Something is always cooking in the mind of Departure chef Gregory Gourdet. The guy is always game. Crazy collaborative dishes with local chefs, a sweat-the-cameras Top Chef turn, a TEDx Portland talk, a forest run, a dance rave. In 2014, he launched Chefs Week PDX, tapping West Coast food pride, from LA to Vancouver, BC, and morphing into a sell-out four-day food blitz. Last year’s tally: 55 chefs and creators, 12 dinners/pop-ups/after-parties, 21 collaborations, and $15,000 for charity.
Even Gourdet was tired.
Now, Chefs Week PDX has gone on vacation. With such rapid growth, Gourdet tells Eat Beat that it was time to step back, restructure, and create a stronger foundation going forward. But what’s a vacation without two major dinners? Chefs Week 2017 will host two collaborative affairs. First up: tickets are now on sale for May’s “Heritage Dinner.” We’ve got the lowdown (and dishes confirmed so far).
Chefs Week PDX Heritage Dinner
What: “Exploring what 'heritage' means through the eyes of local chefs. Is it historical ingredients from the region we live in? Stories of the places we come from? Culture that defines our families? As we use food to express who we are, everyone is bound to have a different expression.”
The Chefs: Expect seven courses and snacks from the following: Jose Chesa, Chesa/Ataula (salt cod, potatoes and pine nuts); Naomi Pomeroy, Beast; Peter Cho, Han Oak (Korean bibimbap); Greg Higgins, Higgins Restaurant (a dish featuring morels and fresh cheese, recalling his childhood foraging days and his first job as a cheese maker); Gregory Gourdet, Departure (classic Haitian fish dish from his childhood family table) and Nora Antene, Tusk pastry chef (Houska strawberry shortcake, “a sweet Eastern European bread filled with dried fruits and caraway; what mom always made”).
When: 6–9 p.m. Sun, May 7. And don’t miss the late-night after-party from 10 p.m.–midnight (no extra charge), with churro collaborations and bites by Maya Lovelace (Mae) and Doug Adams (Bullard).
Where: Chesa, 2218 NE Broadway
How Much: $170 per person; optional $15 beverage. Tickets on sale here. A portion of sales with benefit the ACLU.
Details are still shaping up for Chefs Week PDX “Hearth” dinner, on July 30 at Han Oak, featuring chefs Peter Cho, Bonnie Morales, Doug Adams, Gabriel Rucker and Eve Küttemann. Stay tuned to Eat Beat for details.