The final big event of Feast Portland was High Comfort. Billed as "a showcase of comfort foods pushed out of their comfort zone and into an elevated and rarefied realm," I entered with a full stomach (after all, this followed on the footsteps of Feast Portland's Sandwich Invitational and the Night Market), but full of hopeful anticipation.
As with the previous events, High Comfort featured chefs local and from afar, and from restaurants that are long-established (Portland's Paley's Place) to brand new (Napa's The Thomas). With permission to experiment, some chefs went "simple" with upscale versions of potato pancakes and Oreo cookies. Others did dishes that delivered double-takes, like a breakfast cereal and noodles both made out of pork. And in an apparent thumbing of the nose to California, there was a lot of foie gras.
While there were food world celebrity sightings from Fergus Henderson to Jeffrey Steingarten to Chris Cosentino to Amanda Freitag, the night proved that comfort food, elevated or not, is delicious and appreciated by all.
About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.