Project Description

Culinaria Dinner Series

Artist: John Gorham of Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons, Tasty n Alder with Liz Crain
January 27th, 2014

Culinaria EAT | ART @ DISJECTA is a new chef-driven dinner series, bringing food lovers and art lovers together around the table at Disjecta in support of the Curator-in-Residence program.  SOLD OUT. Thank you!

Disjecta is known for its mission to support artists and engage communities by exhibiting the best contemporary art in Portland, in one of the city’s most stunning spaces. Portland is on the world’s food radar for having an abundance of talented chefs and incredible access to regionally sourced ingredients. The dinner series opens an intimate portal into the creativity of both the kitchen and the gallery, highlighting what aspiring chefs in Portland and art at Disjecta have in common – concept, vision and execution. EAT | ART @ DISJECTA brings these thriving creative enterprises together under one roof.

January 27th we welcome John Gorham of Toro Bravo, Tasty n Sons, and Tasty n Alder, along with co-author Liz Crain.

Seating is limited to just 30 guests, so reserve your spot now!

The dinners are intimate so participants will have the opportunity to meet with curator Summer Guthery, the Guest Chef, Disjecta Director Bryan Suereth and artist Deville Cohen.  Price includes exhibition tour, dinner, and beverages including wine and beer. 21+ only. The Chef Series dinners will be held on the Monday night following the CiR opening receptions in our 3,500 square foot exhibition space. Dinner dates and chefs will be updated on our website under Upcoming Events.

Chefs can often substitute different ingredients and offer other food options. Please email your dietary requirements to by Thursday afternoon prior to the event date. 

We are grateful for the generous support from our new neighbors, Green Zebra Grocery, who will be donating the raw materials for each dinner and working with our chefs to provide the best ingredients the region has to offer.  Bringing fresh, local flavor to the Kenton Neighborhood, Green Zebra is already proving to be an invaluable addition to the quality of life and art in North Portland and beyond. Thank you!

Special thanks to Posies Coffee, Nicky Farms and Newman’s Fish Company who are also supporting this dinner.

Disjecta would also like to thank McSweeney’s publishing arm for their inspiration and support. Copies of Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull. will be available for personalizing (and at a discount) at the dinner.
About the Chef

John Gorham, chef-owner of Portland’s Toro Bravo and Tasty n Sons and Tasty n Alder has worked in top kitchens nationally and internationally, and is a four time James Beard Award nominated chef. He began his career with an apprenticeship at ACF in Williamsburg, VA.  During this time, John cooked at the Fort Magurder Inn, Greenbriar Inn, Williamsburg Lodge and the Trelis.

John landed in Eugene, Oregon, where he lived and cooked off and on for the next six years.  During that time he traveled to Ghana, West Africa, where he worked to open a restaurant during the day, and by night as a pit boss in a casino. After a six month stay, he returned to Eugene to focus on charcuterie at Cafe Zenon.  It was there that he learned the importance of the relationship between farmers and restaurants, and was introduced to chef Bill Hatch, who inspired John with a quote he still lives by: “Routine maintenance is the only defense against the onslaught of chaos.”

In ‘99, John moved to the San Francisco bay area to cook with Chris Rossi of Citron, with a focus on classic French cuisine and a connection to the Napa Valley.  While in the bay, John staged at many restaurants he admired, including Cafe Zuni, Gary Danko, The Fifth Floor, Rivolli, Kokari and Chez Panisse.  John landed in the kitchen at Lulu, which lead to the opening Cafe Centro, with John Pierre-Moule of Chez Panisse. While there, Cafe Centro was listed on the Top 100 Restaurants by San Francisco Monthly and the Chronicle, as well as receiving three stars from the Chronicle.  It was during this time that John fell in love with Italian cuisine.

Moving back to Oregon in ‘01, John took the helm at Fratelli. This was an eye opening experience for John, and he began to develop his skills designing small independent restaurants.  Fratelli inspired John to design and general contract future projects including Simpatica, Toro Bravo, and Tasty n Sons.  John purchased Viande Meats and Sausage in ’03; it was awarded Artisan of the Year from Portland Monthly in ’06.  It was also in ’06 that John joined Oregon Public Broadcasting to host a series about farmer connections called Endless Feast.

From the Simpatica Dining Hall, John started hosting Spanish tapas dinners.  USA Today named the Tapas dinner number one meal in the world for ’06, referring to his paella as, ‘the best the writer had ever had.’  Realizing Portland deserved a great tapas bar, John sold both Simpatica and Viande, and set his focus on Spanish cuisine.  In 2007 John traveled to Spain, bringing back recipes, ideas, and a vision for what Toro Bravo would become upon opening in the summer of ’07. Gorham is a very hands-on chef-owner and can be found running the exposed Toro line four nights a week.

In it’s opening year, Portland Monthly magazine declared John Chef of the Year, and the Willamette Week named Toro Bravo Restaurant of the Year.  In the spring of 2010, John opened Tasty n Sons, which further defines John’s festive family style dining.  Tasty n Sons also received Willamette Week’s Restaurant of the Year.  In 2013 John opened his third restaurant Tasty n Alder.

John worked with Portland writer Liz Crain on the cookbook, Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull., published by McSweeney’s in October 2013.

About Liz Crain
Liz Crain is a food and fiction writer as well as editor and publicity director based in Portland, Oregon. Her first book, Food Lover’s Guide to Portland, was published by Sasquatch Books in 2010 with a second edition due from Hawthorne Books in summer 2014. Her writing has appeared in publications such as the Portland Zagat, The Guardian, Cooking Light, Budget Travel, The Progressive, and The Sun magazines. In addition to cooking, eating and writing about Pacific Northwest food and drink Crain is also co-organizer of the annual Portland Fermentation Festival.

About the Toro Bravo Cookbook
At the heart of Portland’s red-hot food scene is Toro Bravo, a Spanish-inspired restaurant whose small plates have attracted a fiercely loyal fan base. But to call Toro Bravo a Spanish restaurant doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. For chef John Gorham, each dish reflects a time, a place, a moment. For Gorham, food is more than mere sustenance. The Toro Bravo cookbook is an honest look behind the scenes: from Gorham’s birth to a teenage mother who struggled with drug addiction, to time spent in his grandfather’s crab-shack dance club, to formative visits to Spain, to becoming a father and opening a restaurant. Toro Bravo also includes 95 of the restaurant’s recipes, from simple salads to homemade chorizo, along with an array of techniques that will appeal to both the home cook and the most seasoned, forearm-burned chef.

About Disjecta’s Curator-in-Residence Program 

The Curator-in-Residence program provides an opportunity for emerging local and national curatorial talent to develop and expand the scope of their practice. During their one-year residency, curators engage a broad range of artists to create a series of exhibitions in Disjecta’s dynamic 3,500-square-foot space. By showcasing new work and fueling collaborations between artists, curators, and viewers, Disjecta seeks to impact new audiences and intervene in the larger contemporary arts dialogue.

Summer Guthery, MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, was selected as the 2013–2014 Curator-in-Residence.




Monday, January 27, 2014

drinks & exhibtion viewing at 6:30
seating promptly at 7:15
$100 per person

Price includes exhibition tour, dinner, and beverages.
21+ only

sold out