Poppycock June/July 2014 - Page 27

food g r a c e • c a t o n P rawn heads. All I see are eyeballs and antennae. Will Preisch smirks at me, “We like to…challenge our guests.” The next thing Preisch hands over to me is a thin green plant. “It’s a sea bean. We went out and got it from the ocean a few days ago.” “Amazing! And also, you guys are too polite and nice to be chefs,” I say. “Ha…I’ve definitely made people cry,” says Stocks. How do you classify Holdfast Dining? You don’t. A true Holdfast Dining experience consists of a tasting menu laid out over nine courses and five different wine pairings. With foraged edible plants and ingredients from their own garden, here are Portland’s very own food masters, Will Preisch and Joel Stocks. These two young gentlemen are living every chef’s dream. They cook what they want, how they want, where they want; no restrictions. They have all of the power, and they will beyond satisfy your taste buds. They create a new menu every week. There is no single inspiration or cuisine they follow. “It’s not hard coming up with a new menu every week because we don’t classify ourselves,” says Preisch. They shop at local markets and always cook with what ingredients are in season. “We’ve recently been getting seafood from a new distributor. We told them that any strange or rare fish they catch on a line that they weren’t expecting or don’t want with their bunch of salmon or cod— give us a call,” says Stocks. They forage at the Oregon coast every other week. Yes, that’s right… picture two men with their pants rolled up, searching in the Pacific Ocean and tide pools for plants that will soon be on a plate in front of you. This is one of the many factors that set them apart in the Portland food scene. They pick fresh ingredients from Stocks’ home garden. These chefs really work for the food they put on the plate and can personally assure the Attention to detail is the key to building each dish, even if it means using a pair of kitchen tweezers for exacting presentation. 27