Meaning of Feast: 2014
What does Feast mean to you? Does it mean celebration? Does it mean food? From the Grilled Quail with Celeriac & Szechuan Pepper by Anita Lo at Night Market to the Pain Perdue with Tomato and Anise by Kristen Murray at High Comfort to the Kim Chi Fried Rice by Eggslut LA at Brunch Village, Feast Portland 2014 was not only a meaningful showcase of culinary talent and community, but it was also a meaningful showcase of how personal food can be. If you caught Ruth Reichl wandering around Night Market (SHE WAS!) you could have stopped her (WE DID!) and talked to her for a while (*swoon*). Likewise, you could have stopped Gregory Gourdet from Departure and grilled him about Top Chef all in the same night. Or, watch a woman at the Bon Appétit dinner freak out that Aaron Silverman is actually preparing her oysters, as she opens the magazine to his picture, tosses it next to him and screams “THAT’S REALLY YOU!”
The food was amazing, but you know what made the food even more amazing? The people. Allthe people. From all the chefs to all the people attending, to the purveyors and artisans. You’d look around and all you would see is people, talking to other people and having conversations with each other, and they were brought together by that one dish.
They’re definitely onto something here in Portland. They’re breaking down the boundaries between the delicious dishes, the chefs that create them, and the people that enjoy them. What Feast then turns into is not only a celebration of food, but a festival where relationships are built and fostered through food. It’s a festival that brings people together and uses great food to create an open dialogue between chefs, the people attending, and local growers and artisans. The result is something only comparable to Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner, where the food just disappears and all you are left with are people you met and stories they shared.
So what does Feast mean to me? well after this past weekend, that’s an easy question to answer: Feast means Family.
I hope to see you all at the table again next year.