Guys weekend and the legend of the bobcat

This post is more about ideas and less about actual recipes. 

Every bachelor party is unique in its own way, some are classy, and meticulously planned, while some flirt with the devil at every corner and are dictated by relentless happenstance. For my bachelor party, the day before we got married, we took to the Istrian woods in the search for truffles.  They also say that this unforgettable event is truly for the groomsmen and not the groom himself, and while there may be an ounce of truth in such statement, in reality it’s just an unforgettable right of passage and a perfect excuse to spend time with some of our favorite friends.  

Andrew Molera State Park, California

A few weeks before moving to Portland from our former home of San Francisco, my friend Steven planned a day long hike and weekend camping trip into Andrew Molera State Park.

river

I was moving to a brand new yet familiar city to start a new life with Zara, which also meant that we’d be leaving behind many friends we’d grown fond of over the years, which is probably why in a way this hiking trip struck a close resemblance to a bachelor party; just a couple of guys cracking jokes while throwing back a few around a campfire. The hike was not to be taken lightly, which we completed in under five hours, but the highlight had to be spotting a family of bobcats while blazing through one of the park’s trails. 

bobcattrail beach

As with any proper guys trip, the food needs to be spot on, no fancy delicacies, just some hearty and good old fashioned dishes. Before nightfall I rolled out some previously home-made dough to grill a pizza as our appetizer. I also prepared a squid ink infused Arroz negro paella with marinated rabbit cooked right on the fire. This was based on my go-to campfire paella recipe

pizza

paella1

paella2

At one point in the evening we decided to forego all formalities and sunk our forks right into the paella pan. That very moment made my weekend. 

table-paella

And then there were the players…

theBoys

Missoula, Montana

At a separate guys weekend, we commemorated my friend Jesse’s upcoming nuptials to one of the coolest women I know. This time we all hit the road from Portland to the inexplicably delightful town of Missoula, Montana. Upon arrival to our lodge we were taken aback by the level of craftsmanship that went into the place, which would have deserved a tip of a hat from Teddy Roosevelt himself.

house

Montana, known for its high grade quality beef, and in such abundance that there are four bovines per person in the state. One of the first things we did after settling in was to hit a local butcher to stock up on some beautifully marbled local rib eyes and some additional meats to throw in the smoker.

ribeye

butt
Smoked butts for the pulled pork.

I offered to cook one of the main meals, so to feed a bunch of ravenous fellow men, I had to craft a menu fit for my company. I kicked off the meal with Diva Q’s grilled chicken lollipops, served with a side of celery juice-based coleslaw. This was to be followed by milk boiled mash potatoes, Vietnamese-style roasted cauliflower florets and a homemade chimichurri to accompany the simply seasoned and grilled rib eyes. For presentation purposes I was really hoping for romesco, but since I couldn’t find it anywhere I ended up settling for cauliflower.

cauliflower
Olive oil roasted cauliflowers and heirloom carrots finished off with some home-made nuoc cham sauce, chopped cilantro, and a fistful of pan roasted rice crispies.

plating

photo

Given the craziness of that weekend, I didn’t have enough time to trim every chicken drumstick, but I hope you got the idea. This is what they should look like in the end.

chicken

I couldn’t have asked for a funner get away. Nothing could beat hanging out with new friends, bar hopping in a different city while causing a little mischief with these unruly misfits. And somehow, another bobcat happened to join in on the fun…

guys

: Jaime

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