A Gourmet Chef on a Mission- Gregory Gourdet

Gourmet Chef-Gregory Gourdet
  • Photo by Top Chef

A Gourmet Chef is one who uses complex cooking skills and techniques to create dishes for restaurant patrons or clientele, Learn.

Gourmet Chef Gregory Gourdet can easily be recognized from Top Chef. He competed in the 12th and 17th seasons (All-Stars LA) respectively. Gourdet is a Culinary Institute of America Alumni who serves as Executive Chef and Culinary Director at Departure. Departure is a Pan-Asian restaurant at the nines hotel in Portland, Oregon.

Due to his job description, Gourdet creates dishes that draw inspiration from various Asian Countries. Indeed in Top Chef, that was his specialty until his roots began beckoning at him. The chef is a first generation American born to Haitian parents in New York. He grew up in Queens and spent most of his life in the US.

But in 2018, after 22 years away, Gourdet made a trip back to Port Au Prince, Haiti. While there, he spent time with family just observing Haitian Culinary Skill. Often, he visited local restaurants and roadside vendors venturing further to the small farms on a learning mission. On one of his excursions, he met a woman who had been making Haitian delicacy, griot on the same spot for 20 years,

Gourmet Chef Gregory Gourdet's discovery of a woman who had made griot on the same spot for 20 years in Port Au Prince Haiti

Haitian Pork Griot by Andrew Scrivani for New York Times Cooking

Gourdet came back to the US with a purpose to open a wood-fired Haitian restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Interestingly, several rural households in the African continent rely on firewood to make all their meals. Haitian food from Gourdet’s observation while in Port Au Prince is a combination of a lot of Caribbean and African ingredients.

The opening of his restaurant was set for January 2021 but with the Corona Virus Pandemic, Gourdet is looking at a later date in 2021.

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Portland, Oregon

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