Peter Cho is one of the biggest-name chefs to land in Portland in recent history. The 36 year-old Oregon native was the right man hand to April Bloomfield—co-owner of New York’s Michelin-starred The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, and generally considered the originator of the “gastropub” in contemporary American cooking. Eat Beat has learned Cho is coming home to Portland to open his first restaurant, a wood-fired Korean spot. Date and location still TBD.
Cho started at the Spotted Pig in 2005. It was his first restaurant job, cooking for one of the hottest names in New York, and all the VIP bigwigs—Jay-Z to Kobe Bryant— that came with the territory. He shot up the ladder to sous chef, eventually becoming executive chef at The Breslin and the more recent Bloomfield-owned Salvation Taco. Cho says he’d originally planned to open his wood-fired Korean venture in Brooklyn, but returned home instead to be with family.
Details are still shaky, but we know this much: Cho will be cooking Korean food centered around a wood-fired hearth, utilizing his expertise in Bloomfield’s school of nose-to-tail butchery. That includes everything from traditional stews and grilled pork to dry-aging beef in house. “Korean food is a rediscovery for me,” explains Cho. “I grew up eating my mom’s cooking, but it wasn’t until I opened The Breslin near Koreatown (in Manhattan), that I started experiencing really amazing Korean food every night.” He’s been travelling the country with Bloomfield and making frequent visits to LA’s unrivalled Koreatown in preparation. Cho hopes to ink a lease for his new space in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned for the vital details as they emerge, exclusively on Eat Beat