Departure’s Gregory Gourdet has been rocking it on Top Chef so far this season, finishing in the top three in the first two episodes, while staying true to his culinary roots by focusing on Asian fusion and Haitian-style dishes that utilize seasonal ingredients. He’s always smiling and is refreshingly zero-drama for a show that thrives on conflict.

He’s also the star of his very own computer game, an iPhone/iPad app called Kitchen Rush—it’s a bit like the insanely popular Candy Crush game, but here you have to switch the foods around to get four in a line. You can play against your friends though not, it seems, Gourdet himself, which would be the real test. (I’d prefer a game with a bit more action, perhaps something where you have to toss the Eurotrash and hipsters off the Departure terrace.)


Gourdet hasn’t given up the day job just yet—next week he will be preparing Departures’ annual all-vegan dinner, a six-course meal using produce from Groundwork Organics. It’s a good-looking menu (below), bringing together fall flavors in an intriguing and creative way, plus there are accompanying cocktails, including the Root Down made from beet juice, tequila, ginger juice, agave and lime. Departure, 525 SW Morrison, November 6, 7 pm, $65, call 802-5370 for tickets

Mushroom & onion tart
Almond crust, rosemary, ginger, charred peppers

Roasted carrots & semi-dried beets
Carrot-coriander broth, pomegranate

Fried brussels sprouts & sunchokes
Smoked garlic, yuzu kosho, pickled chilies, shiso

Spice roasted squash
Cranberry, kale juice, pumpkin butter, creamy cashew

Sweet potato, dried chili & chocolate
Pumpkin seed, ginger, cumin

Persimmon & berry cheese cake
Salted plum, long pepper meringue