Rewards Network was a Gold Sponsor of this year’s Feast Portland, one of the country’s best food and drink festivals featuring renowned chefs and delectable dishes. We were proud to promote our Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Dining program at the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting and sponsor a Dinner Series with Chefs Chris Cosentino and Kyo Koo at program restaurant Bluehour. I’m excited to share our experience and photos from this fantastic fest:
Thursday, September 18
The first Feast Portland event we attended at was the Widmer Brothers Brewing Sandwich Invitational. We immediately got a taste of how popular Feast Portland is: the event ran from 6-9 p.m., but many sandwiches were gone by 7:30!
Luckily we were able to try the Judge’s Choice Winner, smoked sprats with egg from Chef Bonnie Morales of Kachka (left) and the People’s Choice Winner, Salt & Straw’s PB&J with peanut butter ice cream and marionberry jam. (right)
Friday, September 19
Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting: Day One
We kicked off our Feast Portland participation at the first day of the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting, sponsored by Alaska Airlines. We promoted our Mileage Plan Dining program along with spring rolls from program restaurant Bambuza! Once the Feasters came in, our line began to grow and became one of the longest. We were such a big hit, we ran out of the first thousand trays within a couple hours!
Our bamboo trays helped juggle all the tasty samples at the Grand Tasting, including a wine glass. We even saw attendees reusing the trays at other Feast Portland events too!
USA Pears Night Market at Zidell Yards
We celebrated our successful first Grand Tasting at the USA Pears Night Market. This event featured some of the most innovative dishes of Feast Portland from some well-known chefs, including grilled quail from Chef Anita Lo of Annisa Restaurant in NYC (left) and breakfast dumplings by Chef Lee Anne Wong of Honolulu’s Koko Head Cafe. (right).
Saturday, September 20
Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting
On the second day of the Grand Tasting, attendees beelined to our booth and before we knew it, the line wrapped around the event. Our team worked together to keep the line moving so the Feast Portlanders could enjoy the rest of the Grand Tasting.
After running out of our supply, we enjoyed the delicious sausage rolls and marionberry pie from program restaurant Pacific Pie Co. and the brews from program restaurant McMenamins.
Rewards Network Sponsored Dinner Series: Chris Cosentino and Kyo Koo at Bluehour
The dinner we dreamt of for weeks arrived: Top Chef Masters winner Chris Cosentino (at left) and Portland’s Kyo Koo teamed up for a once-in-a-lifetime dinner at program restaurant Bluehour. Our CMO Kara Walsh spoke about Rewards Network, while representatives from the wineries (Anne Amie Vineyards, Chehalem, and J.K. Carriere) described their pairings.
While every dish was delicious, the second and fourth courses stood out as new to me, a somewhat adventurous eater. As my first tartare experience, the second course had me at truffles but won me over with the hazelnut-pork combination. The squab was probably the most talked about dish. Chef Cosentino came out of the kitchen to explain you have to break it down with your hands and suck the squab head like a crayfish. Who knew!
Sunday, September 21
Tillamook Brunch Village
Even after our Bluehour dinner, I kept on eating after rolling out of bed Sunday morning for the Brunch Village. The lines were fairly long for this sold-out event, but I waited patiently for the fried shrimp and grits and brioche with marionberries from The Parish.
Ace of Cakes fans, prepare to be jealous! I met Duff Goldman while waiting in line for his carrot pancakes and gingerbread waffles.
Confession – After that last bite, I raided the Whole Foods bloody Mary bar for some celery, starting my much-needed detox following one of the country’s greatest food festivals: Feast Portland.
From one “Top Chef” to another, check out our tips on how to get onto Bravo’s popular show from one of the cheftestants himself, Ron Eyester: