The unlucky pig stuffed with jerky poses on 8th and Couch.

Boasting four different culinary programs, not to mention the only school in the state offering a bachelor’s degree in culinary management, the newly minted International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Portland is setting out to make its mark on an already food-obsessed community.

On July 30, food and drink enthusiasts, along with community leaders and AI faculty gathered to toast the school’s opening. The event featured a handful of Portland’s most prominent chefs, restaurateurs, and purveyors. Snacking on cupcakes (Kir Jensen from Two Tarts Bakery), a toothsome artisan cheese spread (Steve Jones of Steve’s Cheese), to piles of pork (Morgan Brownlow of Tails & Trotters), not to mention an assortment booze (House Spirits), wines, and NW beer, Portland’s culinary contingent was well represented.

Cacao provided a mouth-watering assortment of more than 24 different types of chocolate while Brownlow performed a live butchering demo. Additionally, anyone standing on the corner of NW 8th Ave. and Couch became witness to a symbolic pig slaughter—the destruction and downfall of a pig piñata, stuffed with Country Cat’s superb beef jerky.

This event and the crowds of epicurean experts that it drew in are truly a testament that despite the rough economic times, Portland’s dedication to the culinary arts is not only flourishing, but growing. Say, any of that jerky left?

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