The Feeder: Gregory Gourdet, Departure Restaurant + Lounge
Established: Executive Chef of Departure Restaurant + Lounge since 2010
What They Feed: Modern Asian cuisine using quality, authentic ingredients – A rooftop restaurant in The Nines Hotel, downtown Portland
Gregory Gourdet was born and raised in Queens, NY and first went to college in Montana to study biology, French and pre-med. When he and a roommate fell in love with cooking and experimenting with food, he decided to switch gears and went to school at the Culinary Institute of America after completing his Bachelors degree. An externship opportunity landed him in the kitchen at Jean Georges in New York City. Gregory ended up staying on with Jean Georges full-time and eventually worked his way up to sous chef. As chef de cuisine at Jean Georges’ “modern Chinese eatery” Restaurant 66, Gregory developed the affinity for the Asian cuisine and flavors he is now known for. Looking for a change in lifestyle and some fresh inspiration, Gregory ventured to Portland, Oregon in 2008. His first positions in the City of Roses, as Chef de Cuisine at Urban Farmer and then Executive Chef at Saucebox, integrated Gregory into the Portland food scene and culture. In 2010 he rejoined the Sage Restaurant Group at Departure Restaurant + Lounge in the swanky Nines Hotel where he is currently Executive Chef.
Gregory participates in a number of events throughout the year and is active in promoting everything he loves about Portland: you’ll likely see his face at Bon Appetit’s Feast weekend and at the Wild About Game competition. He hosts special events at the restaurant such at the annual vegan dinner (2014’s highlighted produce from Groundwork Organics) and his monthly Compass Dinner Series, an intimate experience that explores different cuisines around the world. In 2013, Gregory initiated the first Portland Chefs Week, inviting a number of chefs from up and down the West Coast to participate in a 4 night collaborative dinner series and learn more about Oregon’s produce, meats, wine, craft beer and spirits.
“The caliber of chefs in this city is changing. It will be interesting to see how their relationships with farms will change too, and the impact that will have”
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