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ABOUT WAG


WILD ABOUT GAME

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ABOUT WAG


WILD ABOUT GAME

Save the date! Nicky USA’s 19th annual Wild About Game will take place on Sunday October 6th 2019 at the Mt Hood Oregon Resort in Welches, OR.

The Meatiest Celebration In The NorthwesT

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.

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“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

our 18th annual wild about Game event

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. 

2016 Wild About Game Video

A Look Back At Our 2018 Event

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GAME COOKING COMPETITION


GAME COOKING

COMPETITION

GAME COOKING COMPETITION


GAME COOKING

COMPETITION

A Friendly, But Fierce Battle
For Individual & Civic Honors

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.

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“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

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COMPETITION WINNERS


COMPETITION WINNERS

COMPETITION WINNERS


COMPETITION WINNERS

2018 WINNERS

People’s Choice Winner:
Peter Cho, Han Oak - Portland

The People’s Choice Winner received a Traeger Pro Series Grill valued at $1500.

Overall Champion:
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.

Individual Game Categories

Grimaud Farms Duck

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

Nicky Farms Partridge

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

Maui Nui Wild Hawaiian Venison

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

Nicky Farms Rabbit

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

Past Game Cooking Competition Champions

2009
David Kreifels & Will Cisa, 
Laurelhurst Market - Portland

2010 
Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon - Portland

2011
Greg Denton, Metrovino - Portland

2012
Nathan Lockwood, Altura - Seattle
Gregory Gourdet, Departure - Portland (People's Choice)

2013
Aaron Barnett, St. Jack - Portland
Joey Sequina, Harvest Vine - Seattle (People's Choice)

2014
Shane Ryan, Matt's In The Market - Seattle

2015
Carlo Lamagna, Clyde Common - Portland
Andrew Mace, Le Pigeon - Portland (People's Choice)

2017

Sarah Schafer, Irving Street Kitchen - Portland

Phil Oswalt, Multnomah Athletic Club - Portland (People’s Choice)

2001 
Cathy Whims, Genoa - Portland

2002
Molly Schaefer Priest, Genoa - Portland

2003
Josefa Jimenez de Jimenez, Harvest Vine - Seattle

2004
Morgan Brownlow, Clark Lewis - Portland

2005
Johnathan Sundstrom, Lark - Seattle

2006
Rocky Maselli, Marché - Eugene & Adam Stevenson,
Earth & Ocean - Seattle

2007
No competition was held.

2008
John Gorham, Toro Bravo - Portland

2016

Euoardo Jordan, Salare - Seattle

Troy MacLarty, Bollywood Theater - Portland

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ARTISAN MARKETPLACE


ARTISAN MARKETPLACE

ARTISAN MARKETPLACE


ARTISAN MARKETPLACE

THE BEST BITES & SIPS IN THE NORTHWEST

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. 

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"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.

Artisan Marketplace Chef Partners

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
    Mary's Chicken

  • Chef Philippe Boulot, Multnomah Athletic Club
    Painted Hills Natural Beef

  • Chef Bryant Kryck, Alto Bajo
    Carlton Farms

  • 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
    Classic Foods

  • Chef Jim Holland, Besaw’s
    Nueske's Smoked Meats

 
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cocktail competition

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:

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.

a final thanks

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!

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