Perfect Pickler #2 Blossoming Lotus: Vegan, Raw and and pickled!

The 3rd Annual Perfect Pickle event is just days away (this coming Tuesday, February 12th…get tickets here!). We supply 9 esteemed local restaurants with 12 pounds of local cucumbers and mason jars. Next Tuesday, the pickles are open for tasting, and judged by notable celebrities and the public at large. The evening is set to a backdrop of a local music and entertainment, with proceeds benefiting our mission.

All this week we’ll be featuring short interviews with our contending chefs this year. One of today’s featured restaurants is a new participant: Blossoming Lotus. Turning the false stereotype of bland vegan food on it’s head, Blossoming Lotus is an elegant vegan eatery known for it’s organic, freshly made cuisine with delicious cooked and live food options. Located in the Irvington area near NE 15th and Broadway, Blossoming Lotus has a full menu of local favorites, seasonal selections, live food dishes, as well as gluten-free and soy-free options. Plus their raw/ vegan cheesecakes could fool the biggest dairy connoisseur! We caught up with chef Gabriel Crocker who told his about his pickling style and un-cooking philosophy.

1. Tell us a few words about yourself and your cooking philosophy.
Throughout my life and career, geographically ranging from New York to Memphis to San Francisco and now Portland, I have consistently found myself fluctuating between the worlds of healthy and organic whole foods and luxury based progressive fine dining. At Blossoming Lotus, I’m excited to try bringing those experiences together under one roof. I strive to deliver dishes that are approachable and welcoming but also creative and unexpected, and yet always attempting to stay rooted in the foundations of technique and tradition.

2. Describe your Perfect Pickle entries for 2013.
Well, sheepishly, I have to describe them as my best first effort. My personal expertise is in quick pickle preparations and I was excited for this opportunity to explore pickling in it’s long-form format. My pickles are flavored with ginger, sweet red pepper, garlic, mustard seed, and a touch of miso.

3. Why are you participating in this event?
I have long been a devotee of pickles in all their forms; Asian, Indian, European. Not only is pickling an invaluable tool for preserving food when it is bountiful, but the brightness and complexity of pickles can impact a plate unlike any other component. Also, it sounded like fun.

4. Why should you be crowned “Pickler of the Year”?
I’ll just be happy to walk away with the “Participant” ribbon this year. Next year is a different story.

You won’t want to miss this event! Don’t forget – free entrance to the Perfect Pickle is a benefit of membership. Join at just $50 and above for a year, and save $15 (the ticket price) immediately! Join now and we’ll put you on the “VIP” list! Not quite ready to become a member but want to attend the event? Learn more about the event and buy tickets here.

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