Portland is known for utilizing fresh ingredients, sourcing food locally, and bringing the farm to the table. However, nobody brings the farm to the table as well as us. Urban Farmer partnered with Scot Laney and Eat Oregon First to bring something new to the table this September. You may know Scot Laney, the infamous producer at Basque Ranch who sources Cascade Red beef, the first new cattle breed in the US in nearly 50 years. Chef Matt partnered with him for Cascade Red and has now partnered exclusively with him for Oregon Classic Beef, which is very limited; so much in fact, that we were only able to get half a cow.
Laney Family Farms Beef is pasture raised, then 120 day corn fed. In true Urban Farmer style, Chef Matt utilized every inch of the cow, boasting beautiful tomahawk rib chops, among other cuts, which sold out in the course of a single weekend.
Matt Christianson likes working with his hands, hanging out with his sons and, of course, cooking. He is the Executive at Urban Farmer—downtown Portland’s modern steakhouse in downtown—and he’s proud to participate in the Taste of Oregon and Gourmet Fair, an exclusive International Food Bloggers Conference tasting session put on by the online culinary encyclopedia, Foodista.com, and by Zephyr Adventures, trip planners for the nation’s intrepid travelers, hikers, bikers, inline skaters and eaters.
But what’s he like, really? Meaning who is he and what inspires him?
Read on to find out.
What is your favorite ingredient? Flour.
If you were to make a bumper sticker, what would it say? “REALLY?!”
Beatles or Stones? Beatles.
What is your favorite Portland food truck? The Brunch Box.
Automobile, bike, bus or foot? Car.
Which genre of music would score your life, and why? Bluegrass, reggae and rock.
What is your secret talent? Juggling.
What do you put on hotdogs? Ketchup. That’s it.
On his IFBC menu: gluten-free Summer Tomato Gazpacho (seasoned with lime salt and with shrimp) and House Bacon with Maque Choux (a sort of Cajun summer salad comprised of corn, green peppers, onions and tomatoes), all drizzled with a bourbon caramel sauce
The Taste of Oregon and Gourmet Fair takes place from 7-9pm on Friday, August 24, at the Portland DoubleTree.
Matt Christianson‘s love of food has made a traveling man out of him. He studied old world and modern cooking techniques in New York, learned about Middle America’s comfort foods during stints in Midwest kitchens, picked up the ranchero diet in the mountains of Colorado and honed his skills by embracing the Bay Area’s farm-to-table ethos.
Now, Matt has finally found a home where he can stretch out, grow and truly express himself. As the Executive Chef at Urban Farmer, a modern Steakhouse in downtown Portland, Matt stirs his experiences together in a city known for its gastronomic creativity.
Soon, you’ll have the chance to see—and taste—just what Matt’s brain has been cooking up.
That’s because Matt’s manning Urban Farmer’s booth at the fourth International Food Bloggers Conference, an annual symposium jointly put on by the peerless online culinary encyclopedia, Foodista.com, and by Zephyr Adventures, trip planners for the nation’s intrepid travelers, hikers, bikers, inline skaters and eaters.
Matt says he is especially excited to be partnering with the IFBC for its Taste of Oregon and Gourmet Fair, an exclusive opening-night gala, where he and his team will be on-hand to hand out samples of signature bites to—and answer questions proposed by—hundreds of food bloggers and publishers from across the globe.
The Taste of Oregon and Gourmet Fair takes place from 7-9pm on Friday, August 24, at the Portland DoubleTree.
Swing by Urban Farmer’s booth and sample Matt’s gluten-free Summer Tomato Gazpacho (seasoned with lime salt and baby shrimp) before having at his pork-centric House Bacon with Maque Choux (a Cajun summer salad comprised of corn, green peppers, onions and tomatoes), which he’ll drizzle with a bourbon caramel sauce.
Matt also points out that Urban Farmer’s Twitter handle will be posted on-site, so that all of you writers out there can sample his food and tell the world what you think as it happens.
See you there!
