NSVC: [Fwd: portland pig cook-off]

Jim Stewart js at strappe.com
Sat May 22 20:47:28 PDT 2010

I love Portland - grew up there when it wasn't trendy. Still love it...


-------- Original Message --------
Subject: portland pig cook-off
Date: Sat, 22 May 2010 17:47:05 -0800
From: Doug <LMcGuire at CCWEBSTER.NET>
Reply-To: Doug <LMcGuire at CCWEBSTER.NET>

Portland pig cook-off followed by brawl over the provenance of pork |
OregonLive.comWe take our "made in Oregon" stuff seriously, you really want
to get people upset?  Try bringing up beers made outside the Pacific
Northwest.. or try to shut down our strip clubs.   Fists will fly.

God Bless America!

PORTLAND NEWS Breaking news,  Portland pig cook-off followed by brawl over
the provenance of pork
By Leslie Cole, The Oregonian

May 18, 2010, 8:34PM
A prestigious pig cook-off at the Governor Hotel Sunday night was followed
by at least two head buttings and a fist-fight outside an Old Town strip
joint. Portland police were called to break up the rumble, which sent a
renowned chef and the event's organizer to jail after one had been
pepper-sprayed and the other shot with a taser.

And it was all over a pig.

Eric Bechard,  the heralded young chef behind Thistle in McMinnville,
confronted Brady Lowe,  the Atlanta-based organizer of Cochon 555, around 2
a.m., angrily denouncing his event for giving top marks to pork raised in

Eric Berchard"People need to support Oregon farmers and local business,"
Bechard told the Portland police officer who arrested him. He added that he
thought it was "messed up" that the culinary show "would have guests from
San Francisco and that a pig was brought all the way in from Iowa."

Lowe, who said he had a concussion and a fractured leg, was getting ready
Tuesday to pick up a dressed pig from Sweet Briar Farms  in Eugene  for the
next Cochon 555 scheduled Sunday in Seattle.

The promoter of heritage pork ? antique breeds raised on small farms for
epicures -- said the ruckus took the focus off good food, which was the
point of the event.

"It's sad to the see a celebration for heritage pork get upstaged by the
actions of a local hooligan. There's no place in the true chef community 
someone like that."

Besides, Lowe said the event in Portland featured three pigs from Oregon,
one from Kansas and one from Iowa. Judges and the 400 participants who paid
up to $175 to attend voted on the outcome of the cooking competition.

Bechard was not one of the five chefs to compete and in fact, had not heard
of the event before a week ago. He said he isn't the only chef to find the
whole idea distasteful. "We as Oregonians pride ourselves on sustainable 
local, so to be in a room full of those people, who then voted for this 
pig, it was disappointing."

Bechard, whose restaurant was mentioned in the New York Times last month,
first made his mark in the Portland dining scene as chef at the now-closed
Alberta Street Oyster Bar. He was noted as a rising star among the new 
of young chefs emphasizing locally grown food. At Thistle, Bechard prides
himself on sourcing all of his ingredients from Yamhill County.

Lowe takes his road show to 10 cities in what is billed as a friendly
competition between the best local chefs. Five competitors are paired with
whole pigs and charged with making dishes from the entire animal.

Sunday night, Jason Barwikowski,  head chef of the Portland restaurant
Olympic Provisions,  won the title Prince of Porc, using a red wattle pig
raised on Koerperich Farm in Iowa.

The trouble began around 9:30 p.m. when the party moved to Davis Street
Tavern in Old Town. Witnesses said Bechard elbowed and then head-butted
Craig Hedstrom,  sales manager for Elk Cove Vineyards, one of the wineries
participating in the earlier event. Hedstrom said former chef Tom Hurley,
who happened to be at the bar that night, stepped in to escort Bechard out
of the bar.

Blake Smith, owner of the bar, told police that Bechard was visibly
intoxicated when he first arrived and threatened him when he was asked to

After the tavern closed, Bechard, Lowe and others ended up at the Magic
Gardens strip club a few blocks away. Shortly before 2 a.m., police were
called to break up a fight outside the club at 217 N.W. Fourth St. 
said Bechard started shoving Lowe and then was throwing punches, with the
two ending up on the ground. One witness quoted Bechard as saying, "Food
doesn't come from San Francisco, food comes from Portland."

At least seven officers were called to the fight which ended with Lowe
getting tased and Bechard being pepper-sprayed. Bechard was charged with
disorderly conduct, harassment and interfering with a police officer. Lowe
was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.

The Multnomah County District Attorney's office declined to prosecute and
dropped the charges.

Jason French,  owner of Ned Ludd, a Portland restaurant that also 
all local food, said if anything he blames the melee on chefs, egos and 
of alcohol.

"If there's any question why things go down, you don't have to look past 
amount of wine and booze flowin," he said. "It was a fun event that went

As for Lowe, he said he plans to return next year.

"I love Portland," Lowe said. "I don't think this chef should give the city
a black eye.

-- Leslie Cole


Keep Portland weird.

9:07PM This is fantastic. If locavore principles are at the top of the
police blotter I'm in the right town.

Posted by luckydog1  I hope they used locally grown peppers for the pepper

Also, what about the strippers? I hope they didn't bring any of them in 
Iowa. It's better to eat Iowa pork and support local strippers than the
other way around. Anyone who has been to Iowa will agree.

Posted by Pseudotsugas  Men are such pigs!

Posted by stinger139  Sounds like a bunch of hog wash to me!

Posted by lalalala Some people sure like to sow trouble.

Posted by ednumrich  See? It's all these "chefs" moving here from "back
East"! To serve Californians who sold out before housing prices collapsed
and moved here, too. Ha-Ha!

Blame it on Powell's Book Store. Nobody heard of Portland before.
And with no lock on the pigs at the trough, well . . .

Posted by nik Pretty much a quintessential Portland story: Hipsters,
Foodies, excessive drinking and a strip club. Only thing missing was 
they traveled by bicycle, streetcar, or Prius between venues.

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