Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull.

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Overview


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 ...
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Overview


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.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"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 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

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 Brownstein, creator of Portlandia

“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

“I’ve known John Gorham for over a decade, since I first got to town and he turned me down for a job. Since that fateful rainy morning, we’ve cooked together, confided in each other, commiserated (read: partied) together, and grown up significantly. Toro Bravo is the greatest expression of who John really is: nostalgic, spirited, brutally honest, fun as hell, and one of Portland’s all-around-greatest chefs. The Toro Bravo cookbook captures his vision, ferocity, determination, and hilarity.” —Jason French, chef/owner of Ned Ludd

"John Gorhams' cookbook is as outrageously delicious as his food, as lively as his restaurant (my second home in Portland), and as personable as he is. It is a shining testament to authentic cooking. Paying homage to the Spanish tradition and expressed in personal terms, John's cooking is entirely unique." —Paul Bertolli

“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

"Reads like a memoir on a motorcycle … with plenty of refreshment along the way. " —Culinate

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781938073571
  • Publisher: McSweeney's Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/15/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 250,965
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet 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 & Wine, Travel + Leisure, Sunset, Portland Monthly, and Bon Appétit.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2014

    Reads well

    It reads well. Has nice photos. Good recipes.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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