WILD ABOUT GAME
WILD ABOUT GAME
Nicky USA's Wild About Game celebrates the farmers, butchers and purveyors of specialty game & high quality meats, and the chefs that use their products. The event centers around a friendly, but fierce competitive game cooking competition between some of Portland and Seattle's best chefs. Also featured is our Artisan Marketplace with a taste of the great products we offer at Nicky USA and some of our favorite Northwest food & beverage artisans.
Attended by hundreds of the Northwest's leading food industry purveyors, chefs, and restauranteurs, this is the event for the serious food enthusiast to rub shoulders with the decision & taste makers that influence the dining scene in our region.
“This event, year in and year out, brings together some of the most talented, passionate, fun and sincere food & beverage professionals from the Northwest and beyond. It is a great opportunity to network within the industry and reach a captive consumer audience. Additionally the purveyors and chefs seem to elevate the experience very time.”
— David DeWitt - Ste. Michelle Winery
The meatiest celebration in the Northwest was held on Sunday September 30th at the Mt Hood Oregon Resort (formerly the Resort at the Mountain) in beautiful Welches, OR. The event featured the Carter Cutlery Game Cooking Competition between top Portland and Seattle chefs. Competing were:
Sarah Pliner - Aviary
Justin Woodward - Castagna
Aaron Willis - Ciudad Grill
Peter Cho - Han Oak
Derek Ronspies - Le Petit Cochon
Alex Barkley - Manolin
David Nichols - Rider Seattle
Chris DiMinno - Trifecta
Save room for the Maker's Mark Cocktail Competition and the San Pellegrino Artisan Marketplace with over 40 vendors serving the best bites and sips from the NW and beyond. Come hungry, try all of the tasty things, and leave fully satiated with delicious memories.
The Carter Cutlery Game Cooking Competition is a chance for Nicky USA to showcase some of incredible specialty game meats we sell as prepared by eight of our favorite chefs. The competition has evolved to a friendly, but fierce contest between four Portland and four Seattle chefs where individual and civic pride is on the line. After the dishes have been served to the judging panel, each chef's dish is served to the attendees to enjoy.
“WAG is the best industry celebration of game meats in the Northwest. So many great chefs proudly coming together for a weekend of unforgettable fun.”
— Edouardo Jordan, Salare
Game Cooking Competition winner 2016
Peter Cho, Han Oak - Portland.
The winner received a custom chefs knife from master blade smith Murray Carter of Carter Cutlery valued at $2500 & a check from Nicky USA for $1000.
Team Champion: Seattle
The Team Champion received $1000 from Carter Cutlery to be donated to a local nonprofit. Team Seattle chose to support FEEST Seattle and their mission to build a youth led movement for healthy schools.
Derek Ronspies, Le Petit Cochon - SEA
Tobacco Rubbed Duck Breast with Cocao Duck Leg Rillettes Tortelli, Barley Radicchio Salad, Foie Gras Nage, Pickled Gizzard Vinaigrette, Chicharrone, Cherry Chutney
Sarah Pliner, Aviary - PDX
Roasted Duck Breast with Lychee Chutney, Braised Duck Leg Cabbage Rolls, Fermented Black Bean, Chrysanthemum
Winner: Sarah Pliner
Aaron Willis, Ciudad Grill - SEA
Confit Nicky Farms Partridge Porridge with Foraged Mushrooms, Black Garlic, Pickled Beets & Berries, Wild Watercress Oil, Charcoal Roasted Bone Broth
Peter Cho, Han Oak - PDX
Nicky Farms Partridge Hot Pot with Shaved Roulade of Partridge, Game Bird Broth, Brassicas Salad
Winner: Peter Cho
David Nichols, Rider - SEA
Smoked Nicky Farms Wild Hawaiian Venison w/ Brown Butter Hearts of Palm Soubise, Late Summer Corn, Blue Elderberry Compote, White Chanterelles, Green Elderberry Au Jus
Chris DiMinno, Trifecta Tavern - PDX
Roasted Leg of Nicky Farms Wild Hawaiian Venison with Hoppin’ John, Early Fall Vegetables, Greens
Winner: David Nichols
Alex Barkley, Manolin - SEA
Nicky Farms Rabbit Tamal with Black Garlic Mole
Justin Woodward, Castagna - PDX
Braised Nicky Farms Rabbit with Fermented Sausage, Sour Cream, Bay, Capers
Winner: Alex Barkley
David Kreifels & Will Cisa,
Laurelhurst Market - Portland
Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon - Portland
Greg Denton, Metrovino - Portland
Nathan Lockwood, Altura - Seattle
Gregory Gourdet, Departure - Portland (People's Choice)
Aaron Barnett, St. Jack - Portland
Joey Sequina, Harvest Vine - Seattle (People's Choice)
Shane Ryan, Matt's In The Market - Seattle
Carlo Lamagna, Clyde Common - Portland
Andrew Mace, Le Pigeon - Portland (People's Choice)
Sarah Schafer, Irving Street Kitchen - Portland
Phil Oswalt, Multnomah Athletic Club - Portland (People’s Choice)
Cathy Whims, Genoa - Portland
Molly Schaefer Priest, Genoa - Portland
Josefa Jimenez de Jimenez, Harvest Vine - Seattle
Morgan Brownlow, Clark Lewis - Portland
Johnathan Sundstrom, Lark - Seattle
Rocky Maselli, Marché - Eugene & Adam Stevenson,
Earth & Ocean - Seattle
No competition was held.
