From January 4 to 7, Vince Nguyen‘s Jolie Laide will be popping up in the Farm Spirit restaurant, located in Southeast near Nostrana and Smokehouse Tavern. Nguygen has cooked at two-Michelin-starred Coi and at Portland’s preeminent modernist fine dining venue, Castagna — under both chefs Matt Lightner and Justin Woodward no less — and he’s been quietly holding some of the most cutting edge pop-up dinners in the city.
Keeping with the Farm Spirit ethos, Jolie Laide will serve 12-course, plant-based meals, and one-hundred-percent-vegan cooking isn’t that much of a departure from his usual style, Nguyen tells Eater. “I rely on animals mostly for their natural fats to make things like sauces and to accentuate vegetables,” says the chef. “For these dinners, I will be using different oils, from herbal to essential oils, to add fat and lightness.” Nguygen says keeping keeping plates “light and bright” defines his cooking.
Jolie Laide is still developing its menu, but some plates are decided: roasted maitaki mushrooms with pickled garlic and a “really lush and rich” rice stock; roasted carrot tea made with burnt bayleaf (the leaf is soaked in salt solution before getting charred to balance the sweetness from the carrot); and for dessert, a whole apple cooked in hay.
“The apple’s soaked in calcium solution, which draws out the pectin from the skin,” says Nguyen. “That way I can cook it for a long time without it becoming mushy. It creates a second skin, which adds great texture.”
The $65 price tag includes gratuity, and you can book through Farm Spirit’s reservation system (make sure you select a date between January 4 and 7 — else you’ll be dining on chef Aaron Adams’s food). Wine pairings are available.
- Jolie Laide [Official Site]
PDX Eater | Dec 2016
Mattie John Bamman