Saturday Brunch – August 3, 2019
-> Hearty Chicago and Midwest sandwiches tied to Americana cosmic country twang.
ABOUT THE CHEF: To get a sense of Melissa McMillan’s no-shortcuts attitude, just sink your teeth into her signature Montreal-style pastrami sandwich, which she serves at her two eateries in Oregon. In 2013, she opened Sammich in Ashland, her first brick-and-mortar restaurant; three years later, her Pastrami Zombie food truck launched in Portland to rave reviews. Now the Sammich Queen has opened her third location, Sammich PDX in December of 2017. Each locally sourced ingredient tells a different part of McMillan’s story. She traces her obsession with homemade meats back to her childhood in Texas, the heart of barbecue country. It’s why she roasts, smokes, and cures it all in-house. Everything else she puts between two slices of bread comes from an obsession with no-gimmicks Chicago delis, something she missed when she left the Windy City. With a religious fervor for baseball, she borrows her motto from her favorite team, the Chicago Cubs: “Do simple better.” That ethos has earned her ink in national publications such as The New York Times and Sunset Magazine. She even landed on Portland Monthly’s list of top women business owners. But McMillan finds the most satisfaction when she hangs out with her four brothers, coaches baseball in her community and peers through her food-truck window at happy customers trying to smile as they stuff their faces with kick-ass sandwiches.
ABOUT CURATION: Each Curation event at Pickathon lasts an hour and a half, starting with appetizers and drinks from the featured bartender, also drawn from Portland’s culinary scene. Curation attendees then enjoy an intimate and special performance by the guest artist who has been paired with the Curation chef. Following the performance, the chef presents an expanded multi-course meal conceived of and designed for the Curation event. The chefs conceptualize this menu based on discussions with the band and food provider, drawing inspiration from the artists’ music to create one-of-a-kind menus. The table is set under the forested greenery of Pendarvis Farm, and the band plays to an audience of select guests eager to discover something new. Curation looks to the crossroads of creativity, as chef and artist draw inspiration from each other, and push each other to new heights. The result is a magical experience, a festival within a festival.