PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — “The most epic bread celebration ever witnessed in Portland,” is coming to southeast’s Cookshop in mid-October.
The first-ever Bread Fest promises a farm-to-table showcase of all-things bread and baked goods “from classic baguettes to exotic sourdoughs, from gooey cinnamon swirls to crusty artisanal loaves.”
Brad Kohler — of Good Dough, and a bread baker and prep cook at Ava Gene’s — has had the idea for Bread Fest for a decade and for the last three months, has worked to bring the fest to life.
“I’ve had this idea for a while now. I’m a bread baker by trade and just love bread, love the world of bread, and flour, and pastry,” Kohler said.
He added, “I felt like this would be a great thing to start and also to be able to maybe promote my own brand as well as promote other up-and-coming bakers,” Kohler said.
After attending culinary school in 2009, Kohler explains, “I started working with cakes, doing wedding cakes, and loved that but wanted something a little bit different so, I transitioned to bread and pastry and then really found a love with bread,” Kohler said. “I’ve just continued to focus on that as much as I can.”
Celebrating the “crust revolution,” Bread Fest is aiming to host 12 vendors and so far, has about 100 community RSVPs for the event.
Bread Fest will be set up farmers’ market style in Portland’s Cookshop on SE 26th Ave. from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 — giving farmers, millers, and bakers the chance to show off their products.
Within the space, Kohler says community members will be able to “connect with the whole ecosystem of farm to table. So, we’ll have the farmers, the millers, then all the way down to the bakers.”
Several local bakers are in the Bread Fest lineup including Tortillas Con Onda‘s tortillas and Yellow Heart Sunshine, which is planning on bringing sugar cookie buns; matcha sugar cookie buns, mini mini pecan pies, cinnamon rolls and matcha sugar rolls.
“The great thing about Portland is the food scene, really. Everyone loves to see how far they can take a dish or a product,” Kohler explained. “For bread, you don’t want to just go buy flour, you want to go buy the grain, and then mill your own flour and take it as far back as you can, take it all the way to the farmer.”
He added, “Portland loves their farmers and all of their purveyors and we really just want to focus on showing the benefits of farm to table baking. It’s a lot more nutritious, it’s just all around a better product and we all know conventional wheat is not a great product anymore so, I think everyone, Portland specifically, is shifting their focus and really going with the locally sourced products these days.”
Looking to the future, Kohler hopes to grow the festival next year and to continue promoting Portland’s baking community.
“We’re just hoping to build the community and make it a little bit stronger,” Kohler said. “It’s giving up-and-comers the chance to showcase their products.”