Paley’s Place is close to our hearts—which are, oh-so-close to our stomachs—this month, the Portland eatery is named among our Best Restaurants of 2008. Happily, we can now crib recipes from the chef. Kimberly and Vitaly Paley have written their first cookbook. Read the interview here.

THE CHEF Among the pioneers of Portland cuisine, there may well be no chef more skilled than Vitaly Paley, whose composed French- and Pacific Northwest-inspired dishes are the picture of perfected technique and exacting creativity. Paley grew up in Russia and has worked in the kitchens of some of New York’s finest restaurants (Union Square Café, Chanterelle). Perhaps because of his background, he brings a sense of European finesse and urban sophistication to each of his dishes. These range from a classic escargot à la Bordelaise with roasted marrow bones and garlic-rubbed toast to melt-in-your-mouth ravioli filled with a sunny yellow egg yolk and goat cheese. It’s often said that just about every chef in Portland owes some part of his or her success to Paley, whether by working in his kitchen or enjoying a meal at his bar. If it stays that way for another decade, we won’t complain.

Read Best Restaurants of 2008 in the East & Drink section, find Best Restaurants of 2007 there also.