Dumpling Week

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Dumpling Week

 

Local media group, the Oregonian, just announced its first ever Dumpling Week here in Portland! We’ve joined 19 other restaurants in offering a special dumpling during the first week of February. Diners can get their Dumpling Week Passports and try to see if they can make it to every restaurant to try everything from classic dumplings like ours to homemade chicken and dumplings. Of course we chose Chef Gregory’s Top Chef Challenge winning recipe! Stop in before the week is over to taste what the judges loved!

 

Chef Gregory Will Be Hosting The Final Dinner of Chefs’ Week PDX!

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Chefs’ Week PDX

Chef Gregory is once again excited to be hosting the epic final dinner of the newest Portland food festival, Chefs’ Week PDX! Last year we hosted twenty-four chefs serving twenty courses over a four hour period and this year we’re going even bigger! We expect twenty-eight chefs to grace our kitchen (and hallways, coat closets, etc…) and collaborate on over twenty courses. We’ve also partnered with a number of local purveyors such as our sustainable seafood friends at Flying Fish, the meat mavens over at Nicky USA, and longtime partners Whole Foods. This is the ultimate West Coast dining experience and expect reservations to fill soon. Go here to get your tickets now!

Happy Holidays

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Happy Holidays

As the year draws to a close we look to spend time with family and friends, reminiscing about the past twelve months – reliving the laughs and discussing how hardships have helped us grow. It’s been an amazing year for us! With the addition of new management and staff who are eager to expand the Departure brand (yes, the rumors about Denver are true!) to watching Chef Gregory compete on this season of Top Chef (#TeamGG forever!) there’s no better time to be part of this family. We’ll be closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day to spend time with loved ones but will be here for you in 2015. We look forward to a whole host of new experiences to share with you!

 

 

Peking Duck

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Peking Duck

 

Once again, for the entire month of December, Chef Gregory will be serving whole ducks prepared in the traditional Peking style in celebration of the holidays. Peking Duck, one of China’s national foods, is prized for its thin, crisp skin and Chef is very particular about how to achieve this delicate perfection.

 

Chef Gregory begins with curing the duck in 7 spice, salt and sugar overnight. The duck is then dipped in a blanching liquid of shoaxing wine, honey, salt and 7 spice. He hangs the whole ducks for twenty-four hours to dry the skin and concentrate the flavor. Finally, the duck is roasted for about an hour and flash fried to order. Chef presents the whole duck to your table before bringing it back to the kitchen to be carved.

 

Peking Duck is served with mandarin pancakes that arrive to your table warm from the steamer along with traditional garnishes: cucumbers, sliced scallions, and pickled kumquats as well as house made plum and hoisin sauces to spread on the pancakes and make mini wraps. As the diners enjoy these, Gregory takes all the left over duck and makes duck fried rice to be served as a final course. Our Peking Duck serves three to four and is $85 including accompaniments.

 

 

Compass Dinner Series

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Compass Dinner Series

Chef Gregory has begun a monthly supper club that focuses on cuisines from different regions, the first of which was Japan. This series, named the Compass Dinners to signify Chefs’ direction  and purpose of exploration, aims to highlight skills and techniques both learned and learning. Here Gregory pushes himself and his team to execute small, intricate dinners for no more than twenty people. His first dinner, Japan, featured a play on the Jean Georges egg that Chef Gregory learned during his time with the famous chef, as well as creative interpretations of nigiri and other classic omakase fare. The next Compass Dinner takes place on Sunday, November 23rd and will focus on Chinese cuisine.

 

Chef Gregory on Top Chef

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Chef Gregory on Top Chef

 

The cheftestants for season 12 of Top Chef have finally been revealed and our very own Executive Chef, Gregory Gourdet, will be competing! The season doesn’t start until October but rest assured we’ll all be setting our Tivos so as not to miss a second! Gregory’s last appearance on a cooking show was for Alton Brown’s Cutthroat Kitchen. Gregory handedly won the episode! We’re excited to be able to root for him weekly, and hopefully all season! Get in on the action by using the hashtag #TeamGG to show your support!

The Best Banana Split You’ll Ever Eat Is Vegan

The Best Banana Split You’ll Ever Eat Is Vegan

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With a tempura banana, cherry compote, miso butterscotch and peanut brittle ice cream, at first site it’s hard to believe this dessert is vegan. But it’s true! Utilizing popular (and delicious) alternatives like coconut milk, creating health-conscious desserts can be as easy or as rewarding as you like! Chef Gregory recommends starting with a dish you know you enjoy and finding inventive ways to substitute dessert constants such as dairy with flavorful alternatives. Luckily, most grocery stores are now embracing this trend and have whole shelves for you to try!

Our Spring and Summer Cocktails

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Departure Restaurant + Lounge

Up here we take our cocktails as seriously as we take our food. Especially after sending Chino to Chicago to compete in the Star of the Bar, we knew our spring and summer cocktail lists would need to be almost entirely revamped. Chino and his team have been working hard to incorporate bold new flavors that accentuate quality base spirits and surprise your tastebuds. With drinks like the one pictured above, Tetsuo, with Bombay Sapphire East, passionfruit and grapefruit bitters – we think they went above and beyond. The new menu is live now!

Chef Gregory on Cutthroat Kitchen

Chef Gregory on Cutthroat Kitchen  

Early last month Chef Gregory was one of three participants on Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen. The game show, hosted by the esteemed Alton Brown, is like most other televised food competitions on the network with one twist: the contestants start with their winnings and use them bid against each other in various proposed sabotages. The winner has to make the best food possible (under the circumstances) while trying to preserve as much money as possible. It’s a game of intellect and daring as much as culinary prowess.

 

When Chef Gregory was invited to participate he was ecstatic. Not only is this a great opportunity to showcase his talents in the kitchen, it’s a fun mind game to play against his peers. He must have prepared well because he was the first contestant to win a sabotage bid – the others thinking their cooking talent alone would justify saving their fresh piles of $100 bills. Gregory’s aggressive play style and ability to quickly prepare delicious food won out. He faced a French chef in the finals whose classic cooking style and winning smile had been winning over the judge until she tasted Gregory’s spicy, herbaceous Asian riff on mussels. Chef walked with just over $4,000 but most importantly the pride of winning. Look for replays of this episode on the Food Network and check out Alton Brown’s recap with the judge over on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfBabsReRnU&feature=player_embedded

Chef’s Week PDX

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Last month we had the wonderful opportunity to host Chef’s Week PDX’s epic finale featuring 22 chefs from up and down the west coast creating an unforgettable 20 course dinner. As this was the inaugural Chef’s Week PDX we were unsure of how the chefs would all manage to fit in our kitchen let alone all of their mise en place! We had to get industrious (at one point our cooks were furiously waving serving trays at the smoke detectors while Chef Chesa of Ataula smoked octopus in our hallway) but in the end the dinner was a resounding success! We can’t believe the fortitude of all the people that braved the snow and ice to make it to this sold out event and hope to participate next year.

 

Check out our Facebook page for videos and photos of the event and all of the chefs’ delicious courses!