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Before the pandemic, chefs Jasper Shen and Linh Tran were following a familiar path for restaurateurs: opening a new restaurant, finding an enthusiastic suite of local cuisine, growing in popularity, opening a second place, and so on.

Shen is no stranger to the Portland food scene. A decade ago, he was one of the three founding chefs of Aviary, which mixed French technique with elements from East Asia, and in 2017 he set out on his own to open the comfortable Chinese food restaurant XLB. Finally, Linh Tran, who was one of the first employees there, joined as a business partner and the couple opened their second location in February 2020. But in a matter of weeks, everything changed.

“We were open for about a month and a half before we had to close,” Tran said. “It was really devastating.”

Linh Tran, co-founder of Win Win, talks to OPB’s Crystal Ligori outside the XLB restaurant in North Portland. XLB’s second location closed shortly after it opened when restrictions on COVID-19 forced it to lay off staff and a transition to a model to carry.

When the governor banned all meals indoors to protect himself from COVID-19, XLB fired about 80 percent of its staff and quickly switched from the restaurant to a takeaway and delivery food model. It was a devastating blow, not only because of layoffs and the halt of their expansion, but also because it took away from them a crucial way to get involved in the community.

“We realized that to build our community, we need to relate to our community,” Tran said. “And having a restaurant is our way of doing it.”

It also changed the whole trajectory of what they wanted to do.

Prior to the pandemic, Jasper Shen said they intended to open several XLB locations, but the pandemic forced them to slow down and reevaluate.

“We went a little in the opposite direction,” he said. “We wanted to focus on doing things that made us happy and happiness for us didn’t mean a lot of different restaurants, it doesn’t mean you make a lot of money, it doesn’t mean you become super famous, that’s all for us, is to pay it forward. “

Even before the pandemic, the world of food was changing. After years of racial inequality, sexual harassment, poor working conditions and more, the catering industry was having its own account. And blockades and layoffs only gave a brighter light to the dark side of the industry.

“We got to a point where we were very frustrated by what we saw happening,” Shen said. “The #MeToo movement, racial inequality, protests, Asian coups, all these famous chefs called for atrocious activities … We felt there had to be a better way for businesses to work.”

In short, they wanted to improve the restaurant industry and the food industry: detoxify it from the inside out. To do this, Shen and Tran, along with their partner Catie Hannigan, have created a new group of restaurants called Win Win.

Co-founders Jasper Shen (left), Catie Hannigan (center) and Linh Tran (right) spoke with OPB’s Crystal Ligori about their new Win Win restaurant group, which aims to focus on BIPOC and LGBTQIA + food manufacturers.

Its goal is to create equitable and sustainable opportunities in the field of catering while prioritizing food manufacturers BIPOC and LGBTQIA +. Chefs who collaborate with Win Win have a combined 35 years of restaurant experience to help them support and guide their concept, whether it’s a product for the market, a new restaurant or a food truck.

They will receive help with the management and financing of their restaurant or food concept, in exchange for ownership divided between the restaurant group and the chefs. Each producer will be combined with a mentor from the local food community, an element that Tran said was key to Win Win.

“The idea is that if people see people who look like them doing the things they want to do, it’s affirming. It’s validating.”

Win Win has some pretty strong hitters on his mentor list. As the chef nominated by James Beard Carlo Lamagna, food truck icon Han Ly Hwang, pizza expert Shardell Dues and beverage authority Ro Tam.

His goal was to find other BIPOC and LGBTQIA + food manufacturers who had different experiences from his to better match with his students. For example, XLB is a restaurant with a counter service, so they wanted to make sure there was someone like Ro Tam who, as the owner of two coffee shops and the small batch tea company Tanglewood, has a long career. in the world of drinks.

Win Win had a silent launch of its new group of restaurants earlier this year, but it already has its first batch of collaborators, which include Sofia Khan and Sarena Maharaj. The couple is new to the Portland food scene, bringing their rich and spicy chai and their delicate Pakistani sweets called mithai to emerging events under the name Chaiwallah PDX.

Chaiwallah PDX sells traditional mithai, or “sweets” in Urdu and Hindi, along with its eponymous chai.

Their first event was in February and they assumed it would be a unique one. But the response was overwhelming. Khan and Maharaj said people got in touch on social media saying the flavors reminded them of home.

“And that was exactly what it was for us,” Maharaj said. “It was so sweet that so many people connect in the same way as us.”

The couple had created Chaiwallah as a way to reconnect with their roots and also to deal with the isolation of being part of a first-generation diaspora.

“I grew up eating Pakistani food, [but] I lived in a very white neighborhood and I was also trying to try to fit in with my peers,” Khan said. “So this food that I really liked and that I felt at home, was also one of those things where I said, ‘I don’t want to be associated with that.'”

For Khan, he needed to get away from his family in Texas and his parents ’kitchen to realize what he was missing.

“I go to all these restaurants [in Portland] and it’s great and it has its own appeal to me, but it’s not at home,” he said. “And then it was very important for me to find out how I find the flavors of home.”

For Maharaj, who is Indo-Caribbean and whose father is half Indian, it was a way to connect with a culture from which he felt disconnected. A feeling that was magnified when he moved from New York to Boulder, Colorado.

