For those of you who have not been, Feast Portland is the ultimate weekend of excess – food, drinks, parties and never enough hours in the day to see everything the festival or Portland itself has to offer. With only one month until the 5th annual festival kicks off, we wanted to share our picks of the top events as well as some tips on how to enjoy the weekend to its fullest, given our four years of experience!
Dinner Series – These offsite events held in many of Portland’s finest rooms where local chefs collaborate with chefs from across the nation prove to be the hottest tickets and rightfully so as everyone always seems to go above and beyond to showcase the best of the region!
Marquee Events – The Sandwich Invitational, Grand Tasting and Night Market are always busy and bustling with new dishes and inventive beverages to try but the highlight from Feast 2015 was an event called Smoked! which is back again for 2016. It is similar to the Brewery & the Beast events held up in Canada, but a little more intimate and with some seriously killer cocktails! This event is a MUST GO!
Drink Tank & Hands On Events – unlike many festivals you may have attended, the learning sessions at Feast have always managed to provide new and fun information with top local and national professionals. We always come away learning something and considering we eat, sleep and breath this kind of thing, that is amazing!
TIPS AND TRICKS
After 4 years of learning how to navigate (and in some cases survive) FEAST and ensure it is enjoyable from start to finish, here is some sound advice:
- Haven’t booked your accommodations? Do it NOW! By the start of Feast 2015, rooms were up to $700 a night as the city fills up for this fun weekend! A quick check on Kayak.com reveals that even a year out, rooms at some of the better hotels are already $300+ a night and sure to climb quickly as demand increases. If you want a deal, stay outside the city center and use Uber to get around! Our picks for top hotels include The Nines for opulence, Hotel Rose for a great location, and Eastlund Hotel for a boutique hotel that offers great value on the East side.
- Pace yourself – do not sign up for EVERYTHING – you will not survive! And this is spoken by someone who has tried and even gone to 20 restaurants in a single day! Pick and choose one or two key events a day that appeal to you and then use the rest of the day for naps, exercise, shopping or to explore the other parts of Portland.
- Go early – try and be close to the front of the line when you get into main events as line ups build quickly and tables tend to fill up, so the earlier you are, the better it gets!
- Go with a group, grab a table, and have a picnic – with so many stations, divide and conquer…have one person man a table and have everyone else spread out and grab food and drinks and bring them back to the table to share after. This was a new technique we learned last year and it worked incredibly well!
- Network – when you arrive early, you also get a chance to network more. Chat with chefs, media reps, other attendees. There are many “after parties” that take place in Portland this weekend, some are private, ticketed events but many are not, so get the scoop on where to go late into the evenings!
- Drink LOTS of water – with all of the food and beverages this goes without saying, but as a rule of thumb, always leave at least two liters of water on your bedside to consume before you turn in each evening (or morning); it makes the next day way more pleasant!
We’re sure this year will be an over-the-top 5th Birthday bash weekend, with even more favourite events to report back on! We can’t wait to eat, drink, and party with you at Feast Portland 2016; see you there!