What happens when some of the best chefs in the country are instructed to make bite-sized portions of internationally-inspired street food? Feast Portland's Night Market. One of the marquee events of the festival, the open-air tasting event is an opportunity for a mix of chefs, both local (like Naomi Pomery of Beast and Expatriate) and national (hello, Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milkbar), to bring their take on street food to throngs of ravenous attendees. The smell of Pok Pok's mussel crepe sizzling on the grill and Antique Taco's chili cheese curds in the fryer filled the air, setting appetites aflutter.
Some restaurants served their signature dish, like Nong's Khao Man Gai—who folded their famous chicken and rice into adorable paper packets—and others invented new concepts just for the event, but almost everyone kept with the theme, drawing ideas from the late-night street food of Asia and Latin America. Fish sauce, kimchi, and pickled peppers were common themes, but each of the over 20 restaurants had a completely different spin—from squid ink ponzu sauce to kuri squash ice cream.
About the author: Naomi Bishop is a Seattle based food and travel writer. Find her wandering through words and worlds on her blog, TheGastroGnome, where she claims that being a GastroGnome is not about sitting idly on the front lawn of culinary cottages. Follow her explorations of cooking and culture around the world at @GastroGnome. Get restaurant suggestions and locate local eats in the Northwest from her app, Unique Eats of the Northwest.