No word yet on whether this particular chicken will be attending food writer Mark Bittman's opening lecture for Feast Portland festival.

Portland has its share of “foodies,” no doubt about it. Neighborhood chickens are a common sight. Crops bearing tomato and squash plants overflow from parking strips. Even those of us who lack sous-chef experience or cooking school credentials are likely to eat more deliberately than mindlessly – or at least try to. It helps that our city is home to fantastic farmers markets, excellent grocery stores, inspiring restaurants and a supply of food carts that seem to pop up as often as rain falls in fall, winter and spring.  

That being said, this week Portland foodies will find more of a feast than usual. The “Bon Appetit Presents Feast Portland” food festival will take place September 20-23 at locations all over town, providing much to chew on, literally and figuratively, throughout the week. Our trusted colleagues at Eat Beat have the event well covered (including several preview interviews with out-of-town chefs who will be visiting), and Portland Monthly is a proud sponsor of and participant in the events and panels. But At Home would be remiss not to make special mention that food writer Mark Bittman will be among us at the festival.

After all, At Home does a lot of cooking at home, and no one speaks to the home cook quite like Bittman. We look for inspiration wherever we can get it, hoping to enjoy our cooking (and thus our eating) as much as possible. With his practical and down to earth writing (from recipes to New York Times food policy editorials), Bittman delivers. He is a hero of home cooking. (Feel free to disagree; there's always more room for inspiration in the kitchen.)

Bittman’s lecture at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall kicks off the official start of Feast Portland. Most of the events are ticketed, and range from $25 to $100 on upwards. But the money is well spent in more ways than one, because all proceeds go to the festival partners fighting food poverty: Share Our Strength and Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon.

There are some freebies are to be had, however, one of which is a Feast fest warm-up at Williams-Sonoma this Wednesday Septeber 19. Chef Chris Cosentino (of San Francisco's Incanto restaurant, Bravo's Top Chef Masters TV show, and nose-to-tail cooking fame) will sign his new book, Beginnings, and do a cooking demo at Williams-Sonoma. The event is free, though the book is not (if you buy it at Williams-Sonoma, he'll sign it; call the store to purchase a book and reserve your spot: 503-946-2300). Also, read Eat Beat's recent interview with Cosentino,  for free of course.

Literary Arts presents: Mark Bittman lecture (as part of the Whole Foods Market Speaker Series)
Location: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall
1037 SW Broadway
Portland, OR
Date: Thursday September 20, 2012
Time: 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm 

Chris Cosentino at Williams-Sonoma
Location: 338 Northwest 23rd Avenue (at NW Flanders)?
Portland, OR
Date: Wednesday September 19, 2012
Time: 1:00 pm?
(503) 946-2300