Now, more than ever, Portland chefs are becoming culinary globetrotters, spreading the local food gospel while soaking in fresh ideas and old traditions to bring back home. Some travel to discover lost family recipes, or perhaps to study at the feet of masters. Others are on a mission to learn everything they can about food-rich regions. Whatever the reason, this much is clear: we want to hear those stories, from road trip snacks to ideas that could influence what we eat in Portland.
Eat Beat’s new series, “Postcards from the Food Edge,” kicks off with Jose and Cristina Chesa, owners of Northwest Portland’s Spanish darling Ataula and acclaimed Northeast churro shop 180. The duo recently made their first-ever journey to Mexico City to cook four dinners at a new cooking lab from Mexican food god Enrique Olvera, owner of the world-renowned Pujol (Mexico City) and hot spot Cosme (New York). Along the way, they reconsidered the taco, mulled the difference between Spanish and Mexican churros, and discovered the allure of ant powder. —Karen Brooks, Food Critic