March 16th, 2011

Hey Chef Crush fans,

It’s time to officially put this labor of love to rest. Sadly, I no longer have the time nor the resources to keep up to date. Thanks to all of you who have laughed and lunched with me over the years! Crush on…

Crush Girl

Jeff @ Ten-01

October 5th, 2010

JEFF @ Ten-01 (503) 226-3463
1001 NW Couch Street, Portland, Oregon, 97209

Why he’s dreamy:
This pastry poet will sweet-talk you without saying a word- it’s all in his delicious dessert creations…Chocolate-covered salted pretzel sticks to dip in impossibly creamy butterscotch pudding? A naughty little limerick for your tastebuds! And anything this cutie does with chocolate is like a bittersweet sonnet: perfectly composed to melt your heart like it melts on your tongue. Oh yeah, we’re smitten…

Paul @ Pinot

September 12th, 2010

PAUL @ Pinot (503) 719-5506
1205 SW Washington Street, Portland, Oregon, 97205

Why he’s dreamy:
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again…Steak frites. It’s a deceptively simple dish, yet so few places get it right. This charming chef knows that sometimes a girl needs familiar, comfort foods done impeccably, not trendy, frou-frou entrees. But don’t confuse simplicity and technique with boring or uninspired- a recent panna cotta with candied fennel was the perfect balance between classic preparation and unexpected flavor. Truly swoon-worthy…

Kyle and Colin @ Tasty ‘n’ Sons

September 3rd, 2010

KYLE and COLIN @ Tasty’n'Sons (503) 621-1400
3808 N. Williams, Suite C, Portland, OR, 97212

Why they’re dreamy:
You want a bacon cheeseburger at 9am? Or potatoes bravas with an over-easy egg at 1pm? These cuties have you covered. The menu changes just regularly enough that whenever you think you’ve tried everything, there are new morsels to sample. Don’t miss the french toast, which is like dessert for breakfast, or the imminently crushable cobb salad…

Jimmy @ Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty

June 29th, 2010

JIMMY @ Lovely’s Fifty-Fifty (503) 281-4060
4039 N. Mississippi, Suite #101, Portland, OR, 97227

Why he’s dreamy:
Pizza. Few things inspire such slavish devotion as a perfect pie, and this cutie’s inventive-yet-balanced combinations, quality ingredients, and paper-thin crust make for a stellar one. As if that weren’t enough, I have three words for you that should make you swoon: salted caramel gelato. It makes a good girl want to be very, very naughty…

Taste of the Nation Tips 2010

April 12th, 2010

Hey there, Crush Kids! It’s almost that time of year again. Yep, my favorite annual charity food event, Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation – Portland, is coming up Monday, April 26th, and it’s always a chef crush bonanza. Click the photo below for more information or to purchase tickets…

This will be my fourth Taste, and by now I have a finely-honed plan of attack. Here are my tips for getting the most out of your TotN experience…

1. Spring for the VIP or Luxe ticket. Regular admission is $75, but it is absolutely worth it to pony up the extra fifty bucks for $125 VIP access. VIP’s get an extra hour in the building before general admission, plus special nibbles from select restaurants not available to regular ticket holders. At $175, the Luxe ticket is spendy but gets you all the VIP perks, plus admittance to a private lounge, entrance a half hour prior to VIP, take-home goodies, and reserved parking. Remember, every penny of your ticket cost goes to fight childhood hunger, so go ahead and spoil yourself!

2. Go comfortable and classy. I’ve seen Taste attendees in everything from tuxedos to ripped jeans, but I advocate wearing something in between. You’re spending at least $75 on dinner and drinks after all- dress accordingly. However, overindulgence is almost certain, so you don’t want anything too tight-fitting. I suggest kimono or babydoll dresses/blouses for the ladies, loose-cut trousers and belts with at least a few extra holes for the gentlemen.

3. Head to the back of the class, err, room. Instead of getting caught in the traffic at the booths nearest the entrance, I head to the opposite side of the room and work my way back. There are almost always bigger lines at the booths close to the door since people want to get something right away. Why not breeze through the back tables first?

4. Don’t linger. Politely get your sample and move along so A) you’re not in the way of other Tasters, and B) you can try as much as possible before the general admission crowd overruns the place. (Because you followed tip #1 and got a VIP or Luxe ticket, right? Right?!?!)

5. Resist the urge for seconds until you’ve tried everything. The first couple years I got repeat samples of items I liked and found myself too full to continue with at least a third of the options untasted. Learn from my mistakes…

6. Try to remember which restaurants you like. Usually about an hour in, I find myself food-drunk and woozy, but I do try to remember which places managed to catch my attention in the span of a mouthful. I always leave the Taste with a list of restaurants I want to try based on their TotN offerings. And I think it’s nice to support establishments that donate their time and resources to charity, don’t you?

Hope to see you all there!

Camp @ Spints Alehouse

April 9th, 2010

CAMP @ Spints Alehouse
401 NE 28th Avenue, Portland, Oregon, 97232

Why he’s dreamy:
Two words: dirty pretzel. A salty, crusted pillow of a pretzel, topped with decadent deliciousness- fried chicken and gravy one week, nacho fixin’s the next- and only $6 at happy hour! The menu changes often, and there is always an enticing entree for you vegetarians too, like spaetzle with nettle broth, leeks and goat ricotta. And trust me, it is imperative that you leave room for dessert- this huggable chefboy is sending out some of the most succulent sweets in town.

Trent @ Foster Burger

February 19th, 2010

TRENT @ Foster Burger (503) 775-2077
5339 SE Foster Road, Portland, Oregon, 97206

Why he’s dreamy:
Someone once gave me an excellent piece of dining-out advice, and I’m passing it on to you here, free of charge…When you go to a restaurant that has a particular food item in its name, you should order that food. Then you know that if it isn’t any good, you never have to go back, because if they put it in their name but can’t make it tasty…Well, it doesn’t bode well for the foodstuffs they’re not literally staking their name on. You won’t have to worry about that at Foster Burger. I hear the salads and shakes are worth trying, but I can’t seem to get past the luscious hunk of extra-back-fat-added beefy deliciousness. There is also a lamb burger and a vegan burger for those so inclined, and they’re all accompanied by crispy, piping-hot fries. Bestill my bloodthirsty heart…

Tyler @ Olympic Provisions

February 4th, 2010

TYLER @ Olympic Provisions (503) 954-3663
107 SE Washington Street, Portland, Oregon, 97214

Why he’s dreamy:
The addictive flavor combination of the salad with brussel sprouts, sunchokes, and Castelvetrano olives in anchovy vinaigrette keeps me coming back, but it’s the delightful array of house-cured meat products flirting shamelessly with me from their perch in the display case that truly gets my heart pounding. Charcuterie + cute cooks = carnivore crush.

Sharif and Travis @ Accanto

January 27th, 2010

SHARIF and TRAVIS @ Accanto (503) 235-4900
2838 SE Belmont Street, Portland, Oregon, 97214

Why they’re dreamy:
Because the saffron arancini, filled with Dungeness crab and ricotta, made me want to lick my plate clean. That is all. (And trust me, it’s enough.)