Departure chef and Top Chef star Gregory Gourdet dreamed up Chefs Week PDX in 2014, taking cues from his favorite food festivals and tapping into the strong current of West Coast food pride that runs from Baja to Vancouver B.C. Three years later, it’s grown into a 15-event festival with serious prestige: think Feast, but with more collaborative dinners, major (free to the public) after-parties, and without the main-stage events.
The hot ticket each year is Gourdet’s West Coast Dinner, where some 30-plus chefs from Oregon and other west coast locales come together for a 30-course meal of epic proportions. The expression “too many cooks in the kitchen” does not apply. Riffing on the theme of heritage and legacy, expect everything from smoked sockeye salmon with egg yolk, buckwheat, and crab cake from Nodoguro’s Ryan Roadhouse to sturgeon caviar with uni and crispy nori potatoes from Gourdet himself.
Where: Departure Restaurant (525 SW Morrison St.)
When: Feb 7
Chefs Week tickets go fast; nab them while you still can!
Three Other Chefs Week PDX 2016 Events to Check Out
Forget the West Coast—the seven chefs at Bollywood’s dinner cook far across the Pacific, into India, Vietnam and Japan. Local food celebrities like Troy MacLarty (Bollywood) and Rassamee Ruaysuntia (Langbaan) join America’s finest pan-Asian specialists, like Seattle’s Eric Johnson (Stateside) and Denver’s Lon Symensma (Cholon) for their 7-course meal. Gourdet is digging into his Haitian roots for a seafood dish inundated with scotch bonnet chiles and plantains.
When: February 4, 7-10pm
Where: Bollywood Theater (2039 NE Alberta St)
The charge at this Renata-based dinner is for each dish to include an element that is either wood fired, coal-roasted, grilled or smoked. Matthew Sigler is joined by Laurelhurst Market’s Ben Bettinger (whole roasted goat with poblano and pistachio romesco), Restaurant Beck’s Justin Wills (salt and fire roasted turbot with gremolata and white corn polenta), Vancouver’s Joel Watanabe (ash-oil poached fish), along with several other talents.
When: February 6, 6-9pm
Where: Renata (626 SE Main St)
KJG’s Han Ly Hwang teams up with Richie Nakano (formerly of SF’s Hapa Ramen) and Maui’s Jeff Scheer for a food cart riff on Hawaiian plate lunch.
When: February 6, 12-4pm
Where: Kim Jong Grillin’ (SE 46th and Division St)