A well-executed meal is a tactile, participatory art performance. This year, PICA has invited a different Portland chef each night to take over our first-ever outdoor kitchen, built on-site for TBA, and cook up food inspired by late summer produce. The dishes they prepare will be snapshots of September, presented through texture, flavor, smell and sight. Come hungry! From noshy snacks to full-blown meals, come eat thoughtful food that could only exist at this peak of local produce, when summer begins to wane. Without a reservation or long wait, experience the imaginative talent in Portland kitchens and chefs’ personal ideas of pleasure and satisfaction.
The making of khao man gai—a Thai dish that translates loosely as greasy rice chicken—is one of the most refined and delicious examples of using every part of an animal. You don’t have to be familiar with the dish to know that Nong Poonsukwattana, a Bangkok native, is making something exceptional. She gently poaches chicken to make a stock, which she uses, along with aromatic Thai herbs, to cook rice. She tops the finished rice with thin slices of the poached chicken, fresh cilantro sprigs, and sliced cucumber, and on the side, an insanely delicious salty, spicy soy bean sauce and a cup of the original broth. It’s at once comforting, exciting, refreshing, and most of all, chickeny. We are beyond lucky to have Nong cooking in our city.