Cowboys to Chefs – How Oregon’s Culinary Scene Stands Out from the Crowd!

By Eric Pateman, Edible Canada President & Founder

Providing the ultimate juxtaposition, in mid September, two of Oregon’s most beloved events take place 338km from each other. While only a one hour, twenty minute flight or a three and a half hour drive away, the two locales could not be more opposed.

Think cowboy hats and boots, quaint B&B’s, old school bars and diners, and lots and lots of cowboys and cowgirls who invade Pendleton, Oregon. Portland on the other hand drips with coffee bars, food trucks, strip clubs, and hipster chefs. Both have their place and offer fun and excitement, which in my mind rival Vegas and NYC but in very different ways – so why not take in the best of both in the ultimate Oregon road trip this fall!

In Pendleton, do not miss the famous Pendleton Round Up, which kicks off this year on Monday Sept 12th with the Banner Bank Pendleton PBR Classic. If you are a city boy like me, PBR probably does not mean anything…but once you attend, you will be forever a PBR convert!oregons culinary


Professional Bull Riding (PBR) is comparable to a mainstream rock concert in terms of energy and pyrotechnics. The cowboys who ride these bulls are some of the toughest athletes on the planet, and you will spend your night on the edge of your seat!

The whole town of Pendleton explodes for the weeklong celebration of rodeo and western culture. As a true city slicker, I felt like I was on a movie set with larger than life cowboys wandering around town, saloons serving up the locally produced Pendleton Whisky, and line ups out the door at legendary drinking establishments such as the Rainbow Café.

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Pendleton is not a very big town with a population of around 17,000 people, so when 50,000+ people show up in town for this celebration, you can imagine the scene it creates with sold out hotels and B&B’s and even a teepee village on the fairgrounds. A quick search reveals that very little in the way of traditional accommodation is left for this year, but AirBnB seems to have some good options available.

Happy Canyon Night Show

Do not forget to book your tickets ahead of time for the bull riding, the Happy Canyon Night Show (one of the most politically incorrect shows you can imagine that has not changed in decades), and the Round Up performances themselves. And be sure to also visit the World Famous Let’er Buck Room at the stadium, where they have to post signs reminding you to keep your clothes on (not that anyone observes the signs)!

I assure you – the trip to Pendleton will create memories you did not even know you wanted to have!!

Once you have soaked in the western culture, and assuming you still have the energy and liver capacity, it is time to head back towards the coast for FEAST Portland!

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For those of you who have followed our posts from the past, it is clear that this weekend is probably my culinary exclamation point for the whole year! This will be our 5th straight Feast Portland weekend and every year it gets better and better.

oregon food gastronomyWith signature events such as Smoked, the Night Market and the Sandwich Invitational returning again this year, there are so many ways to experience the best of Portland (and national) food culture with guest chefs visiting from far and wide.

New this year, which already has us setting our alarm to order tickets this morning are The Franklin BBQ event, which if you have not had Franklin BBQ, your life is not complete! This Texas BBQ had people almost weeping when they ran out last year…

Another new event that has us exercising our livers in practice already is Aperitifs Ascendant which will explore the world of Vermouth, QuinQuinas and other aperitif drinks!


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The full schedule for FEAST can be found here and tickets go on sale this morning (May 21) at 9am so do not delay – the top events will sell out quickly!

Our recommendation is to pick up THE PACKAGE – five main events in one and then build around those events with some of the smaller events that catch your eye.

Do not delay in getting online and booking your ultimate Oregon experience…be it a road trip across the state, a quick flight or just a long weekend in Portland – you need to join us!