By Katie Acheff with a little addition from Chris Angelus
This episode of Portland Food Adventures brings us to a very special menu at Clyde Common, hosted by chef Carlo Lamagna. Even long time diners of Clyde Common were treated to entirely new courses, as Chef Carlo brought us a one-time menu inspired entirely by his Filipino roots.
Chef Carlo brought such a warm and positive element to our experience; he immediately came out and introduced himself in such a welcoming way you’d think you were sitting down in his home dining room. We started with a jicama and long bean ensalada with manila, cilantro and mango puree. He told us how he’d stop with his grandma to pick up jicama from vendors on the side of the road, as it is such a crisp and refreshing complement to the hot Filipino climate.
Our second course was Albacore Tuna in palm vinegar and cured in coconut, with Serrano chilies, ginger and shallot. That was paired nicely with a 2014 Julien Haary Riesling. Chef Carlo told us this is a very typical Filipino dish, as it’s easy and quick to prepare but still has a little bit of heat.
For dish three we had Kauai shrimp over rice noodles, with carrots, celery and snap peas, cooked in crab fat. Chef Carlo told us about the tiny crabs he used to catch, up to 30 kilos at a time, and use the fat to cook their shrimp. The noodles are a Filipino staple and go well with pretty much anything.
Coming up on our fourth dish, the amazing quail trio. This Adobo feature grilled quail with quail eggs, over garlic rice, cabbage and adobo sauce. Chef Carlo talked a lot about the memories he associated with his food, and how different dishes remind him of parts of his life. He dedicates a lot of his creations to the memory of his father, and said this dish particularly was one they would often share together.
Lots of great times and energy in this PFA! I have been to a couple dozen of these events now, and this one had a very special positive energy where everyone was just having a blast. One of my favorite Portland Food Adventures ever!
Our final main dish was a crispy pork belly, with an eggplant relish, green papaya pickle and blood sauce. There was a sushi influence to this, and the blood sauce is also very traditional as it is culturally significant to utilize the entire animal, not even wasting the blood.
Before our dessert course, Chef Carlo brought out his lovely kitchen team to give them some props for all the hard work they do, including preparing our dishes for the evening. And finally we wrapped up with a young coconut pie in salted pandan ice cream.
One of the other highlights of this PFA was having the proprietors of two of Chef Carlo’s favorite places dining with us. Damian Magista from Bee Local Honey talked about how he got into the honey business, and how the collaborative spirit of Portland has been the driving force behind his success. Much of his story can be heard on the RIGHT AT THE FORK podcast.
Then, Nate Snell discussed how Pip’s Original Donuts evolved from his wife Jamie’s catering business. He discussed the challenges in getting financing, and again, the support of his neighborhood and the food community in Portland playing such an important role in getting their foundation placed.
We got a pretty sweet grab bag of goodies this time around, with many samples including Jacobsen Salt, Bee Local Honey and Quin Candy. Also in attendance were owners of Pip’s Original (a huge local favorite) with gift certificates for us, along with Noraneko.
What a glorious summer evening we had! This was truly one of the best Portland Food Adventures we’ve ever had, thanks to Chef Carlo Lamagna and his lovely staff, and all of the guests in attendance. Perfect way to start out the season.