SATURDAY NIGHT'S ALL RIGHT FOR ELTON: When I asked a lady friend of mine what she thought the female equivalent of chubby and hairy gay dudes known as "bears" might be, all she said was: "lesbians." On Saturday night, at the Jupiter Hotel, the Oregon Bears hosted an "Elton John Tribute Night" to benefit Basic Rights Oregon and the Q Center featuring the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and about 10 different bands, including the always entertaining Sneakin' Out. Straight frat-looking-boys locked arms with drag queens who locked arms with bears who locked arms with hippie-girls as they all sang such songs as Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Daniel and other Elton John classics. It was a weird/kooky/incredibly entertaining night. Sir Elton would have loved it.
ALL THAT & ART TOO: PICA's Annual Gala, TADA, doesn't have quite the same vibe as its other big party—TBA—but it sure does pull out all the heavy hitters. Held in the bowels of the Bison Building (you would be hard pressed to find the remnants of the Red Dress Party held in the same space just a few days prior) the dinner soiree attracted many of Portland's most ardent supporters of performance art including Dan Wieden, Chris and Suze Riley and PICA's incredibly dedicated and well-dressed Executive Director, Victoria Frey (above right).
PARTY REPORT: As the IACP confab was starting to wind down, Friday night Willamette Valley Vineyards helped to wine it up as it hosted an extremely well-stocked late night party featuring rare sips of their best stuff deep in the bowels of the Hotel Vintage Plaza. And on Saturday night the IACP's Chef/Restaurateur of the Year Lisa Schroeder, hosted an even later shin-dig at Mother's Bistro for IACP volunteers that morphed into an impromptu dance/after-party once DJ Mumu turned up the tunes. Spotted in the crowd were IACP pretty boys Adam and Brad Farmerie(above), IACP presidentScott Givot (in yet one more fabulous outfit), StarChef's Editor Antoinette Bruno (in need of four AA batteries), and the chef with the most heavy-hitters to grace his space this week: Castagna's Matt Lightner.
PAPA BEARD: The legacy of Portland's most notable culinary native son,James Beard, was toasted on more than one occasion at the just-completed IACP confab. But it was away from the conference, at a super-exclusive Friday night soiree, where Beard's name was buzzed about the most by helping provide a bit more national exposure for the long-debated local public market that will bear his name: The James Beard Public Market. A select group of power players (including Portland developer "Pete" Mark and local politico Ron Paul) have their eye on building the market at the West end of the Morrison Bridge and saw IACP as the perfect way to capitalize on that idea. Joining local supporters at the Hotel Fifty within mere feet of the proposed site was author and editor (and frequent IACP party-girl) Judith Jones(above), a close friend of Beard, who shared memories of "Jim" talking about his love of food and life in Portland while posing for photos (right) with the book of another good friend she helped along the way, Julia Child.
GO-GO-GOURMANDS: When IACP co-chairKen Rubin was asked Thursday night, at a media mixer held at the Heathman Hotel, if he thought attendees at the culinary confab currently taking place in Portland were "hooking up" like others do at less food-obsessed conventions his reply was vintage Rubin: "Oh yeah, it's an international sex party." IACP President Scott Givot agreed: "it's a food orgy." Although the Heathman media event didn't quite live up to orgy status, the "secret midnight dinner" (aka the "late night reunion of Team Hebberoy") did. The super-exclusive very late supper (entrees didn't start coming out of the wood-fired oven until way after midnight) wasn't so much a return to Naomi Pomeroy and Michael Hebb former glories (it seemed like they barely noticed each other throughout the dinner), but it did include a sneak peek at the space where coffee roaster Caffe Vita is opening its upscale pizza joint Via Tribunali. It also featured a a couple of other cooks in the kitchen besides Hebb: Ned Ludd's Jason French (above right with music maker Alicia J. Rose and Naomi Pomeroy) and Spring Hill's Mark Fuller. Making the night even more complete were musical performances by Y La Bamba and Tahoe Jackson who brought the funk into the wee hours of the morn and turned the candle-lit dinner into a late-night dance party.