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June 12: Feast with Local Food Heroes at Summer's First BBQ

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On June 12, Edible Portland and Ecotrust are holding their 7th annual Local Hero Awards, with a keynote by Nell Newman, to honor outstanding members of our local food community. This year’s celebration will take the event to new heights by bringing in renowned local chefs John Gorham (Toro Bravo, Tasty & Sons, Tasty & Alder), Scott Dolich (Park Kitchen, The Bent Brick), Greg Higgins (Higgins Restaurant), Stacey Givens (Side Yard Farm & Kitchen), Ashley Bisagna (Feastworks), and Jameson Maspaitella (Simpatica) to put their culinary brilliance toward preparing the best barbecue, sourced directly from our region’s most sustainable producers: Carman Ranch, Hawkins’ Sisters Ranch, Reister Farms, Goat Mountain Pastured Meats, Port Orford Sustainable Seafood, Turtle Island Foods, and Anderson Ranches. 

To top it off, we’ll have microbrews from six local breweries and a Hall of Pie featuring six Portland pie masters and nearly bottomless ice cream from local fave, Salt & Straw. All proceeds support Ecotrust’s work to build a resilient regional food system.

Before the feasting begins, social entrepreneur Nell Newman of Newman’s Own Organics will feed your mind with a talk on the power of social enterprise — what it means to run a business that aims for far more than profit. Newman will announce the winners of this year’s Local Hero Awards, voted for by 2,000-plus members of the public in each of six categories: Farm, Restaurant, Food Artisan, Beverage Artisan, Nonprofit/Educator, and Retailer. The nominees represent the people and businesses who are making the greatest strides toward creating a robust regional food system that is environmentally sound and socially just. 

“This is not just the summer’s first BBQ, but arguably its best,” says Amanda Oborne, Food & Farms Vice President of Ecotrust. “Not only are the chefs and producers preparing a stunning menu of delicious food, but you can feel good about every single bite. The entire line-up of chefs, producers, and award nominees represents businesses that are changing the face of food: transforming how they source ingredients, care for their animals and land, treat their workers, and engage with their communities. These are the innovators in a new wave of socially responsible food businesses, even though some of them have been doing what they do for a lifetime. I hope you’ll join us in this joyful, raucous, finger-licking celebration of local food heroes.”

“Local Hero Award recipients and nominees are entrepreneurs who have undertaken daunting projects to achieve their goal of elevating our communities,” reflects Damian Magista, founder of Bee Local Honey and the 2013 food artisan winner. “To see the community support for Bee Local was both humbling and inspiring. It meant my mission was not only resoundingly supported but fully understood as well.”

Tickets for the event go on sale today, May 1.

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