Synopses & Reviews
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 restaurants 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.
"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 Adrià, 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
"The Toro Bravo cookbook is unique in its storytelling: John's personal story, the stories of the restaurant's evolution, the stories behind the recipes. Toro Bravo's magic lies in its ability to seamlessly merge the art of cooking with the commerce of dining: these are small plates, with big ideas." Andrew Zimmern, co-creator and host of Bizarre Foods
"John Gorham seemingly mind-reads what we want to eat: comfort and craft popping with salty, sweet, spicy flavors. No one better translates Portland's raging gustatory desires and DIY spirit. This book captures the joy of Toro Bravo; all heart, no bull." Karen Brooks, author of The Mighty Gastropolis
About the Author
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 Willamette 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 and Wine, Travel + Leisure, Sunset, Portland Monthly, and Bon Appétit.