Five Senses of Feast

 

Two years ago while visiting Portland with my parents my ears perked up at something I heard on the radio. I only remember sound clips: Sandwich. Invitational. Feast. Portland. Bon Appetit. I was still relatively new to the Pacific Northwest at the time so it was a mystery that grabbed my attention instantaneously. I needed to know more. Upon further Googling I learned 2 things: 1) Feast was an annual multi-day festival held in Portland, sponsored by Bon Appetit, that showcased Oregon’s bounty and featured several renowned Chefs from around the nation. 2) I HAD TO GO.

Fast forward two years to 2017. On the morning of June 2nd I sat at my computer, cheek in hand, impatiently refreshing the page where I’d purchase tickets for the festival once they were released at 11am. The moment struck and after surmounting a delay caused by an overloaded server I was in. I scored tickets to four events: Late Night Adventures in Takeout, The Grand Tasting (like a deluxe weekend costco sample experience), No Kilts Required: American Single Malts and—the piéce de résistance—Tillamook Presents: SMOKED (A BBQ PARTY, YA’LL).

June, July, and the early days of September crawled by, but finally it was time to pack up the Mazda3 and zoom down to Portland for Feast. The weekend unfolded in what I can only describe as a sensory extravaganza. One that I’m going to try and recreate for you now.

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Feast looked like –

  • A series of electric parties across the city accented by thematic mood lighting that gave every event charisma. My favorite was the neon, untraditional at a BBQ event.
  • Crowded, enthusiastic gatherings of all kinds of people—friends and strangers, groups and soloists, from different places, of different generations.
  • A tie-dye of stains on my shirts from who-knows-which saucy snacks.
  • A never ending sea of artistically composed dishes created by chefs whose home restaurants are peppered around the US.
  • A list to which I was always adding, documenting names of new restaurants I otherwise may have remained oblivious to.
  • Caramel colored splashes on my collar from that last whiskey cocktail I shouldn’t have had.

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Feast sounded like –

  • The ubiquitous hiss of raw meats sizzling on grills.
  • Exclamations between guests about which dishes were worth standing in line for—guiding my next move.
  • Bumpin’ music adding to the energy of the night accented by the percussion of iced bourbon cocktails being shaken in both fists by the boisterous bartenders.
  • Soft speaking between members of a restaurant’s staff underneath the tents.
  • The wise words of innovative chefs being interviewed by Bon Appetit’s Adam Rapoport.
  • Clattering of metal stock pots and pans. The metal clapping of tongs.
  • Joy during a time of political turbulence—laughter, casual conversation, excited statements punctuated by each new bite.
  • The low, slow groans of indigestion around 2am.

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Feast felt like –

  • Oregon’s warm September sun, it’s chilly twilight breezes.
  • The crunch of my first air fried dumpling, and the contrasting soft textures of regional cheeses.
  • The delicate balance of my wine glass in one hand and two small paper plates in the other.
  • Warmth from open faced grills.
  • Fumbling with utensils: chopsticks, forks, spoons, skewers.
  • The constant pressure of my finger on the shutter button of my camera.
  • Conflict because my stomach was full but MORE THAN ANYTHING I just wanted to keep eating.

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Feast smelt like –

  • Competing smoky scents from the forest fires of Jolly Mountain and the plumes dancing skyward from the charcoal grills.
  • Complex combinations of spicy aromas characteristic of single malt american whiskies.
  • An amalgam of currently-being-cooked dishes—fermented, peppery, sweet, mesquite, fruity, floral.
  • The perfume of Febreeze inside of a suburban mom’s lyft vehicle.

