New Orleans, August 11th. Chefs from 16 states competed in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off and chef Gregory Gourdet, with his dish of Oregon Chinook Salmon, claimed the title of King of American Seafood. “Oregon is known around the world for our culinary riches, and Oregon chefs like Chef Gourdet bring artful creativity to the flavors of the Pacific Northwest,” said Governor Kitzhaber. Chef Gourdet will be working with Travel Oregon to promote the state’s abundant ingredients and culinary talent. He’s also a supporter of FEAST, the regional fundraiser to fight childhood hunger. (Photo credit, Ron Ruggless)

Oregon's winning dish

Oregon’s winning dish

Ewell Smith, executive producer of the cook-off said, “Chef Gourdet secured an extraordinary win,” Smith said, “and we’re proud to have him join previous winners in serving as an ambassador for domestic and sustainable seafood.” For the competition, teams of chefs competed against each other by cooking dishes featuring seafood native to their states. The Oregon chef’s winning entry was a dish of slow-cooked Oregon Chinook salmon with butter clams, bacon dashi, pickled porcini, roasted heirloom tomatoes and crisped sea greens. (Check out the photo to the left.)

The Oregon Dungeness Crab Commission selected, Gregory Gourdet, Chef de Cuisine at Departure Restaurant high atop the Nines Hotel in Portland to participate. He’s a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Chef Gourdet worked his way up the culinary ladder in the presence of renowned chef, Jean-Georges Vongerichten in New York City before heading west, first to California and then to the Pacific Northwest and Portland. He was the Executive Chef at Saucebox before assuming his current position at Departure, known for its “modern Asian cuisine”.


Four other notable seafood dishes.

Four other notable seafood dishes.

Oregon’s entry to the GASCO was sponsored by Seafood OREGON, the marketing arm of the state’s four industry-funded seafood Commodity Commissions – the Oregon Albacore, Dungeness Crab, Salmon and Trawl Commissions – that operate under the umbrella of the Oregon Department of Agriculture. Each year, Louisiana Governor Jindal sends a letter to his fellow governors inviting their states’ best chefs to compete in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off. Governors will sometimes choose their own executive chefs, while other times they appoint a chef from a noteworthy restaurant in their state.

Sam Saltos and chef Gregory Gourdet of Departure Restaurant & Lounge in Portland, Ore.

Sam Saltos and chef Gregory Gourdet of Departure Restaurant & Lounge in Portland, Ore.

Gregory Gourdet was also featured in this promotion for FEAST.

From FEAST: Oregon is a culinary mecca, and now we have a world-class food celebration. It’s called Feast Portland, and it’s happening September 20-23, 2012. Reserve your place at the table by visiting

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