Counting Down to Feast Portland: Cookbook Social

This post is part of my series “Counting Down to Feast Portland” where I talk about events I plan to attend as part of this 4 day food and drink festival September 19-22, 2013. Disclosure: I was granted a Bloggers Pass for Feast Portland 2013, and asked to help promote Feast but they did not require that I write this post and I am not otherwise being compensated.

Update – After attending the event, you can see my recap here of Feast Day 2

The Feast Cookbook Social is a free event with a suggested donation of $5 at the door. This is an event that takes place as part of Feast Portland on Friday, Sept 20th 2:00pm – 4:00pm at the Heathman Hotel, Broadway and Symphony Rooms.

Another Feast Free Event! Well, practically free. Consider attending the Cookbook Social to squee with me (my Bloggers Pass doesn’t get me anything special here, so I’ll be right in line with you trying not to be an awkward foodie dork). Get autographs on cookbooks and chat with some amazingly knowledgeable big names and niche experts of various facets of food, as well as support the Feast worthwhile charity partners focused on fighting hunger: Share Our Strength and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. There will also be light food and drink from Heathman Executive Chef Michael Stanton at the social in case you are feeling faint from being starstruck or need nourishment as you soak up the knowledge.

To give you a little bit of context, I pulled out a review quote for each of the authors/books and added them to the Lineup list I got from the Feast website. Hopefully, by sharing my homework with you, it will encourage you to check them out by giving you an introductory blurb about what their book covers, and the passion and expertise they are sharing with their book!

Description from the Feast website: Join your favorite cookbook authors, local and national, for this walk-around cookbook signing at the Heathman Hotel. Twenty writers will be waiting to chat with you at tables around the room, while Heathman Executive Chef Michael Stanton will provide light food and drink to refresh the conversation. Cookbook subjects range from sauces to the roots they’d dress, crackers to the school lunches they’d go in, and lox to the salt blocks it’s cured on (to name just a few). All cookbooks will be available for purchase to round out your collection! A suggested donation of $5 at the door, to be donated to Feast partner charities: Share Our Strength and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.

