April 18th, 2011 | by RUTH BROWN Food & Drink |

What The Hell is a "Fork to the City"?

And How Do You Get One?

forks

Two Portland chefs have made high-profile appearances on reality television cooking shows lately—first Beast's Naomi Pomeroy, who is currently competing on Bravo's Top Chef Masters, and Sunday night, Paley's Place chef Vitaly Paley appeared as a challenger on the Food Network's Iron Chef America.

At the respective local premieres of each show, the City of Portland (Pomeroy got an appearance from Mayor Adams himself; Paley got Policy Coordinator and former WW journalist Caryn Brooks) awarded the chefs with a "Fork to the City"—literally a really big fork. (Presumably to pick the lock to any restaurant in town in lieu of a key.)

Both Paley and Pomeroy are notable local chefs, deserving of praise and civic accolades. But there are certainly many other chefs in Portland surely worthy of the honor. And also many others who have appeared on reality cooking shows.

Where's the key for chef Deanna Schreiner, who helped Adam Richman shovel "mancakes" into his chubby face on Man vs. Food? Or the boys from Pine State Biscuits, who cooked up reggie deluxes for that guy with the stupid hair on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives? Or Crave Cupcakes' Kyra Bussanic, who battled valiantly in the name of Portland-made gluten-free baked goods on Cupcake Wars

Just what does it take to be worthy of a giant piece of silverware from the City of Portland?

In a statement to WW, the mayor's office responded:

The "Fork to the City" honor is one given at the Mayor's discretion; he was thrilled to honor two of Portland's most prominent chefs, as they represent Portland on the national competitive stage.
So we're still not entirely sure what the criteria is. But based on current evidence, we reckon you'd be in with a pretty good shot if you organize a throwdown with Bobby Flay.
 
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