farm. Her inspiration to get her hands in the dirt sprouted when she was cooking at Rocket (now Noble Rot), which had the first rooftop garden of its kind in Portland.
Naomi Pomeroy debuted Beast, her ballsy + haute, nose-to-tail restaurant, in 2009, where she and sous chef Miko Paredes prepare unforgettable six-course prix-fixe dinners, including a renowned charcuterie plate. In the years before, Pomeroy was one of the visionary chefs at the helm of transforming Portland dining culture, beginning with the affordable, groundbreaking prix-fide supper club Ripe, where many of Portland’s current leading chefs began slicing and dicing. Born and raised in Oregon, Pomeroy has received many accolades, including honor as a James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef Northwest in 2012 and as Food and Wine Best New Chef in 2009. She has appeared on Top Chef Masters as a contestant and judge.