Gregory Gourdet is a celebrated chef, James Beard Award winning author, and television personality. He is best known for his award-winning cuisine, bevy of TV appearances, and trendsetting role in the culinary boom of Portland, Oregon.
An avid traveler and lifelong student of food and culture, Gregory infuses methods and ingredients from all over the world, balanced together with his own Haitian heritage, to create signature flavors that are adored for their seasonality, boldness, complexity, and spice.
Raised in Queens, NY, the first of his family to be born in the US, Gregory’s story began like so many other immigrant stories — with hard work and perseverance. Gregory’s parents managed multiple jobs and continuing education to provide the best life they could for him and his sister. In grade school, Gregory attended Catholic school in Queens. In high school, he attended St. Andrews, a small private boarding school in Delaware.
In college, Gregory’s foray into food was unexpected. A latecomer to the kitchen, he had already studied pre-med at NYU and wildlife biology at the University of Montana before discovering the thrill of cooking. Having to feed himself for the first time at U of M, Gregory realized he had a knack for it — and an enjoyment of feeding others. Fueled by this newfound passion, Gregory took on his first restaurant jobs of washing dishes and making sandwiches.
Gregory graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in French, then enrolled in the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. He became the school’s first student to land a coveted internship with celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. He graduated from the CIA in 2000 and went back to work for Jean-Georges full-time.
For nearly 7 years, Gregory honed his culinary skills at 3 of Jean-Georges’ trailblazing restaurants, climbing the kitchen ranks to become one of his chef de cuisines. Jean-Georges’ techniques and reimagining of French food with local and global ingredients has forever inspired Gregory’s cuisine.
In 2010, Gregory took the helm at Departure Restaurant + Lounge in Portland, OR, where he combined local ingredients of the Pacific Northwest with flavors and traditions of Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea to create modern Asian fare. He became Culinary Director for the brand when it expanded to Denver in 2016.
In 2019 Gregory ended a 10-year tenure with Departure to focus on opening his own restaurant, Kann, a wood-fired concept that promises to bring the cuisine of his Haitian heritage and the Caribbean diaspora to the American spotlight. Kann is slated to open in Portland in 2022.
In 2021, Gregory released his first cookbook, Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health, the ultimate guide to cooking globally-inspired dishes free of gluten, dairy, soy, legumes, and grains. The book aims to make healthy eating accessible to all, and won the James Beard Award for Best General Cookbook in 2022.
Gregory is a James Beard nominee and has been named “Chef of the Year” by both Eater Portland and the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He is a two-time Bravo’s Top Chef finalist, and has returned to the show as a guest judge. He has also competed on Food Network’s Iron Chef Showdown. He has been named a “Fittest Chef in America” by Men’s Health.
Gregory is a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community and openly gay. He is a member of Alcoholics Anonymous and Ben’s Friends, a national recovery group for the restaurant industry.
Awards & Press
- James Beard Award