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Chefs Week PDX: Behind the Scenes at the Exclusive International Dinner

For the third year in a row, Chefs Week PDX, the series of dinners and events organized by Top Chef finalist Gregory Gourdet, is sold out, which means obsessive food conversations and late-night afterparties with local and international chefs. Last night's dinner saw a kitchen filled to the brim with experienced chefs, each dedicating their laser focus to one dish connected with a region. The gallery above shows Gourdet's Kampachi Sashimi, featuring coconut milk turned Caribbean-blue with algae to represent childhood memories of hanging out on Haitian beaches with his family.

If one thing's for sure, Chefs Week PDX brings out hardcore diners. At the beginning of the night, one diner said meditatively, "I'm trying to prepare for all of the food we're about to eat." His focus was met all-around.

Troy MacLarty's Bollywood Theater on Alberta hosted the night. "It's great when it's chefs taking over your kitchen," said chef MacLarty, "because they just get in and are ready to go."

One of the prettiest dishes of the night came from chef Lon Symensma, the owner of Cho Lon Bistro in Denver. Above: Lamb loin encased in mushy wasabi peas with young vegetables and navarin jus.

The driving force behind Chefs Week PDX is the rarity of a kitchen filled almost entirely with chefs, not cooks. Above: Chef MacLarty seasons his dish of the night: Roasted butternut squash and Bosc pears with red chili chutney, yogurt, and fenugreek sprouts.

And when the cooking came to an end...

...the chefs threw one hell of an ice cream party next door at Salt & Straw.

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