Chefs' Guilty Pleasures at the 2013 TBA Festival

Portland chefs reveal their indulgences via nightly pop-ups at PICA's 11th annual Time-Based Art Festival.

By Allison Jones August 29, 2013

Custom illustration for TBA by Will Bryant

For the second year in a row, the annual Time-Based Art Festival (TBA) from the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA) is banking on the near-universal appeal of food. 

Every night from September 12 through 21, exclusive nighttime pop-up kitchens will feature the dishes that local chefs love to prepare when they're off duty. Think summer fair foodstuffs and restaurant staff meals—casual affairs stocked with hot dogs, meatloaf, and nachos. 

Portland favorites like Cathy Whims of Nostrana and Oven & Shaker, Nong Poonsukwattana of Nong's Khao Man Gai, Gruner's Christopher Israel, and Biwa's Gabe Rosen will offer late-night snacks and homemade beverages (starting at 9:30 nightly). Drinks featuring Bull Run Distilling Co. spirits will be provided by the talented cocktail caterers from Merit Badge

Pop-up organizers Liz Calderón ( and Jake Sheffield (Gruner and Kask) promise a carnival atmosphere full of munchies. “It's more than just a pop-up kitchen," Calderón explains. "It is a project about food and celebrating food culture through the lens of humor. We want to find out what happens when nothing is off limits and you can just be as adventurous as you want to. 

Of course, it wouldn't be a TBA event without some creative collaboration: local artists and designers have been recruited to create a limited number of unique, stylishly-topped hot dogs available to order each night, and a cookbook will be released after the festival featuring all of the TBA DAWGS.

The edible fun is going down at The Works at Con-Way (NW 21st and Quimby). For the full TBA schedule, head to the PICA website, and stay up-to-date with Portland Monthly's in-depth arts and culture coverage.

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