Portland Chefs Took the Titles at Sunday’s 17th Annual Wild About Game Cooking Competition
Chef Sarah Schafer of Irving St. Kitchen won Overall and Chef Phil Oswalt of Multnomah Athletic Club was awarded the People’s Choice
Portland, Ore. (October 10th, 2017) – It was an extravaganza of epic culinary proportions this past weekend at the 17th annual Wild About Game, presented by Nicky USA, when chefs from Portland and Seattle competed head to head in four game meat-based categories using Nicky Farms proteins over the course of the cooking competition. The four game meats were Hawaiian antelope, guinea fowl, wild boar, and Nicky Farms rabbit. In the end it was, Chef Sarah Schafer of Irving St. Kitchen who beat the stiff competition overall with her dish of Grimaud Farms Guinea Hen & Foie Gras Ballotine Croquette, Whipped Chive Oil, Spiced Vegetable Demi, Hen Crackers. The Overall Award was decided by an esteemed panel of judges, Ruth Reichl, Justin Chapple and Karen Brooks. Attendees of Nicky USA’s Wild About Game, held at the Resort at the Mountain near Mt. Hood, Ore., had the chance to taste each of the eight dishes and vote for their favorite, and this year’s People’s Choice Award went to Chef Phil Oswalt of Multnomah Athletic Club.
Overall Winner: Chef Sarah Schafer, Irving St. Kitchen
People’s Choice Winner: Chef Phil Oswalt, Multnomah Athletic Club
The full lineup of dishes served in the cooking competition, and restaurants that won in each game category:
Hawaiian Antelope: Paul Osher of Porkchop & Co, Antelope winner
Phil Oswalt, Multnomah Athletic Club Portland: Niihau Ranch Hawaiian Antelope Chicken-Fried Steak, Miso Whipped Potatoes, Sunnyside Up Quail Egg & Gravy
Paul Osher, Porkchop & Co Seattle: Niihau Ranch Hawaiian Antelope Meatballs with Tomatillo Broth, Sauerkraut, and Radishes
Guinea Fowl: Sarah Schafer of Irving St. Kitchen, Guinea Fowl winner
Sara Schafer, Irving St. Kitchen Portland: Grimaud Farms Guinea Hen & Foie Gras Ballotine Croquette, Whipped Chive Oil, Spiced Vegetable Demi, Hen Crackers]
Andrew Gregory & Ricardo Valdes, The London Plane Seattle: Grimaud Farms Guinea Fowl Tacos Arabes, Fermented Ground Cherry, Hoja Santa, Whole Wheat Pita, Hen Chicharon
Wild Boar: Chris Lobkovich of Quinn’s Pub, Wild Boar winner
Matt Sigler, Renata Portland: Milk Braised Wild Boar Shoulder with Onion Ash Creste di Gallo, Parsnips, Scallions, Pork Rind Bread Crumbs
Chris Lobkovich, Quinn’s Pub Seattle: Wild Boar Mortadella with Koji Cured Loin, Winter Squash Salad, Chanterelles, Trotter Croquettes
Nicky Farms Rabbit: Jose Chesa of Ataula, Rabbit winner
José Chesa, Ataula Portland: Nicky Farms Coñejo with Tio Pepe Escabeche Mushrooms, Smoked Bacon Sofrito, Pine Nut Praline, Roasted Apple Aioli
Jason Stratton, MBAR Seattle: Nicky Farms Braised & Stuffed Rabbit with Caramelized Kohirabi, Mastutake Mushroom, and Pine Nuts
Wild About Game’s First Ever Cocktail Competition!
Brand new this year was Wild About Game’s Cocktail Competition, featuring a friendly cocktail making challenge with some of the area’s best bar talent, including Brandy Feit (Headwaters), Joel Schmeck (Irving St. Kitchen), Andrew Castaneta (Renata), and Colin Carroll (Trifecta Tavern). The cocktail competition took place alongside the cooking competition so that everyone had a chance to taste all four cocktails in between the chef’s dishes. There were two winning cocktails.
Overall Cocktail Winner: Brandy Feit, Headwaters, “Birdshot”
Birdshot: Duck fat-washed Knob Creek Rye, sweet & dry vermouth, smoked Medoyeff truffle vodka, Bridge City evergreen bitters, foie gras stuffed olive, duck bacon, duck fat roasted grape skewer
People’s Choice Cocktail Winner: Colin Carroll, Trifecta Tavern, “Duckworth”
Knob Creek bourbon, Knob Creek single barrel, charred cherrywood infused Carpano Antica, balsamic & vermouth spiced cherry with duck liver mousse, finishing salt
While the chefs and mixologists competed, attendees were treated to food and beverage samples in the Artisan Marketplace, along with bites from additionally featured chefs.
Over 45 vendors were represented, including 33 Books, Anderson Ranch Lamb, Beam Suntory Spirits, Block 15 Brewery, Bull In China, Bull Run Distillery, Carlton Farms, Carter Cutlery, Clear Creek Distillery, Case Study Coffee, Classic Foods, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, Ecliptic Brewing, Fermin Iberico/Wagshal’s Imports, Gilgamesh Brewing, Grochau Cellars Winery, Hardmill, Hudson Valley Foie Gras, La Belle Farms/Bella Bella Gourmet, Manchester Farms Quail, Marshall’s Haute Sauce, Mary’s Chicken, Nicky USA/Nicky Farms, No Bull Specialty Foods, Nueske’s Smoked Meats, Olympia Provisions, Painted Hills Natural Beef, Patz & Hall Winery, Reverend Nat’s Cider, SakeOne, Salt & Straw Ice Cream, Snake River Farms.
The judges for this year’s competition were former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl (6 time James Beard award-winning writer), Justin Chapple (James Beard Award nominee, Food & Wine), and Karen Brooks (James Beard Distinguished Craig Claiborne Restaurant Review Award 2017, Portland Monthly).
About Nicky USA
Founded in 1990, Nicky USA is the Northwest’s leading butcher and purveyor of specialty game and high-quality meat. The Portland-based company has forged relationships with local and international ranchers, as well as James Beard Award-winning chefs in an effort to make game a mainstay of specialty markets and fine restaurants. Nicky USA recently developed a specialty line of products under their Nicky Farms brand. With the recent purchase of their very own 35.9-acre farm in Aurora, Ore., owner Geoff Latham is now able to raise game for Nicky USA and host friends and customers. The company has built one of the nation’s only mobile processing units (MPU) for the sustainable and humane processing of animals, specially designed to process both poultry and hooved animals, making it the only USDA-compliant unit of its kind allowing complete control of the process from field to table. Aside from selling specialty game and high-quality meat, Nicky USA hosts Wild About Game every autumn, an annual head-to-head cooking competition and the meatiest culinary celebration in the Northwest, celebrating high-quality meat and specialty game. Nicky USA expanded in 2013 with a second location in Seattle. Orders for either location can be made by calling 1.800.469.4162. For more information, visit www.nickyusa.com. Follow @nickyusa on Twitter and Facebook, and @nicky.usa on Instagram, as well as #NickyFarms on all channels. To learn more about Nicky USA and Nicky Farms, view the 25th-anniversary video here.
About Nicky Farms
Nicky Farms is the house brand of Nicky USA. Nicky Farms products include Northwest raised rabbit, quail, elk, venison, goat, water buffalo, chicken and American bison. They can be found on the menus of the Northwest’s best restaurants and the shelves of leading retailers such as New Seasons Markets, World Foods, Zupan’s Markets, Metropolitan Market, and Central Co-Op. For more information, visit: www.nickyusa.com/nicky-farms