6–10 p.m. Fri, May 25, Tournant, $45 in advance, $50 at the door
Star sommelier, natural wine expert, and former Dame owner Dana Frank returns for her third edition of Natty by Nature, an ode to natural wine and '80s/'90s hip-hop. The event whizzes at Tournant cook up oysters, tapas, and a giant platter of rabbit and sausage fideos to match Frank’s natural wine list.
Ox Box Returns
11 a.m.–2 p.m. starting Mon, May 28 and running through Labor Day, Ox parking lot
Last year, the Ox crew made parking lot dining a chic affair with its summer Ox Box pop-up—an oak smoke-perfumed cookout devoted to Argentinian choripan hot dogs and an amazing, chimichurri-slathered grilled eggplant sandwich. “It’s like a highbrow backyard barbecue—with South American spiced sandwiches prepared by pro chefs at a grill 10 feet away from your umbrella-shaded patio table,” we wrote last year. Now, Ox’s Greg Denton reports, the Box is back starting Memorial Day. Expect all of last year’s grilled hits, plus a riff on Ox’s fabled clam chowder, served with halibut and smoked marrow croutons this time around. Also on the docket? Shrimp ceviche and morcipan, “house-made morcilla sausage served with hot peppers and onions.”
Chef Greg Gourdet Cooks His Haitian Roots—with His Mom
4 p.m. Sun, June 3, Departure Restaurant, $90 (call 503-802-5370 to reserve)
Top Chef star and Departure head Greg Gourdet has made a name for himself with modernist pan-Asian cuisine. But on Sunday, June 3, he reaches farther back to his Haitian roots for an 11-course dinner at Departure. And he's got a special sous chef: his mom, Yanick. The family-style dinner comes on the heels of the chef’s “heart-opening” May visit to the island. Gourdet has planned a roster of iconic dishes—twice-cooked griot pork to conch simmered with tomatoes, baked fish with citrus and chiles, fried sweet plantains, condensed milk fudge and peanut praline. “These were the dishes served on our family table on Sunday afternoons growing up,” he says. Psst: the dinner is also a test run for Departure’s July “Haiti in my Heart” dinner at New York City's James Beard House. Proceeds from the Portland dinner benefit the J.A Clermont Foundation, a center for homeless children in Jacmel, Haiti.
7–9:15 p.m. Sun, June 3, Providore Fine Foods, $65
Lyf Gildersleeve, the fish monger behind Flying Fish teams with sushi chef Kevin Trinh for a primer on sushi-making, using the market’s hyper-local, super-fresh fish.
Pix Patisserie Movies at Dusk
8/8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, June 6–Sept 26, Pix Patisserie/Bar Vivant, FREE (minimum $5 purchase required)
One of Portland’s best underground food experiences, Pix opens up its Euro-style courtyard every Wednesday at dusk during the summer, spins up a giant projector, and serves tapas, beer, and cider all night long. To give you a taste of owner Cheryl Wakerhauser’s eclectic movie taste: the season kicks off on June 6 this year with Amelie, followed by Hoosiers, West Side Story, and The Big Lebowski.
7:30 p.m. June 13, Powell’s City of Books, FREE
PoMo food critic Karen Brooks sits down with James Beard Award-winning British food writer Diana Henry to talk about her new cookbook, How to Eat a Peach. It’s a dive into the storytelling and memory-making power of menu development, along with 24 seasonal menu plans and 100 recipes.