Members of Portland’s food community will soon come together to celebrate socially responsible food at the first summer BBQ of the season. On Thursday, June 12, Edible Portland and Ecotrust will host their annual Local Hero Awards, currently in its seventh year, while local chefs season, smoke, and serve up meaty meals from some of the region’s most sustainable producers.

According to Ecotrust Food & Farms Vice President Amanda Oborne, “the entire line-up of chefs, producers, and award nominees represents businesses that are changing the face of food: transforming how they source ingredients, care for their animals and land, treat their workers, and engage with their communities. These are the innovators in a new wave of socially responsible food businesses, even though some of them have been doing what they do for a lifetime.”

The chef-rancher dyads will include: 

  • Greg Higgins (Higgins Restaurant) will smoke Carman Ranch Spanish Longaniza sausage and Hawkins’ Sisters Ranch chicken buttifarra sausage with hazelnut romesco sauce
  • John Gorham (Toro Bravo, Tasty & Sons, and Tasty & Alder) will roast two goats from Anderson Ranches
  • Stacey Givens (Side Yard Farm & Kitchen) will make barbecue tempeh sliders with spicy, farm-fresh slaw from Turtle Island Food
  • Scott Dolich (Park Kitchen and The Bent Brick) will grill fresh coastal fish from Port Orford Sustainable Seafood
  • Jameson Maspaitella (Simpatica) will cook up tender lamb shoulder from Reister Farms
  • Ashley Bisagna (Feastworks) will transform pork bellies and shoulders Goat Mountain Pastured Meat into lip-smacking links

Event goers will also have the opportunity to enjoy a "hall of pie" and bottomless Salt & Straw ice cream (yes, you read that correctly) while sipping suds from 6 local breweries:

  • Breakside
  • Commons
  • Double Mountain
  • Fort George
  • Gigantic
  • Migration

In addition to the BBQ bites and brews, guests will be treated to a talk by Nell Newman (Newman’s Own Organics) on running socially responsible businesses with greater goals than just economic profit. Newman will also announce the winners of the 2014 Local Hero Awards, voted for by the public, in each of six categories, including: Farm, Restaurant, Food Artisan, Beverage Artisan, Nonprofit/Educator, and Retailer. 

The event will take place from 5:30 pm to 10 pm at Ecotrust, 721 NW 9th Ave. Tickets range in price from $50 to $65 and can be purchased online. (Update: Tickets to the full event, including Newman's talk and the awards, are now sold out; however, tickets for feasting are still up for grabs!) In keeping in line with the mission behind the event, proceeds will go towards supporting Ecotrust’s work to create a strong and sustainable regional food system.

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