From the Front Lines

Best Restaurant Shoes

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My first job was washing dishes at a small regional chain in Ohio called Bill Knapps (which still exists… sort of.) I didn’t have much of a clue about washing dishes, much less working in restaurants, so I just wore […]


Zen and the Art of Prep

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Every cook has a war story. It might be about how a 17-top managed to order 20 steaks at 5 different temps. Or it could be the classic ‘I cut myself on the Hobart slicer and just super glued my […]


One Reason 2017 is Going to Be Better: You.

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Let’s face it, 2016 did not go as planned. We lost so many greats (Prince, if you can hear me, I love you), witnessed so many tragedies and felt the crush of so many defeats. And just as a final […]


The Shift Before Christmas

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  ‘Twas the shift before Christmas, when all through the kitchen A line cook was stirring the stock made with chicken; The mise was laid out by the expo with care, In hopes that the guests would soon all be there; […]


The 5 worst gifts for restaurant workers

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  For Your Chef Since chefs love food and chefs love tattoos, what’s better than an industry themed tattoo? And what would best go with their collection of farm to table themed tattoos than a Food Services of America tatt? […]


3 Types of Holiday Big Tops

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The holidays are here! And hopefully that means many of you are looking at full dining rooms and booked out reservations. For those of you looking forward to some lucrative big-tops, here’s a handy holiday guide of the kinds of […]


Holiday Reservations: Make a list, check it twice, and only cry once

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The holiday season brings a lot of “gifts” and “joy,” not the least being large-party reservations. Holiday season reservations can make or break your holiday revenues, so here are a few suggestions to get you prepared for some holiday “cheer.” […]


Want to Be the Restaurant Owner? Know What to Expect.

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You are making the jump, steadfast in knowing you can make your venue staggeringly successful. Perhaps there is an inner voice of creativity that is begging to be heard. Perhaps the time is right to snatch that piece of property […]


Ode to The Shift Drink

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My Grandfather once told me that “Hunger is the best cook” so it follows that a long shift is the best bartender. In fact, my Grandfather referred to his first drink of the day as being his “Healer Pint.” I’d […]


Election 2016: Fernet or Malort?

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It’s been a long election campaign, America, and now it’s time to sit down and have a shift drink. As a nation, we’ve listened to the candidates, carefully considered their positions and then tweeted out complete nonsense in all caps. […]


An Ode to Barbacks

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No one doubts the importance of a bartender to modern restaurants. In some places bartenders get as much attention as chefs – and not without reason. A good bartender is worth their weight in foie. But no bartender is going to […]


Cutting Off the Regular

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If you work in a place that serves alcohol, it’s going to happen – you’re going to have to cut someone off. When it’s a stranger, it’s one thing, but when it’s a regular it can be another. Regulars might […]


The Do’s and Don’ts of Being the Newbie

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Starting a new job is never easy, no matter your level of prior experience. No two restaurants are the same (national chains included), meaning the first few weeks can be hard for even the most seasoned among us. Some restaurants […]


Is Your Table a Tinder Date?

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No app has affected the Food & Drink Industry’s revenue quite as completely as Tinder. Awkward first dates tend to order the high-margin cocktails that cover all the low-margin farm to table produce and lovingly raised livestock. If things go […]

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Banned Cocktail Week

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It’s Banned Books Week, and as usual our minds drifted to cocktails – Banned Cocktails to be exact. We weren’t thinking so much about cocktails banned for their ingredients, though, like Death in the Afternoon or the original formulation of […]


Purveyor Pride – Winner Revealed

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We asked and you answered! We wanted to hear about your top purveyors – the people who bring you the best ingredients. We were excited to see so many responses and engaging pics of the products you use on a […]


Industry Tics You’ll Never Lose

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Once you’ve worked in the Food Industry you’ll never be the same. You’ll acquire habits and tics that’ll stay with you for life. It’s these little behaviors that set us apart from the rest of polite society. And while some […]



