La Ruta PDX: A Gastronomic Festival is an industry and trade focused event series celebrating the culinary culture of Spain in Portland, Oregon from the 13th to the 16th of July of this year. Chefs from Spain will join forces with chefs from Portland in a series of collaboration dinners. Events throughout the festival will showcase Spanish products, purveyors, and specialty equipment to encourage collaboration and mutual enrichment between the two gastronomic cultures.
This year’s guest traveling chefs and ambassadors include Michelin-starred chef Manuel Alonso of Casa Manolo in Valencia, Basque chef Mikel del Luis chef Juanjo Canals of Con Amor in Madrid, Jordi Parra formerly of Ferran Adriá’s Michelin 3-star restaurant elBulli, David Ramos from Klimer in Madrid, Spanish food insider Alex Cardona of Aborigens in Barcelona. Spanish chefs and ambassadors will collaborate with Portland chefs in an exclusive dinner series at Toro Bravo, Can Font, Bar Casa Vale, Urdaneta, and Park Ave Wines. The festival’s paramount dinner will feature a collaboration between all guest Spanish chefs at PLAZA DEL TORO. Live Wire host Luke Burbank will moderate a panel with the chefs at the festival’s finale, Tastes of Spain, at Director Park in downtown Portland.
Spanish winemakers include Ana Lopez of Gramona Winery, Xavier Exteve of Avinyó Winery, and Benoit Petillon of Faustino Winery, Victor Charcan of Bodegas Roda and Albert Jane of Bodegas Acústic Celler. More than 50 wines will be presented by winemakers, importers, and distributors throughout the festival at the feria and trade show, Tastes of Spain, collaborative dinners, and wine seminars.
VIP festival tickets will go on sale Monday, May 15th and include VIP access to the film premiere, early VIP access to the feria & trade show, early VIP access to Tastes of Spain, access to exclusive after parties each night of the festival, and a seat at one ambassador dinner of choice. Ambassador dinners are limited to 10 VIP tickets per dinner and are first come, first serve. Only 50 VIP tickets will be sold. General admission tickets will go on sale Tuesday, May 16th. Tickets will be available through www.larutapdx.com.
Proceeds from the festival benefit The Portland Kitchen, a nonprofit using food and cooking to change the lives of underserved youth.
Schedule of Events:
FILM & FESTIVAL PREMIERE – Thursday, July 13
The festival launches with a premiere party and screening of the Spanish documentary film Soul at the Portland Art Museum co-presented by NW Film Center about Basque Country 3-star Michelin chef Eneko Atxa tackling the complex universe of haute cuisine. A cocktail hour before the film will offer cava from Suriol and passed tapas from PLAZA DEL TORO chef Michael Kessler. VIP access will include paella from Jaret Foster and Mona Johnson of Tournant and Gramona Cava. The film will be introduced by Soul film producer Pedro Peira. A cheese and dessert reception after the film will feature Soul star Eneko Atxa’s txakolina being poured in Oregon for the first time.
AMBASSADOR DINNER SERIES – Friday, July 14
Chefs, ambassadors, and winemakers from Spain collaborate with chefs from Portland in private seated dinners at some of Portland’s top Spanish restaurants:
- Michelin-starred chef Manuel Alonso of Casa Manolo (Valencia) with Josep Vidal and winemaker Victor Charcan of Bodegas Roda winery at Can Font
- Mikel de Luis (Bilbao/NYC) with Javier Canteras and Benoit Petillon of Bodegas Faustino winery at Urdaneta
- Juanjo Canals of Con Amor (Madrid) with Nate Tilden and Valdespino Sherry shown by Brian Martin of Galaxy Wine Company at Bar Casa Vale
- Jordi Parra (formerly of Ferran Adriá’s elBulli) and David Ramos (Madrid) with John Gorham and winemaker Xavier Esteve of Avinyo winery at Toro Bravo
- A reunion dinner featuring Toro Bravo alumni chefs Kasey Mills (Mediterranean Exploration Company / Shalom Y’all) and Josh Scofield (Pollo Bravo) with Spanish food insider Alex Cardona of Aborigens (Barcelona) and winemaker Ana Lopez of Gramona winery at Park Ave Wines.
SPANISH WINE, SIDRA & SHERRY SEMINARS – Friday, Saturday, and Sunday July 14-16
Guests are educated through intimate discussion and tastings of regional Spanish beverages by Victor Charcan of Bodegas Roda, Albert Jané of Bodegas Acústic Celler, Jim Asbel of Ciders of Spain, and Brian Martin of Galaxy Wine Company.
FERIA & TRADE SHOW – Saturday, July 15
PLAZA DEL TORO and Southeast 2nd Avenue between Taylor and Yamhill transform into an trade show featuring an array of products and equipment from Spanish and local purveyors, culinary demos, and an extensive variety of beverage tastings presented by winemakers, distillers, brewers, and cider makers from Spain and Oregon. Demos include paella cooking by Aneto Natural, knife sharpening by Murray Carter, rabbit butchery by Camas DavisPortland Meat Collective, and jamón carving by Manuel Recio of Conserva and Viridian Farms. Guests can enjoy product samples, GinTonic competition, Miro Vermut Hour, Carter Cutlery knife raffle, and an exhibit of oil paintings by Holly Grosvenor of the Asturias region of Spain.
LA RUTA DEL TORO DINNER at PLAZA DEL TORO- Saturday, July 15
Chefs from Spain collaborate for the festival’s paramount dinner at Portland’s PLAZA DEL TORO gastronomic society. Manuel Alonso of Casa Manolo (Valencia), Jordi Parra (Barcelona), Mikel de Luis (Bilbao/NYC), and Juanjo Canals of Con Amor (Madrid) will each present a course at this seated dinner with dessert by Luis Moyano (Madrid/Portland) and winemaker Albert Jane of Bodegas Acústic Celler. Classical Spanish guitarist Ryan Walsh will set the tone of the evening.
TASTES OF SPAIN at Director Park – Sunday, July 16
The final event of the festival features bites from more than 15 local and Spanish chefs and artisans with extensive beverage tasting from winemakers, brewers, and sidra makers of Spain and Oregon. Luke Burbank of Live Wire will host a panel on the main stage in Director Park with the traveling Spanish chefs and Kelly Cox from PBS Food’s Original Fare will interview participating festival chefs, artisans, and winemakers. Live entertainment will be hosted by Pepe Raphael (of Pepe and the Bottles Blondes) with live music and dance from Espacio Flamenco, who will also offer a pop-up Flamenco class for kids who will perform later in the event. Additional entertainment includes Barcelona street art, face painting, and students from nonprofit My Voice Music will open the live entertainment with an original Spanish song written in collaboration with Pepe Raphael.