John Gorham, Toro Bravo - Portland
Euoardo Jordan, Salare - Seattle
Troy MacLarty, Bollywood Theater - Portland
The San Pellegrino Artisan Marketplace features our favorite vendors offering the best bites and sips in the Northwest from gourmet meats, craft beers, charcuterie, spirits, cheeses, wine, specialty foods, cider, chocolate and coffee. In 2018 we had 44 vendors including 9 who were partnered with chefs from the region's top restaurants to enhance the sampling experience for our attendees.
"Wild About Game allowed us to show how versatile our product can be to chefs and industry leaders. Nicky USA did an amazing job setting up the show and matching us with one of the most talented chefs in the region. It was a tremendous opportunity and we look forward to doing it
again next year."
-Jack Mancini, Hudson Valley Foie Gras
We could not put on our event without the generous support of our sponsors and vendors. Wild About Game 2018 featured an incredible line up and we were thrilled to work with you to make the event a success. Our deepest thanks and appreciation to you all for your craftsmanship and generosity.
2018 Event Sponsors & Vendors
Game Cooking Competition Sponsor
Artisan Marketplace Sponsor
After Party Title Sponsor
Beam Suntory Spirits
Swag Bag Sponsor
Creekstone Farms Premium Beef
Mt Hood Oregon Resort
Painted Hills Natural Beef
Oregon Beef Council
Artisan Marketplace Vendors
Culture Aromatics (Oomph Cooking)
Growing Gardens (Non Profit Partner)
We partnered many of our sponsors with some of the best chefs in the Northwest to help showcase their products and allow them more time to engage with the event attendees. The results were a stunning collection of bites that still linger in memory.
Chef Earl Ninsom, Hat Yai
Chef Philippe Boulot, Multnomah Athletic Club
Painted Hills Natural Beef
Chef Bryant Kryck, Alto Bajo
Chef Sarah Boam, Stella’s Kitchen
Nicky Farms/Stangels Bison
Chef AJ Voytko, The Porter
Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Don Salamone, Burger Stevens
Creekstone Farms Beef
Chef Patrick McKee, Perlot
Chef Jim Holland, Besaw’s
Nueske's Smoked Meats
Introduced in 2017, four bartenders stirred & shaked their cocktail creations in the Maker’s Mark Cocktail Competition for the event's 650 attendees. The rules were simple: use Maker’s Mark as the base spirit and any of our other spirit vendors as modifiers, along with bitters and syrups from Raft cocktail ingredients. Each bartender also decided to add a meaty component to their cocktails, certainly appropriate considering the environment! Fun was had by all and the cocktail competition has become a permanent part of the Wild About Game festivities.
The Participants of the 2018 Wild About Game Cocktail Competition were:
Elmer Dulla, Salare
Jason Lee, Multnomah Whiskey Library
Connor Slevin, Loyal Legion
Mitchell Sennewald, Interurban
The Overall Champion was Mitchell Sennewald with his Hell or High Hogwash! Cocktail featuring Maker’s Mark 46 fat washed with smoked pork belly, sweet vermouth, Water Avenue Coffee, and Raft Aromatic Bitters.
The People's Choice winner was Jason Lee with his Goin’ Steady cocktail featuring Maker’s Mark Cask Strength Bourbon, Averna, absinthe, smoked Demerara syrup, sasparilla bitters, cream, and candied bacon sprinkles.
It takes a huge group effort to put on Wild About Game. Support from our vendors and sponsors is crucial to the event's success. We also like to call attention to the fabulous graphic design work by Holly O'Leary - from the event logo to the poster to the onsite signage, everything looked beautiful. Special recognition goes to our PR firm, Broussard Communications, for helping to secure three of the best judges any competition could ask for and for all of the positive press - thanks for helping to shine a spotlight on little ole Nicky USA. Finally, the event would be impossible without the dedication, hard work, and enthusiasm of our staff. Thank you all for making the event one of the best in the land!