Pigging out in Portland

Despite only living 6 hours north of Portland, I’ve never really had the chance to visit. The city is known for its art scene, food, coffee, and craft beers. I’m not sure why I didn’t visit more often! 

Last week, I was invited by Travel Portland to experience their Portland dining month, where more than 120 restaurants offer 3 course menus for $29. I couldn’t be more excited to come, especially in the spring. There were so many on the list to choose from. Luckily, I had the help of the wonderful instagram community and different zine guides for coffee, donuts, beers, anything!. Here are some of the highlights of the trip. 

stumptown coffee at the Ace Hotel

Clyde Common

Well, no trip to Portland is complete without a visit to the iconic Ace Hotel, and having a coffee from Stumptown Roasters. After enjoying my coffee, I headed over to Clyde Common for my first dining month experience. The main course, a preserved ramp butter risotto with chili oil and chicken chicharrones, was to die for! Clyde also has a great cocktail program. With great coffee, food, and cocktail attached to the hotel, I didn’t think it could get any better. 

a walk around the Pearl district

cocktails at interurban

We crossed over to the Northeast, to Interurban, for a happy hour cocktail. One thing I was already noticing about Portland is how nicely the restaurant interior design is. Interurban is rustic, comfortable, and serves well balance, creative cocktails.  

courier coffee and blue star donuts

Following suggestions from the coffee zine, we ended up at Courier coffee. Portland has no shortage of great coffee, and friendly baristas. After coffee, we had a craving for sweets, thankfully we found Blue Star donuts from the Donutocalypse zine and headed right over. 

According to Saveur magazine, Olympia Provisions makes one of the finest charcuteries and I couldn’t agree more. They have a salami of the month club, which I would totally sign up for if I lived in Portland!  

Before my trip to Portland, everybody told me I had to come to Kachka. Admittedly, I’ve never been to a Russian restaurant. Kachka really blew my mind. All the dishes were so simple and comforting. I pictured them being made by a sweet, Russian grandmother. They also just released their own horseradish vodka. Isn’t the label just the cutest? 

Portland dining month was such a great way to have a taste of the diverse restaurant options the city has to offer. Thank you Travel Portland for having me! 

Roadtrip to the Alps!

Last week, I went on a food-filled trip to Chamonix with Infiniti Europe. We took an early flight to Switzerland then hopped into the Infiniti QX70 for a scenic drive to Chamonix. 

walking in winter wonderland

As we headed up to higher altitudes, snow began falling on our windshield, and we were surrounded by mountains covered in snow. I was giddy with excitement. 

cuddling lamb at Les Houches farm

Our first stop was Les Houches farm, where we tasted the best of local bread, cheese, charcuterie, paired with homemade bread. My favorite way to get to know a region is through its cuisine. Haute- Savoie was definitely winning me over.

cooking lesson with Chef Simone Zanoni

snacking on charcuterie by the fire

Just when we thought things couldn’t get any better, we had a cooking lesson by Michelin star chef Simone Zanoni. We prepared a regionally inspired menu with chef: Jerusalem artichoke, chestnut soup with black truffle, pumpkin and sage tortellini, and a white chocolate panna cotta with meringues. I never thought I would be able to make these dishes, but chef made everything seem easy and fun! Now I can roll a mean tortellini! 

In the evening we enjoyed the fruits of our labor, then rolled myself to my chalet at Les Chalets de Phillippe. Though the trip was short, it was full of good peeps, good food, and lots of fun. Thanks Inifiniti for having me along! And to Marissa of Rue Rodier for being my model!

A Food Photography & Styling Workshop in Paris

Well, that’s a wrap! Last weekend, Gabriel of The Artful Desperado and I hosted our first Food Photography & Styling workshop together in Paris, and we had the best time. I felt like we lucked out and had the most amazing attendees who made the experience exceptionally awesome. Not to mention, we were able to host in a beautiful, elegant apartment in our favorite neighborhood, the Marais, thanks to Apartments Actually. If you’re looking for a place to stay for your next trip to Paris, check out some of their gorgeous apartments.

In the 2 days, we cooked, styled, and photographed everything from pastries, cocktails, to a Sunday feast, with a field trip to the Bastille market and lunch at a nearby bistrot, La Pharmacie. We discussed how to control natural light, some tricks of the trade with food styling, and how to plan a photo shoot from start to finish. It was an action packed weekend! 

Gabriel and I kept forgetting to stop and take pictures but here are some images from the workshop: 

Big thanks to our students for the memorable weekend, and to my partner, the talented Gabriel, who poured his heart and soul into this workshop. He’s not only a talented photographer & stylist but a great teacher and friend. I loved working with him and look forward to taking the show on the road together. 

We’ve just announced our upcoming workshop in the picturesque region of Puglia, Italy. We’ll be joined by natural foods chef Jodi of What’s Cooking Good Looking and photographer Jennifer Chase for a recipe development, photography, and styling workshop. It will take place at a rustic farmhouse surrounded by olive groves and vineyards in the Italian countryside. We’ll be chartering a boat and sailing to a hidden cove for a picnic of our dreams. For more information and registration details, check out http://whatscookinginpuglia.bigcartel.com/puglia-workshop. Space is limited, hope to see you there!

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