Pear Bisque With Buttermilk + Feast Portland

Story by Holly
Pear Bisque With Buttermilk + Feast Portland
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I first heard about the incredible event that is FEAST last September. If you aren't familiar, FEAST is an over the top yearly food festival that takes place in the heart of the Northwest’s culinary hub, Portland, Or. I may just be speaking for myself here, but after traveling all over, hands down Portland is still one of the best food cities and I'm so happy to once again be able to call the city I was raised in home after 12 years away. chefs slinging Flinstonian cuts of beef, pork, fish, and fowl as excited diners wander from pit to pit...

Pear Bisque With Buttermilk + Feast Portland

Even though I discovered FEAST last year, I was sadly unable to attend any of its famed events. Fellow bloggers and friends made sure to give me all the juicy and mouth watering details leaving me with a serious case of FOMO and a lot of anticipation for the 2016 event, which also happened to be FEAST’s 5th year anniversary. Natalie and I waited patiently all year for Little Green Pickle (an amazing local PR company who’s in cahoots with FEAST) to release the application for FEAST blogger passes, which generously chooses one of the special events of the weekend for us to attend.

FEAST’s events range in foodie themes such as the Sandwich Invitational (where “14 of the best chefs in the country...stuff any idea possible between two slices of bread), the Night Market (dubbed “the party of all parties, featuring a light-strung village of stalls serving up a crazy slate of street food”), Smoked! (a “meat-fueled inferno of the best chefs slinging Flinstonian cuts of beef, pork, fish, and fowl as excited diners wander from pit to pit), and finally, Brunch Village (a “colossal celebration of everyone’s favorite meal”...where top chefs “create the ultimate offerings of pork, eggs, flour, salt, butter, booze and love”). It all sounds too good to be true, right?  

Pear Bisque With Buttermilk + Feast Portland

While all the events are spectacular (obviously), we were thrilled to discover that we had been given blogger passes to Smoked!, and it was everything and more that we had dreamt it would be. The best chefs from around the country showing off their favorite meat centric dishes, competing not against each other, but against themselves to see just how far they could go. Truly, we partook in some of the best food we've ever eaten. Honorable mention from us goes to Chef Nina Compton, who created one of our favorite bites of the night- a roasted jerk goat that was so packed with flavor I nearly went back for seconds...but was forced to face the tragic reality that I didn't have room for another bite. It was just too sad.

In addition to the main events mentioned above, FEAST boasts two days worth of Grand Tastings (which is described as a “culinary road trip of America’s food culture). It was on Friday’s tasting that Natalie and I discovered a dish so lovely that we determined to find a way to share it here on the blog and were lucky enough to get some recipe tips from the dish’s creator, chef extraordinaire Doug Adams. When we told him we wanted to feature a home cook’s version of his Bartlett pear soup with tarragon, he graciously and enthusiastically started divulging all of his tips and tricks to get the flavors just right. With his advice in our back pockets, we've made our own version of this amazing soup. Though we are hardly top chefs, we pride ourselves on having some pretty dang good tastebuds and think that this version of pear soup comes close to the soup chef Doug created for the FEAST festivities.

Pear Bisque With Buttermilk + Feast Portland

Natalie and I are already looking forward to FEAST Portland next September, because let's be honest…when else is it socially acceptable, even encouraged, to stuff yourself to uncomfortable levels on some of the finest food in the country? But don't let us have all the fun, FEAST is open to the public and anyone who secures tickets. We can't encourage you enough to join us next year at Portland’s favorite food festival. When you see us there, you'll be sure to thank us (through greasy lips and full mouths of course).

Pear Bisque With Buttermilk + Feast Portland

Pear Bisque With Buttermilk + Feast Portland

Serves 4


4 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
3 shallots, peeled and diced
2 large leeks roughly chopped, light green and white parts only
3 garlic cloves, smashed
4 large pears, peeled, cored and diced
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped (plus more for serving)
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
freshly ground pepper


In a large skillet melt butter with oil over medium heat. Add shallots and leeks and sauté until leeks are soft, add garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Add pears and sauté until pears just begin to soften and turn a nice golden brown. Add tarragon and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add white wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook until the wine has reduced by half.

Pour the pear leek mixture into a blender and add water and salt. Blend until completely smooth. Pour the bisque into a pot and stir in the buttermilk. Allow to cook on low, stirring often, until buttermilk is fully incorporated. Add more salt and pepper to taste if needed.

Serve with extra tarragon (fry the tarragon for boosted flavor), freshly ground pepper and a little buttermilk.