Gregory Gourdet, the sleek Chef de Cuisine at downtown Portland’s Departure, a sleek, modern Asian restaurant, was born in Queens and studied wild life biology and French in Montana. As a student, he and his roommate experimented in the kitchen, dreaming up and reinventing dishes with whatever ingredients a couple of broke college kids could afford.
Before long, Gregory realized that he had a gift. He enrolled in culinary school and joined the industry, working every station in the kitchen—starting with the dish pit. Now, he runs his own kitchen, designs his own menus and has developed a signature style that’s considered playful, avant-garde and approachable.
Of course, the truest way a chef can express himself is to cook for you what he, himself, would prepare at home. In Gregory’s case, that means teasing out the flavors of Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai and Korean cuisines. And because he likes those texture and flavors, he wants you to like them, too.
Soon, you’ll get to see—and taste—exactly what he means.
That’s because later this month Gregory’s manning Departure’s booth at the fourth International Food Bloggers Conference, an annual symposium jointly put on by the peerless online culinary encyclopedia, Foodista.com, and by Zephyr Adventures, trip planners for the nation’s intrepid travelers, hikers, bikers, inline skaters and eaters.
Gregory says he is especially excited to be partnering with the IFBC for its Taste of Oregon and Gourmet Fair, an exclusive opening-night gala, where he and his team will be on-hand to hand out samples of signature bites to—and answer questions proposed by—hundreds of food bloggers and publishers from across the globe.
The Taste of Oregon and Gourmet Fair takes place from 7-9pm on Friday, August 24, at the Portland DoubleTree.
Get ready to be wowed by Gregory’s gluten-free Kampachi Nigiri with yuzu, jalapeño and shiso, and by his vegan Steamed Vegetable Bao, made with Gai-lan, wood ear mushrooms, ginger and shaoxing.
And as a prolific user of social media, Gregory also points out that Departure’s Twitter handle will be posted on-site, so that all of you writers out there can sample his food and tell the world what you think as it happens.