There she goes again. Our upstart little sister city to the south has a book chronicling her food scene. The Mighty Gastropolis: Portland. Wow - so much confidence! To be honest, we're a little envious. Pok Pok, Le Pigeon, Olympic Provisions, Bunk Bar, Boke Bowl, and Beast are all names that have risen to top 10 lists and must-visit itineraries of foodies across the country. Those places and more on our list of favorites too, and that doesn't even include the dozens of food trucks that have been on Portland streets for over a decade. Portland is having its moment, and in this new guidebook/cookbook, longtime food writer Karen Brooks introduces you to the people behind the scenes, and foods in the spotlight.
The book is divided into chapters on Beastie Boys (the meat-centric chefs and artisans of Porklandia), Local Heroes (with farm-to-table favorites such as Matt Lightner of Castagna), the Asian Street Food Gang (including places like Pok Pok and food truck Nong's Khao Man Gai), Supper Club Renegades (highlighting chefs like Naomi Pomeroy), Food Cart Rebels (including The Big Egg and The Sugar Cube), and The New Pioneers (with the folks behind Olympic Provisions, Salt & Straw, and more).
Brooks has written a behind-the-scenes look at these trailblazers, trendsetters and renegades of Portland's food scene. Each chapter includes profiles of various chefs, the story of their culinary rise, and recipes for iconic dishes and unique eats. There's a pork belly Cubano sandwich from Tommy Habetz of Bunk, Hot Boke Sauce - the signature hot sauce from Patrick Fleming of Boke Bowl, Chocolate Caramel Potato Chip Cupcakes from Kir Jenson of food cart Sugar Cube, and more. Chefs have also added their culinary insights or mottos, like "pickle everything," from John Taboada of Navarre, or "pamper your meats," from John Gorman of Tasty N Sons.
Meet Karen Brooks at Book Larder on Friday, January 18for a free book signing event. She'll be signing books and talking about Portland's culinary scene from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Portland-inspired bites will be served.