How to work the Chris King Gourmet Century
Words and Photos by Eiry Bartlett
A couple of months back I was down in Portland, riding some local hills and catching up with friends who had just completed the Oregon Outback, when an offer of working at the Gourmet Century fell into my lap. I had another tour in the works for the same weekend – it immediately went out the window.
I have a secret (or maybe not so secret?) history in the coffee industry, and barista-wrangler-extraordinaire Tom Pikaart figured my combined experiences in both the cycling and coffee worlds would make me a perfect candidate to help out at the CKGC; little did he know that all I wanted to do was take photos, mingle with the participants and consume. If you’re going to work a cycling event and aren’t able to ride, this is definitely the best event you could possibly be at; none of the others taste half as good.
This year’s event was close to double in size from what it has been in previous years, up from 250 to roughly 450 attendees. Chris King’s executive chefs, Chris DiMinno and Robert McSpadden, worked with Jason French of Ned Ludd, Matt Christianson from Urban Farmer, and Patrick McKee from Paley’s Place to create a delicious menu for the French-themed ride. Participants were also lucky enough to have a delicious lunch made by Alex Yoder and the guys from Olympic Provisions, a company that is definitely worth checking out if you appreciate your meats as much as I do. These events are not magically pulled off by just a few people, either; there was an enormous number of volunteers that I must tip my hat to — they were invaluable.
We served Stumptown coffee in the form of espresso, cold brew and traditional drip to virtually every person…four times over. I did my best to actually do my job, but as you’ll see, I did a lot of running around.
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