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Show us your favorite purveyors and win schwag from Chef Hat Co. and Poached! A chef is only as good as their ingredients, so Chef Hat Co. and Poached are coming together to celebrate the backbone of the restaurant industry: […]


Server Station Confidential

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Every bartender and server has a story — probably many stories — in which some impossibly entitled guest is cast as the narrative’s lead villain. But not every story needs a villain. Sometimes the best stories, the funniest stories, are […]

Head in Hands

Fast Food Wine Pairings

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As a trained, certified, and often intoxicated sommelier, I’m occasionally asked about wine pairings. The idea, of course, is to find the best wine for any given dish. When done well, both the wine and the dish are elevated – […]


The 6 Types of Restaurant Regulars

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Every good restaurant or bar has its own cast of regulars. In some cases, it’s the regulars that keep many places alive. The smart operators know to take care of their repeating guests, and make sure everyone from the host […]


Why You Should Date a Restaurant Worker

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Many of you in the industry are likely dating someone who doesn’t work in a restaurant or a bar. This article is meant for them, as a handy guide for your care and feeding. If you’re dating someone who lives […]

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The Best Things About Working Nights and Weekends

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“Young but I’m making millions to work the night shift” – Drake When one commits to working in the Food & Drink Industry, they’re also committing to an unusual schedule. Some love it, some hate it, but in time, most […]


9 Signs The New Server Might Not Work Out

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Some new hires instantly gel, fitting right in with the rest of the staff like they’ve always been there. Others… not so much. And while managers and owners work hard to make the right hire every time, occasionally someone slips […]


Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association Roundtable

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The topic of conversation in Oregon’s restaurant industry is change. We’re seeing changes in every part of the industry, but the biggest changes revolve around labor and compensation. The Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association is holding a regional meeting on […]


Dawn of the Moms: A Brunch Server’s Survival Guide

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They’re coming. Are you prepared? Mother’s Day Brunch can be the most difficult shift of the year; while it may seem like a nicer holiday than say St. Patrick’s Day or Valentine’s Day, we all know better. Here are a […]


Your First Job Stories!

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You have to start somewhere! Our own Jack Hott shared the story of his first job – washing dishes at age 15 – now it’s time for you to share yours. This week we heard from Aaron whose Mom pointed […]

kid dishwasher

Patio Season Do’s and Don’ts

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Creating an outdoor summer patio is an enticing project, but it takes careful planning to get it right. We asked Clea Partridge of Café Castagna in Portland, OR her top dos and don’ts for establishing an outdoor space that draws […]

The outdoor patio at Castagna Cafe in Portland, Oregon

On Coffee with Becky Reeves

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Competing in the national SCAA barista competition Becky Reeves holds down the counter at Ristretto Roasters in Portland, OR. She’s practiced at the art of making the perfect macchiato, but recently she has taken her skills to the next level […]


The Future of Tipping

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In a quickly changing labor market, the old models of employee compensation are feeling outdated. With rising rents, changes in health care costs, and legislators across the country raising the minimum wage, many employers are re-examining how to pay their […]

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On Being A Rookie Server

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You did it! You applied to that job you’ve been eyeing, passed the interview and you’re on the schedule. Congratulations… you’re a server. It’ll come as no surprise the job isn’t as easy as it looks. You’ll have to hustle […]

advice to a rookie

Things To Do in Denver, Part 2

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Part 2: THE SECOND 24 HOURS To digest the delicious quick service of Illegal Pete’s we walked over to Denver’s Commons Park. The weather made me feel blessed as I lay in grass by the river, soaking in the seventy-plus-degree […]


Elements of Style: Menu Edition

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Writing a menu is no small task, but it’s one of the more important things you need to think about. A well-written menu will increase orders by decreasing customer indecision (which makes for quicker tables!) Bad menu design will lead […]


Introducing Bull in China

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Here at the Poached Blog we’re always looking for some partners in the industry. We’re looking for the veterans and visionaries that make working in Food & Drink so special. When we met the good folks from Bull in China […]


Line Cook Holding Resume Spotted in Urban Area

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August 26th 2015 (Portland, Ore) – Rumors swirled about the latest sighting of a Line Cook holding a resume. Line Cooks have long been known to live in and around the city, but the encroachment of luxury condominiums on their natural […]

North Bank Depot building at 1029-1035 NW Hoyt St., Portland, in March 2000, after conversion to housing. Photo by Steve Morgan.

