The Birth of a Scene

Posted on May 7, 2012 · Posted in News

A nice interpretation of the portland restaurant scene. We’re proud to be a part of it.

Every chef starts somewhere, from a corner deli to culinary school.
In Portland, the web of restaurants that produced our top-notch cooking talent is
particularly interconnected, with many of our best-known chefs passing through the
city’s foundational restaurants on the way to opening their own place.

Our restaurant scene today was born out of places such as Pazzo in the Hotel
Vintage Plaza, which once boasted an unrivaled all-star lineup of chef talent, or
Genoa, where Nostrana’s Cathy Whims began as a dishwasher. Scott Dolich worked at
several hot spots, including Zefiro and Higgins, before opening his Park Kitchen, which
became its own training ground for local chefs. Greg Higgins first made his name at the
Heathman. Le Pigeon’s Gabe Rucker and The Woodsman Tavern’s Jason Barwikowski
both honed their skills at Paley’s Place before heading to Naomi Pomeroy’s Ripe
Restaurant Group, which spawned its own bumper crop of Portland eateries.

We’ve charted the cooks who earned their chops at Portland’s breeding-ground
restaurants, then went on to run restaurants of their own either as the owner or opening
chef. Young chefs are still working their way up the ladder at these seminal places with
dreams of someday opening their own spot. Even now, the web continues to grow.