The Lineup

  • Mark Bitterman, Salt Block Cooking:: 70 Recipes for Grilling, Chilling, Searing, and Serving on Himalayan Salt Blocks and Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes
    • On Salted, the James Beard Award-winning book: “As the FDA considers lower salt standards for Americans, salt has never been a hotter chef’s ingredient. This is part cookbook (Roasted Peaches in Bourbon Syrup with Smoked Salt), part salt tract (positing “Five Rules of Strategic Salting),” part reference tome.” — Cooking Light, Favorite Cookbooks, 2010l
    • Check out Mark and salt here, in this video which shows only some of the 90 artisan salts The Meadow carries and you can see how he delights in teaching  how various salts impart a unique addition and open up food in a new and different way – they can be a game changer in a dish’s taste profile.
  • Karen Brooks, The Mighty Gastropolis: Portland: A Journey Through the Center of America’s Food Revolution
    • “Street food capital of the world, home of ethical eaters, dreamers in a strange food landscape, Portland is the crucible of new American cooking. If you’re curious about why we’re eating the way we do – and how we’ll be eating tomorrow – you need to read this book. Passionate, powerful and filled with recipes that make you very, very hungry, The Mighty Gastropolis is a celebration of America’s most interesting food city.” – Ruth Reichl
    • I also embedded a video from her TED talk in my previous post on the Feast Speaker Series
  • Lucy Burningham and Ellee Thalheimer, Hop in the Saddle: A Guide to Portland’s Craft Beer Scene, by Bike
    • “In a town bursting with bikes and beer, no one knows more about both scenes than writer Lucy Burningham. With her vast knowledge and experience surrounding the artisan bike culture and booming beer scene, Lucy has sipped, supped, and cycled her way around Portland for years, noting her favorite meals, beers, and bike paths along the way. Ride with Lucy and Ellee as they navigate you through the city’s best of the best in this guide to Portland’s food, drink, and cycle culture.” — Megan Flynn, editor/publisher, Beer West magazine
  • Kyra Bussanich, Sweet Cravings: 50 Seductive Desserts for a Gluten-Free Lifestyle
    • The first gluten-free baker to win the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars (and she’s won twice!) shares her indulgent recipes for cakes, muffins, scones, cookies, brownies, cobblers, buckles, tarts, and more. “When Kyra won her episode of Cupcake Wars, she amazed me with her baking technique and flawless execution. I am now convinced that prepared the right way, gluten-free baking can produce a most delectable result, and Kyra’s book is a perfect introduction.” — Florian Bellanger, founder, Mad Mac NYC, and judge, Food Network’s Cupcake Wars
    • Check out Kyra making one of her gluten free cupcakes in this video! Note that although the video shows the name Crave Bakery,  she renamed it to Kyra’s Bake Shop earlier this year.
  • Sasha Davies, The Cheesemaker’s Apprentice: An Insider’s Guide to the Art and Craft of Homemade Artisan Cheese, Taught by the Masters
    • from the book description: Pick up the fundamentals of cheese making, and then gain behind-the-scenes insight from 19 interviews with industry experts. All the basics you need to get started, 16 illustrated, step-by-step recipes for fresh cheese, washed curd, grana-style, blue cheese, and more—that will build your skills. Tricks of the trade from experts on mozzarella, Cheddar, Comté, Parmigiano Reggiano, Stilton, and more. Also tips on selecting, handling, storing, tasting, and pairing cheese
  • Ken Forkish, Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza
    • “Owner of Ken’s Artisan Pizza and Ken’s Artisan Bakery in Portland, Ore., Forkish begins by telling of the trials and tribulations of opening up shop (people didn’t want to pay $2.50 for a cup of herbal tea). Divided into four sections (“The Principles of Artisan Bread,” “Basic Bread Recipes,” “Levain Bread Recipes,” and “Pizza Recipes”), with recipes broken down by breads made with store-bought yeast, breads made with long-fermented simple doughs, and doughs made with pre-ferments, the book presents recipes accessible to novices, while providing a different approach for making dough to experienced bakers. Plenty of step-by-step photographs, along with a chapter outlining “Great Details for Bread and Pizza,” make this slim work a rival to any bread-baking tome. A variety of pizza recipes, including sweet potato and pear pizza and golden beets and duck breast “prosciutto” pizza, (along with an Oregon hazelnut butter cookie recipe), end the title and inspire readers to put on the apron and get out the flour.” — Publishers Weekly
    • Check out Ken providing an introduction to this book in this video
  • John Holl, The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes from Your Favorite Brewpubs and Breweries
    • “Not every recipe in the book is made with beer, but they all taste great when paired with beer — and isn’t that the important part? The American Craft Beer Cookbook: 155 Recipes from Your Favorite Brewpubs and Breweries offers up instructions on how to cook everything from appetizers to desserts, including some stuff you’d expect — like pub-friendly foods and barbecue — to some you wouldn’t — like cupcakes and ice cream floats. But hey, it’s all beer-friendly, so it’s all good.” –
  • Martha Holmberg, Modern Sauces: More than 150 Recipes for Every Cook, Every Day
    • “Modern Sauces is my favorite book this year. It is destined to be a classic reference for the rest of my cooking life, on one of the most valuable but least understood facets of cooking: sauces. Martha Holmberg brings great intelligence and lucid writing and instructions to the important craft of sauces. She is both respectful of and illuminating about classic sauces, innovative in her thinking about contemporary sauces, and practical in terms of everyday cooking. This is a great book.” – Michael Ruhlman
    • Martha in this video prepares  pork tenderloin with orange-rosemary balsamic butter sauce
  • Makini Howell, Plum: Gratifying Vegan Dishes from Seattle’s Plum Bistro
    • “The vegan chef makes it look easy, with chapters on replacements for conventional staples (egg foam, anyone?), a helpful dissection of meat substitutes, and even a few mostly raw dishes for those in transition. Highlights: tostadas with spicy strawberry avocado relish, and balsamic tofu with white bean sauce and agave pumpkins. Most recipes are soy and/or gluten free and definitely aren’t all broccoli and turnips; expect recipes for sinful—yet morally sound—treats like tiramisu pancakes and tempeh vermouth.” — Seattle Metropolitan
