t’s that time of the year again! December might bring us some of the coldest, darkest, rainiest weather but with it comes Chef Gregory’s exquisitely prepared Peking duck! Peking duck is prized for its delicate, crisp skin and is a highly revered dish in China. Chef Gregory begins by curing the duck in 7 spice, salt and sugar overnight. The duck is then dipped in a blanching liquid of shaoxing wine, honey, salt and 7 spice and hung for 24 hours to dry the skin and concentrate the flavors. Finally, the duck is roasted for about an hour and flash fried to order. After Chef Gregory presents the whole duck to your table it is brought back to the kitchen to be carved. It is served with mandarin pancakes made from flour, water and duck fat along with traditional garnishes: cucumbers, sliced scallions, and pickled kumquats. Chef also prepares a house-made plum sauce made with ginger, chili, and hoisin to spread on the pancakes and make mini wraps. As the diners enjoy sharing the first course, Chef Gregory takes all the left over duck and makes duck fried rice to be served as a final course.
Summer is officially over and in its wake are rainclouds and a dim, gray light that ends before evening begins. But, living in Portland we are used to this season. In fact, many of us relish these months where catching up on hobbies and past summer blockbusters are the norm. The fall and winter months are for reflection and appreciation of the year we had. For Chef Gregory Gourdet it’s a time to look back on the culinary paths he forged as well as the friendships he made. It’s a chance to reinvent the bold flavors that so many of us seek out to both fill and warm our chilly bellies. This season, as in all season’s past, he’s outdone himself.
Now on the menu are seven new items as well as seasonal updates to most of the other dishes. Some early favorites are the Korean baby back ribs, red miso Manila clams and a seafood tom kha that immediately makes you forget you ever knew wet and cold. There’s even a “thai coffee” ice cream trio of condensed milk, coffee and caramel cardamom that playfully nods to popular drink. There’s no better time to come into Departure. Enjoy the rain.
On October 17th Chef Gregory and Chef Justin Wills move inland for their collaborative Land Dinner—the second dinner of their two part Land and Sea Dinner Series. The two chefs will join forces for a five-course celebration of food from the land, featuring premiere game meats and fresh fall produce – showcasing ingredients from the forests and farmlands surrounding Portland. Working with Eat Oregon First and Nicky USA, game meats will take center stage, along with Oregon’s best native wild plants.
Wills’ and Gourdet’s shared love of wild foods and seasonal ingredients is the perfect match for a collaboration. The Sea Dinner this past April took place at Restaurant Beck and incorporated fresh spring vegetables and an inspired menu of the best seafood from the Oregon Coast. The Land Dinner will feature freshly foraged ingredients with a focus on the bountiful Pacific Northwest autumn harvest.
Gregory is extremely excited to cook alongside Wills, who was recently nominated as a semifinalist for Best Chef Northwest for the 2013 James Beard Foundation Awards and was included in the 2013 inaugural edition of Best Chefs America.
Exclusive look at the menu below:
ROASTED SQUAB, Matsutake Ganache, Pine Sap, Birch Crumble
CHESTNUT SOUP, Wild Boar Bacon, Roasted Squash Dumpling, Maple, Ginger, Thyme
GOOSE, with Chinese Spices, Pickled Persimmon, 5-Spice Jacobsen Salt
COFFEE RUB OREGON VENISON, Slow Roasted in Juniper Branches, Candied Parsnips, Native Blackberry Jus
DARK WOODBLOCK CHOCOLATE TART, Beet Caramel Center, Pistachio Ice Cream, Wild Rose Hip Jam
Once you’ve lived in Portland long enough you know not to expect more than a few days of sun in a row until one day, a day that not only marks the beginning of summer but transforms our calm, eco-friendly, IPA sipping residents into PBR chugging pyromaniacs. Maybe it’s the usually perfect weather or recent memory of Indian Summers past. Could be a dangerously intoxicating blend of charcoal and sulfur; either way, a city that takes pride in its uniqueness comes together on the 4th of July to be gloriously and unabashedly American.
The feeling of Americana inspires us just as well. Chef Gregory, not to be outdone by Chef Chris of Urban Farmer, who celebrated National Fried Chicken Day by serving the dish two ways [link to UF blog post], took his usual influences and celebrated summer’s arrival by playfully reconstructing the “chicken and waffle” into a spicy, tangy, gluten-free breakfast sandwich.
The crunchy fried chicken thighs are coated with rice crackers for a healthier crunch, while the corn and coconut milk bun lends a soft, creamy quality. A warm papaya slaw with chiles and dried shrimp provides a tart and zingy flavor that mingles nicely with a sweet maple chile glaze. This sandwich may not be traditional but it’s certainly American!
