This September, Williams-Sonoma is headed to one of our favorite cities — Portland, Oregon — as a proud sponsor of the 2014 Feast Portland food and drink festival! To celebrate, we’re giving away a prize package of some of our favorite kitchen essentials from our new Open Kitchen Collection. The prize package includes:
- 10-Piece Open Kitchen Cookware Set
- Open Kitchen Cutlery Set
- Assorted Williams-Sonoma Open Kitchen Tools
- Open Kitchen Apron & Dishtowels
Feast Portland is the Pacific Northwest’s flagship food and drink festival, held September 18-21, 2014. Now in its third year, the party brings together leading chefs, artisans, farmers, winemakers, brewers and distillers from Oregon and beyond for one delicious weekend, with more than 35 events. The mission: to end childhood hunger in Oregon and across America by donating festival net proceeds to Share Our Strength and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.
This year’s talent will include local Portland chefs such as Jason French (Ned Ludd), Naomi Pomeroy (Beast) and Andy Ricker (Pok Pok), as well as visitors: Hugh Acheson (Empire State South), Dominique Crenn (Atelier Crenn), Paul Kahan (Avec) and Ari Taymor (Alma), among many others. From a kick-off sandwich invitational to a tasting of Oregon’s great bounty, events are everything from sit-down dinners, panels, hands-on classes to culinary demos and industry get-togethers.
In anticipation of the event, we talked to one of our favorite participating chefs, Paul Qui of Qui and East Side King in Austin. Along with Ben Jacobsen of Jacobsen Salt Co., Paul is headlining our own Open Kitchen Portland Feast Kick Off Party on Wednesday, September 17th at Jacobsen Salt Co. Here, we asked him all about his food, his philosophy, and where he’s looking forward to eating in Portland.
What’s your food philosophy? Can you describe the food you make?
I cook from a standpoint of curiosity and I let the ingredient dictate my inspiration.
How does your Filipino background influence your food?
It’s a strong source of inspiration. I love discovering flavors based on my childhood memories. Food has also allowed me to discover more of my Filipino heritage and its connection to the Americas and to Spain.
What about being in Austin — are there any native Texas ingredients or traditions that you’ve incorporated into your food?
Qui has been my gateway to discovering indigenous Texas ingredients. Smoke is definitely a strong Texas tradition that I’ve incorporated into my food.
What’s a favorite/signature dish of yours, or one that you’re especially proud of? What do you love about it?
Dinguan is a Filipino blood stew dish that I learned from my grandmother. I love this dish because it’s so Filipino: high acid, comforting and satisfying. This dish continues to evolve at Qui.
You’ve worked in restaurants and in food trucks — what do you like about each? Pros and cons?
I love the independent spirit of cooking in food trucks and I love the structured, controlled chaos in restaurants.
What attracted you to Feast? Why did you want to be a part of it?
Portland attracted me to Feast; food culture made me want to be a part of it.
What are you most excited about at the event this year?
What I’m most excited about is seeing PDX again.
What will you be making there?
Probably something Filipino inspired.
Whose food are you dying to try?
Naomi [Pomeroy] and Greg and Gabrielle [Denton].
Where do you want to eat while you’re in Portland?
Paul Qui photo credit: Eric Morales