Chef Gregory Gourdet Wins Best Chef in Northwest at 2024 James Beard Awards for Wood-Fired Haitian Cuisine in Portland

Portland, Oregon – Celebrity chef Gregory Gourdet of Kann, a wood-fired Haitian restaurant in Southeast Portland, claimed the title of best chef in the Pacific Northwest at the 2024 James Beard Awards in Chicago. This marks Gourdet’s third consecutive win at the prestigious awards ceremony, named in honor of the iconic Oregon-born food pioneer, James Beard.

Dressed in a striking bespoke suit adorned with vibrant green and blue feathers by Portland designer Adam Arnold, Gourdet accepted the award in style. Reflecting on his journey from the high-pressure kitchens of New York City to finding sobriety and success in Portland, Gourdet expressed gratitude for the recognition and the opportunities he has found in the Pacific Northwest.

In his acceptance speech, Gourdet opened up about his personal struggles with addiction and emphasized the transformative power of his culinary career. He credited the supportive teams he has worked with over the years at various restaurants in Portland, including Saucebox and Departure, as well as at his own venture, Kann, which he opened in 2022.

Gourdet’s culinary prowess was first recognized in 2022 when Kann was named The Oregonian’s Restaurant of the Year. Since then, Gourdet’s star has continued to rise, with Kann earning accolades as America’s best new restaurant in 2023.

At the James Beard Awards ceremony, Gourdet used his platform to address important issues, calling attention to the significance of food accessibility as a basic human right, and advocating for diversity, inclusion, and empowering female-led restaurant teams in the industry. His impassioned plea for positive change resonated with the audience.

Competing in the tough regional category that includes chefs from Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii, Gourdet emerged victorious. Despite strong competition, Gourdet’s culinary artistry and commitment to his craft set him apart on the culinary stage, securing his position as the top chef in the Pacific Northwest.

The recognition of Gourdet’s innovative cuisine and cultural storytelling at Kann speaks not only to his culinary talent but also to his dedication to sharing Haitian culture with the broader community in Portland. As he continues to push boundaries and break new ground in the culinary world, Gourdet’s impact is felt far beyond the walls of his acclaimed restaurant.