Aaron Barnett isn’t the kind of chef/owner who comes in once a week to yell at his staff. He does that every day, while working the line at his hit Francophile establishments St. Jack and La Moule. As Portland has boomed, he’s seen the rise of a rustic-sophisticate palate—we’re now a city where “kidneys sell like crack.” But Barnett says there’s a reckoning coming for restaurants like his: an “unsexy” stew of population growth, rising costs, cook shortages, and new competition from the pop-up revolution.

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Editor’s Pick

La Moule

$$ French 2500 SE Clinton St

At La Moule, St. Jack’s Francophile chef Aaron Barnett reintroduces Portland to mussels and fries with a globe-spanning take on Belgium’s national dish, plus...

Editor’s Pick

St. Jack

$$ French 1610 NW 23rd

Plenty of restaurants hit their stride early, sliding downhill in the years—or decades—that follow. St. Jack came out sprinting when it opened on a cute Clin...

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