Brandon’s Bite of Eugene
Brandon Preo, EDN
The third annual Bite of Eugene festival took place this past Saturday. The sun was shining, spirits were lifted, and so were the scents of baked, grilled, boiled, chopped, and steamed food from dozens of local food establishments. Beyond the food, Bite of Eugene also offered cooking demonstrations, live music, and an Iron Chef competition. If you missed the event, here is what you could have seen, heard, smelled, and tasted:
Admission was a $3 donation, free if you really couldn’t afford it, an unbeatable bargain considering everything that Bite of Eugene had to offer. Upon entering the festival, you were first be greeted by rows of vendors selling everything from cooking oils, to barbecue, to vegan recipes, and even bike powered smoothies! An entire field was converted into an inflatable playground for the kids. For the bigger kids, local breweries and wineries were on hand to offer up some of their finest. All the while you could hear the sound of music in the air. Local bands headlined the festival, one performing after the other. This year the stage featured Dream Dog, Oregon Old Time Fiddlers, Etouffee, Tyler Fortier, Mosley Wotta, Adventure Galley, and Samba Ja.
The winner of Bite of Eugene 2010’s Iron Chef competition Gabriel Gil of the Rabbit Bistro & Bar was in attendance to teach a cooking class on the Stella Artois Chef Stage. After the class, the 2011 Iron Chef competition began.
This years competitors were Mike Meyer of Red Agave, Heidi Tunnell of Heidi Tunnell Catering, Max Schwartz of Agate Alley Laboratory, and Shane Tracey of Nib Modern Eatery. After two rounds of competition and a considerable number of technical difficulties (no oven for 1 round), Chef Tunnell was crowned champion. She and her staff will now move on to Portland on August 12th for the Taste of Oregon Iron Chef competition. As of 9am Tuesday morning, Chef Tunnell went into labor with her first child…how’s that for an Iron Chef.