Helen Raptis, Rick Taylor, Andy Carson, crabby remains, Byron and Helen
GETTING CRABBY: Last Friday was time for the 9th Annual Portland Seafood & Wine Festival which also meant it was time to get my mallet and bucket ready for the 2014 Celebrity Crab Cracking Competition. RingSide Fish House once again presented the fun for this annual event with support from the Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission, Although 2014 presents a game changer. The reigning champ, Portland Business Journal's Rob Smith, was promoted to co-host. There was a NEW champion in 2014.
And that champ? None other than KGW weather man, Nick Allard. Coming in a close second was KATU's Helen Raptis. After finished second for the last two years, I came in a disappointing fourth. But, hey there's always next year!
Nicky USA's Jace slices some meat, Travis and Ben from Jacobsen's Salt Co., Frank and Jacob from Welches
SMOKE 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM: Nicky USA's "Up In Smoke" event was a meat and greet of sorts. It was a chance to scarf up samples tests from their brand new line of jerky as well as porkstrami, beef bacon, ham and all sorts of smokey treats. The event was held on Tuesday from 4 to 6 pm at The Nicky USA Warehouse, perhaps the meatiest place in town. That's where I found out that Nicky's is now offering up camel meat (yes, camel) and I met the new guys behind the soon to open Bill The Butcher shops.
CELEB-U-WATCH: Yes, everyone knows that Jerry Seinfeld was in town on Friday to perform at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. But did you know where and what Jerry ate while he was in town? No? I didn't think so.
So I heard word that Jerry and fellow comic, Mario Joyner, as well as Jerry's manager were spotted on Friday at Lardo West in the heart of Portland's West District.
According to my spies, Jerry and his friends actually ordered food in Grassa but the place was so packed they had to grab their food and head over to the more spacious Lardo. For his meal Jerry had Grassa's carbonara and Mario and his manager had rigatoni with pork ragu.
CAP's Andrew Shayde, Thirst Fest's Skip Raddle, posters of the event, imbibers including Peter Parisot (right) at Local Lounge
GETTING THIRSTY? Thirst Fest is a spirits festival aimed at the LGBTQ community that will take place on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 7-8. Truth is, it's a great event for anybody: gay, straight or "whatever" ( I am talking to you Maria Bello).
The two day event will feature beverage sampling, cocktail competitions (of which I think I am judging) and a chance for our community to give feedback on just exactly we want in our cocktails.
To get the party rolling, a kick-off event was held on Thursday night at Local Lounge in Northeast Portland. Influencers and imbibers came together to get information (and drink samples) for the event that will benefit the Cascade AIDS Project.
Dinner at OMSI's Theory Restaurant, Sonali Shivdasani, Jane Smith, playing with fire and salt at OMSI
FOOD SCIENCE: To inaugurate OMSI's new restaurant, Theory, and it's new Food Luminary program, an incredible four-course dinner featuring Jenn Louis of Lincoln Restaurant and Sunshine Tavern was held on Wednesday evening.
The dinner was a pairing of cuisine and wine with science and was a night to see just exactly what Jenn and OMSI could do with salt, specifically Jacobsen Salt Co. salts. After apps of whipped chicken fat and puffy potato thingies, the meal included a cabbage salad, braised lamb neck, carrots with saffron and parsley, fried brussels sprouts, braised corona beans...and the best dessert I've ever had in my life: salted popcorn pana cotta with vanilla salt and salted fennel carmels. Heaven. And our dining companions were pretty cool too.