Elder Hall: A Gathering Space for Connection,
Camaraderie & Conviviality
Portland is a city of creativity, community and good food. There is a strong culture behind celebrating what Oregon and the Pacific Northwest has to offer: local food, farmers, chefs and artisan producers. Elder Hall is a new gathering place in NE Portland that aims to be the central spot for such celebrations.
Chef Jason French created Ned Ludd 5 years ago, moving into an old pizza restaurant with a wood-fired oven and opening on a minimal budget. Much of the hardware and decor was salvaged and built by hand. The bare-bones kitchen stayed that way: a wood-fired oven and a two-burner hot plate. Jason’s “American Craft Kitchen” focuses on creating beautiful, rustic feasts using the seasonal bounty of the area. His relationships with farmer friends and producers feed the restaurant and the ever-changing menus.
Elder Hall is Jason French, his partner Michelle Battista, and the Ned Ludd family’s new baby. It’s a community space that will be home to cooking & butchery classes, collaborative dinners, kids camps, lectures, meetings and other events to promote the food community, sustainability, agriculture and more. With the help of a successful Kickstarter campaign, they built out the space behind Ned Ludd to include a full commercial kitchen and an open area with simple but cozy decor of dark wood, warm lighting and vintage tapestries.
“Elder Hall is an Oregon gathering space working to connect people and ideas through intimate gatherings centered around the pleasures of the table.”
Elder Hall officially opened in late August and has already hosted a Nomad.PDX pop-up, a couple of private events, and a collaborative dinner. On the calendar is a visit from Chef Renee Erickson of The Whale Wins and Boat Street Cafe in Seattle for a “Book Fete”.
The space will also be the new home of Camas Davis’ Portland Meat Collective, which frequently offers classes on animal butchery, charcuterie and sausage making, open to the public.
Last weekend for Feast Portland, Jason collaborated on a dinner with Chef Paul Kahan (Blackbird and Avec, Chicago) in Elder Hall. They also hosted an after party with Greg Hall’s Virtue Cider that was attended by Chris Cosentino (Porcellino and Boccalone, San Francisco) and Edward Lee (610 Magnolia, Louisville and The Mind of a Chef), among other Feast guest chefs and participants. I ran into Jason a couple of days later at the Brunch Village event downtown and he was beside himself with the success of the evening. Chefs that he respected and admired were all gathered in his kitchen, excited about the new space and praising the idea.
Jason, Michelle and the Elder Hall team have ultimately created a home-away-from-home kitchen (with all the bells and whisltes) and dining room where people can gather in a comfortable space and celebrate food, collaboration and the culture of the Pacific Northwest, as one would with family and friends. We can’t wait to see what else they’re able to bring to Elder Hall for everyone to enjoy.
Elder Hall is now officially open and available for events and celebrations. They also offer full-service catering and can accommodate up to 50 seated guests and about 75 standing. Contact [email protected] for pricing and availability.
Upcoming Events at Elder Hall:
October 16: Food Book Fete (a reception and book signing) with Renee Erickson of The Whale Wins and Boat Street Cafe in Seattle, WA. Buy Tickets here.
Ongoing: Portland Meat Collective Butchery, Charcuterie and Sausage making classes
Photos Courtesy of Elder Hall