Cocktails, pork, and French cuisine

Why do I make cocktails? I do it for the children. No, really, I do:

The Oregon Bartender’s Guild would like to invite you to a one-of-a-kind event. On Monday, July 27th at 5pm the Oregon Bartender’s Guild will be hosting their first Cocktail Competition for Charity at the Hobnob Grille, 3350 SE Morrison. This competition will confirm Oregon’s place amongst the avant-garde of cocktail culture by featuring the finest craft spirits being mixed by some of the best bartending talent from around our great state. Local masterminds of mixology will face off in a fierce competition of culinary creativity. We need your help in deciding who will go home with the title of Oregon’s Premier Mixologist. A ticket cost of $50 will include a multitude of cocktails, a light hors d’oeuvre and an evening of education, entertainment and culture. Proceeds will benefit Schoolhouse Supplies – The Free Store for Teachers, a locally run non-profit who helps teachers equip their students with the tools needed to succeed in the classroom – for free!

You can purchase tickets at the Hobnob Grill @ 3350 SE Morrison anytime from now till Monday, and the night of the event.

The format is as follows…
Alison Dykes- Liquid Vodka, Rogue Rum
Evan Zimmerman- Cascade Mountain Gin, Krogstad Aquavit
Bradley Dawson- Elemental Vodka, Old Tom Gin
Kinn Edwards- 12 Bridges Gin, Sub Rosa Saffron Vodka
Jacob Grier- Organic Nation Gin, Dolmen Honey Spirit
Sue Erickson- Martin Ryan Vodka, Snake River Stampede Whiskey

Competitors will be competing in two rounds. The first round is marked by more simple and clean spirits. Each cocktail will be served in a 2 to 3 oz portion for all 50 guest judges and one full cocktail for presentation. Each competitor will serve their cocktails one after the other. The spirits in the second round are more complex and “unusual.”

Of course the title of “Oregon’s Premier Mixologist” has a touch of hyperbole to it. Unless I win, in which case forget I said anything. Either way, I hope you’ll come out for the event.

Carlyle, the restaurant where I work, also has a few special events coming up soon. This Sunday our chef Jake Martin teams up with Morgan Brownlow of Tails and Trotters to offer a 10 course pork dinner. It’s expensive, but the menu looks amazing:

First release of Tails and Trotters proscuitto,
Lardo wrapped country style pate with tenderloin garni,
Fromage de tete

Fritto of Squash Blossoms
Trotter ‘rilette’, Spanish style sausage, macerated legumes

Duo of Salads:
Salad of pig’s ears, watercress, shaved carrots, celery and pickled shallots

Grilled pig’s heart, pickled chanterelles, arugula, shaved ricotta salata

Pork Belly Two Ways:
Cured and wrapped around stone fruits, grilled, agro dolce sauce

Crisp confit, early corn, scapes, saba

Pork Coppa Steak
Cured and poached, shaved baby beets, sauce gribiche

Grilled Pork Flat Iron and Eye of Round
Tongue croquette, smoked pork jus, nasturtium butter

Two Pastas
Potato gnocchi, Guanciale, Walla Walla onions, heirloom tomato concasse

Ricotta tortellini, slow roasted shoulder ragout, parmigiano-reggiano

Petite Braised Short Rib
Carrot tapenade, sweet carrot emulsion
Crispy ‘Korean Style’ ribs
fennel pollen lacquer

Whole Loin ‘Porchetta’ Crispy Skin and All!
Pork fat fired potatoes, baby turnips

Tails and Trotters Leaf Lard Crostada
Stone fruits, bacon ice cream

Seriously, I don’t know if I can turn that down.

Finally, for four consecutive weeks in August we’re offering a series of kitchen dinners inspired by different aspects of French cuisine. It starts with Paris bistro fare, moves on to the foods of Provence and the Midi Pyrenees, and wraps up with an homage to haute cuisine circa 1950. I’ll be serving an aperitif before each meal. The full menus are available on our site.