In late September Tillamook was a sponsor of Feast Portland, the first large scale epicurean event the city has seen. There were many other local companies like Jacobsen Salt, Widmer Brother’s, Moonstruck Chocolates and Portland Creamery (Goat Cheese). There were also a number of large profile chefs who attended this inaugural event. From Chef Amanda Freitag to Brad Farmerie to Chef Duff Goldman, they came out in force to enjoy a beautiful fall weekend in Portland. If you didn’t have a chance to go this year, this Eater article has all the information you need (as if you needed any) to help you make your decision to go next year! Because, YES, there will be another Feast!! 2013 is already on the calendar and we can’t wait to see what amazing things co-founders Mike Thelin and Carrie Welch have in store. If you can go, what are you most excited about?
The year is 2012. The place is Portland, OR. The venue is Feast. All of the world’s top culinary stars our out to shine on our humble and ‘weird’ city. They are here to experience Portland – a mystical place to those who don’t know it. You recycle? You grow your own vegetables? You know your chicken’s name before you eat it (ok, that doesn’t really happen)? They come to see what all the fuss is about. They will leave knowing exactly what the fuss is all about!
We were very fortunate to partner with Mike Thelin, Carrie Welch and their incredible staff at Feast to not only be involved, but to work with them to give a once-in-a-lifetime experience – the kind only Portland can offer! Tillamook, being the cheese-nerds that we are, couldn’t just hand out samples. Yes, we wanted to hand out samples, but we couldn’t just stop there. The next logical choice was, of course, grilled cheese sandwiches. But how do we make grilled cheese sandwiches that are perfectly crisp on the outside and perfectly gooey on the inside and get them to people who are all over the city at food parties? With phones of course.
Flip-phones to be exact! We handed out 200 flip-phones to super fans, chefs, writers, and generally, people who looked interested. The phone’s sole purpose was ordering a grilled cheese sandwich from Tillamook between midnight and 3am – just when you need it most! As soon as the order came through, our chefs went to work and made some pretty yummy combinations (think Apple Cinnamon and Vintage White Medium Cheddar, Bacon Waffle with Medium Cheddar and Tarragon Zucchini with Medium Cheddar and Pepper Jack).
At first people didn’t believe that we would actually deliver the sandwiches, thinking that it was just a marketing thing. But then, we did! We hand-made and delivered – in our yum bus – over 100 sandwiches in two nights! The smiles on people’s faces when they got their sandwich after a long day of cooking or eventing or twittering, were priceless and validated just how much we love our jobs! The last thing we did, because we couldn’t just throw the phones out, was ask the recipients of the phones to leave them with the front desk at their hotels. We then donated the phones to a local charity.
The year is now 2013. The place is still Portland, OR. The venue is still Feast. All of the world’s top culinary stars will be out to shine – won’t you please join them!? We’ll be there to meet you…You won’t regret it!