CHEF GREGORY GOURDET
EVENTS: IDE ALL-STAR CULINARY BASH
pronouns: he/ him/his
EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION: Culinary Institute of America
BACKGROUND: Jean-Georges, 66 (NYC); Urban Farmer, Saucebox (Portland)
CURRENTLY: Departure Restaurant + Lounge (Portland, OR)
WHY HE IS AMAZING: Chef Gregory Gourdet is the culinary mastermind behind Departure Restaurant + Lounge where he pairs local ingredients with the bold flavors and traditions of Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea to create modern Asian fare. A native New Yorker, Gourdet grew up enjoying ethnic cuisine, particularly traditional Haitian dishes emphasizing fish, rice and beans, roasted meats, pickled chilies, coconut, and herbs. Chef Gregory Gourdet’s extensive global travels to research and understand other cultures allow him to see Oregon’s lush bounty through an Asian lens, producing a constantly evolving seasonal menu inspired by cooking methods and ingredients he has encountered during continuous trips to Asia. A three-time James Beard Award semifinalist and native New Yorker from Queens, Gourdet honed his culinary skills within Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant dynasty when he became the first student to land a highly coveted internship with Vongerichten, whom he trained under for close to seven years at three of his New York City properties. In 2008, Gourdet arrived in Portland, where he helped open Sage Restaurant Group’s, Urban Farmer, and then served as Executive Chef for Saucebox, one of Portland’s oldest Asian-inspired cafés. In the spring of 2010, he took the reins at Departure, the modern Asian rooftop restaurant adjacent to The Nines, quickly gaining praise for his innovative dishes that combine local ingredients of the Pacific Northwest with meaningful preparations. In 2013, Gourdet was named Chef of the Year by the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He was dubbed Eater Portland’s Chef of the Year in 2014. In 2015, his fame skyrocketed as he earned runner- up in Bravo’s Top Chef Season 12, the same year he was first named a semifinalist by the James Beard Foundation. in the category of Best Chef: Northwest. Gourdet has played an integral role in Portland’s culinary boom over the past decade. In 2017, he appeared on ABC’s 30 Years: A Celebration of the James Beard Foundation, as the crew filmed his journey from the Portland kitchen to New York City as he prepared for his first dinner at the iconic James Beard House. In 2018, he appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef Showdown, competing with Iron Chef Michael Symon in the final round. Success accelerated as Gourdet was named a semifinalist by the James Beard Foundation for Best Chef: Northwest in 2018 and 2019.
LAST NIGHT ON EARTH HE’S EATING IN: NYC