    • Check out an overview of Plum Bistro with Makini in this video:
  • Ellen Jackson, The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook and The Grand Central Baking Book
    • With over 115 original recipes from over 115 of America’s best chefs, Ellen worked with the 115 of America’s Best chefs offering 115 recipes in The Chefs Collaborative Cookbook celebrates that revolution and translates the tenets of sustainable food production into actual recipes that most any home cook can prepare. Meanwhile, she worked with Piper Davis to author the Grand Central Baking Book which offers 85 recipes from the great Grand Central Bakery but scaled for the home baker.
  • Leslie Mackie, More from Macrina: New Favorites from Seattle’s Popular Neighborhood Bakery
    • “More than a follow-up to the original Macrina cookbook, this inspiring hardcover features recipes for the artisan loaves, rich brioches, and enticing pastries that have been added to the bakery shelves in the years since the first cookbook was published, as well as profiles of the people, providers, and philosophies that make Macrina so beloved in Seattle. There are also savories like breakfast hash and BLTs.” – The Seattle Times
  • Ivy Manning, Crackers & Dips: More than 50 Handmade Snacks
    • “Happy Hour – brunch, snacks and picnics – will never be the same. Ivy Manning has given us a new reason to head to the kitchen and a new treat to love: homemade crackers and great dips. Move over chips, there’s a new kid on the block!” — Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table
    • Here’s a video clip of Ivy demonstrating making homemade crackers and spread
  • Domenica Marchetti, The Glorious Vegetables of Italy
    • “The Glorious Vegetables of Italy–glorious indeed! Domenica Marchetti reveals the last, great secret of the Italian kitchen: the abundance and staggering variety of vegetable dishes that Italians enjoy on a daily basis. What’s secret? The recipes are not from limited restaurant menus, but from la cucina, the home kitchen. Tha”s where the chickpea, eggplant, fennel and radicchio reign. Domenica, at home in the tradition, reveals all: lore, history, tips, and, best of all, a thousand thrilling tastes from the garden that is Italy.” – Frances Mayes, author of seven books on Italy, including Under the Tuscan Sun”
  • Diane Morgan, Roots: The Definitive Compendium with More than 225 Recipes
    • ” . . . that is what a cookbook should be: a guidebook, a resource.. The kind of thing you can go to again and again and again. Not because you loved one recipe, but because no matter how many times you read it, you’ll always learn something new. That is what I discovered in Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes . . . it hit all of my cookbook expectations. It’s a resource (and a good one at that), the photos are beautiful but the recipes aren’t over dominated by them, the story is personal, and in reading it, you get a lesson in food. For example, I had no idea that carrots are believed to have originated in Afghanistan.” – Anna Brones, Huffington Post
    • Check out Diane working in this video with celery root
  • Gabe Rucker, Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird (book would have been just released a few days earlier/Sept 17!)
    • “The stories are engaging, the recipes are complicated enough to be fun but not so tricky as to be unattainable, and the photography is well done but not fussy. It is the only cookbook I can think of that contains photos of dishes being prepared on an electric stove… The book also puts a healthy emphasis on drink pairings, with GM Andy Fortgang offering ‘Pigeon Pours’ for many recipes. ” – Paula Jones,
    • Hm, celery root is apparently popular- here is Gabe making BBQ celery root with mâche and Dulce de Bourgogne in the Le Pigeon kitchen (same recipe I witnessed him demo at Bite of Oregon!)
  • Allen Salkin, signing postcards for forthcoming title
    • Allen Salkin is a hilarious guy. I’m not sure why they are being coy on the Feast website about the forthcoming title, which is From Scratch: Inside the Food Network. The book comes out in October, and promises to be a dramatic inside look of the inception of the Food Network and the various adventures of trying to mix the creative freedom inherent in those creating food and the hard line of the business of a network channel.
  • Andrea Slonecker, Pretzel Making at Home
    • “Here’s a new twist on an old favorite: pretzels warm from the oven. DIY bakers can make their own crunchy, chewy, savory, or sweet artisan pretzels with this collection of 50 recipes that imagines every way to shape, fill, and top them. Here are the traditional versions as well as novel creations such as Philly cheesesteak pretzel pockets and fried pretzel with cinnamon sugar. More substantial dishes like wild mushroom and chestnut pretzel stuffing, and pretzel bread pudding with caramel sauce elevate the humble pretzel to dinner-table fare as this tantalizing cookbook takes a cherished everyday snack to the next level of culinary creativity.” – book description
    • Check out Andrea making classic fresh soft German  pretzels here in this video:
  • Joe YonanEat Your Vegetables, Bold Recipes for the Single Cook
    • A collection of eclectic vegetarian and vegan recipes for singles as well as lone vegetarians in meat-eating households, so note the recipes are all meatless. “As more and more people embrace vegetable-heavy diets, the need for a primer on these wildly varying foods is great. … Recipes are designed to feed one but are easily doubled or can serve nicely as a side dish if desired. The greatly appealing dishes in this collection open up a whole new culinary world for veggie lovers.” – Publishers Weekly
    • Check out Joe doing one of the dishes from his cookbook, sweet potato soup with orange and smoky pecans
  • Michael Zusman and Nick Zukin, The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home (book would was just released on Sept 3!)
    • “Nick Zukin and Michael C. Zusman have written a cookbook that allows delicatessen enthusiasts to make their favorite deli dishes at home. Making your own knishes? No problem. Rustle up your own pickles? Bring it on. Michael and Nick manage to make deli food simultaneously contemporary and timeless, which is no easy feat. If reading The Artisan Jewish Deli at Home doesn’t make you hungry, you’ve never rhapsodized over a pastrami sandwich or driven a hundred miles for a transcendent plate of latkes. If my grandmother, the greatest Jewish deli–style cook I’ve ever known, were alive she’d be kvelling over this book.” – Ed Levine, founder of