 

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Feast tasted like –

  • Fruit-forward wines from all over the pacific northwest.
  • Sweet baked goods and fragrant berry jams from local vendors.
  • Unique combinations of sweet and savory ingredients that I would’ve never thought to combine like brussels sprouts and pomegranate seeds.
  • Umami.
  • A just-been-torched s’more donut from Blue Star that was crunchier than I was expecting.
  • The spicy, moist brisket from Langbaan served in a pool of spicy gravy poured from a hot silver kettle, and decorated with flowers that packed a peppery punch that you can’t even imagine.
  • Very high quality hot dogs with very high quality pumped cheese.
  • The kind of tastes that left an impact on your palate, and lingered even after you brushed your teeth—more like a fond memory than an annoyance.

I am so grateful to have had the chance to attend my first Feast. For every moment I was there I was filled with joy and was able to momentarily forget about daily stresses that often overwhelm me. It wasn’t just me, I was surrounded by other people who were just as I happy as I was. I already look forward to the next Feast I’m able to attend. Next time I’ll go to one of the suppers, I won’t miss the Night Market, and I’ll bring more than 2 doses of indigestion tablets.

 

To learn more about the festival check out their website at feastportland.com

 

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Insta catchup + Playlist | 2.23

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The last few months have absolutely whizzed by so I thought now would be a good time to do a catch up of some of the haps that I’ve shared on Instagram. My feed has turned into a constant stream of interiors, outfits and anything else that inspires me; this includes, but is not limited to, brunch, coffee and maybe a flower or sixteen. Be sure to check out my profile at instagram.com/lacunningham.

In the mean time…this week’s playlist! Exciting news ahead. Stay tuned.

Speak to you soon!

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Twelve

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This week has already started off on the strongest foot I can imagine; with one week left until Spain, a beautiful photo shoot wrapped up this afternoon and the promise of some exciting projects on the horizon, I have no complaints.

I explored some new genres this week and really fell in love with some artists I hadn’t heard of before. Get ready to dance, ya’ll.

 

 

Speak to you soon!

follow me on Instagram at @lacunningham

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Recently | IG Catchup

via lacunningham on instagramApril was good to me. April took me on adventures to new places. April allowed me to try new things. April gave me clarity.

I think my favorite thing that I did this month was during my trip home to Little Rock, Arkansas. Saturday morning my mom and I rose with the sun to seek out the best of the city’s Farmer’s Markets. We spent the whole day strolling through aisles of freshly cut flowers and herbs, enveloped in the smells of homemade breads and baked goods. The city was buzzing with people happy to be in the sun; feeling the consoling rays of the morning on my bare shoulders made me forget the harsh winter that has now faded away.

There was also a boisterous, cheerful, older man who convinced me to cradle one of his pet chickens in my arms, but that’s another story for another time.

I hope April was as good to you as it was to me.

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

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Barista Parlor Mornings via iPhone

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBARISTAPPARLOR2 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset My love for breakfast food can, first and foremost, be attributed to my parents. They have instilled in me very strong values like having an unrequitable love for pastries, knowing that pancakes and waffles are BEST with butter and syrup and an unshakable confidence that you can always say yes to bacon.

Saturday mornings as a kid meant going out to breakfast with the two of them and my older brother. We’d pile in the car and go reputable places like Denny’s and Waffle House (I’ll take an All Star breakfast, please). So when they come to visit me in Nash, I try to pay it forward. This week: Barista Parlor.

Although they are best known for their coffee (which is also a Grand Slam), I have recently discovered that the breakfast menu at Barista Parlor is full of amazing surprises. For example, that local sausage + homemade biscuit with orange marmalade is something that surely keeps me coming back.

If you haven’t been, you should go. Here are a few helpful hints to make your first time as good as it can be:

1) Scope out a place to sit before you order.
2) Don’t be intimidated by that coffee setup; if you have questions ask your barista. If you just want a “normal cup of coffee,” tell them what you normally drink (even if it’s Folger’s, Dad) and they will point you in the direction of a v-60 (coffee brewing style) filled with coffee from incredible roaster that you will LOVE.
3) Get a pastry. Don’t ask questions, just do it.
4) People watch.
5) As with any new restaurant, order a variety of things on the menu. Unless you’re by yourself. Edit: Hopefully if you’re by yourself you are HUNGRY.

