RSSCategory: exclusive interviews

Quick Spin: Author Bret Anthony Johnston

Quick Spin: Author Bret Anthony Johnston

Bret Anthony Johnston’s outward appearance oozes fiction writer. You see his thick-rimmed glasses and often solemn photos and you think, Yup, this is what they’re all like. But Johnston (whose name sounds a little like a member of a boy band, doesn’t it?) is so much more than the scarf-wearing stereotype you might associate with the typical writer.

June 4, 2014 | By
Barrel Age This! An Interview with Portland’s Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Barrel Age This! An Interview with Portland’s Jeffrey Morgenthaler

Jeffrey Morgenthaler, bartender extraordinaire.

More like Jeffrey the Grouch when I first met him in the Denver airport years ago. The name rang a bell as the shuttle driver rattled off the list of us weary travelers waiting for a ride to Vail. “I think I follow you on Twitter,” I mumbled to the tall, graying mixer as we walked to the van. “Where are you based?” I asked like a common cocktail newbie.

May 22, 2014 | By
Quick Spin: Comedian Myq Kaplan

Quick Spin: Comedian Myq Kaplan

If the name of a comic’s album gives us any insight into what to expect in his comedy, then Myq Kaplan’s albums titles are supremely helpful. There’s his most recent album – “Small, Dork, and Handsome” – along with “Meat Robot,” and “Vegan Mind Meld”, to name a few. These let us in on what to expect from Myq: comedy that walks the line between the sharp edge of English major excellence and cover-your-mouth inappropriate.

May 8, 2014 | By
Quick Spin: Comedian Matt Braunger

Quick Spin: Comedian Matt Braunger

The fact that we even have Bridgetown Comedy Festival today can be owed to comedian Matt Braunger (and co-founder, Andy Wood). Braunger, who was born and raised in northeast Portland, describes himself as “…a lightning-rod of awkwardness…” in one of his specials. His humor is grab-a-beer-with-a-friend relatable, and he bursts with energy on stage.

May 6, 2014 | By
Quick Spin: Chef Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen

Quick Spin: Chef Richie Nakano of Hapa Ramen

San Francisco chef Richie Nakano is as widely known for his opinions as he is for his ramen. An online biography describes the cocksure chef as “the expert of kitchen trash talk”, his regularly updated Twitter feed peppered with sideswipes at everything from local regulations to “Best Of” lists. Nakano doesn’t toss his thoughts around lightly, however, and his long abandoned blog reads like a Bourdain novel, an articulate, knowledgeable voice representing kitchen dwellers from Los Angeles to New York. A father, a baseball fan, a line cook. Another dedicated chef you won’t see at an awards show.

April 30, 2014 | By
Quick Spin: Chef Adam Higgs of Portland’s Acadia

Quick Spin: Chef Adam Higgs of Portland’s Acadia

I arrived in this weird Pacific Northwest city back in the early 2000s, settling into a house in Portland’s then-undesirable Northeast neighborhood. I remember being pretty dismayed with the food options in the area, venturing out one night, determined to find a great restaurant nearby. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a dimly lit corner spot on Fremont Avenue, where the menu at Acadia pulled me in, full of seafood and Cajun spices, and I stayed for both dinner and dessert.

March 19, 2014 | By
Chefs Steven McHugh and Michael Gulotta on Cured, MOPHO, and life in the kitchen with Chef John Besh

Chefs Steven McHugh and Michael Gulotta on Cured, MOPHO, and life in the kitchen with Chef John Besh

The guidance and training a chef receives within the kitchen – particularly during those early years – often dictates the tone of his or her career, from knife skills and spices to business acumen and demeanor. Whether cookbooks or creative bios, it is always referenced where a chef has worked previously, ripples that continue to flow for years to come. Particularly when it is a great chef – Boulud, Keller, Chang – it is exciting to see the evolution, the next generation of creativity emerging from the kitchens and training, ready to build on their own dreams.

February 26, 2014 | By
Rock and Roll and Rene Redzepi: A Work in Progress

Rock and Roll and Rene Redzepi: A Work in Progress

Books that cook have really evolved over the last few years. A few – like David Chang’s tale in the Momofuku cookbook of fighting anger and shingles – plunge even deeper into the cooking/storytelling vein, revealing the heart of the kitchen where memoir and measuring cup collide.

René Redzepi: A Work In Progress is teetering on that fine line as well. The Copenhagen chef’s latest release, a raw glimpse into a leader and chef, part cookbook, part year-in-the-life tale of its star player and his role within the greater team.

December 18, 2013 | By
Quick Spin: Bartender Jordan Felix of the Multnomah Whiskey Library

Quick Spin: Bartender Jordan Felix of the Multnomah Whiskey Library

The Multnomah Whisk{e}y Library, the long awaited cocktail destination from Alan Davis of Produce Row Cafe, is everything you’ve heard it to be. The selection of over 1500 pours from around the world, handpicked by resident whisk(e)y expert, Tommy Klus, is breathtaking, lining a full wall six shelves high. A rolling ladder is used to access it all, bottles of every color and size flooded with a warm yellow light that draws your attention despite the beauty and detail of the entire room. Every gathering around a table is punctuated with plush and leather seating, couches and chairs, tall custom drink trays awaiting your next choice off the extensive menu.

November 20, 2013 | By
Quick Spin: Chef Kevin Sandri of Portland’s Alberta Street Pub

Quick Spin: Chef Kevin Sandri of Portland’s Alberta Street Pub

I blame Kevin Sandri for my appreciation of the food cart. My first year in Portland, his cart, Garden State, was selling sandwiches at a waterfront food festival. Not familiar with the cart, I – the unsuspecting, naive victim – grabbed the cod sandwich without much thought or expectation. When I took a bite, I […]

July 17, 2013 | By
Quick Spin: Noelle Scaggs of Fitz and the Tantrums

Quick Spin: Noelle Scaggs of Fitz and the Tantrums

It’s one of those stories you tell about that favorite band, the one you saw years back, when they were just starting out. The moment you heard the notes and knew that this band was something, that this music was unlike anything you had heard before. You stopped whatever you were doing and stood there […]

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June 5, 2013 | By