Urban Farmer Portland sits in the heart of a city which is increasingly (and deservedly) lauded as a top destination for all things food + drink. Since 2012 the FEAST Portland festival has been celebrating this authentic and dynamic culinary scene by drawing likeminded folks from all over the world to showcase Portland and its talented culinarians.
Chef Matt has been a FEAST Portland mainstay and is honored to once again represent Urban Farmer in the much beloved Sandwich Invitational alongside 19 nationally renowned chefs. This year Chef Matt will also be flexing his culinary muscles by hosting an intimate Portland Surf and Texas Turf dinner in the Barrel Room cooking alongside ‘Top Chefs’ and friends Gregory Gourdet, Doug Adams, BJ Smith and out of towner Texan, John Tesar.
We’ll keep you updated with drool worthy pics of the edible art Chef Mat and company will be serving up for everyone’s FEAST-ing pleasure – stay tuned!
ABOUT FEAST: ‘Feast Portland is more than a food and drink festival. It’s a movement that showcases the energy, creativity and enthusiasm that’s driving America’s food revolution while celebrating two of the culinary world’s most inspiring places: Portland and Oregon. From spirited one-of-a-kind large-scale events featuring trendsetting chefs from all over the country and the world, to intimate hands-on classes, collaborative dinners and panels, Feast offers some of the most compelling experiences and original programming in the modern food festival conversation.’
Urban Farmer Portland takes full advantage of our 1.5 hour proximity to the mighty Pacific Ocean which means an abundance of fresh Pacific Northwest oysters year round. While we admit, we are a bit partial to the petite, delicate and sweet oysters from the Pacific; we are equal opportunity oyster advocates. As such, we always have our east coast Atlantic brethren represented on the menu as well so you can slurp side by side to draw your own conclusions.
What’s the difference you ask?
Look: Smooth, round shells with a somewhat shallow cup, generally ranging from 3 – 4 inches in size.
Taste: Pronounced salinity and brininess, dense and meaty with a light minerality.
Grown: Sub-tidally in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Virginia
Varieties: Blue Points, Belons, Wellfleets
Look: Fluted, pointed shells with deeper cups, generally ranging from 2 – 3 inches in size
Taste: Subdued salinity with more notes of seaweed, cucumber, watermelon and overall, more sweetness.
Grown: Inter-tidally in Washington, Oregon, British Columbia
Varieties: Kumamoto, Kusshi, Shigoku
Ever wanted to try your hand at shucking oysters? Let our friends at Hama Oyster Company share a few tricks of the trade.
Urban Farmer, Portland’s Steakhouse
Chef de Cuisine Adam Schuller
The Urban Farmer Portland kitchen has been graced with wealth of culinary talent and we now celebrate Chef Adam Schuller as he assumes the role of Chef de Cuisine. Chef Adam will also be our apiarist in residency.
Q: What defines your culinary philosophy?
Chef Adam: It all started in childhood with my desire to bring my family closer. After volunteering to cook Thanksgiving dinner at age 12 I discovered breaking bread together and sharing recipes that have been enjoyed for generations was the most organic way to achieve this. I consider dining together to be a time to put the phones away and set distractions aside to connect on an authentic level with people.
Q: What’s your favorite dish on the menu right now at Urban Farmer Portland?
Chef Adam: Our Day Boat Scallops with pork, cumin and carrot. My goal with an entrée is to have fruit, vegetable and protein represented on the plate to create a well-rounded meal. The grapes and arugula we finish it with add a freshness that lifts the dish.
Q: What are you most excited about as you assume your role as Chef de Cuisine?
Chef Adam: I want to be the community outreach chef specifically surrounding community gardens and beekeeping in backyards and homes. In my hometown of Santa Cruz, CA I started a program that partnered with farmer’s markets to educate farm workers on how to utilize the less familiar produce for example celery root, to help feed the families that feed our families and reduce food waste. My goal is to start a similar program with our local markets and farms here in Portland.
Q: How do you spend your days off?
Chef Adam: Taking care of my garden and as a triathlete a lot of time goes into training. Within the last year I have completed the Santa Cruz Half Iron Man, Chelan Long Distance Triathlon, Pac Crest Triathlon and Vancouver USA Marathon. However I try to prioritize time with my beautiful wife Chelsey and 18 month old daughter and soon to be big sister Evelyn.
In the spirit of farm-to-table dining representative of Urban Famer, we have commissioned a custom Pinot Noir from Angela Estate winery. This barrel select pinot noir was blended by the Urban Farmer team and hand crafted by internationally renowned winemaker Ken Wright.