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

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March Favorites // April Playlist

FAVE_03141. The Spring Madewell Catalogue. It’s basically describing the Madewell girl to be a pretty tomboy. HELLO, is it me you’re looking for? They should just rename their brand to “hammer” because they nailed it. I poured over all of the images and outfits and a particular pair of boyfriend shorts (pictured above) all month. Check out their new collection here.

2. My little green roommate whose been bringing me positive feelings and hope for spring. I got this succulent at Trader Joe’s (which may as well be a favorite item in itself) for literally  $2.50.

3. The amethyst I picked up at the Flea Market was obviously a no brainer. Look how faceted and purple it is. It’s also my birth stone, so the fact that it’s in my room must mean that I’m really building up my Aquarius points about now. Right?

4. ULTIMATE SPRING LIPSTICK: Vegas Volt from MAC. It’s a florescent coral color that will change your life no matter what your skin tone may be.

5. Grace. I hadn’t had a chance to read Grace Coddington’s perfect memoir until now. I spotted it on a friend’s coffee table and promptly interrupted our conversation to inform him that I would be checking it out of his personal library.

6. Josephine. I really should stop talking about it, but I’m not over it yet. The wine list was never ending, the cheese plate was impressive, and the atmosphere was really unique for a Nashville restaurant. If you get the chance you’ve got to go.

7. Trader Joe’s (85% Cacao) Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar. Because I’ve tried to adapt some better eating habits this year, dark chocolate is my savior when I am craving something sweet but am trying my damnedest to battle my sugar cravings. I eat a 1 inch square and I am sa-tis-fied.

8. Maroon Zara boots. I got these for Christmas and they have been on my feet almost every day since then. Comfortable, versatile, pointed toe…another testament to my Masculine/Feminine wardrobe aesthetic. I’m not sure they still have this exact pair, but I can promise that you’ll stumble across another pair you like here.

9. LUSH Cosmetics Rosie giftbox. I bought this for myself and I’ve never felt more like a pampered princess than when I was surrounded by rose scented bubbles and then slathered in a rich, fragrant rose+aragon body conditioner. (Pro tip: don’t use the bubble macaroon in a jacuzzi. Don’t ask…just don’t.)

& finally

It wouldn’t be the beginning of a new month without a new playlist. Thanks to a flurry of SXSW recaps and Spotify success stories, I’ve discovered a lot of addictive (and eclectic) tuneage this month; it just so happens that it’s perfect for putting a little *spring* in your step. Open up your windows and enjoy…

 

 

Speak to you all soon!

 

 

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ZARA | Spring Fashion Inspo

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Last night I was inspiration hunting for a photoshoot I have the privilege of styling today. The story I developed for the shoot is titled “Runaways in San Tropez.

[PICTURE THIS]: It’s the 1990’s. Three Parisian twenty-somethings longing for a holiday at the sea finally escape the buzz of the city by fleeing to the south of France. They desperately want to fit in with the effortless elegance of the glamazons gracing San Tropez with their presence, but no matter how hard they try they can’t completely subdue their draw to all things grunge.

I want it be a juxtaposition of the glamourous style of the sixties (think: Audrey Hepburn) with, say, the staple styles of the 90’s (Drew Barrymore & Kate Moss circa 1994). Thus, when I ran across these Zara lookbooks (both their women’s line and their Trufaluc line) I was truly smitten.

(I should’ve just called this post Parentheses)

The silhouettes of these looks aren’t only something I hope to channel in my styling today, but also in my personal styling throughout the upcoming seasons. It’s hard to go wrong with solid colored, staple pieces…especially cropped ones. The whole Parisian closet movement is about all those things? Right?

The nineties shouldn’t be a period of fashion that we shake our heads at, but instead one that we nod to with a peep of skin, a good cut and a straight, maybe even slightly oversized, silhouette.

I, on the other hand, will be striving to look like a member of the Babysitter’s Club at all times. If you guessed Claudia, you’re right.

