I recently returned from a trip to Portland, Oregon for an executive committee meeting of the Food & Culinary Professionals (FCP) subgroup of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I’m the new chair of this 2,700-member organizati...
I recently returned from a trip to Portland, Oregon for an executive committee meeting of the Food & Culinary Professionals (FCP) subgroup of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I’m the new chair of this 2,700-member organization, and this was our annual planning meeting. FCP’s mission is to empower members to be the nation’s food, culinary, and nutrition leaders, and to that end, we provide a wide variety of educational and networking opportunities. I chose Portland for the meeting site for a few reasons: It’s a great foodie city and we’re all dietitians who LOVE food, three of the 18 attendees are from the area, and I have two sisters who live in the Pacific Northwest.
I devoured so much great food during my trip that I’m not really sure where to begin. OK. Let’s start with food carts. Portland has tons of them including Tabor, voted among the top 10 best food carts in the entire U.S. My sister, Diane, who lives in Portland, insisted we try their famous Schitzelwich.
Here I am with my share of the giant Schnitzelwich—it’s made with breaded pork loin, Ajvar red pepper spread, Romaine lettuce, sauteed onion, and horseradish sauce on ciabatta bread—which my two sisters and I split for lunch!
After our initial FCP meeting and a walking tour of the city, we had dinner at Lardo, a modern sandwich shop that uses local and sustainable ingredients. This Italian Tuna Melt made with provolone, olive tapenade, and shaved fennel was beyond delicious, and I think the side of fries was the best I’ve ever had. (No worries, I shared them with three other people.)
Another culinary highlight was the fried chickpeas at Oven and Shaker. They’re famous for being crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
If you have never tried vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, you are missing out and must add this to your bucket list of foods to try.
After leaving Portland, I traveled to Olympia, WA with Diane and her partner, Nancy. Our mission: to spend a few days with our sister Lori and her husband, Chris. Lucky for us, they own a boat, so we motored up the Puget Sound with Mount Rainier in the distance and spent the night in the beautiful town of Gig Harbor.
Eating salmon tacos on the outdoor deck at Tides Tavern with family was yet another highlight of the trip.
On my last night in town, my niece Jennifer cooked up some amazing Manila clams. She works for Taylor Shellfish Farms and really knows her stuff. Stay tuned, because I plan to invite her to join us as a guest on Cooking with the Moms to talk about tips for choosing and preparing mollusks and shellfish.
On a final note, did I mention that Portland is a beer-lovers paradise? So many microbreweries … and so little time. It was great fun sampling some of the local beers, and we even did our own “Hop Project” beer sampling in Diane’s backyard. Ten Barrel Brewing released a mixed 12-pack of four different IPAs, each made with a different hop. I think my favorite was #2! For those of you who aren’t beer experts, the hops in beer function to balance the sweetness of the malt by providing bitterness. The type and quantity of hops helps determine the flavor profile of the beer.
This was an amazing trip, and I’m already looking forward to returning to the Pacific Northwest. If you want to see more photos of my trip check out our Flickr page.