Departure Restaurant + Lounge, Portland, OR
Spring has arrived in Portland and with the warm weather comes Chef de Cuisine Gregory’s latest menu change. Don’t worry, we’ve still got all of your favorites like the pork belly and brussels sprouts, but Chef has expanded his vegan and gluten-free options while bolstering his paleo inspired meals. True to his own health and tastes, Gregory’s dishes are always Asian influenced with fresh, bold flavors such as the new kale and radish salad with pistachio and wild ginger. Local rhubarb has found its way into the menu as well as a sweet and sour component to gorgeous spring salmon. Also keep an eye on the rotating sushi menu that now features equal amounts of vegan and pescatarian rolls. All in all it’s an exciting time to visit Departure – our decks are open, the sun is shining, and new, exciting flavors are pouring out of our kitchen. And make sure to stop by the bar on your way outside and ask Chino about new craft cocktails on the way…
Spring is in the air, and the Departure Bloody Mary is Back!
Just in time for our first Mother’s Day Brunch, we have resurrected one of our most popular brunch libations from last summer – the signature Departure Bloody Mary. This “Mary” is not for sissies! Combining Thai chili infused vodka, hoisin, soy, samba deleck and siracha, our favorite barkeep Billy Poplarchick created this Departure original with rave reviews last summer. This sipper is topped off with a pork belly salt with orange peel, sesame seed and chili powder made by our very own Chef Gregory. The combination of Asian flavors mixed with traditional elements of this storied cocktail make it bloody time for brunch at Departure. Check out the Departure Bloody Mary and our Mother’s Day Brunch May 12th!
$44 per person
For the Table
WARM CINNAMON SPICE AND DATE ROLLS, coconut glaze
Choice of First Course served to the table
DUNGENESS CRAB CAKE, kumquat mustard, herb salad
ROASTED ONION, bacon, ginger and egg tart
PULLED PORK, scallion crepes, ginger-scallion condiment
CRISPY COD, marinated cucumber, toasted garlic nam prik
Second Course all served to the table
DUNGENESS CRAB AND MISO SOUP
SMOKED SALMON AND TEMPURA ASPARUGUS ROLL
CUCUMBER AND SEAWEED SUNOMONO
Choice of Third Course served to the table
ROASTED HAM, ginger roasted pineapple, clove
5 SPICE DUCK CONFIT AND SWEET POTATO HASH
ADOBO CHICKEN, soy-vinegar, charred onion, kuri squash, taro
GRILLED LEG OF LAMB, garam masala, mango chutney
Dessert for the table
DONUTS, chili lime salt, calamansi curd, thai basil soda
CHOCOLATE AND CURRY PEANUT BAR, passion fruit caramel, puffed rice, mango sorbet
Chef Gourdet’s Paleo Dinner Menu
$60 per person
PICKLED HERRING, wild greens, wasabi leaves tempura, ginger, acorn, white ponzu
GRILLED BUTTER CLAM & SWEET POTATO CHOWDER, nori, crispy chicken skin, toasted chili
WILD OREGON DUCK, wild boar lap cheong, coconut creamed kale, five-spice
GRASSFED CARMEN RANCH SIRLOIN, root vegetable bo kho, basil, coriander
SMOKED PEAR, GINGER & BACON TART, salted wild honey caramel, shaoxing, hickory nut ice cream
To commemorate the Year Of The Snake, Chef Gregory invites you to celebrate the Chinese New Year with us by sharing in a unique feast incorporating classic Asian ingredients that each represent well wishes for the New Year.
From February 18th to the 24th, all our guests may celebrate the last week of festivities by enjoying a bountiful menu served family style with ingredients that, according to Chinese tradition, bring long life, fortune, strength, fertility and prosperity.
Chef Gourdet’s Chinese New Year Menu
$45 per person
Items to be served family style in courses:
CRISPY DUCK SPRING ROLL, ginger-plum sauce
HOT AND SOUR SOUP, shiitake, bamboo, toasted chili, white pepper
STEAMED COD, ginger, scallions, sesame-soy
BEEF CHOW FUN, gai lan, garlic chives, chili bean sprouts
TENDER PORK, winter melon, crispy shallot, long black pepper, hoisin
CHOY SUM seared in sizzling ginger-scallion oil
CRISPY SESAME BALL, sweet red beans
ORANGE-COCONUT SHERBET, kumquat, jujube
PINEAPPLE CAKE, cashew brittle, honey caramel
In addition to dinner at Departure, Gregory is pleased to be working with Lan Su Chinese Garden in offering hors d’oeuvres during their lantern viewing. More information on the garden’s new year celebrations can be found on the Lan Su Chinese Garden website.