1st Job Stories: The Dish Pit

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Everyone in the industry has a first job story – and I thought I’d share mine. If you want to tell your first job story we’d love to hear it. Write in to blog@poachedjobs to share your first steps into […]


How to Survive Your Next Wine Tasting

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Attending a wine tasting sounds fun, but it’s actually an important part of developing your career. Wine events evoke images of well-coiffed, well-dressed fancy people swirling and spitting expensive wines. It all looks incredibly posh, but trust me, to get […]


Top 5 Things about Working the FOH

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You know you love it – the weird hours, the rush of a full dining room, the camaraderie largely unknown outside of war zones. Working in a restaurant is more than just a job, it’s a lifestyle. It’s not easy, […]


Brunch Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Recent studies have proven that working in a restaurant on a Sunday morning is the #1 cause of Brunch Traumatic Stress Disorder. While most people think brunch is a fun family tradition, restaurant workers shiver at its mention. The mere […]

Pool-side Mimosas at The Standard Hotel

April Fools Roundup

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Everybody likes a good prank, especially people in the food business. Great restaurant and food related pranks happen every day, so much so that April Fools might seem superfluous, but we couldn’t help ourselves from putting together a list of […]


Unexamined Waiting

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It was immediately clear to me that the best possible use of my philosophy degree was waiting tables. Late nights and later mornings spent drinking and reading philosophical texts really prepared me for customer service. My education was very handy […]

Greek philosophers

Servin’ ain’t Easy

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Being a server isn’t easy. It’s a full-contact sport that requires feats of strength and balance while doing math on the fly. A server needs a rock solid memory and the ability to problem solve in loud rooms. And smiling, […]


From the Door to the Floor at America’s Hottest Restaurants: Insider Interview Tips for Servers

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My college advisor, Dr. Carlton, would hate me for writing this. These tips contradict every piece of advice he ever gave me on how to succeed in an interview. To be fair, he probably never worked in restaurants. But many […]


5 Things to Know about French Wine

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  Wine, as we’ve covered before, is a multifaceted subject. In some ways the more you learn about it, the less you know. But rather than blow your mind with finely wrought philosophical aphorisms, I figured we should talk about […]


5 Things to Know about Wine

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For many people starting out in the restaurant industry, wine is a mysterious and esoteric subject that creates more anxiety than pleasure. I can remember walking up to my first table as a waiter and thinking “please don’t ask me […]


Passport-Stamping Knife Bag

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Over a year ago I had some tough decisions to make. I was about to embark on a global cooking adventure, and needed to make my knife bag as lightweight and efficient as possible – which meant paring down my […]


Jelly Filled Ambition, part 2

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In Part 1, Jonathan’s incredible meal at Do or Dine led him to ask about staging at the restaurant. Which brings us to Part 2…   The meal was supposed to be just a doughnut. It turned into a bill […]


Jelly Filled Ambition, part 1

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In Part 1, Jonathan explores the possibilities of molecular stoner food. This week he eats. Next week? He gets himself into the kitchen.   Well, I put my mouth where my money is on this one. We went into Do […]


Obtaining a Stage

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Many of you who follow this running article have asked me – “how do I live this life of traveling the world?” The answer is simple, I cook everywhere I go, and I don’t seek payment for it. You could […]


Food Play

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It all started with my best friend’s two black eyes staring back at me through a freezer bag. Every time I opened the door it reminded me that your food is actually your love, and in this case a relationship […]