Just in time for the upcoming Oregon Beer Month, Chefs Matt Christian and Ryan Sturmer threw a party this past Saturday to celebrate one of their favorite pairings – Beer and Barbecue. Collaborating with brewmaster Jason McAdam of Burnside Brewing Company, the chefs created a unique barbecue plate to perfectly pair with each of Burnside’s six most unique brews. The Georgian Room was transformed for a down home feel complete with red and white table cloths, sunflowers and plenty of paper towels ready for guests who were licking their lips. Matt and Ryan wanted a casual backyard feel, so we scrapped the formal coursed dinner for a party atmosphere complete with food stations and rock-n-roll music. The beer was flowing, and the barbecue was not to be missed including Smoked Chicken Thigh Bits with Berliner Wise, the amazing Beef Ribs and watermelon paired with Oatmeal Pale Ale, and the Wagyu Brisket with corn casserole paired with the Burnside Meridian Rye. Thanks to the Burnside crew who came out to represent and be merry with the guests. Happy Beer Month Oregon!
BREAKFAST AREA COLD
Sliced Tropical Fruits and Berries
Tahitian Vanilla Yogurt Parfait with Berries, House Made Granola and Biscotti
Citrus Cured Smoked Salmon with Traditional Condiments
Assorted Breakfast Breads, Danish & Muffins
BREAKFAST AREA HOT
Mini French Toast, banana, Hazelnut, Rum Raisins
Apple-wood Smoked Bacon, Fennel Pork Sausage
Crispy Hash Browns
Country Ham Eggs Benedict
Asparagus Eggs Benedict
Chicken Apple Scrapple, Maple onions, Thyme
SOUP & SALAD STATION
Confit Duck, Wheat Berry Salad, Spring Stone Fruit
Roasted Beets, Fingerling Potato, Arugula, Malt Vinaigrette
Spring Pea Salad, Radish, Shallot and Citrus Vinaigrette
Spring Garlic Soup, Pecorino and truffle
DEVILED EGG STATION
Traditional, Candied Bacon, Espelette
Tuna Tartar, Black Olive, Pine nuts
Smoked Trout, Dill Crunch
Wild mushroom and Melted Leek
URBAN FARMER GRILL
Roasted Oregon Lambcetta, Pickled Peppers
Painted Hills BBQ Beef Brisket
Parker House Rolls
Organic Farm Eggs, Cooked To Order
Mushroom Ragout, Grilled Asparagus,
Charred Spring Onion, Baby Spinach
Aged White Cheddar, Goat Cheese,
Tails & Trotters Farms Ham,
Nueskes Smoked Bacon
CHARCUTERIE & CHEESE STATION
House Charcuterie Sliced to Order
Assorted Cheese and Accompaniments
Crunchy Butterscotch Eclair
Rose and Lavender French Macaroons
Carrot Pecan Cake
Chocolate Hazelnut Dacquoise
Caramel Pear Trifle
Meyer Lemon Crème Brulee
Dark Chocolate Kumquat Tart
Honey Apricot Frangipan Tart
Apple Cinnamon Cheesecake
Chicken Fingers and Fries
Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
Ham and Cheese Sandwiches
Macaroni and Cheese
Easter Eggs and Jelly Beans
Brownies and CookiesSee More
Urban Farmer, downtown Portland’s Steakhouse, participated in the Portland Jazz Festival on Friday, February 24th and Saturday, February 25th, hosting two unique and spectacular jazz talents during the city’s largest Jazz Festival. On Friday, guests dined on farm to table fare while being treated to the smooth song stylings of singer Kelley Shannon, guitarist Dan Duval and bassist Glen Moore as they occupied Urban Farmer’s atrium Lobby. Saturday continued the weekend of eclectic sounds when singer Nancy Curtain, guitarist John Keyser and bassist Tom Gilson swept their talents through Saturday’s dinner crowd.
This past December, Urban Farmer’s bartender Scott Watson competed and won the “On Deck with the Captain” Challenge where his new rum creation won first prize against other local Portland bartenders. Next time you come into see Scott, ask for “Morgan’s Mutiny” . When you are at home, you can make this captain creation to enjoy!
2 oz Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1 oz Applejack
1 oz cinnamon syrup
½ oz lime juice
¼ oz simple syrup
½ oz of egg whites
for garnish – dash of bitters
Combine all ingredients in empty shaker and give a good shake to froth the egg whites. Then add ice and give a good shake again. Strain into chilled martini glass and finish with a dash of bitters. Garnish with a lime wheel.
