John Gorham opened the award-winning Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant, Toro Bravo, in Portland in 2007. But in his new cookbook, Toro Bravo. Stories. Recipes. No Bull., he explains that his passion for cooking began much earlier. It started as a child when his mom was bedridden with depression for weeks and out of necessity he learned to cook for himself. It has roots in his love for his grandpa who took him to all sorts of different restaurants and told him not to order off the kids menu. Gorham explains:
It’s the places we’ve been, the people we’ve met, the stuff we’ve been through — good and bad — that makes each of us unique. For anyone who cooks, all that shows up in our food: The people we’ve encountered, the the places we’ve lived, the choices we’ve made, our travels, our curiosity, our obsessions.
Toro Bravo. Stories. Recipes. No Bull. highlights many of the foods that Gorham serves at his restaurant: salt cod fritters, brussels sprouts with bacon sherry cream, squid ink pasta, halibut cheeks and so many more.
We’ll talk to Gorham about his youth and how he learned to cook. We’ll find out what he considers the rules for his restaurant and for his life (like always share! And always hustle!). And we’ll discover how he creates the food that he makes.
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OPB | Feb. 22, 2017