Oregon has been long established as a chef’s haven with its eclectic and food-centric lifestyle. On Nov. 16, almost 100 chefs and guests came together to make faces at the first ever Ultimate Chef Photo Shot held in Portland, Ore. The event was in celebration of the out-of-town guests, The Beekman Boys, made famous from their Food Channel series The Fabulous Beekman Boys.
‘I’ve had the idea for a while to invite all the chefs together for an experience that would be fun, flavorful and allow for some camaraderie,” said Tina Curry, organizer of the production. “It was a lot of work to track down all these busy chefs but it was worth it— everyone had some great photos taken alongside some peers they hadn’t seen in awhile, and each chef got to take home a bottle of bourbon maple syrup from Woodinville Whiskey and a memorable set of pictures, along with a signature chef jacket.”
In a region where chefs are known for their close collaborations with local producers, the Ultimate Chef Photo Shoot event may come to be known as an opportunity for sponsors and chefs to gather together for something fun. “I can’t believe these chefs are all here in the same kitchen,” Brent and Josh of The Beekman Boys said later at the dinner party. “You’d never see something like this in New York City.”
“The saying goes that ‘too many cooks may spoil the broth,’ but they fill our hearts with so much love,” Josh Kilmer-Purcell said.
Each chef in attendance had a photo taken as well as a photo taken with The Beekman Boys. Once inside, everyone sipped on K&F Coffee, enjoyed some wonderful cheeses from DPI Specialty Foods, fresh eggs from Vitality Farms, bacon from Sweet Briar Farms, local dairy products from Sunshine Dairy, exceptional crab from Pacific Seafoods and wonderful Bloody Mary’s courtesy of Demitiri’s Bloody Mary Seasonings, and offerings from Portlandia Ketchup and Green Card Salsa.
Curry believes that this will only be the first of a new series of chef-centric gatherings. “We’ve been asked what are the next plans by the chefs,” Curry said. “We will definitely be doing these types of gatherings again, as we’re always trying to find new and interesting ways to bring chefs together. Of course, any excuse to eat great food is certainly a catalyst as well.”
The Behind the Line Consulting group orchestrated the event as a Sunday brunch with the help of sister company Northwest Food & Wine Festival. Bargreen & Ellingson’s test kitchen played host to the affair and served up state of the art cooking equipment for the chefs to cook breakfast.
“When you get these ones in the kitchen at one time, you are assured that it will end with the sort of food creations that confirm Portland is worthy of the incredible recognition it’s been getting,” Curry said.