Two weeks ago, Renee Gorham shuttered some of the best restaurants in Portland.
Gorham co-owns nine restaurants with her husband, John. She's closed two of the most renowned—Toro Bravo and Tasty n Daughters—for the COVID-19 outbreak. The Gorhams are doing takeout service at three others: Tasty n Alder, Shalom Y'all, and Mediterranean Exploration Company. They laid off 275 employees, which she says was "the hardest thing I've ever done."
They are also giving away food. The Gorhams prepare 100 meals each day at their event space, Plaza del Toro, in the Pearl District—and send those dinners to the homeless shelter inside the Oregon Convention Center.
On Fridays, they also prepare meal kits to directly distribute. The kits contain soup, milk, and fresh fruits and vegetables, depending on what's available and what's been donated.
That's also what the Gorhams have for dinner: "Honestly, we're eating what they're eating," she says. "We're bringing that home and feeding my family with the same thing."
This week, WW is launching "Distant Voices," a daily video interview for the era of social distancing. Our reporters are asking Portlanders what they're doing during quarantine.
Today, we start with Renee Gorham, who describes what it's like to run a commissary and three takeout restaurants while homeschooling two daughters. She also offers a frank appraisal of whether Toro Bravo will ever open again.