Portland chefs Anthony Cafiero (left) and Greg Denton compete at a past Wild About Game competition.

Image: Allison Jones

Nicky USA’s Wild About Game competition is the Pacific Northwest culinary face-off: four Portland chefs go head-to-head with four Seattle chefs on Mount Hood in a meaty showdown, featuring wild game such as quail, elk, wild boar, and rabbit. Like last year, the chefs will perform for several notable judges: Jordana Rothman, restaurant editor for Food & Wine, Kathleen Squires, a New York Times bestselling author, and Adam Callaghan, the editor of Eater Seattle. 

This Portland team is truly a force to be reckoned with, including Han Oak’s Peter Cho (our 2017 Restaurant of the Year) and Castagna’s Justin Woodward, a James Beard Award-nominated modernist powerhouse. Rounding out the team are two longstanding, celebrated Portland chefs, Trifecta Tavern's Chris DiMinno and Aviary's Sarah Pliner.

Ticket holders get access to the Artisan Marketplace, a sprawling bazaar of spirits, coffee, cured meats, sweets, and ice cream, as well as to the main events. This year, a new Maker’s Mark cocktail competition has been added. (Known fact: the best place to sip a cocktail is on Oregon’s tallest peak.)

The 18th annual competition falls on September 30, again at Resort at the Mountain in Welches, Oregon. Tickets ($75) are already on sale. Pro tip: they sell out fast.

Here’s the roster for 2018: 

Portland

Peter Cho, Han Oak

Chris DiMinno, Trifecta Tavern

Sarah Pliner, Aviary

Justin Woodward, Castagna

Seattle

Alex Barkley, Manolin

David Nichols, Rider

Derek Ronspies, Le Petit Cochon

Aaron Willis, Ciudad Grill

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