The Execution Squad

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It had been mere hours since we’d departed the coastal shores of Kinsale. Our thumbs outstretched into the drizzly air, we continued our hitch hiking across the edges of the Emerald Isle. We were thoroughly dampened and dodging rain, jumping […]


It’s a Small World After All

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We have all wanted to knock someone out, burn a place down, or poison a few people, right? OK – maybe I’m just a nut job. But has anyone else noticed the walls of the service industry seem to close […]


An Extra Green Emerald Isle

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You couldn’t tell where the ground ended and the sky began. We walked in a world of white as mist encased us. The waves were audible, yet entirely invisible. I felt on alert from the salty air. An occasional grit […]


Open Your Eyes to the Food All Around You

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This piece was inspired by a recent silly Reddit post that went viral (and amazingly made the local news) regarding Chefs stealing weeds from Portland yards.   Fucking urban foraging. It’s like that dirty little secret no one wants to […]


Socially Lost on Pollen Street

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It hadn’t been a fluke that I’d wandered into Martin Wishart’s up in Scotland. A month earlier while in London, I’d worked with a former cook of Chef Wishart’s who’d moved to London. Like most cooking communities, the whole United […]


No FNG’ing Around

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As I wandered back around the small, walled-in courtyard, it felt more like walking into someone’s home. The stoops leading up to the flats above faced inward on the crossing clotheslines and a dog’s personal patch of grass to piss […]


Advice to Recent Culinary School Graduates

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Advice to Recent Culinary School Graduates, Chef Wannabe’s and Anyone Else Who Wants to Work in a Restaurant   Working in a professional kitchen is hard work. That, as chefs at the top know, is a champion understatement. Television and […]


Reinforcing the Stock

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This is the first entry in what will be an on-going series from a chef who sold all his worldly possessions – minus his knife roll, clogs, and chef whites, of course – and set out with his girlfriend to […]


Turnover, Costs, and How To Fix It

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In the restaurant industry, high turnover rates remain an everyday battle. The financial impact cuts deep into budgets and lowered employee morale is often an unavoidable result. Historically, turnover in the restaurant industry has averaged at 60% but for a […]


Eating Out

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By popular demand, I have to represent my overpaid and underworked friends out there: the Front of the House. I’m really kidding (but you know it’s true). However, I wouldn’t trade a 14 hour shift in the kitchen for even […]


The Twenty-Something Chef

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Nobody wants to grow up to be a Line Cook. A very wise Chef Rhodes once told me, way back when I was twenty, that I had better have a plan because, “nobody wants to grow up to be a […]

The Twenty-Something Chef

Avoid Getting Trashed

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It’s a hell of a market these days – a limited number of positions and a seemingly unlimited number of applicants. If you are on the job hunt end of the equation, let me let you in on a few […]


You Know It’s Time to Give Your Notice When…

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The restaurant industry is not your typical workplace. Things are somewhat backwards. Especially when it comes to appreciating employees. High turnover and unpredictable income has made workers somewhat disposable. So, whether you are from the front or back of the […]


There Are No Sick Chefs

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The endless articles and comments regarding NOMA’s recent norovirus contamination highlights a topic that is particularly troubling to me. Why aren’t kitchen staff sent home when sick? I’ve been working in professional kitchens for 12 years and have watched cooks, […]


Resume Writing Tips

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Sure, your wit, tenacity, crazy skills, and stellar personality speak for themselves, but unless you’re dating or related to the hiring manager, your resume has to communicate how amazing you are, sight unseen. Get in the door by making that […]


Eat Your Greens

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Try the Freakin’ Herbs; They Won’t Kill You When I see a plate come back to the kitchen, herbs strewn to the side, all food eaten and tossed into the dish pit, I want to walk out to the dinning […]


Write a Better Job Posting, Like NOW

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Listen up restaurant owners, hiring managers, and HR professions: you can do better. Yes, the job market is still slow and there are many people looking for work, but that does not negate you from some of the shoddy job […]