“I’m like the only brunette person I know in the whole city, and I just didn’t have anything that reminded me of home,” he said. “Nothing felt familiar, nothing felt safe either.”

Chai was something accessible: there was milk, cinnamon and vanilla, and although she had never cooked before, Maharaj began to teach herself to make chai.

“I didn’t know many things and I felt embarrassed, like so embarrassed, for not knowing,” he said. “So I said,‘ I’m going to learn everything about Indian food, even though I’m not even from India, I’m going to learn everything about chai. “And it’s been something I’ve been left with.”

Maharaj continued to do chai after moving to Portland, sharing it with friends and taking it to parties and events. He got to the point that if he went anywhere, people would expect to have his chai.

Chaiwallah PDX founders Sarena Maharaj and Sofia Khan have partnered with Win Win to help bring their spicy chai and delicate mithai to a wider Portland audience.

But when the duo decided to pursue Chaiwallah as a business, they encountered their first hurdle: where to do it for commercial production. Maharaj said his flatmate had gone very far from having the production at home. After texting with friends, they connected with Jasper Shen, who pointed them to some commercial cooking options. He also introduced them to the rest of the Win Win team, asking them if the couple would like to be partners.

“We were very excited,” Maharaj said. “Let them ask you this is like ‘Wow’, there are so many opportunities, they are offering so much of their time and experience and that seems like something so special to give to the community.”

It also aligned itself with its own values ​​and vision for a food world in which BIPOC food manufacturers would be more celebrated. There has been a long history of white chefs taking from different cultures and taking advantage of them, and Khan and Maharaj saw Win Win open a new path for the community.

“It was very appealing to be asked to be a part of that,” Khan said. “It was a lot of fun to have two people of color, who were also working with foods that are in their background [with] flavors near their home … because that’s what [we] are.”

The restaurant group has already partnered with five food producers in Portland and is still looking to incorporate more. Cat Win Hannigan of Win Win said they are also preparing a new food cart capsule called Lil ‘America in collaboration with ChefStable.

“Linh and Jasper will cure him only with BIPOC and LGBTQIA + food carts,” Hannigan said.

The group of six to eight cars will open in September in southeast Portland.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Fast food chain In-N-Out Burger has announced plans for a new location in Roseburg, Oregon.

Is there in n outs in Seattle?

Keep your eyes peeled. It will be a while before Washington has its own In-N-Out. This may interest you : Millions of students experience food security. But campus food pantries can make a difference.. (But scroll through the slide show to see some burgers actually available in the area.)

Is there an In-N-Out in Seattle, Washington? The new In-N-Out is located at 6260 Keizer Station Blvd.

What states are In-N-Out located?

In-N-Out celebrates 70 years since its first location opened on October 22, 1948. In those seven decades, this single store has grown to 334 locations in six states: California, Nevada, Arizona , Utah, Texas and Oregon.

What states don’t have In-N-Out?

The unicorn of the burger brands will remain out of reach in East Texas. On the same subject : Authorities warn of an increase in E. coli infections. In-N-Out, the popular stratospheric west coast hamburger chain, currently operates restaurants in just seven states: its home state of California, as well as Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Texas, and Oregon, starting in 2020. , Colorado.

Will In-N-Out come to Washington State?

In-N-Out Burger will open in Keizer, Oregon In-N-Out Burger is approaching Washington state, reports The Oregonian. To see also : Scientists created a sprayed wrapper that could reduce food waste.

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Is In-N-Out coming to Hillsboro Oregon?

HILLSBORO, Ore. – In-N-Out Burger seems to be betting on a possible new location from Oregon to Hillsboro. The Hillsboro City Planning Committee confirms that the California-based franchise submitted a development proposal for the Tanasbourne area.

Where is the new In-N-Out in Oregon? In-N-Out Burger will open less than two miles from Five Guys, which opened in 2020. An excavator moves the earth Monday to the site of a new In-N-Out Burger near Home Depot in Roseburg. Work on the In-N-Out is expected to be completed this summer.

Are In and Out Burgers in Oregon?

The California burger chain currently has three Oregon restaurants, located in Keizer, Medford and Grants Pass.

Is In-N-Out Burger coming to Beaverton Oregon?

The burger chain is exploring locations in Tualatin and Beaverton, as well as Hillsboro. COURTESY PHOTO: IN-N-OUT BURGER – In-N-Out Burger is exploring various locations in Washington County.

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Is Beaverton safer than Portland?

Beaverton has lower crime rates than Portland and better school districts, but Portland has a vibrant arts community.

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Does Beaverton have a high crime rate?

The chance of becoming a victim of a violent or property crime in Beaverton is 1 in 40. According to FBI crime data, Beaverton is not one of the safest communities in America. In relation to Oregon, Beaverton has a crime rate of over 72% in cities and towns of all sizes in the state.

What areas of Portland are unsafe?

Altogether, five neighborhoods in East Portland (Hazelwood, Lents, Powellhurst-Gilbert, Centennial, and Montavilla) topped the ranks of the most dangerous neighborhoods because of their high-crime nexus, arson, and the fact that they are home of some of the deadliest intersections in the city. .

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