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MailTribune.com
  • 'Pop-up' restaurants

    Food artisans go 'Underground' for dinner series
  • Agricultural landscapes and the food they yield inspired Matthew Domingo's culinary-events company.
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  • Agricultural landscapes and the food they yield inspired Matthew Domingo's culinary-events company.
    Two years after founding Farm to Fork, Domingo is moving his interpretation of the eat-local movement underground.
    "It's kind of like our take on a restaurant," says the 32-year-old chef. "We really want to tie in the food artisans this year."
    Farm to Fork's Artisan Underground series is the first locally to tap into the big-city trend of "pop-up" restaurants. These impromptu eateries open often for just one night in an obscure location, serving diners who find the place usually by invitation. Farm to Fork's first pop-up is planned for Thursday, July 12, and will materialize monthly on the first or second Thursday.
    "We're just going to give them the address, not really the name of anything," says Domingo, explaining that the venues most likely will be businesses that otherwise aren't open at night.
    "It might be at Noble Coffee," he says. "Could be at a bakery."
    Also likening the experiences to Prohibition-era speakeasies, Domingo plans a focus on creative cocktails using Organic Nation spirits for Artisan Underground instead of Farm to Fork's emphasis on local wines at its on-farm dinners. Guests can expect an antique ambiance, as well, that incorporates locally produced artworks and live music.
    "Everything will kind of match with the aesthetic," says Domingo.
    The chef who honed his skills at Portland's Park Kitchen and tended bar at Mint isn't just adept at culinary design. He expanded Farm to Fork over the past year to offer public-relations services, including website construction and other types of visual design. He transplanted the idea for Farm to Fork from the Willamette Valley, the setting for a farm-dinner series dubbed "Plate & Pitchfork" for the past decade.
    Farm to Fork's new underground events delve deeper into all the "nitty-gritty details" of an actual restaurant, including decor, says Domingo. Displaying art for one evening likely will involve stringing up clotheslines or erecting easels hammered together from old ladders, he adds.
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