Notes from Karen Brooks’ TEDx Portland talk on the Portland food community, and the factors that led to our unique foodie culture.

Karen Brooks
Portland Monthly / Foodie
  • While the rest of the country focused on celebrity chefs…
  • Portland’s food scene developed with no leaders. Just a crazy crew of cooks and farmers and truckers.
  • Handmade, fabulous, and cheap.
  • Portland has easy access to the best farmers and farm land.
  • We don’t have access to money.
  • We are soaked to the bone most of the year, we need to find our own rays of sunshine.
  • Our good culture is small scale, extremely local, willfully eccentric.
  • It’s not just what taste good in our stomachs, but what makes our heart feel good: craft, connection, community. feeling respected.
  • Stirling Coffee Roasters, Adam and Eric. Two coffees roasted each day. identified by home town. but also by two words that seem to define it “the chocolate peanut”.
  • Farmer Gene trucks 300 miles each week from farm to Portland to stand on concrete all day long to sell his carrots at the Portland farmer’s market.
    • “Why does these taste so good?” “Because I talk to them!”
  • David, chocolate maker.
    • made in the back of a sandwich shop.
    • happens because of community. someone is willing to rent a space for $200. other people are willing to try to sell them.
    • booming business, made possible through community.
  • Crossroads for food today
    • Obseity, manufacturing, overconsumption, underconsumption.
  • Craft, Connection, Community. — Put these together.