Have arrived in Portland, Oregon for the IACP (International association of culinary professionals) conference, an annual event which has about 1,000 attendees who visit local food interests, gather for classes and lectures from noted colleagues, and gather to celebrate the cookbook awards on Thursday. Portland is a fantastic food town with phenomenal local resources. Lunch at Higgin's included these tiny shrimp above are known as Oregon Bay shrimp and are a seasonal delicacy--here paired with basmati rice cakes, baby carrots, ginger and cilantro--so fresh and delicious. Dessert, a rhubarb crisp with hazelnuts and oats (all seasonal and locally grown) was gobbled before it could be photo'd. I first met chef Greg Higgins at a seafood conference almost 10 years ago where he was on the forefront of teaching us about species in peril and the responsible eating of our oceans precious resources. His food is impeccably rendered, nothing snooty or over the top--just perfect ingredients that he lets sing on the plate.
The pork is pork collar--braised in chili's along side spring vegetables--also delicious. I will definitely get my fair share of eats while here and no doubt learn many new ideas about food and what the state of the food nation is in. Meanwhile--I must rest up to side step jet leg and prepare for tonight's meal at Le Pigeon, hosted by Artisan, my publisher who proudly has 4 books up for nomination: The Seven Fires by Frances Mallman (superb grilling, simple recipes exciting combo's from Argentian and Uraguay), Ad Hoc At Home by Thomas Kellar (comfort food from America's greatest chef) and Bottega Favorita by Frank Stitt (Italin food interpreted from a southern gentleman's perfect relationship with his produce) AND, yours, Mad Hungry--the little cousin to these heavy hitting books.
I'll keep you posted on the happenings!