John Gorham believes that a chef’s cuisine and style is influenced by a trade route composed of travels, past work, cities lived in, collaborations, and foods that their family made growing up. Gorham celebrates a range of global cuisines at his influential restaurants and La Ruta PDX: A Gastronomic Festival is an extension of Toro Bravo Inc’s passion for Spanish food and culture.
In 2007 John Gorham opened the doors of Toro Bravo in Portland after an inspirational trip to Barcelona. With a menu that explores every region of Spain, Toro Bravo established itself as one of the most iconic restaurants in the city.
Gorham travels to Spain multiple times a year with his team to continue researching and developing new menu inspiration.
Gorham is responsible for the existence of many Spanish products in the United States by pushing purveyors to import ingredients chefs need to re-create authentic Spanish flavors, many of which are now staples on the West Coast of the United States.
In 2013, McSweeney’s published Gorham’s cookbook/memoir Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull which has become internationally recognized and is available at the Gastronomic Library Aliana in Madrid, Spain.
In 2015, Gorham opened PLAZA DEL TORO, a gastronomic society inspired by the gastronomic societies of San Sebastian, and began hosting Spanish-themed dinners through the La Ruta del Toro series featuring cuisine and entertainment from a different region of Spain each month.
In June 2017, Toro Bravo Inc will collaborate with Turespaña (Tour Spain) to host World Tapas Day in the United States in Portland, Oregon.
In July, 2017 Toro Bravo Inc presents La Ruta PDX: A Gastronomic Festival, celebrating the culinary culture of Spain in one of the most innovative cities in the United States, Portland Oregon. From the 13th to the 16th of July 2017, Portland will open its doors to celebrate the cuisine of Spain for four days of dinners, events, workshops, demos and cultural events. Top chefs from Spain and around the world will join forces with chefs from Portland with a passion for Spanish cuisine.
In the summer of 2016 Gorham launched a Chefs in Residence dinner and event series, where he invites chefs to take over his kitchens to encourage collaboration and mutual enrichment between American and international gastronomic cultures. The Chef in Residence series offer the American public the opportunity to enjoy culinary experiences from the best chefs from around the world while offering visiting chefs the opportunity to see the best of the West Coast. In the first of this series, Gorham flew out Juanjo Canals from the restaurant Con Amor and David Ramos from Klimer in Madrid to further advance Spanish gastronomy in Portland. The second and third editions of the series featured French chef Pascal Sauton followed by Israeli chefs Yaron Amar and Adam Barzilay from Shila restaurant and Ron Gibori from Jeremiah in Tel Aviv.
In fall of 2016, Gorham was invited to San Sebastián Gastronomika culinary congress to speak about innovation in the exclusive “Synergy” section for entrepreneurs and professionals. San Sebastián Gastronomika is one of the most important culinary events around the world. With La Ruta PDX: A Gastronomic Festival, Gorham takes his passion for Spanish food culture to the next level with four days of Spanish dinners, events, workshops, demos, and cultural events further connecting Spain to Portland and the West Coast of the United States.