With fruit sourced from the Angela Vineyard in Yamhill-Carlton AVA of the Willamette Valley, Oregon this elegant yet focused pinot noir shows aromas of rose hips, green tea and bright raspberry compliment the flavors of cedar, black cherry, cassis, truffle, and white pepper accentuated by a long and luxurious finish.
This rare expression of Oregon terroir is available exclusively at Urban Farmer Portland, Cleveland, Philadelphia & Denver. And now we share it with you, cheers!
No child should go hungry in America, but 1 in 6 kids will face hunger this year. Using proven, practical solutions, No Kid Hungry is ending childhood hunger today by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget. When we all work together, we can make sure kids get the healthy food they need. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of national anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength.
It is our responsibility as food and beverage professionals to do our part. Urban Farmer Culinary Director Matt Christianson & Team Sack Lunch PDX have made a team commitment to raise $55,000 for Chefs Cycle and No Kid Hungry through events in the local Portland community to raise funds and awareness.
Chef Matt and Team Sack Lunch PDX will be riding 300 miles over the course of 3 days on May 16th – 18th in Santa Rosa, CA alongside some of the brightest stars and most committed advocates in the national culinary community.
How can YOU support?
Raise a pint for a cause and by enjoying a Sack Lunch Ale brewed by Oregon’s Rogue Ales on tap at Urban Farmer Portland with $1 of every pint donated directly to the cause.
Team Sack Lunch PDX
Chris DiMinno – JackRabbit PDX
Matt Christianson – Urban Farmer Portland
Jason French – Ned Ludd
Rick Gencarelli – Lardo, Grassa, and Beer Belly
Arielle Clark – The Portland Kitchen
Chris Carriker – Bluehour
Anna Abatzoglou – Rogue Ales
Colin Howard – Multnomah Whiskey Library
Krista Anderson – New Seasons Market
Kayt Mathers – Play Nice PR
Jeff Morrell – Toro Bravo
Thomas Pisha-Duffy – Pok
Urban Farmer, Portland’s Steakhouse, Portland, OR
The bountiful brunch buffet at Urban Famer Portland has become legendary and we are privileged to welcome back families to feast together and raise a glass to spring. That means staying true to Easter classics like our array deviled egg accoutrements, house smoked fish and carrot + coffee cakes, tarts, and trifles abound. However that also means enticing with something new each year.
As National Eggs Benedict day falls on Easter this year, we had to include a build your own benedict bar with our famous house made sourdough English muffins and béarnaise or sauce choron to complete the look. Something sweet? Let the chefs guide you through our French toast bar with Bourbon bananas, honey and orange mascarpone or foietella for the adventurous set. Our suggestion would be to take a trip through both with a stop at the bloody mary bar on your way back to the table.
Sourdough English Muffins
The house-made sourdough English muffins at Urban Farmer are a testament to the expertise and dedication of our pastry and culinary teams. Anchoring signature dishes from our family of Eggs Benedict variations to the Farm Burger, our English muffins have become a highly recognizable staple of the Urban Farmer repertoire.
It all starts with our beloved eight-year-old sourdough starter ‘Charlie’. Our English muffins undergo fermentation and proofing before baking then butter griddling to perfection. Billowy, light with just the right amount of chew and that delicate sourdough tang, make sure you tuck into an Urban Farmer English muffin on your next visit!
Swelling with pride and but with heavy hearts the Urban Farmer Portland family prepares to send Chef Chris Starkus Denver, CO bound to assume the role of Executive Chef at Urban Farmer’s fourth location.
Joining the Sage Restaurant Group team in 2013, Chef Starkus has instituted initiatives that exemplify Urban Farmer’s commitment to sustainability and community. A culinary library open to all, an externship program for the future generation of culinarians, a partnership with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, a thriving rooftop apiary and rooftop garden from which both Urban Farmer & Departure PDX reap the bounty.
We’ll be keeping tabs on our beloved Starkus family as the radiant Diana, chess ace Harper and intrepid amphibian advocate Hazel forge their new #Starkushomestead seed saving, truffle hunting, mushroom foraging, chicken coop tending and exploring Denver.
Woodford Reserve Collaboration
We take our Bourbon seriously round here, so much so that we have partnered with Woodford Reserve for an exclusive bottling of Urban Farmer Portland Bourbon. Bar experts in residency Josue & Robbie traveled to Kentucky to visit one of Kentucky’s oldest distilling sites crafting whiskey since 1812 and collaborate with Woodford’s master distillers on the Urban Farmer blend.