A Strange History

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Most chefs seem to have fond memories of dining out with their parents; not so for the Kitchen Ninja.   As a child, most of my dining experiences were within the confines of ‘hunting lodges’. These are a popular German […]


The Kit

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It’s hard when an entire career must fit in a nylon bag, zipped up, slung on your shoulder moving from place to place. However, it is a comfort to know that you have what you need to make a meal […]


You Dirty Little Stagiaire

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If you’re a cook you must understand the concept of a stage: you work for free and show ’em what you’ve got. It’s basically a working interview. I’m not sure why, but some of you show up forgetting all the […]


In Memorium: Robert Reynolds

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This just in from Portland Monthly: Robert Reynolds, 1942-2012 In Memorium: a lifespring of culinary creativity and leader of Chef Studio, Robert Reynolds passed away this morning. An educator, storyteller, mentor and firebrand, Robert inspired and challenged many of the […]


PoachedJobs Makes The News

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We’re happy to see that The Oregonian has been doing a series of articles on Portland-area start-ups and felt lucky to be featured last week. Some highlights: The site, launched about a year ago, allows qualified applicants to post résumés […]


Restaurant Dot Wrong

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As restaurant owners, our feelings about resemble those of any bad relationship: We’re mainly elated…  that it’s over. Don’t really want to talk about it. Chalked up to “lessons learned”. So the article in The Oregonian caught my attention. […]


How To Get Hired: Springtime Redux

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Across the nation, countless restaurants and bars are expanding their seating capacity by opening their patio and sidewalk tables, while catering calendars fill with weddings and summer celebrations. The industry’s staffing up and that means more employment opportunities, but […]


Poached Cities: Our Efforts to be Less Trashy

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With the City of Seattle’s recent announcement that all takeout and fast food containers must be compostable or recyclable, we thought we’d take a look at green-leaning food service rules and resources around the Poached Nation. Seattle thinks to-go should […]


Intermediate Kitchen Tips

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So you’re no longer a beginner. How can you take your game up a notch, and be the best? 1. Organize your space! When you come into a new kitchen, chances are someone has already set up your station. Chances […]


Straight From the Spout

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Since the ripe old age of 18, when I first dove behind a bar along the murky shores of Lake Michigan in Milwaukee, I have been slinging drinks, procuring inhibition and quenching the general public’s thirst. This liquid trade has […]


Basic Advice for Kitchen Noobs

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Written by Hanna Youngling 1. A burn is a burn, is a burn. Put cold water on it, put burn cream on it, put that stupid compressed air shit in the jar like you clean your keyboard with on it […]


Welcoming San Francisco to the fold

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We still have a pink glow in our cheeks after a fantastic (sunny!) sojourn to San Francisco last week. The PDX and SF teams clearly play well together and we’re all excited to have our Bay Area job board […]


Welcome to Portland. Now get a job.

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So you want to work in the fantastic food and drink world of Portland? You’re not alone. Restaurant, bar and café work is huge in Portland. The industry appeals to a variety of people spanning all ages and backgrounds. Competition […]

Welcome to Portland.  Now Get a Job.

Two Curly Fries, One Foie Gras Sandwich, and a Shot of Makers To Go

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There are a couple of women who travel SE Portland pulling along a cooler filled with tamales. They stop in at Stumptown on Belmont and sometimes I buy a couple. They’re pretty good and homemade. You can’t help but admire their plucky entrepreneurship. […]

Two curly fries, one foie-gras sandwich and a shot of Makers To Go

Loving Your Own Feet Is Not A Fetish

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Servers are the only people we know who would rather not sit down until the day is over. We may find you, on a slow day, taking a quick swig of coffee or lingering over a crossword, but always erect. We […]


Do We Really Care What You Think?

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Recently a reviewer on Yelp suggested that a chef friend of mine, “stay home and make his family miserable with his cooking.”

Yelp Reviewers