FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Portland, Oregon, Departure Restaurant, Chef Gregory Gourdet

Jun 1, 2011
2011 / June 2011

What do a dreadlocked vegetarian pre-med student and a celebrated chef known for featuring farm-to-table ingredients in a fresh take on the flavors of Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Korea have in common?

The answer: They are one and the same.

Chef Gregory Gourdet was an aspiring doctor, with a degree in French no less, when fate intervened in the form of a roommate who was an avid cook, introducing him to a world of culinary pleasures he hadn’t previously imagined. After graduating from the University of Montana, the native New Yorker, who grew up enjoying traditional Haitian foods emphasizing fish, rice and beans, roasted pork, pickled chilies, coconut and aromatic herbs, moved back East to enroll in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.

Gourdet became the school’s first student to land a highly coveted internship with the Jean-Georges Vongerichten restaurant empire, working his way through the ranks for six years before partnering with fellow Jean-Georges alumni at eateries in New York and then San Diego.

In 2008, Gourdet arrived in Portland, Ore., where he was part of the opening team at Urban Farmer Restaurant in the Nines Hotel. In the spring of 2010, he took the helm at Departure Restaurant, the Nines’ modern-Asian rooftop restaurant.


Seared sea scallops with pepper relish and spicy herbs Serves 4

For the pepper relish:
6 1⁄2 ounces palm sugar, chopped
4 ounces sugar
4 ounces lime juice
2 ounces fish sauce
2 Thai chilies, de-stemmed
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, fine diced
1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled, fine diced
1⁄2 small red jalapeño, roasted, peeled, fine diced
1 yellow onion, charred black, roasted tender, fine diced
1 1-inch knob of ginger, peeled, minced
1–2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt, to taste

In a blender, combine the palm sugar, sugar, lime juice, fish sauce and Thai chilies; purée until the mixture is a smooth “dressing” consisbon tency. Set aside. Combine the peppers, onion, garlic and ginger. Toss with the dressing. Add salt, to taste.

For the cilantro purée:
1 bunch cilantro
1⁄2 clove garlic
1⁄2 Thai chili
2 teaspoons salt
1⁄4 cup grapeseed oil

Blanch the cilantro in a pot of salted boiling water, then shock it in an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Squeeze all excess water out of the cilantro. Combine cilantro with remaining ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Transfer the purée to a container and cool over an ice bath.

For the scallops:
16 ounces sea scallops
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan. Season the sea scallops with salt and pepper. Add the scallops to the sauté pan. Sear the scallops on both sides and gently cook to desired doneness.
For the chili oil:

20 dry Thai chilies
2 cups grapeseed oil
2 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients in a small pan over medium heat. Cook until the chilies are bright red. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool. Transfer the cooled mixture into a blender and purée until smooth. Refrigerate overnight. Strain the mixture, reserving the oil.

For the herb salad:
1⁄2 ounce Thai basil leaves, torn
1⁄2 ounce mint leaves, picked
1⁄2 ounce chives, cut into 3⁄4-inch pieces
Sea salt
1⁄2 lime, juiced

Combine the basil, mint and chiles in a bowl. Dress with sea salt, chili oil (reserve some chili oil for plating) and a few drops of fresh lime juice.

For the garnish:
Chili oil
Olive oil

Presentation: Divide the cooked scallops among four plates. Dot each scallop with a small pool of cilantro purée and a mound of pepper relish. Place a spoonful of herb salad on top of each scallop. Garnish the plate with a few drops of both chili and olive oil


Spicy carrot, cucumber and avocado salad Serves 6

10 Japanese or pickling cucumbers, sliced thin
3 large shallots, sliced thin
5 Thai chilies, sliced thin
1 2-ounce knob of ginger, fine julienned
3 cups rice wine vinegar
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 pounds baby carrots, trimmed, peeled, halved and blanched
3 cups sourdough croutons (cube sourdough bread and toss with olive oil and salt)
3 ripe avocados, diced
1 bunch cilantro, washed and picked
Sea salt, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil, to taste
Toasted black sesame seeds

Combine cucumbers, shallots, Thai chilies, ginger, rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl. Mix well to dissolve the sugar. Transfer mixture to a smaller container. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Combine the carrots with the cucumber salad. Add avocado, croutons, sea salt, olive oil and cilantro.

Presentation: Divide mixture into six bowls. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Mexico
Jun 24, 2021

Just for Laughs and Pollen Presents Bring Comedy to Cancún

Love to laugh and travel? Join Just For Laughs in Cancún presented by Pollen Presents Nov. 3–7. This festival event brings together the relaxing accommodations of a 5-star resort and laugh-out-loud funny comedy sets for a long, unforgettable escape.

SPIA 2021 Winners Crowned at Gala Ceremony at W Hotel, Palm Jumeirah

The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.

eFlyer Reviews
Jun 23, 2021

Hoffman Haus Review

A handful of historic towns in Texas Hill Country reinvented themselves as upscale food, wine and culture destinations. Fredericksburg is the shining star among them, transcending its historic German underpinnings to the point where it’s drawing a more cosmopolitan group of visitors, including many from outside Texas.

eFlyer News
Jun 23, 2021

Lufthansa, Viking Cruises Partner to Offer Customers Direct Flights to Malta

In an exclusive partnership, Lufthansa Group teams with Viking Cruises to offer the cruise line’s travelers direct, non-stop flights from the New York City area to Malta (MLA), beginning June 30. Flights will operate three times weekly on Lufthansa’s Airbus A350-900, departing from Newark Liberty International Airport.

eFlyer News
Jun 23, 2021

Indianapolis International Airport Opens Art Gallery

Indianapolis International Airport officially opened its first-ever art gallery, The KIND Gallery, named after the airport’s international airport code. It is initially featuring artists from Harrison Center for the Arts.

Daily
Jun 22, 2021

6 Reasons to Put Panama City, Panama, on Your Travel List

As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.

Sports Industry Awards returns to Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah for 8th Edition

The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.

Daily
Jun 22, 2021

Boca Raton Resort & Club Announces New Partnership

Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.