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Portland 'Top Chef' offers social media cooking classes

Gregory Gourdet from Departure is trading in those fancy gourmet kitchens for something a bit more familiar: his home.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Almost overnight millions of people in the restaurant industry lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic. Now, a well-known Portland Top Chef is helping to raise both money and a bit of awareness while teaching us a few of his culinary tricks. 

Gregory Gourdet is a current Top Chef all-star and director of culinary operations for Departure in downtown Portland.

These days, he is trading in those fancy gourmet kitchens for something a bit more familiar: his home, or more precisely his kitchen.

"It's small but it's nice," he said. "I make it work."

On Tuesday night, he hosted the first of a series of "Keep Calm" social media segments put on by the Sage Restaurant Group. Gourdet's was fittingly called "Keep Calm and Cook On." His Instagram followers decided what he cooked.

"Hopefully that will give some people some entertainment, a few tips, and a little bit of Departure while our doors are closed," he said.

Each week, the Keep Calm series will offer audiences something different, giving a behind the scenes look at everything from gourmet cooking, to wine tasting, even cocktail mixing.

Viewers can learn some tricks of the trade and make a donation if they'd like.

"We kick off tonight asking for some help," Gourdet said. "Just alone at Departure we have about 30 cooks that are currently unemployed."

And while the segments are live, you'll be able to view them anytime on Instagram or Facebook. Gourdet said he'll keep tabs on questions and answer them as quickly as he can.

He knows we are all key to saving the restaurant industry.

"As it stands, we're all just kind of holding on and praying for the best," he said. "Staying positive as best we can."

And that's a recipe we can all follow.

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