Keep On Truckin’- Portland’s Portable Food Scene

Good morning, friends and neighbors.

Some time back, I asked a group of professionals what movies about kitchen life got it “right,” and which ones really REALLY got it wrong.

“Waiting” and “No Reservations” were among the “don’t mention that movie in my presence” list, but there was one movie that everyone- and I mean everyone- claimed hit the nail on the head: Jon Favreau’s 2014 father/son megahit, Chef.

Movie poster for

Whether it was the sweet story of a busy chef trying to keep a relationship with his son, that same chef bucking a demanding owner and going into business for himself, or just the gobs and GOBS of on-location foodporn, Chef struck a chord with every pro I met who’d seen it.

When my mother saw the movie for the first time, she said, “See Matt? That looks fun, and not that hard! You could do that!”

Thanks for the vote of confidence Mom, but as cool as it looks- running a food truck is NOT exactly the “easy mode” of the food world.

Continue reading

Dealing With Cravings

Good evening, friends and neighbors.

The bike ride to the cafe is only about 10 minutes on the way there, and 15 or so on the way back because of hills. There’s a certain part of it that I really enjoy- it’s when I

BAGEL.”

pass by Laurelhurst park. Sometimes I cut through and then I can ride a long-bomb hill right down to the

BAGEL WITH CREAM CHEESE AND LOX. AND CAPERS.”

cafe. It’s an exhilarating part of the morning. On Thursdays and Fridays, Chris the bread guy is on and usually leaves a freshly-made plain bagel on my work bench

YOU ARE MY GOD.

WHERE’S THE GODDAMN LOX. AND CAPERS.

F*&*ING TEASE.

… It’s a good way to get the day started.

Sesame bagel with lox, cream cheese, capers, red onion, and dill

Pic from MyJewishLearning.com

Continue reading

The BHB’s Favorite Non-Alcoholic Drinks

Good evening, friends and neighbors!

After last week… I suppose I should give the opposition equal time.

Realistically speaking, I’ve spent more years of my life (so far) NOT drinking alcohol, so you’d think I’d have more experience and opinions regarding sober solutions as opposed to potent potables.

Yes, “sober solutions” was a stretch. Sorry about that.

Anyway, here’s my list in no particular order, and reasons why.

Continue reading

An Open Letter To New Culinary Students, From Someone Only A Little Older Than You

Good evening, friends and neighbors.

With the coming of fall, a lot of new stuff arrives. Polos and t-shirts give way to sweaters and scarves. (I’ll turn in my hoodie when you take it off my corpse,) Lemonade becomes apple cider, Pumpkin Spice becomes a way of life, and of course, school starts. Which means a new batch of students will be starting in culinary schools across the country.

A year or so ago, I wrote this open letter to recent pastry grads. With all the articles and open letters floating around the internet written by older cooks and chefs, I realized that their message was all pretty much the same. Every one of those letters I read talked about how “kids these days have no motivation” and the industry was way harder back when they were starting, and you need a thick skin and so on and so on.

A lot of it was true, and had very valid advice- but the tone, in general, I found really down and grim. I figured I would write one that came from someone NOT with long years of experience, but was young enough to remember when he was a graduate. Someone who will tell you what the culinary industry is like NOW, not thirty years ago.

So if you’re a new culinary/pastry student (or thinking of becoming one), this is for you.

 

An old picture of the author, heavier with a black apron.

We all started somewhere…

Continue reading

A Song of Time and Sandwiches

Good evening, friends and neighbors!​When my mother came to visit from the East Coast this past week, her suitcase and two smallish bags had to pass under the paranoiac scrutiny of the TSA. One went unremarked, but the other immediately drew their ire- a small, heavy cooler bag with a pair of sandwiches.

According to my mother, the TSA agent removed the deli paper-wrapped logs.
“What are these?”
“A pair of subs for my son and his wife.”
Okay…. what, they don’t have Subway in Portland?”
“It’s not the same.”
… Okay. Here you go.”

Continue reading

There and Back Again

Good evening, friends and neighbors.

Emily and I stood in front of the sleek, modern apartment complex on St. James, our coats bundled up tight against the wind. It was carrying something beside freezing cold, though, and we wanted ALL of that. Greasy food, car exhaust, wet leaves, motion and attitude and frustration. The smells of home.
We were back in Philadelphia.

Picture

Photo from Wikipedia

Continue reading