Chef Gregory Gourdet is the culinary mastermind behind Departure restaurants in Portland, OR and Denver, CO, where he pairs local ingredients with the bold flavors and traditions of Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea to create modern Asian fare. 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 from abroad. A two-time James Beard Award semi-finalist and native New Yorker from Queens, Gourdet honed his culinary skills within celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant dynasty.
In the spring of 2010, Gourdet took the reins at Departure. 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. After much acclaim, he went on to open the second location of Departure in Denver in the summer of 2016. In 2017, he appeared on ABC’s 30 Years: A Celebration of the James Beard Foundation, where 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, Gourdet appeared on Food Network’s Iron Chef Showdown, competing with Iron Chef Michael Symon in the final round. He currently resides in Portland but splits his time between the two nature-loving cities.