Portland Vegan Pop-Up Feral Will Focus in Wild and Foraged Foods

Normally, ‘foraged foods’ within the cafe world refer to shaved petals of truffles bought at $45 for every ounce, or a crown of morels or chanterelles on the top of a piece of meat. But a new pop-up from alumni of Portland vegan establishments needs to method wild foods through a far more obtainable lens, serving innovative and playful dishes with one-digit price ranges. Feral, a pop-up from chefs Ryan Koger and August Winningham, will aim on wild and foraged meals, with an emphasis on spontaneity and creativeness in their tactic — no matter if that implies selecting elderberries off the aspect of the freeway or foraging for mushrooms in the forest.

Up right up until quite lately, equally chefs worked at Southeast Portland vegan deli Fermenter. Prior to that, Koger labored at Ichiza Kitchen area and Homegrown Smoker, when Winningham worked at Farm Spirit, Folklore, Blossoming Lotus, and Harvest at the Bindery. Winningham is also the chef powering Tear Gasoline Ted’s Incredibly hot Sauce, in reaction to the tear-gassing of protesters less than law enforcement commissioner and Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Although Winningham has labored in a number of vegetable-centric dining establishments, the chef names Sean Sigmon’s pop-up Folklore, which specialized in brunch fare like spelt waffles with farro sausage and maitake mushrooms with abenaki grits, as a key inspiration — not just the agrarian target, but additional exclusively Sigmon’s free of charge-variety, make-it-operate frame of mind, which has caught with him. Winningham hopes to fill the void in Portland’s vegan meals scene considering that Sigmon relocated to North Carolina two decades ago.

Koger and Winningham selected the identify Feral as an allusion to the flexibility of foraging and gathering food items from the land, as properly as the independence from the construction of the cafe industry, where by both equally chefs have used sizeable time. Burnt out from slogging absent in kitchens, Koger and Winningham wanted home for additional inventive flexibility, as very well as fewer of the stress the cafe field has been criticized for. “It’s form of just acknowledged that a restaurant has to

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Branford vegan restaurant G-Zen is closing to focus on West Hartford location

Ami Beach and Mark Shadle, who opened the upscale East Main Street eatery 11 years ago, said Monday that G-Zen will close its doors April 30. They’re evolving the brand, and will focus on a new fast-casual vegan concept in West Hartford, incorporating elements from both the restaurant and G-Monkey Mobile, the couple’s popular vegan food truck.

G-Monkey Plant-Fueled Fast Food will open later this year at 625 New Park Avenue, in the space most recently occupied by Citizen Chicken & Donuts and before that, Hartford Baking Company. Beach said Monday they’re aiming for a potential June 1 debut.

The G-Monkey brick-and-mortar concept will begin in West Hartford, but the intention is to open more locations, they said, including on the shoreline.

Chefs Mark Shadle and Ami Beach started G-Zen Restaurant, which features sustainable, plant-based cuisine, in October 2011.Photo courtesy of Jeff Skerik

“We are aiming to do this in a scalable way, which we could have never attained with G-Zen,” Beach said. “We see it being something we can replicate, and we do want to come back to the shoreline [with this concept.] We’ve never had a concept that we could really run with, and I feel like this is why we’re doing this, to make it more accessible and just normalizing vegan [food.]”

The new restaurant will offer many of the more casual items from the truck menu, which were also featured at G-Zen. G-Monkey will serve housemade plant-based dishes like soups, veggie burgers and bowls, chili fries, “raw” tacos, vegan versions of grilled cheese and Reuben sandwiches, burritos and raw desserts.

Beach said the West Hartford menu would feature several varieties of housemade vegan burgers, including one with grilled pineapple, sriracha and coconut bacon, inspired by the couple’s second home in Culebra, Puerto Rico. She also envisions “disco fries” with mushroom gravy and vegan cheese, and plant-based milkshakes made with oat milk. 

Chili cheese fries from GMonkey, which will open a brick-and-mortar vegan restaurant in West Hartford this summer.

Chili cheese fries from GMonkey, which will open a brick-and-mortar vegan restaurant in West Hartford this summer.

Courtesy of GMonkey

Shadle, who for years was the executive chef and co-owner of It’s Only

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