6 select barrels were narrowed down to 4 and from these barrels Josue, Robbie and the Woodford team crafted 6 possible blends one of which was selected to represent Urban Farmer Portland with an eye towards food. A Bourbon reticent of tropical fruit and citrus, elegant and refined yet deep, and complex lingering on the palate all the way back to Portland.
Coming to a glass near you in 2017!
Mission Unfrostable – Gingerbread Adventures
What better way to honor this magical time of year than merging a time honored tradition with technology & community?
OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry) has teamed up 6 local pastry luminaries and architecture firms to collaborate on Gingerbread structures that will rival any edible feat of engineering. Pastry Chef extraordinaire Hillary Kirkton and her talented team of elves happily accepted the challenge.
Urban-Farmer-Portland-Wine-List-112016 and SRM Architecture and Marketing have spent months moving through the phases of innovation to creation of templates to structure assembly. All of this will culminate in a timed live build with the art pieces on display at OMSI for folks young and old to marvel at throughout the holiday season.
Admittedly, we’re a bit biased but pretty sure Team Urban Farmer has the crowd sourced voting in the bag if not just for nailing the iconic PDX airport carpet.
Against a background of autumn hues and misty mountains, the last of those precious little Pinot Noir berries have been picked off the vines in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. Looks like the 2015 harvest will yield richly fruited wines and you can be sure that Urban Farmer will be among the first to showcase the vintage. With a world class wine growing region a mere 45 minutes away from our front door, we couldn’t help ourselves; we had to curate a Wine List boasting over 50 Oregon Pinot Noirs. Forgive us by getting a little geeky and even categorizing these gems by the 5 AVAs (American Viticultural Areas) in our beloved Valley.
Next time you sit down for Chef’s Matt’s NY Tasting, don’t be so quick to order that Cabernet. Let one of our Certified Specialists of Wine guide you towards an Oregon Pinot Noir. We think you may be pleasantly surprised by how ideal a counterpoint the elegance and verve of an Oregon Pinot Noir is to a perfectly prepared steak.
Q & A with Executive Chef Matt Christianson
What fall produce are you most excited about?
Chestnuts, quince and canning the 300 pounds of peaches from Baird Family Orchards in Dayton, Oregon we picked up at the Portland Farmer’s Market this week
Favorite dish on the fall menu?
My favorite west coast fish, Alaskan halibut and as the short season ends in October get it while you can! Also our perfectly caramelized grilled cheese sandwich.
Favorite drink on the fall menu?
The addition of Dry Fly Gin to our extensive spirit selection has been long awaited. Dry Fly + a quality tonic water = a happy chef.
What was your best Halloween costume?
The stuffed monkey I wore on my back during service labeled Bradley Ogden, my longtime mentor and Chef/Owner of Lark Creek Inn in Lakespur, CA.
Bitters date back to the 1700s originally touted as natural, cure all health tonics derived from roots and barks.
A ‘cocktail’ was historically defined as spirit + sugar + bitters + water (prior to the luxury of ice). The modern day fashion in which a barman integrates bitters into a cocktail is not unlike a chef integrating seasoning into a dish. Bitters allow for incorporation of flavor into a cocktail without altering the balance.
At Urban Farmer Portland our innovative and DIY minded team has created a library of individual tinctures (single ingredient infusions) such as cacao, coffee, cinnamon, chinchona bark, citrus peel, green tea and sarsaparilla just to name a few. After a 3 month infusion in our Barrel Room, the finely tuned palates of our culinary and bar teams collaborate on custom blends of bitters created to highlight the season and compliment the cuisine for a truly hand crafted cocktail.
If the chefs seem are a bit too giddy on Wednesdays & Fridays, our farmer partners are to blame. Wednesdays mean a weekly trip to the Shemanski Farmer’s Market our red wagon in tow, but Fridays now have whole new meaning thanks to our friends at Zenger Farm, an urban farm that models, promotes and educates about sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship, community development and access to good food for all. Urban Farmer Portland is proud to be the first restaurant participating in Zenger Farm’s weekly CSA (community supported agriculture). Eacd Friday a farmer’s selection of what is seasonal and at its peak arrives for chefs Matt, Chris, Adam, Erick & Alec to articulate the season a on a plate. The bounty of our inaugural CSA became a stunning honey roasted breakfast radish salad with charred mustard greens, green garlic-radish top pesto. Cheers to summer and the farmers who tend our land year round!
