Le Pigeon. Cooking at the Dirty Bird: Gabriel Rucker

Le Pigeon. Cooking at the Dirty Bird: Gabriel Rucker

This debut cookbook from James Beard Rising Star Chef Gabriel Rucker features a serious yet playful collection of over 125 recipes from his phenomenally popular Portland restaurant.

Dining at Le Pigeon is a celebration of high and low extremes in cooking: Buffalo hot wings are elevated with the substitution of sweetbreads, a simple potato salad gets “dirty” with the addition of chicken livers, and a $3 Coors appears next to premier cru Burgundies on the wine list.

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Gabriel once said to me, ‘We’re just trying to find new ways to get people to eat lots of butter”, revealing his irreverent and over-the-top attitude to cooking (see his recipe for Bacon Butter, page 42) and life. What arrives on the plate at Le Pigeon is incredibly well thought out, sophisticated, and delicious. This is a remarkable collection of recipes and stories from one of the most hard-working and dedicated chefs I know, and his merry band of compatriots. Andy Ricker, chef-owner of Pok Pok

Serious yet playful, this debut cookbook recounts the ascension of James Beard Award–winning chef Gabriel Rucker to the top of the Portland food scene and the shift of a modest neighborhood eatery to a must-visit destination. Offal-centric and meat-heavy, but by no means dogmatic, this collection of 125 recipes offers uncommon delicacies like Elk Tongue Stroganoff and Rabbit and Eel Terrine, envelope-pushing twists on classics like Beef Cheeks Bourguinon and Lamb Belly BLT, and surprisingly uncomplicated dishes like Simple Roasted Pigeon, Leek Carbonara, and Pork Tacos.

Featuring wine recommendations from sommelier Andrew Fortgang, stand-out desserts from pastry chef Lauren Fortgang, and stories about the restaurant’s raucous, seat-of-the-pants history by writer Meredith Erickson, Le Pigeon combines the wild and the refined in a unique, progressive, and delicious style.

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