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
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
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:
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.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, Plant Riverside District, also known as Savannah’s Entertainment District, is officially dedicating a park to Martin Luther King, Jr. Located on the Savannah riverfront, Plant Riverside District will hold a ceremony to unveil a commissioned bronze monument dedicated to the late Civil Rights leader.
Nayara Alto Atacama, in Chile’s Atacama Desert, recently launched private plane transfer service for guests, allowing up to eight people to depart Santiago and fly directly to San Pedro de Atacama aerodrome in one hour and 50 minutes. Previously, guests would have to fly two hours to Calama, followed by a one-hour, 20-minute drive to Nayara Alto Atacama. The new private jet option saves guests 90 minutes of transfer time each way.
IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel
For guests wanting the ultimate VIP experience at this year’s Super Bowl, QuintEvents offers an exclusive opportunity. Guests can choose from a variety of QuintEvents’ offers to not only have a seat at the game but also to enjoy cocktails, chef-prepared dishes with legendary football hall of famers like Dan Marino, and a stay at a luxury premium hotel with a beachside option.
Introduced and managed by Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, Sonesta Select and Sonesta Simply Suites celebrated their first anniversary since launching in December 2020. Responsible for almost 2,500 new hires in the last year, Sonesta Simply Suites and Sonesta Select allowed Sonesta as a whole to become one of the fastest-growing hotel companies in the United States.
It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Cologne, Germany, with us.