June has arrived, and that means the Feast 2019 schedule is live and tickets are going fast. Some tickets literally disappear within minutes! Feast Portland is the biggest food and drink festival in the Pacific Northwest and highly anticipated by the food community in Portland and beyond. Feast is now in its eighth year and will be supporting Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon and Urban Gleaners once again. To date, Feast has raised over $450,000 to donate to charity partners thanks to everyone, from the organizers and attendees to the chefs and sponsors, that make Feast possible.
I’ve covered Feast for the past two years, and every year, I get messages asking which Feast events are suitable for vegans and vegetarians. So, let’s go over what you need to know about Feast Portland 2019, including the major changes to this year’s festival and my take on which events are best suited for veggie lovers.
This year, Feast kicks off on Thursday, September 12 and runs through Sunday, September 15. There are over 50 different events on the Feast schedule, including five main events, beverage tastings, fun-sized events, dinners, and classes.
Disclaimer: Since my readers are a mix of vegans, vegetarian, and veg-curious omnivores, I’m throwing in mentions of Feast Portland 2019 events that might be of interest to my audience. There is no guarantee that these events will have veg options, but here’s what caught my attention.
In the past, the Grand Tasting has been held at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Friday and Saturday. This year, Feast has renamed the Grand Tasting to The Big Feast and moved it to Tom McCall Waterfront Park (hello river views!) on Saturday and Sunday. Brunch Village will be held at Ecotrust’s new venue the Redd on Salmon Street. This year’s “versus” event is East Coast vs West Coast, Night Market continues its Asian-inspired street food theme, and Smoked will be channeling “Wet Hot American Summer”.
At Feast 2017 and 2018, I’ve enjoyed some tasty vegan dishes at the main events. It’s great to see omnivore chefs serve vegan items at a festival of this size. I’m all about progress, however small it may be. That said, I wouldn’t recommend buying a ticket to the main events if you’re strictly vegan. Vegetarian, maybe… if you’re willing to take your chances on what dishes will be served, but it is a pretty steep price tag.
I love living in a city with such an incredible drink culture! This year’s Drink Tank lineup includes sparkling wines, cannabis cocktails, rum, brut IPAs, tropical flavors, and wine cocktails. Umm, can I please attend every Drink Tank session? Vegans and vegetarians, these are perfect for you if you enjoy learning all about what you’re sipping.
There are two Fun-Sized Events that caught my eye: Late, Late Show: Noodles and Vegetables: A Love Story, Continued. My noodle loving heart is thrilled to see a noodle event on the schedule even though it’s likely to be veg-friendly. Ivan Orkin of Ivan Ramen and David Thompson of Aaharn join Portland chefs Kyo Koo of Danwei Canting, Andy Ricker of Pok Pok, and Tony Tien of Pho Kim for an evening of noods, noods, noods. Vegetables: A Love Story was a popular event in 2017, and now it’s back for round two! The all-star lineup includes Sara Hauman of Arden, Karl Holl of Spatzle and Speck, Reem Kassis of The Palestinian Table, Joshua McFadden of Ava Gene’s, Kasey Mills of Mediterranean Exploration Company, Sam Smith of Tusk, Michael Solomonov of Zahav, and Justin Woodward of OK Omens. It’s exciting to see vegetables front and center!
Feast dinners are a carefully curated and intimate experiences in food storytelling. Gregory Gourdet of Departure, Edouardo Jordan of Salare, Dolester Miles of Highlands Bar & Grill, and Kwame Onwachu of Kith/Kin are offering a one-of-a-kind collaborative dinner celebrating African cuisine. Feast is also bringing the Zero Proof dinner back for another year to support the need for balance and wellness in the food industry. The Zero Proof chef lineup includes Gregory Gourdet of Departure, Gina Helvie of Trinket, Matt Jennings of Full Heart Hospitality, Eric Joppie of Olymipia Provisions, Patrick McKee of Estes, Gabriel Rucker of Le Pigeon, Michael Solomonov of Zahav, and Callie Speer of Holy Roller.
Feast Portland’s hands on classes are a wonderful alternative to the typical festival experience. Some events that might be suitable for you, my dear veggie readers include: Chocolate on Chocolate with Cloudforest, Up Your Morning Coffee Game with Stumptown, New World, Old Wines: A Washington Wine Library Tasting, Shake Shoot Sip: Take the Best Cocktail Photo with Westward Whiskey, Market Cooking with David Tanis, History Bites, and Clear-Headed: Zero Proof Cocktails.
Which events are you most looking forward to at Feast Portland 2019? And did you manage to get in tickets in time?!