Monday, June 20, 2011

I've moved!

Hello friends! I know this post has been a long time coming, but here's the sitch: I'm the new Contributing Food Editor at Portland Monthly Magazine, managing the web content of our food section, Eat Beat. Head on over there for my usual ramblings, sign up for our weekly food news email, and, as always, keep up with me on Twitter at @allisonejones. Warning: my posts and tweets will make you hungry!

I'm sure I'll be back to posting on LemonBasil someday, but life has been so full and wonderful that something had to go. This isn't an end! Promise. Keep on eating well, and thanks for supporting me all these years!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Colors and the Kids: Holi Celebration at Washington Park

My dear friends Ratnanjali Adhar and Vinayanjali Plainfield threw a fantastic Holi party across from Hoyt Arboretum in Washington Park this morning, and I risked life, limb, and camera to get some shots of the colors, food, dancing (full-on choreography to "Jai Ho" no less!), and general tomfoolery of the day. Holi is the Hindu festival of Spring, a celebration of the reawakening of the seasons and our senses. Around the world, people celebrate Holi by spraying each other with colored water and smearing colored powders all over each other's faces. Everyone becomes a little kid, chasing each other around with water balloons of color and handfuls of bright colored dust - you have to see it to understand - and it becomes all-out war.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

An Adventure in Modernizing Portland Cuisine with Tabla's Anthony Cafiero

Confession time. I am such a skeptic of modernist cuisine, with its gelatins, foams, savory sorbets, and wonky textures, but I'm not skeptical of Anthony Cafiero's talent - so last night's PFA dinner at Tabla was truly a food adventure. The usual set-up was in play: two long, communal tables decked out in wine glasses and white linens filled the space in front of the open kitchen at Tabla, where Tony and the team were cranking out plate after plate of dishes inspired by the chef's recent trip to Spain. The food was playful, provocative, and unexpected - savory met sweet, textures danced, and there was some really, really good octopus. The menu was structured such that small plates - the palate teasers - were set out between the larger dishes, and the single bites of "Potato Air with Truffle Pearls" and "Guilde of Goat Cheese Custard, Quince, and Lucqese Olives" played well with the entrees of Sous Vide eggs with coppa, breadcrumbs, caper aioli and miner's lettuce and the Mar y MontaƱa (more about that later). The wines were amazing, but I was a bit too busy taking photos and chatting it up with everyone about my new job to pay attention to labels. I'm going to have to get better about that!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Chef Choice Portland Food Aventure with Jenn Louis of North PDX's Lincoln Restaurant

Last night, a group of hungry diners gathered at Lincoln - Chef Jenn Louis' gorgeous and highly acclaimed North Portland restaurant - for an evening of family-style food and exploration of Jenn's honest and creative approach to Pacific Northwest cuisine. The fourth Portland Food Adventures Chef's Choice dinner brought together food lovers of all stripes to enjoy one of the best menus in Portland as it transitions from winter's hearty comfort food to spring's greens and lighter dishes. I'd been to Lincoln a few times before, notably last fall after Jenn and I made Ribollita together at the Portland Farmers' Market, but last night was extra-special. Jenn selected a long list of dishes that represented Lincoln's hyper-seasonal menu and signature blend of high-end and accessible food - from classic cassoulet with rabbit, lamb, pancetta, and tarbais beans, to brandade (sold cod/olive oil mousse) fritters, fried fennel, and some absolutely perfect onion rings. We were treated to the story of how Jenn and her husband (Lincoln's front-of-the-house and bar manager David Welch) met when she was working at Wildwood, chatted with Gabe Rosen of Biwa about his mission of bringing traditional, fun, and accessible Japanese food to a nondescript corner of Southeast Portland, and received a big envelope stuffed with gift certificates to some of Jenn's favorite spots in town.