 

 

Speak to you soon!

 

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Nashville Guide: 12th Ave. South (Eats & Drinks)

12Smap_2HELPFUL INFOOne thing I can say, with confidence, about Nashville is that there is no shortage of places to get amazing food and drinks (beer, coffee, cocktails–everything). Another thing I can say with confidence is that there are a lot of different neighborhoods; trying to compress all of the them into one city guide would’ve been an overwhelming whirlwind that you never would’ve forgiven me for, so instead I opted to break things down into more digestible bits.

You can take that entire last sentence as a pun, and I won’t be mad about it.

I wasn’t really sure where to start with this tour-de-food, so I opted for my own neighborhood of 12 South. This area is located super near to Belmont University and Vanderbilt, and is about a five minute drive from downtown. I feel like every time I walk down the street there is a new restaurant, coffee shop or food truck parked on a corner that I didn’t notice the day before, and you don’t even need to think twice about if it’s going to be good. It just is.

Something cool about this street in particular is that there is such a wide variety of styles and types of cuisines. From Lebanese to pizza to BBQ–it would take a damn picky eater to not find something that made their stomach grumble. Most of the restaurants around here thrive on being farm-to-table, a lot of the product being sourced locally, and you can definitely taste the difference.

12 South feels a lot like the show Cheers–feeling at home usually only takes about one visit. Don’t be surprised if your second time around people already remember your name.

Unless it’s because you did something shameful. (We’ve all been there.)

 

Speak to you soon

 

 

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Nashville Flea Market

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The sun was shining and the fairgrounds were swarming with Nashville’s thriftiest.  The day was brisk; not quite warm enough to bare skin but enough so to venture out and enjoy the onset of springtime. In the air was a mix of aromas all stemming from a food trailer adorned with a large colorful sign that read “Hot dogs! Nachos! Funnel Cakes!” (my own personal utopia). Flea Market day.

The Nashville Flea Market happens every 3rd weekend of each month all year round. Hundreds of vendors load up and bring their trailers full of old furniture, minerals, animal hides, vintage clothes, handmade goods, knick knacks and whatever else you can imagine to set up camp on the Nashville fairgrounds for three whole days. The sprawl of merchandise brings a loyal crowd and you never really know what you’ll come across.

Today I was on the hunt for: a new lamp to illuminate the dark corner in my bedroom, some amethyst to put here and there, and maybe some frames for a couple of prints I picked up in England. Though I didn’t find the lamp or the frames , despite the plethura of candidates, I did score a gorgeous piece of amethyst and a really great blue agate stone for my end table.

If you’re in town on the 3rd weekend of the month, I highly recommend blocking out some time to check out the flea market. Sunday is a great time to go because it’s the last day and the merchants are more likely to haggle on the price. I’d say your best bet is to sleep in, grab some brunch and then head over to the grounds. Parking is five dollars (or free if you don’t mind a little bit of a walk), and most of the vendors only accept cash. If you forget to pull money out don’t fret because there is an ATM on site and cards are accepted at some of the stalls, as well.

I’ll be there next month! Hopefully you will too.

To learn more about the Nashville Flea Market, click here.

Speak to you all soon!

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March Instagram Catchup

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Being a freelance graphic designer is great. I get to set my own hours, choose the companies I design for, and wear exclusively soft clothes to work EVERY. DAY. I can also take a burrito break whenever I want, so yes–you could say this career path has its perks.

Being a freelance designer also means I’ve been super busy, hence my absence from my blog this week. I’ve been holed up in my room like a 20-something red headed hobbit with a fixation on only eating sweet potatoes and an aversion to sunshine and spring.

I have a lot of places to go and things to see (eat) and I’ll be starting those adventures so soon! Bare with me while I figure out how to balance my life, work, and mental stability.

 

Follow me on Instagram if you’d like to see more of my photos/adventures in real time : @lacunningham

 

Have a great day! Speak to you all soon

 

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