Book Review

Gregory Gourdet's New Cookbook Blends His Love of Global Flavors and Paleo Foods

Plus: a recipe for grilled carrots and a spicy pineapple turmeric smoothie.

By Karen Brooks May 11, 2021 Published in the Summer 2021 issue of Portland Monthly

Chef Gregory Gourdet

You can’t quite pigeonhole Gregory Gourdet’s food. It flies in its own flavor universe, delivered with wild story arcs and charisma. In 2008, he landed in Portland, a gay Haitian American in a white city—giant mohawk, fancy-pants New York cooking résumé, and drug habit in tow. He rehabbed himself into a cook unlike any other in Portland—a sober, marathon-running Black chef in a glitzy hotel kitchen, flaunting stylish vegan, gluten-free, pan-Asian dishes in a boozy, pork-temple town. Overlooked for years, Gourdet has emerged as a bold singular cook, a Top Chef fan favorite, and an advocate for sobriety, healthy eating, and racial equity. Increasingly, he’s returning to his roots, aiming to put Haitian food culture on equal footing in a world that has ignored it.

Everyone’s Table is not a diet book, but a diet for a changing planet.



These threads weave through Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health (with JJ Goode, Harper Wave, $37.50). The best cookbooks offer a point of view, while expanding conversations about what and how we eat. This one has at least three: the joy of global  flavors, an argument for nut milks and alternative flours, and the wonder of Haitian cooking, spicy pickles to whole crispy fish. What unites them? Big, bright, herbaceous profiles. Instagram good looks. Approachable but detailed instructions. And not a lick of gluten, dairy, soy, legumes, grains, alcohol, or dogma. In short: Gourdet food. It’s a rare cookbook where coconut sour cream ranch dip, prune char siu duck legs, and Haitian hot chocolate have a throughline.

What most excites me? The wealth of salads teeming with chiles, coconut dressings, and fists of herbs. Plantain bread, made with near-black, “damn-that’s-ripe” fruit, plus spicy cashew butter for smearing. And Gourdet’s masterful dairy-free ice creams, one churned with whole coffee beans and green cardamom pods. What surprised me? The sheer scope of this 400-page book, in-depth shopping guides to cooking tricks. No hot sauce or flavor booster is left behind. Bottom line: Everyone’s Table is not a diet book, but a diet for a changing planet—adventurous, aware of the world around it, not stepping away from brutal truths. It’s an edible road map for how we can eat now, together.

Grilled Carrots with Herby Coconut Yogurt and Spicy Beet Vinaigrette

Serves 4 to 6

From Gourdet: Don’t ask me why, but you don’t often spot people grilling carrots alongside peppers, zucchini, and eggplant. It’s a shame, because they also grill beautifully, developing a char that balances out their sweetness. Herby coconut yogurt helps, too, tipping the scale with tang and freshness, while quickly pickled beets contribute crunch, acidity, and a different dimension of sweetness.

Grilled carrots with herby coconut yogurt and spicy vinagriete 

Beet Vinaigrette

  • 1 large beet (about 4 inches in diameter), peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 fresh Thai chiles, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil   
  • Herby Coconut Yogurt
  • 1 handful mixed herbs, such as basil, mint, dill, and cilantro
  • 1 cup plain coconut yogurt
  • 1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 1 juicy lime


  • 2 lbs trimmed medium carrots, halved lengthwise if thicker than 1 inch
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt

Beet Vinaigrette: Put beets in a small mixing bowl, season with the salt, and set aside for 10 minutes to soften and season. Combine vinegar, garlic, and chile in a small saucepan, bring all to a boil over high heat, then lower heat to gently simmer for 1 minute, just to cook off the garlic’s raw flavor. Pour hot mixture over beets, stir, and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Stir in olive oil.

Herby Coconut Yogurt: Roughly chop herbs. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, most of the herbs, scallion, and salt. Use a Microplane to grate lime zest into a bowl, then halve the lime and squeeze in the juice. Stir well.

Grill carrots and assemble: Fire up a grill to cook with medium-high heat. On a plate, rub carrots with avocado oil to just barely coat them (excess oil will lead to flare-ups and unpleasant flavor). Season carrots with the salt, toss, and grill—turning them occasionally and moving them to a cooler part of the grill if they get dark before they’re tender—until lightly charred and fully tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Spread yogurt on a platter and top with carrots. Spoon on the pickle-y beets first, then drizzle on about 2 tbsp of the vinaigrette. Sprinkle with the remaining herbs and serve.

This spicy pineapple-tumeric smoothie is packed with vitamin C

Spicy Pineapple-Turmeric Smoothie

Serves 2 to 4

A bright, vitamin C–packed smoothie, it has a touch of zing and tastes like the tropics.

  • 3½ cups pineapple chunks (about 1 inch)
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • ½ cup well-shaken coconut milk
  • 3-inch knob fresh turmeric, peeled and thinly sliced across the grain
  • 1 medium-size ripe banana, peeled
  • 2 Medjool dates, pitted
  • ½ small hot fresh red chile, such as Thai
  • 2 cups ice cubes

Blend all ingredients except ice cubes. Add ice and blend on high speed until as smooth as possible, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve right away.

From Everyone’s Table by Gregory Gourdet and JJ Goode. Copyright 2021 by Gregory Gourdet and JJ Goode. Published by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Books. Reprinted with permission.

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