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PORTLAND -- Opening a restaurant is a risky business. It can't survive on just a delicious menu. It takes a combination of a chef with a vision and passion, but perhaps more importantly, a good business plan.

That's where Chefstable comes in, helping talented chefs set their own table in their own restaurants.

It's an idea started in Portland just five years ago.

Chefstable has raised some $2 million from investors to bring together the nuts and bolts side of starting and operating a restaurant with the talents and concept of the chef.

Kurt Huffman started Chefstable in 2009, since then he and his investors have partnered with 14 area restaurants.

Trying to translate the challenges of running a business into a language really creative people can understand, said Huffman describing the project.

Rick Gencarelli started Lardo as a food cart on Southeast Belmont Avenue in 2010.

Today, by partnering with Chefstable, there are now three locations. The newest on North Williams Avenue opened in February.

They're a total backend, behind the scenes business muscle that gives me the platform for growth, said Gencarelli.

At the North Williams Avenue location, there are are three separate Chefstable partnerships sharing space.

Frice Bakery and Philippe's Breads feed each other. Both supply goods to other Chefstable restaurants.

Chefstable is now expanding first in Seattle and next year in San Francisco.

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