A first-generation Haitian-American, Gregory Gourdet grew up surrounded by a large family where food was always at the heart of any gathering. It was this love of food that has led Gourdet on his journey: studying at the Culinary Institute of America, becoming a chef de cuisine at a four-star Jean-Georges restaurant, battling drug and alcohol addiction, radically transforming his health habits, eating more paleo and running marathons, traveling and connecting with ingredients around the world, and landing in Portland, Oregon, where his wood-fired Haitian restaurant, Kann, will open in 2022. Along the way, he has also been a two-time Top Chef finalist and has been named Chef of the Year by Eater and one of the Fittest Chefs in America by Men’s Health. His first cookbook is Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health (Harper Wave, 2021).
1. Season as you go. Start the seasoning process from the first few things in the pot. Take for example sautéed greens topped with eggs and baked in the oven. I start the dish with a lot of garlic, ginger and chiles sautéed in oil. This brings out the flavors of those ingredients, which then flavors the oil. Then the oil carries flavor through the vegetables and flavors everything in that dish.
2. “Rest” your meat. When you pull any type of meat out of the oven after roasting, there is a heat transfer within the meat—the blood and juices are boiling. Let the meat sit for 10 minutes after pulling it from the oven; this allows the juices to calm and redistribute through the meat so it will be juicier and tender when you serve it. This is really important with steak; if you take it out and cut
it right away, the juices will run.
3. Have an open mind. If you want to start eating healthy, take it slowly. Pick ingredients that you appreciate working with and flavors you love, then go from there. In my book, I offer a lot of alternative ingredients in recipes. When you cook, slowly start by swapping out one ingredient for something more healthful. You don’t have to build your entire pantry in one day.