The New York Times discusses Portland’s food scene. Some of our local top chefs were interviewed and an underlying theme of the story is that real estate prices helped bring top talent to Portland.
Portland also has what anybody in the restaurant business will tell you is most important of all: affordable real estate. Just as young, passionate chefs flocked to the East Village and Brooklyn in the 1990s, chefs have gravitated to Portland because it lets them have a vision and take risks without lining up corporate backers and lawyers.
“This is one of the very few places on the West Coast that has been an affordable place to live,” said Andy Ricker, who in 2005 opened Pok Pok, which started under his obsessive eye as a ramshackle Thai takeout shack and now has a hip little dining room as well. “There are a ton of people here who are going at it in sort of an indie rock way, mostly because they can.”