Cooking with Portland Chef Ken Gordon

Questions? Contact, 503.552.1517

When Paris–trained chef, Ken Gordon, was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2012 he started working with naturopathic physician Dr. Marty Milner. Together they reversed his diabetes and in the process Chef Gordon learned healthy ways to cook the food he loves.

The Perfect Pantry

May 29, 2013
Wednesday Evening, 6:30–8:00 p.m.

Ken will show how to stock the kitchen with a laundry list of tasty ingredients that can be used in various combinations to produce quick, easy, and inexpensive and deliciously meals and snacks. Perfect for the health-conscious, two-worker family.

In this class students will learn to prepare:

  • 10 Minute Pasta with Red Clam Sauce
  • Shrimp Tacos
  • Frittatas with What's On Hand
  • Sandwiches from the Cupboard


Ken Gordon Bio
A native of New York City, Ken Gordon took a childhood love of good food and turned it into a widely traveled and acclaimed career as a chef. Although his initial career plan included law school, after graduation from Beloit College, where he received a BA in Political Science, he turned instead to more satisfying pursuits, working his way through restaurants in Boston and the San Francisco area.  Mr. Gordon then moved to Paris for 2 ½ years, attending the prestigious La Varenne Ecole De Cuisine—gathering his Grande Diplome—and working afterward at several of the prestigious Michelin-starred restaurants.

For 18 months while at La Varenne Ecole, Mr. Gordon taught classes and assisted in the teaching of ongoing and master classes, as well as translating from French into English for the English-speaking students. At the same time, he was the chef on a hotel-barge in Burgundy.

After returning to New York City in 1984, Mr. Gordon worked at several celebrated restaurants, including The Quilted Giraffe, Le Chantilly and Café Luxembourg. Later he served as creative chef for Washington St. Café Caterers. In 1987 he opened his own restaurant, the critically acclaimed French bistro, L’Ecluse, which he closed in 1990 when he moved to Portland, Ore.

Mr. Gordon found fertile ground in Portland for his personal style of big flavors and eclectic comfort food. He opened the pioneering 28 East, then the trend-setting take-out shop, Ken’s Home Plate, which in 2003 morphed into the small neighborhood bistro, Ken’s Place. It was here that he began smoking meats, first producing Portland’s best barbecued meats, followed by artisan wood-smoked pastrami. Word of mouth spread, creating great demand for Mr. Gordon’s culinary artistry. In 2007 he opened Kenny & Zuke’s Delicatessen in downtown Portland. Kenny & Zuke’s has attracted a huge local following as one of Portland’s hottest restaurants, and has drawn national attention and awards as one of the nation’s best practitioners of the lost art of the Jewish delicatessen.

In 2008, Mr. Gordon opened a second location—Kenny & Zuke’s Sandwich Works, which has now moved into Bagelworks—Kenny & Zuke’s first foray into bagel shops. In September 2012, his third location—Kenny & Zuke’s Deli Bar. In addition, Kenny & Zuke’s now offers bagels wholesale at a number of Portland grocery venues, including Whole Foods. From 1996 to the present, Mr. Gordon has also been teaching cooking classes at In Good Taste, a cooking school in the Pearl District.  

In January of 2012, Mr. Gordon was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. Within 48 hours, he was hired by The Oregonian to write his now popular weekly column, “Diary of a Diabetic Chef.” Working with naturopathic physician, Dr. Marty Milner, Mr. Gordon has reversed the course of his diabetes. Together they will be the keynote speakers at the American Diabetes Association annual convention in May 2013.

Mr. Gordon lives in Portland with his wife Leslee Lewis, and two children, Clare, a professional baker, and Graham, an engineering student at Harvey Mudd College.


The Perfect Pantry, May 29, 2013


Questions? Contact, 503.552.1517

Upcoming classes

All cooking classes are held at
Charlee's Kitchen located in the NCNM Helfgott Research Institute and Community Education Center
2220 SW First Avenue, Portland, Oregon
Map and directions