The James Beard Award-winning baker tapped for Wednesday Keynote Address at Pizza Expo
The legendary Portland baker and catalyst to the city’s culinary evolution, Ken Forkish’s set to bring his passion for artisan pizza and bread-making to International Pizza Expo on Wednesday morning, April 1 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
After a 20-year career in the tech industry, Forkish turned his attention to baking, relocating to Portland, Oregon, and opening Ken’s Artisan Bakery in 2001. Fueled by the success of a Monday pizza night at the bakery, Forkish opened Ken’s Artisan Pizza in 2006. Both restaurants have become wildly sought-after destinations for Portland locals, as well as a top national food destination.
He took his love for artisan baking to the masses in 2012 with his first book: Flour Water Salt Yeast: The Fundamentals of Artisan Bread and Pizza. The book received such acclaim in the culinary community that it received both a James Beard award and an International Association of Culinary Professionals award. He followed the sensation up with another book: The Element of Pizza, a quintessential guide to the pillars of great pizza making.
He was also a finalist for the national James Beard Award “Outstanding Pastry Chef” in 2013. That same year, he opened Trifecta Tavern & Bakery in Portland’s Central Eastside, a bar, restaurant and small-batch bakery.
Most recently, Ken opened Checkerboard Pizza in Portland’s Pine Street Market, serving New York-style pizza by the slice and as whole pies. In 2018, Checkerboard Pizza was named the best pizza slice in Portland by The Oregonian.
Operating in a “foodie” town is challenging. There’s pressure to keep up not only in the pizza industry but against other restaurant concepts that seem to be opening on a weekly basis in Portland. Ken will bring to his keynote an undeniable passion for pizza and baking, knowledge of the craft and tales of his successes.
Forkish’s can’t-miss keynote address will take place at 8:15 a.m. April 1, at the International Pizza Expo in Room N250 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.