To honor the people that have inspired him, Portland’s number-one Thai chef, Earl Ninsom, is launching the Chefs Who Inspire Dinner Series. The monthly series will bring rockstar chefs both local and national — global? — to beloved Langbaan, the game-changing, terminally booked Thai restaurant hidden inside Paadee.
“I know all these chefs,” Ninsom tells Eater by phone. “I’ve eaten their food, and every time, I can feel how much effort, how much heart and soul they put into it every day.”
The series could quickly become one of the city’s most sought-after tickets: To kick things off, two-time James Beard Award winning chef Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon, Little Bird) joins Ninsom on October 4.
“Rucker is a person who has never put himself in a box,” Ninsom says. “He doesn’t shy away from new preparations, and it’s inspired me to be more creative. It’ll be good to spend time with him.”
Each meal will offer six courses with wine pairings in a tasting-dinner format for $180 (gratuity not included). Fifteen percent of each dinner’s proceeds will be donated to a charity of the featured chef’s choice.
Just 26 seats are available per dinner. Tickets go on sale through Langbaan’s Yelp reservation page tomorrow, September 7, at 3 p.m.
Who will Ninsom invite into the kitchen next month? The Series is keeping that a secret, but the long list of potential chefs promises some of the biggest names in Portland. Each featured chef will be announced on Langbaan’s Instagram one month in advance.
“It’s not about money — that goes to charity,” says Ninsom. “It’s for the younger generation to know these chefs made an impact. Not just in Portland. They’re doing something completely different.”