Gregory Gourdet Recipes: 5 Healthy Dishes From the Acclaimed Chef

Gregory Gourdet Recipes: 5 Healthy Dishes From the Acclaimed Chef

It took four years for chef Gregory Gourdet to bring to life his dream of Kann, the acclaimed wood-fire Haitian restaurant that merges seasonal Oregon bounty with the food of his childhood in Queens, New York. From the restaurant’s spacious open kitchen in Portland, Gourdet and his team take cues from West Africa and the broader Caribbean to turn out creolized interpretations of dishes like akra, a taro fritter, and griyo, Haiti’s iconic citrusy twice-cooked pork dish.

But it was while working on his James Beard Award–winning cookbook, Everyone’s Table (written with JJ Goode and published in 2021), that Gourdet came to reimagine cooking at home. “I finished the book at the start of the pandemic, and it changed me,” he recalls. “We chefs think everything is at our fingertips all the time.” Being home with a limited ingredient list forced Gourdet to consider how his future readers might eat. It also gave him an opportunity to reflect on his own personal health journey, one in which his relationship to food supported his transition to sobriety and maintaining a balanced life.

For this story, Gourdet developed five original recipes that demonstrate how he cooks at home now: health-conscious, easy-to-make dishes that avoid many of the ingredients he’s sensitive to (dairy, gluten, etc.) while also hitting diverse cultural reference points and paying homage to Kann’s potent flavor profiles. These recipes highlight nutrient-rich superfoods and make robust use of a global pantry, one where fish sauce, Scotch bonnet chiles, and curry powder are as easy to reach for as salt and pepper.

“Some may think certain ingredients are hard to find,” Gourdet says, “but in reality people across the Caribbean diaspora—including African and Southeast Asian cultures—use these foods every day here in the United States. Folks should embrace a broader perspective on what’s out there.”

What’s out there are delicious plant-forward dishes rooted in history and culture. “If we have a stocked pantry and fresh ingredients, we can put something nutritionally dense and flavorful on the table. This lets us explore and connect with other food cultures in a simple way.”

Creamy Butternut Squash and Plantain Soup

When the weather gets cold, the squash gets plentiful at Gourdet’s local farmers market. His team served this belly-warming soup in meal kits at his Kann Winter Village pop-up in Portland early in the pandemic. “I always have ripe plantains around and they seemed like the perfect addition to a winter squash soup,” he says. “Ripe plantains add a caramelized savory note, which gets balanced out with a topping of bright, quick-pickled apple.”

A bowl of Creamy Butternut Squash and Plantain Soup in a terracotta bowl with green apple toppings

Comfort and flavor are at the heart of this velvety squash and plantain soup loaded with aromatics and topped with a crunchy apple garnish. 

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Curried Chickpeas and Baked Eggs

At Sousòl, Kann’s stylish pan-Caribbean basement bar, you’ll find Gourdet’s take on doubles, a Trinidadian breakfast mainstay of curried chickpeas wrapped in warm roti. At home he considered a simpler interpretation, one that would still work if he didn’t feel like making the bread. Here the curry paste comes together quickly, imbuing the chickpeas with flavor and forming what Gourdet calls “a beautiful rich stew.” Baked eggs and a scattering of zesty cucumbers add both texture and contrast.

Curried Chickpeas and Baked Eggs served in a cast iron skillet

Breakfast or dinner? You get to pick with these one-pot curried chickpeas and eggs bursting with tingly heat and herbaceous flavor. 

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Cilantro Roast Cod and Cabbage With Herb Salad

Gourdet spent years cooking in pan-Asian restaurants and traveling around Asia to learn about ingredients and techniques. Here he marinates cod in a peppery, fish-sauce-kissed paste, glazes roasted cabbage with that same paste, then hits both with a blast of high heat. No shade to the fish, but the cabbage might be the star of the plate—it’s juicy and just the right amount of bitter. “Broiled cabbage is one of my favorite things,” says Gourdet, “and it’s super economical.”

A plate with Cilantro Roast Cod and Cabbage topped with Herb Salad and lime wedges

This flavorful and quick cod and cabbage sheet-pan meal owes its flavor to a punchy green marinade featuring fish sauce and black pepper.

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Caribbean Shepherd’s Pie

“We have a beef patty on the menu at Sousòl, and I imagined how I would make this at home if I didn’t feel like rolling out the dough,” says Gourdet. The result? A Caribbean-inspired take on shepherd’s pie that can easily be made ahead or reheated as leftovers. Gourdet uses a well-seasoned potato mash with coconut milk for mild sweetness. Ginger, chile, garlic, and tamari lend depth and complexity to this bubbly winter-ready casserole.

A casserole dish of Caribbean Shepherds Pie with a single serving cut and served on a plate

The ultimate comfort food but with a Caribbean twist, this shepherd’s pie has a savory and spicy beef base with a creamy potato topping.

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Peanut-Butter-Braised Chicken and Greens

Haitian past is present at Kann, and Gourdet’s menu nods often to the sweeping flavors of West Africa. Inspired by Nigerian staples like groundnut stew, he developed this one-pot dream of fall-apart tender chicken thighs and collards braised with chiles, unsweetened peanut butter, and tomatoes in a lush coconut milk broth. When it comes to heat, Scotch bonnet chiles are his preference, but habaneros will work just fine as an alt.

A bowl of PeanutButterBraised Chicken and Greens with white rice and lemon wedges

Peanut butter lends its nutty, creamy texture to this hearty one-pot chicken and greens dish with an irresistible sauce you’ll want to serve over plenty of rice.

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