I hope to see you at the Cookbook Social. Who are you looking forward to meeting?

Previously: I highlighted the Oregon Bounty Grand Tasting food festival scheduled for Sept 20 and 21 and also of my excitement for the Sandwich Invitational on Sept 19. I also described the Best Butcher and Fishmonger Face Off free event, and how I am so looking forward to my big splurge of the festival, High Comfort at the Nines, both are on Sept 21. I also highlighted a few interesting panels from the Speaker Series.

Disclosure: I was granted a Bloggers Pass for Feast Portland 2013, and asked to help promote Feast but they did not require that I write this post and I am not otherwise being compensated. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are entirely my own, and I will always provide my honest opinion and assessment of all products and experiences regardless of whether they were complimentary or not.



  1. This is such a great post! Thanks for putting it together! Been meaning to buy Ken Forkish’s book for my husband… It would be perfect o have it signed 🙂

  2. What a fun event! I may see if I can attend! I was glad to see Ivy included! I’ve known her since her Whole Foods days and even had her to my house once for a cooking class!

    • How cool that you know Ivy! The ideas she has for making unique crackers so I don’t have to settle for the packages in the store is a little work in making the crackers but really adds a lot of flavor and flexibility in an impressive way!

  3. Oh my gosh… so much fun! Seriously, I am going to FEAST and I still haven’t sussed out the schedule because there is SO MUCH TO DO! This may have to be added to my must do list though!

    • It really is a bit overwhelming with all the options that I wish I could ALL attend, and it keeps getting harder as new options are getting announced! It’s going to be such an incredible 4 days! I’m sure I’ll run into you a few times- writing these posts is my homework every week to try to get myself to plan accordingly. I can’t believe it’s just a little over a week away!

  4. Wow! That sounds like a great event! I can’t believe how many author/chefs will be there!

  5. There’s an entertaining short video intro to Kyra Bussanich’s just-released book, “Sweet Cravings”, at

  6. Peter Robe says:

    As of Nov 9, Kyra Bussanich is now a THREE-time winner of the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars! And still the only gluten-free winner ever.

    Her book, “Sweet Cravings”, has great, delicious, creative treats, many of them really easy to make (thank goodness for me).

    And I found a fun, short video intro to her book at


  1. […] Other affordable events to consider include the Speaker Panel Series where each event is $10, the Cookbook Social that is free/suggested donation of $5, or the free Whole Foods Best Butcher Contest/Fishmonger […]

  2. […] (free/$5 donation)- for a list of the various authors attending and what they wrote, check out my cookbook lineup homework here), the Whole Foods Best Butcher Contest and Fishmonger Faceoff (free!), High Comfort at the […]

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