Q&A With A Colorado Star Chef: Gregory Gourdet

In season 12 of "Top Chef," Gregory Gourdet was consistently among the challenges' top performers, losing only at the very end to the talented Mei Lin. Capitalizing on his popularity and reputation for stellar dishes, he was the culinary director for Departure Restaurant, a forward-thinking, pan-Asian restaurant with locations in Denver's Cherry Creek (now closed) and Portland, Oregon. We asked about why he chose to cook in Colorado.

Why do you choose to live and cook in Colorado?
While I live in Portland, we were excited to bring the Departure concept to Denver given the current shift and expressive boom in the local dining scene. The state’s natural landscape and the many inspired creatives making up our cities was a great draw for us. We are thrilled to be able to contribute to the culinary community in Denver.

What defines Colorado's food scene and sets it apart?
The Colorado food scene is expanding in its offerings, a lot of our current restaurants will quickly become iconic in the story of modern Colorado dining.

Any Colorado food trends to watch out for?
More focused and global flavors. Chefs will be introducing new ingredients that are less common in Colorado.

What is your favorite Colorado product to highlight in a dish?
Corn, peaches, trout, beef … it depends on the season!

What are your favorite things to do in Colorado in your free time?
Running (at altitude), connecting with local chefs and exploring the culinary scene.

What are your Colorado culinary recommendations for visitors?
Acorn, Cholon, Hop Alley, Sushi Ronin — and of course Departure.

Want More?

Read a Q&A with two local cheftestants from this season >>

See recaps from this season, including how to visit the places seen on the show >>