With springtime upon us, there is a renewed sense of life and rebirth. The sun is (mostly) shining, our garden starts are peeking out from the soft soil, and vaccines are rolling out across the country.
In this moment of renewal, let’s not forget the year that was 2020, because in remembering, we can see how far we’ve come.
The last year tested us, and took so much and so many lives from our world and from Oregon. While all businesses in our state were impacted, Oregon’s restaurants have been among the hardest hit.
That’s why I would like to personally invite you to join us for the worldwide, virtual film premiere of “Unsavory Times,” a 30-minute documentary from Brian Kimmel of Optic Nerve Productions. The film focuses on our team at Higgins, and the actions we took to persevere and survive during stay-at-home orders and beyond. It’s also a metaphor for restaurants still struggling to survive.
The film will be introduced by Congressman Earl Blumenauer, who led the effort in Washington, D.C., to provide restaurant relief that was included in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan.
Following the screening, Oregon Historical Society Executive Director and friend of Higgins, Kerry Tymchuk, will moderate a panel discussion featuring:
Brian Kimmel, filmmaker
Greg Higgins, chef-owner at Higgins
Erika Polmar, co-founder & executive director of the Independent Restaurant Coalition (IRC)
Jason Brandt, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association CEO
Peter Cho, chef-owner at Han Oak and Toki
“Unsavory Times” premieres April 21, 2021, at 6:30 p.m. PDT, followed immediately by a panel discussion at 7 p.m. The film will be available for a limited weeklong screening window, April 21 through April 28.
One thing is always certain: Gardening is a continued source of optimism and energy. Throughout the last couple of months, seeds have been sown, nurtured, and transplanted into larger pots. The plants have moved out of the greenhouse and into open air with growth that is one of those wonders—they startle us with their vigor. Chicories, lettuce, peas, favas, potatoes, and numerous brassicas are now all spreading their toes in freshly turned soil. We’re still harvesting greens and shoots from last fall’s plantings, and this year’s herbs are coming on strong.
The kitchen is buzzing about Oregon troll king salmon, fresh bay shrimp, halibut, green garlic, spring onions, and rhubarb. Morels and asparagus are just around the corner and we can hardly wait.