Author(s): John Gorham
From a beloved Portland restaurant comes a cookbook brimming with irreverent stories and nearly a hundred Spanish-inspired recipes. At the heart of Portland's red-hot food scene is Toro Bravo, a Spanish-inspired restaurant whose small plates have attracted critical praise and a fiercely loyal fan base. But to call Toro Bravo a "Spanish restaurant" doesn't begin to tell the whole story. At Toro Bravo, each dish reflects a time, a place, a moment. For chef John Gorham, it's personal. Gorham's the sort of guy who'd get his sous chef's name tattooed on his backside; the sort of guy who'll order rum shots for the table after you don't believe you can ingest a single thing more. Most important, Gorham believes that there's more to food than mere sustenance. The Toro Bravo cookbook tells that story: from Gorham's birth to a fourteen-year-old mother who struggled - all her life - with drug addiction, to time spent in his grandfather's crab-shack dance club, to formative visits to Spain, to becoming a father, to opening a restaurant. It's about the power of passion, relentlessness, and, of course, food. The Toro Bravo cookbook also includes 95 of the restaurant's recipes, adapted for the home kitchen, from simple salads to homemade chorizo, along with an array of techniques that will appeal to both the home chef as well as the most seasoned, forearm-burned cook. You'll want to cook these recipes. And you'll want to share what you've made with the people who mean the most to you.
"These guys make Portland one of the most exciting restaurant cities in the world today." --Mario Batali
""Toro Bravo" is so much more than a cookbook (though it does a damn fine job of being just that). It's a passionate story of how one great chef found his way by following his heart and trusting his gut. It's a practical guide and a culinary cri de coeur. This is the real deal. It's the book I'm going to press into everyone's hands. I love it like mad." --Cheryl Strayed, author of "Wild"
"John Gorham is a chef with a unique personality; he is magic. In his book "Toro Bravo," he puts all his passion and soul into sharing Spanish cuisine with Americans. I'm certain both professional chefs and home cooks will love it." --Ferran Adria, head chef at ElBulli
"You're gonna love this cookbook. Toro Bravo brought something special to Portland when it opened, and still does: easy-to-love, Spanish-style food in a non-fussy atmosphere." --Stephen Malkmus
So many of my Portland friends have recommended that I eat at Toro Bravo, over the years, that I couldn't ignore their suggestion. I've loved the restaurant's many ferments, amazing food, and entire aesthetic. In the Toro Bravo cookbook, Chef John Gorham, collaborating with writer Liz Crain, has not only made the flavors of Toro Bravo accessible to home cooks with excellent, easy-to-follow recipes, but shared fascinating stories of his journey to the helm of some of Portland's best restaurants. This book is filled with culinary inspiration." --Sandor Katz, author of "Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation"
"An amazing story of a man's life and the buillding of a great restaurant. I loved it." --Gus Van Sant
Here in Portland, Toro Bravo carves an uncommon niche--simultaneously adventurous and comforting. This cookbook, like the restaurant itself, tells the story of one restless spirit's search for home. These are recipes you'll want to both cherish and share." --Carrie Brow
Liz Crain is the author of Food Lover's Guide to Portland. A longtime writer on Pacific Northwest food and drink, her writing has appeared in Cooking Light, Budget Travel, VIA Magazine, The Sun Magazine, The Progressive, Portland Monthly, and Culinate. She is also an editor and publicity director at Hawthorne Books, an independent literary fiction and non-fiction house in Portland. John Gorham is a four-time James Beard nominee. He is the chef and owner of Portland's beloved Toro Bravo and Tasty N Sons. Tasty N Sons received Williamette Week's Restaurant of the Year award in 2010. Gorham is the only chef to win this award three times for Viande, Tasty n Sons, and Toro Bravo. David Reamer is a Portland-based food photographer whose photography has been featured in GQ, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Sunset, Portland Monthly, and Bon Appetit.