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.
Oh, those bartenders, those “mixologists”, the ones we write about, the ones we admire from the other side of the bar. They gather regularly, you know. It’s not all tips and ten-hour shifts. Sometimes in New Orleans, sometimes in Kansas City, sometimes in New York. One shining week a year in the heart of Stumptown. There are tattoos and laybacks, branded swag and local spirits.
Tally ho, drink lubbers. The 2013 Portland Cocktail Week report lies ahead.
All camaraderie and brainstorms. Drink testing and note taking. Nearly four hundred or so of the best mixers, from across the country, around the world, stagger in from red-eyes, ready to see their friends and seize their free days.
It’s been great fun following the growing careers of Chicago chef Stephanie Izard and NYC’s Sarah Simmons.
Izard, a Midwest native, has not only created a perpetually packed collection of goat-themed ventures, including Girl & The Goat and the Little Goat Diner, she’s become a regular on both the award lists and the food & wine event circuit, making appearances in Aspen, Pebble Beach, Portland.
I am always in awe of the all-encompassing community feel of Maui. The way the chefs, farmers, producers on the island work in amazing sync, combining their talents to make magic happen, each happily touting the star-worthy skills of the other. Each year, there are a dozen or so events all over the island showcasing this rich food and drink harmony, celebrations of bites and beverages, from where they’re grown to how they’re prepared, and Ka’anapali Fresh is just one more of those exceptional gatherings.
Celebrating its second year, Ka’anapali Fresh, a cozy weekend-long event, highlighted the hotels and restaurants within Ka’anapali Beach Resort on the island’s beautiful northwest coast.
Hot on the heels of a very successful – and über-Maui-focused – Ka’anapali Fresh, the folks at the Hawai’i Food & Wine Festival swung into town to present Malama Maui this past Sunday – the first off-island, offshoot of the larger Oahu-based event taking place this weekend, September 6-9. Held oceanside at the beautiful Napili Gardens of the Hyatt Regency Maui, with honored guests, chefs Alan Wong and Roy Yamaguchi in attendance, the evening’s lineup included Iron Chef Japan’s Hiroyuki Sakai, Marcel Vigneron, Rick Tramonto, Hawaii’s Bev Gannon and Sheldon Simeon, and Greg Grohowski, executive chef of the Hyatt Regency.
The magnitude of the show had my stomach in ropes long before Friday officially arrived. As I rolled through Chicago’s suburbs on the L-train pre-dusk headed toward Wrigley Field, the butterflies became a frenzy of activity, the main event nearly within reach. Fellow music fans packed the train’s car, anxiously, and some of them drunkenly, […]
Talk about the birth of an event. Back in 2000, founders Katherine Pugliese and Kelly Odom began brainstorming the details of a gathering that would become the premiere showcase of St. Croix food and wine offerings. “We were pregnant and hormonal,” Pugliese explained with a laugh, reminiscing about the start of the Taste of St. […]
By the time the first few notes of “We Are The Tide” began to swirl through the auditorium, the crowd had already made it to their feet. Swaying back and forth in their seats throughout the evening, toes a-tapping, it had been a relatively even-keeled set, a bit of the pomp of the Oregon Symphony […]
This past weekend, I ventured up to Seattle for the Seattle Wine and Food Experience – one of the few events I attend every year – and every year, I am impressed at the quality and coordination.
The Tulalip Resort stands like a beacon along the stretch of Interstate 5 between Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia. It beckons weary travelers like an oasis in the desert, the brightly lit black and white orcas adorning the multilevel hotel beaming amongst a sea of strip malls and outlet shopping. Inside, the resort is […]
I was on a World Series high last Thursday night. My beloved Tigers were entrenched in the second game of the finals, battling it out with the San Francisco Giants, when I walked into Red, White, and Booze – the closing event of Portland Cocktail Week. The mitten state had been on my mind all […]
When Kat and I arrived at Portland International Airport on Thursday morning, long before the sun would rise, we were nearly giddy as we passed through security, ecstatic that our adventure to New York City had finally arrived. As we made our way to the gate, we noticed a monk walking in front of us, […]
I started visiting New York City when I was in my teens. My Mom and I would make it all about musicals and Fifth Avenue and living the life of city dwellers during our mother/daughter weekends to the Big Apple. She had a friend who was “connected” and invited us to town for that first […]