Urban Farmer decked their halls and celebrated the holiday season with delicious desserts from Pastry Chef Sean Sasser. With the holiday spirit as his muse, Sean and his team created mouthwatering miniature desserts aplenty, as well as a handful of one of a kind, final courses that had us and our guests wishing the holiday season could last year round.
Chef Sean Sasser’s Holiday Offerings at Urban Farmer:
Gingerbread Brown Butter Cake, poached pear, honey chestnut ice cream
Rustic Apple Galette, almond nougatine, spiced caramel cream, green apple sorbet
Chocolate Sticky Toffee Pudding, cranberry fig compote, blood orange sorbet
Cinnamon Creme Brulee , pomegranate, creme fraiche, green apple sorbet
Caraibe Chocolate Tart, cocoa nib nougatine, malted vanilla ice cream
Almond Pear Pithivier, blood orange sorbet, caramel, almond cream
Chocolate Banana Bread Pudding, malted vanilla sauce, coffee ice cream
Ginger Pear Cobblers
Chocolate Peppermint Cake
Cinnamon Crème Brulee
Pumpkin Walnut Cheesecake
Caramel Pot de Cremes
Holiday Sugar and Gingerbread Cookies
Beginning November 28th, Urban Farmer is featuring 100% pure Wagyu Beef raised here in Oregon at LDR Ranch. Chef Matt Christianson has been involved in the full process of the cow being raised locally for the specific use in our restaurant. The local rancher raises only 4 cows a year, and we are the first restaurant to purchase a whole animal from him. Unlike other Wagyu beef enjoyed in many restaurant in this country, this will be 100% pure Wagyu and aged 21 days. After receiving the bull in 4 pieces, Chef Matt and team began to break down the entire animal with specific cuts and utilizing the offal for other dishes in the restaurant. In addition to some photos of Chef Matt with “Colin” and Bob, you can see General Manager of Food and Beverage David Marsh pitching in to butcher Colin as well.
Chef Matt began a relationship with local rancher Robert La De Route back in the Spring when we purchased half a cow from him and sold out the menu in 5 days in April. This is when Matt arranged the purchase of “Colin” – number 61. Bob takes great care in raising only 4 bulls at a time and grows some of the food he feeds the animals on his own land, thus creating an amazing single source, locally raised product for Urban Farmer. The many different menu items of Wagyu will be available while supplies last, and we are looking to purchase another bull early 2012.
There’s nothing like a Portland Autumn. The leaves turn golden yellow, the evenings become brisk, and foodies’ appetites prepare themselves for warm, hearty and fulfilling indulgences. So is the case at Urban Farmer. In celebration of all things cozy and comforting, Chef Matt Christianson has created decadent bites for our Private Events hors d’oeuvres menu which he showcased on FOX 12 with Stephanie Kravelich from our Library. Check out Chef Matt with Stephanie here:
Just in time for the cooler weather, our Urban Farmer bartenders have crafted seasonal cocktails that are perfect for imbibing while embracing the season’s change. The well-paired creations epitomize Urban Farmer’s stance for supporting locally sourced purveyors by utilizing the freshest seasonal ingredients directly from the source.
New Hors d’Oeuvres:
Roasted Fig, blue cheese, hazelnut
Celery Heart Salad, fromage blanc, orange
Roasted Beets, orange preserves, goat cheese, grilled bread
Deviled Eggs, dill crunch
Grilled Potato, fennel sausage, pear butter
Honey Glazed Acorn Squash, spiced cashew
Pecorino Cheese Puffs, spiced butternut aioli
Grilled Hawaiian Blue Prawns, celery root remoulade
Crab Puffs, louie dressing
Seared Scallop, coriander pesto
Roasted Turkey Slider, open faced, cranberry mayonnaise
New Barman’s Cocktails:
Lavishmint, Kahlua, Baileys, Cinnamon, Whisky Barrel Bitters
Sugar Plum Fairy
Vodka, Plum Pureé, Navan, Powdered Sugar
The Flying Dutchman
Captain Morgan, Amaretto, Grand Marnier, Cinnamon Syrup, Cream
Deco Ginger, Pineapple, Lemon, Cardamom & Maple Serum
The Big Deal
Bombay Dry, Sweet & Dry Vermouth, Averna, Orange Bitters
Old Forester Signature, Fernet, Antica Formula
Black Grouse, Cider, Lemon
The Bonnie Shrub
Drambuie, Weller 107, Chartreuse, Seasonal Shrub, Rosemary
Clear Creek Apple Brandy, Grand Marnier, Apple Cider Vinegar, Honey
Chef Matt Christianson and Urban Farmer took a field trip up to Welches, Oregon this September to participate in the 11th annual Wild About Game cook-off, a meat-lover’s dream come true, sponsored by local purveyor Nicky USA. The event took place on Sunday, September 18, 2011 with some of Oregon’s most influential culinary talent.