Urban Farmer, Portland’s Steakhouse, Portland, OR
Temperatures are rising in Portland, however it may be our house made hot sauce and not the summer heat responsible for that sweat on your brow.
We take hot sauce seriously and ours is not for the faint of heart. What sets it apart from the rest? All of the peppers are grown in our rooftop garden; a menacing mélange of Trinidad scorpion, yellow Thai, piri piri & Mexican lemon drop peppers. Unlike the commercial hot sauces that integrate tomato and other components to their sauce which attribute to that familiar red hue, Urban Farmer hot sauce is comprised solely of peppers + vinegar. The mix is puréed, steeps for 30 days before mellowing out in one of our oak barrels before going into bottle. Next time you need a kick for that Benedict or your feeling like spicing up that Farm Burger ask for some Urban Farmer hot sauce, but proceed with caution…
Yamazaki 2016 Edition Single Malt Sherry Cask Japanese Whiskey made their way from Japan to the state of Oregon. Not to fret though, one of those elusive bottles sits on our bar reunited with its’ 12 yr. & 18 yr. single malt siblings.
Although whiskey is steeped in millenniums of history, Japan has risen to a well justified place of prominence in the last few decades. The Yamazaki distillery was erected in 1923 with Japan’s first whiskey introduced in 1929. Yamazaki releases its first single malt in 1984 and fast forward to 2013, the Yamazaki 12 yr. single malt becomes the first Japanese whisky to be decorated with the gold medal in the whisky category of the International Spirits Challenge 2003 the most authoritative spirits competition in the world. More accolades and ‘best of’ designations followed to institute Yamazaki whiskeys as highly sought after, cult classic.
Enjoying a Japanese Single Malt Whiskey in a modern American steakhouse in Portland, OR may seem counterintuitive, but trust us it feels so right!
Urban Farmer, Portland’s Steakhouse, Portland, OR
Next Level Urban Farming in PDX
The Urban Farmer family is always on the search for more efficient and eco-responsible urban farming practices. As we consider ourselves early adopters, it was a natural progression for us to integrate an indoor hydroponic growing system.
Hydro- what?!? All us to explain; our basic hydroponic system requires no soil. The ‘hydro tower’ pumps both water and plant food to the top of the system literally raining down across root system to deliver the necessary nutrients. Mimicking nature in a controlled environment thus maximizing efficiency by reducing cost of labor and use of land simply be embracing and incorporating the ever evolving technologies pushed forward by likeminded innovators
Dining Room DIY
It’s common at Urban Farmer Portland to see a chef sneak through the dining room into the Pantry to grab a jar of pickled vegetables for the charcuterie board or snag some salsify for the pacific wild salmon. But when was the last time you saw a chef harvesting mushrooms from the dining room? With a little help from our buddy Bob at Misty Mountain Mushrooms in Yamhill, OR the Urban Farmer dining room is now home to cultivation of shitake and maitake mushrooms. Bob created us a mushroom friendly environment for 4 blocks of each variety to thrive in a climate controlled setting aided by a timed mister. Harvest, sauté and finish & crisp shallot. Now that’s what we call hyperlocal!
Here we go spring! True to our Urban Farmer roots, it’s one of our most eagerly anticipated seasons as resident apiarist and garden whisperer Chef Chris Starkus thoughtfully curates our rooftop garden.
Urban Farmer Portland’s 4 rooftop hives are home to 12,000 Hungarian honey bees which will yield 12-15 gallons of micro batch honey. An ideal complement for the Rogue River bleu on the artisanal cheese plate curated specifically to your tastes tableside, but don’t be surprised if it finds its way into your Bees Knees cocktail.
What’s in the seed bank for this season you ask? English thyme, Trinidad scorpion peppers, bloody duck sorrel, yellow Thai chilies, golden purslane, miner’s lettuce, Spanish red garlic, Mt. Hood strawberries, borage, Cascade hops, Mexican gherkin watermelon cucumbers, purple dwarf snap peas, ice box watermelons…just to name a few.
We hereby promise to offer a seasonally inspired, responsibly sourced 3 Course Lunch thoughtfully curated by Chefs Matt, Mike, Erick, Chris, Adam & Hillary served to you in under an hour Monday – Friday.
On the menu today? Start with Chilled Shrimp, cucumber, fennel & arugula; then comes the Wagyu Pot Roast, carrot, foraged mushroom, Romanesco, potato; just a little something sweet to send you back to the office, Eggnog Cheesecake, rum caramel, brown sugar crumble.
Did we mention this trilogy of culinary delight and efficiency is priced at $25?