Thursday, September 16, 2010

Livin' in the Blurbs: Celebrities and Class Acts

When my semi-regular bulletin came in from Luan at Foster & Dobbs, one of the city's best cheese shops squirreled away in NE Portland's Irvington neighborhood, I was floored. There, buried amid a plethora of can't-miss wine tastings, book signings and classes, were two names that sang out. One was Paul Bertolli (left), charcutier extraordinaire and the progenitor of the art of cured meat in America (no big salami jokes, please). The other was Zoe Brickley, the cave maven and "superstar affineur" of that center of all things cheesy and good known as Murray's in New York City. They'll both be at F&D in early October, and I urge you to get yourself in there for one or both sessions.
  • Cheese Science for the Enthusiast with Zoe Brickley of Murray's discussing cheese basics with samples of the cheeses included. Fri., Oct. 1, 7:15 pm; $25, reservations required.
  • Fra' Mani Handcrafted Salumi with Paul Bertolli, who will be on hand to share tastes and chat about his succulent cured meats. Sat., Oct. 2, 2:30-4:30 pm; free.
Details: Foster & Dobbs Authentic Foods, 2518 NE 15th Ave. Phone 503-284-1157.

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The arrival of fall—and don't tell me you haven't been pulling up the comforter the last few nights—means that new class schedules have been jamming up in-boxes all around the Northwest. One of the most unusual schedules is from SweetWares, the baking supply shop-cum-cooking school in Hillsdale. From Indian curries to challah to Mexican Day of the Dead sugar skulls (I kid you not), they've got a great lineup of reasonably priced hands-on classes coming in the next couple of months.
  • Big, Fat, Tall, Luscious Layer Cakes with Melissa Carey Ragland. Thurs., Sept. 23, 1-4 pm; $75 with preregistration.
  • Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls with Andrea Nicholas of SweetPerennial Sugar Flower Boutique. Sat., Oct. 2, 10-11:30 am; $40 with preregistration
  • Decorating Your Fall Baked Goods with Chocolate Transfers with former Baker & Spice cake whiz and Sugarhouse Cake owner, Erin Fale. Sat., Oct. 23, 10-11 am; $45 with preregistration.
Details: SweetWares, 6306 SW Capitol Hwy. in the Hillsdale Shopping Center. Phone 503-546-3737.

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And the final class act in this list is my brother, Bruce, the proprietor of Sellwood wine shop Vino and the always-insightful, pomposity-popping author of the blog Eat. Drink. Think. He's moving the shop (details here) to SE 28th, involving a month-long hiatus, meaning I'll be looking forward to reading many more posts on the blog (since he'll have all that time on his hands), yet I'll be missing his hilarious and pointed weekly tasting notices that never fail to stray from the matter at hand. From his final tasting notice: "The hardest part of this move and the ensuing closure is knowing that I will miss commenting each Friday on the next election cycle and all the juicy bits that entails. The myopians who are Tea Party candidates alone provide a full buffet of opportunity. Any political party who elects a bill-evading deadbeat like Christine O’Donnell in Delaware deserves every bit of ridicule they incur. Even Karl Rove called her out, saying "there were a lot of nutty things she has been saying that just simply don't add up." Look for a Big Sale on Saturday, Sept. 18, as he depletes his stock, the better to fill up the new shop with fresh deals!

Details: Vino, 1226 SE Lexington in Sellwood. Phone 503-235-8545.


sue saracco said...

We have enjoyed Paul Bertolli's cooking both at Chez Panisse and then
at Oliveto. We were delighted to discover his Fra'Mani line of meats -
the salami is awesome!! Hope you get a chance to meet him and taste his array of cured meats.
Love your blog! I'm now an official
Sue Saracco

kab said...

Lucky you to have had him cook for you! He's a delightful, funny guy and a gifted writer, and darn if his products don't rock, too! Lots to admire there…