Last evening Feast Portland officially kicked off with its Sandwich Invitational held once again at Director Park. Prior to the start Portland was receiving some sporadic rain showers but once the event’s gates opened the skies cleared up and presented the sold out crowd with a dry, fun filled evening in the open air underneath the new Park Avenue West Tower.
Sponsored by Widmer Brothers Brewing, the Sandwich Invitational featured 15 chefs from across America competing on the best sandwich voted by both the people and a panel of judges that featured local brewing legend Rob Widmer. The 15 chefs and restaurants eyeing the coveted Champion and People’s Choice Award were the following:
Nick Anderer, Maialino (New York, NY)
Aaron Barnett, St. Jack (Portland, OR)
Alvin Cailan, Eggslut (Los Angeles, CA)
Elias Cairo, Olympia Provisions (Portland, OR)
Aaron Franklin, Franklin Barbecue (Austin, TX)
Duff Goldman, Charm City Cakes (Los Angeles, CA)
Gregory Gourdet, Departure (Portland, OR)
Tim Healea, Little T Baker (Portland, OR)
Steve McHugh, Cured (San Antonio, TX)
Harold Moore, Harold’s Meat + 3 (New York, NY)
Vitaly Paley, Imperial (Portland, OR)
BJ Smith, Smokehouse Tavern (Portland , OR)
Scott Snyder, Levant (Portland, OR)
John Stewart, Meat Cheese Bread (Portland, OR)
Justin Wills, Restaurant Beck (Depoe Bay, OR)
After sampling sandwich bites from many of these chefs all were quite amazing. Some of our top favorites were ones from Imperial, Harold’s Meat +3, Restaurant Beck, Olympia Provisions, Departure and Eggslut. However all 15 could not go home with a trophy. This distinction was awarded to two sandwich makers. The People’s Choice Award went to Vitaly Paley at Imperial and the the judges’ Champion to Gregory Gourdet at Departure.
The Champion of the event, Departure, featured its BBQ Pork Crepe. Imperial featured its Fry Bread Tacos and if you want to try this swing by Portland Penny Diner next Monday through Friday starting at 4:00pm each day.
Also featured at Feast Portland’s Sandwich Invitational were the four collaboration beers from Widmer and four chefs. Two of the collaborating partners were featured at the Sandwich Invitational with both Franklin Barbecue and Stumptown Coffee Roasters. However all four of these beers and a few others were pouring at last night’s event. The four collaboration beers brewed specifically for Feast Portland, include:
Rauch und Kirschen: Collaborator Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue smoked 10 pounds of cherries to make this Helles Lager. 5% ABV / IBU 14
El Injerto Coffee Pale: Created with Stumptown Coffee Roasters, which added Guatemalan Finca el Injerto Bourbon coffee to this rich, roasted American-style pale ale. 5.5% ABV / 48 IBU
Som O Grapefruit Radler: Created in collaboration with Andy Ricker of Pok Pok, whose Grapefruit Som Drinking Vinegar was used to create this innovative radler with a Helles Lager base. 3.5% ABV / IBU 10
Missing Legs Saison: Prosciutto di Parma USA collaborated with Widmer Brothers to make this Belgian-style farmhouse ale brewed with Grains of Paradise. 6.5% ABV / 24 IBU
Look for these Widmer beers at many of the Feast events throughout the rest of the weekend as Feast Portland continues through Sunday, September 20. Here are more photos from Feast Portland Sandwich Invitational.
D.J. is a Portland, Oregon based writer that spent his formative years in the Midwest. With over 20 years under his belt of drinking beer at festivals across America and the world, he has developed a strong appreciation and understanding of craft beer and the industry that surrounds it. He can be found in any of the great breweries or beer bars that make Portland the best beer city in the world. His writing can also be found in Northwest Brewing News and can be followed on Twitter at @hopapalooza.