Friday, August 19, 2011

Livin' in the Blurbs: Challenge, Celebrate, Win!

There's nothing like watching chefs go toque-to-toque for culinary supremacy as evidenced by the popularity of Iron Chef and its ilk. But if you've never seen a live version of this food fight, get yourself down to Pioneer Courthouse Square on Monday, Aug. 22, for the Country Chef Challenge at the Portland Farmers' Market. The throw-down for three of Portland's premier chefs, Anthony "Kid" Cafiero, Jason "Roundhouse" French and Cathy "Rabbit Punch" Whims, is to shop the market in 30 minutes for ingredients to make a dish of their choice, then to make that dish within 30 minutes. The top prize for best dish will be awarded by a panel of celebrity judges, and visitors will get reusable canvas bags and a chance to win a $100 gift card to each of the competing chefs’ restaurants. So do you think the tomato logo looks more like French or Cafiero? (Just asking.)

Details: Country Financial Country Chef Challenge. Mon., Aug. 22, 11:30 am-1 pm; free. Portland Farmers' Market at Pioneer Courthouse Square, SW Broadway & Morrison St. 503-241-0032.

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Hillsdale Main Street was founded to  rejuvenate and invigorate Southwest Portland's Hillsdale community, and it's throwing a giant Paella Party to celebrate the neighborhood's awesomeness. Not coincidentally, it's also going to be the largest paella ever made in Oregon, with the traditional Valencian dish of rice, saffron, meats and vegetables cooked in a five foot wide paella pan that will serve 300. Chef Ted Coonfield has primary responsibility for pulling off this culinary feat, but preparing a monster like this is more than one man can handle, so he's enlisted the aid of his pals Greg Higgins of Higgins Restaurant and Bar and Chris Biard from Napa's Auberge du Soleil. The evening will include making the paella, yes, but will also feature flamenco dancers and wine tasting, with tapas, breads and desserts from Baker & Spice. So get in on this record-setting opportunity and enjoy a late summer evening in a great Portland neighborhood.

Details: Hillsdale Paella Dinner. Sat., Sept. 10, 6 pm; $75, tickets available online. Event will take place next to Korkage Wine Shop, 6351 SW Capitol Hwy. Info: 503-896-9211.

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Call it soda pop, pop, soda, or soft drink, Portland's own Hotlips Soda is bent on not being just another beverage battling for your thirst, but a true People's Soda. To celebrate their 1,000,000th bottle, they're asking you to share how you enjoy your favorite Hotlips Soda flavor in a photo, drawing, recipe, video or even a song. They'll be awarding prizes from now until Sept. 9 on a daily and weekly basis, and then pick a grand prize winner to receive a case of 24 bottles of the winner's favorite soda. So if you're a fan, check the contest web page for entry details.

Details: Hotlips Soda's 1,000,000th Bottle Contest. Entry details on their website.

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