Toro Bravo Blurbs

June 10th, 2013

Walter Green's beauty of a cover.

I’ve been a little cross-eyed with work lately — both of my current book projects’ final deadlines are June 17th, next Monday! — but I’m not letting the stress kick me especially not when we’ve been getting the most incredible feedback for the Toro Bravo cookbook (McSweeney’s, October 2013) lately. Many of these blurbs below made me cry. I’m not embarrassed to share that. After working on the book for 2 1/2 years getting all of this praise from people I hugely admire, cultural heroes, is tears of joy inducing. I’ll let them speak for themselves. The book comes out in October — so soon now…

“John Gorham is a chef with a unique personality; he is magic. In his book Toro Bravo, he puts all his passion and soul into sharing Spanish cuisine with Americans. I’m certain both professional chefs and home cooks will love it.”–Ferran Adrià, head chef at ElBulli

“Having gone to high school in Spain, some of my most vivid food memories are conjured by Spanish flavors. Gorham’s dishes are not replicas of those in Barcelona or San Sebastian but their flavor and sensibility are as Spanish as anyone’s. These guys (and their stories) make Portland one of the most exciting restaurant cities in the world today.”–Mario Batali

“John Gorham’s cookbook is as outrageously delicious as his food, as lively as his restaurant (my second home in Portland), and as personable as he is. It is a shining testament to authentic cooking. Paying homage to the Spanish tradition and expressed in personal terms, John’s cooking is entirely unique.”–Paul Bertolli

“John Gorham seemingly mind-reads what we want to eat: comfort and craft popping with salty, sweet, spicy flavors. No one better translates Portland’s raging gustatory desires and DIY spirit. This book captures the joy of Toro Bravo; all heart, no bull.”
–Karen Brooks, author of The Mighty Gastropolis

“Here in Portland, Toro Bravo carves an uncommon niche—simultaneously adventurous and comforting. This cookbook, like the restaurant itself, tells the story of one restless spirit’s search for home. These are recipes you’ll want to both cherish and share.”
–Carrie Brownstein, creator of Portlandia

“I’ve known John Gorham for over a decade, since I first got to town and he turned me down for a job. Since that fateful rainy morning, we’ve cooked together, confided in each other, commiserated (read: partied) together, and grown up significantly. Toro Bravo is the greatest expression of who John really is: nostalgic, spirited, brutally honest, fun as hell, and one of Portland’s all-around-greatest chefs. The Toro Bravo cookbook captures his vision, ferocity, determination, and hilarity.”–Jason French, chef-owner Ned Ludd

“So many of my Portland friends have recommended that I eat at Toro Bravo, over the years, that I couldn’t ignore their suggestion. I’ve loved the restaurant’s many ferments, amazing food, and entire aesthetic. In the Toro Bravo cookbook, Chef John Gorham, collaborating with writer Liz Crain, has not only made the flavors of Toro Bravo accessible to home cooks with excellent, easy-to-follow recipes, but shared fascinating stories of his journey to the helm of some of Portland’s best restaurants. This book is filled with culinary inspiration.”–Sandor Ellix Katz, Wild Fermentation and The Art of Fermentation

“You’re gonna love this cookbook. Toro Bravo brought something special to Portland when it opened, and still does: easy-to-love, Spanish-style food in a non-fussy atmosphere.”–Stephen Malkmus, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

Toro Bravo is so much more than a cookbook (though it does a damn fine job of being just that). It’s a passionate story of how one great chef found his way by following his heart and trusting his gut. It’s a moving memoir and a gastronomic map. It’s a practical guide and a culinary cri de coeur. It’s the book I’m going to press into everyone’s hands.”
–Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

Toro Bravo is the amazing story of a man’s life and the building of a great restaurant. I loved it.”–Gus Van Sant

“The Toro Bravo cookbook is unique in its storytelling: John’s personal story, the stories of the restaurant’s evolution, the stories behind the recipes. Toro Bravo’s magic lies in its ability to seamlessly merge the art of cooking with the commerce of dining: these are small plates, with big ideas.”–Andrew Zimmern, co-creator and host of Bizarre Foods

Pre-order the book!

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