The premise was simple: chef against chef in an all-star lineup to see who can create the most delicious and creative dish with Nicky USA sourced game birds and meats from local family farms and ranches. To add to the challenge, the event was formulated with an exciting Iron Chef style black box competition with each chef blind to the type of ingredients they used in the cook-off.
Participants this year included: Beaker + Flask, Beast, Gilt Club, Heathman Bar and Restaurant, Little Bird, Metrovino, Olivar, Resort at the Mountain, Timberline Lodge, and Urban Farmer.
Chef Matt, a third year contender, created Quail Schnitzel, with mustard spatzle, and huckleberry, and was accompanied by Senior Sous Chef Ryan Sturmer of Urban Farmer. His dish tied for 3rd place, while Beast was 2nd and Metrovino claimed the top prize.
A unique part of the Urban Farmer experience is a visit to your table from our cheese steward Lindsey Walton. Lindsey joined the Urban Farmer team two years ago as a host. While hosting, she became more and more curious about our cheese cart. After recognizing Lindsey’s growing passion, we promoted her to cheese steward. She immediately began putting her own touches on the program by creating house made accompaniments as well as crackers to perfectly pair with her cheese selections. Just this week Lindsey baked house made graham crackers to serve with a triple cream cheese along with house-made applesauce and fresh thyme. We can’t wait to see what she has in store for the cheese cart as spring ingredients arrive. Five nights a week, Lindsay navigates the dining room by rolling her Boos butcher block cart filled with 14 unique cheese selections for tableside service. Lindsay takes every guest on a journey through the cheese cart describing flavors, the history of each cheese and the idea behind the pairings with each table. Our guests have repeatedly complimented Lindsey for enhancing their dining experience. We are proud to have Lindsay as an integral part of the Urban Farmer guest experience.
Urban Farmer’s Executive Chef, Matt Christianson debuts live Alaskan king crabs. The crabs are also known as brown king Crabs and are 8-14lbs each. They are caught in the waters surrounding the Aleutian chain, golden king crab are the smallest of the three main species. Their shells are golden-orange in color and have the mildest flavor of the Alaska’s three commercially-harvested types of king crab. Golden king crabs have a lower percentage of meat “infill” inside their shells, and therefore cost less than blue or red. Urban Farmer currently features these exclusive crabs for their surf and turf options in dishes such as crab Oscar, crab cannelloni, crab ravioli and butter poached legs accompanied with their dry-aged steaks. Check out Chef Matt cooking up crab ravioli and the beautiful crab legs with Fox 12 correspondent Stephanie Kravelich.
Where’s the beef? A butcher’s view from the back-of-the-house! Urban Farmer sources 1/2 a cow bi-weekly from local Oregon Farm, Highland Oak Farm. Chef Ryan is charged with wrestling this hind quarter and separate short loin in preparation for the UF menus. The Highland Oak Farm can be enjoyed in a number of ways; New York strip, bone-in ribeye, filet, fried beef short rib with horseradish aioli and house-made brisket, pastrami, beef liver pate, Philly cheese steaks and all of their house ground beef.
Urban Farmer, our Modern Steakhouse has been busy playing with their food! Chef Matt is incorporating elements from their seafood offerings into platters for sharing; these offerings include tuna Carpaccio with caviar and pork rinds, their Urban Farmer shrimp cocktail, oysters and a smaller version of their famed crab salad with hearts of palm and orange. This offering will be coming soon for large in-house groups due to popular demand!