An Unforgettable 10-Course, 5-Hour Dinner at Feast Portland

One of the most fascinating aspects of last weekend’s spectacular Feast Portland festival was the Dinner Series and its intriguing teaming of chefs. Matthew Lightner (Atera) with Sean Brock (Husk and McGrady’s), for example. Or how about Jenn Louis (Lincoln and more) and April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig and more) with Hedy Goldsmith (Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink)?

I was most excited, though, to attend dinner by Inaki Aizpitarte and Daniel Patterson. I had a fabulous meal at Aizpitarte’s Le Chateaubriand in Paris last year, and the same at Patterson’s Plum in Oakland. (I’ve yet to try his Coi restaurant in San Francisco.) Working together, I knew their food would be inventive, and I was not disappointed.

The dinner menu listed ten courses, and the meal would run five hours. Wine pairings and wonderful company–some top names from the food industry–made the time fly by and provided resources to help figure out the rhyme and reason for the dishes.

What I like most about Aizpitarte and Patterson is that their food makes me think, with deliciousness a bonus. Sadly, lighting was low, making it a challenge to fully appreciate the colors and plating of the food, as well as to take quality photos. Still, I encourage you to check out the photos below for a look at the menu, dishes, and kitchen action. The dishes were like works of art, so I offer them to you with minimal explanation (little more than the chef’s descriptions) to allow your own interpretation.

Brown rice, crudite. A sure sign that this would be an interesting meal.

Leche del tigre ets fruits. I especially loved the tomatoes in this tiger’s milk.

Inverted fromage blanc tart, fennel, wheatgrass. Fascinating. Delicious.

Coquillages, palmier, beurre manzanilla. In the dark, this looked like a fur-ball.

Same dish, better revealed, though I’m still not sure of all the components. Shellfish for sure, including geoduck, and some sherry butter, I believe.

Start of chilled piquillo pepper soup, fresh and shelling beans, preserved lemon, roman mint.

The completed soup, deep in color and flavor.

Fish and chips, pilpil. Interesting play on this dish. The fish was black cod. I believe that’s beet powder (fun when spilled on a sweater) on the chips. Pilpil is a Basque sauce that’s an emulsion made with fish oils.

Emigh ranch lamb, chard leaves and stems, garum, rosemary. (Garum is an ancient Roman fermented fish sauce.) I loved the level of doneness on the meat.

Frozen Bearss lime marshmallow, coal-toasted meringue. Meticulous preparation, major wow factor. The texture and temperature were especially intriguing, and the taste was very refreshing.

Tocino de cielo means “bacon from heaven,” but no bacon in the spin of this flan-like dessert, which we were encouraged to eat in one bite.

Candied raspberries

The menu for the meal, chalked on a wall. (I didn’t see this until halfway through the dinner, or mistook it for class notes.)

The scene inside the kitchen, where Daniel Patterson (seen trying to cool off hot coal) and Inaki Aizpitarte (far left) did their magic.


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