Welcome back to Market to Menu, in which Eater shadows a chef's trip to the Portland Farmers Market, following the trajectory of Oregon's freshest ingredients from market stall to restaurant plate.
Chef Gregory Gourdet's high-flying, hotel-topping lounge Departure flaunts its Asian influence — but with a few twists, usually inspired by Saturday market finds. Gourdet hit the market with Departure sous chef PJ Yang and sushi chef Colin Yoshimoto — "we all work together pretty closely when coming up with menu ideas and specials," he says — to pick up peaches, apricots, young garlic, snow peas, artichokes, and two kinds of cherries, from vendors at DeNoble, Groundwork Organics, Gee Creek, Baird, and Rick Steffen.
"I instantly wanted to grill the peaches and apricots, [and] Colin suggested pairing them with scallops and shiso," Gourdet says. "We dusted the scallops with coriander before grilling to make a nice crust, I pickled the young garlic with jalapeno and ginger and turned that into a vinaigrette. Crunchy snow peas, torn shiso leaves, and a slick of olive oil to finish. It sold well." The artichokes, meanwhile, were simmered in lemon, ginger, chilies, and Thai basil before getting a deep-fry and a shower of ginger, garlic, and yuzu and ginger-based sauce. And the cherries? They ended up being an afternoon treat for the chefs: "We just ate the cherries," Gourdet says. "[And there were] yummy."
· Departure [Official site]
· All Previous Market to Menus [Eater PDX]