In this new monthly feature, we ask acclaimed Portland chefs to show us what's in their refrigerators, to get a hint of how what they make at home informs the stuff they serve you.
Thomas Pisha-Duffly admits his fridge isn't quite ready for its close-up.
He calls it a "disaster," though in fairness, it looks less like a bomb went off and more like half its contents got raptured back to the supermarket.
It's understandable. Between spending the past year getting his restaurant, Indonesian fusion spot Gado Gado, off the ground and the impending birth of his first child—at the time WW paid a visit to their home in Montavilla, his wife and business partner, Mariah, was in the "ready to pop" stage of her pregnancy —Pisha-Duffly, 38, hasn't had much time, or the inclination, to cook much at home.
That wasn't always the case. As a young line cook back in Boston, Pisha-Duffly would stay up until 3 am, "cooking crazy shit." But as he moved up the ranks of the restaurant business, the last place he wanted to spend his free time was in his own kitchen.
"Your days off become more like self-care," he says. "Like, 'Now I'm 35 and my feet hurt, so maybe let's just get some pizza.'"
He's hoping that'll change soon—he wants to ensure that his daughter, who arrived in early January, knows food isn't just something you order from an app.
But even before he gets back in the groove of home cooking, the cupboards won't be bare much longer.
"Our fridge is going to look great soon, because we're on this meal train, and a lot of our friends are cooks," he says. "Although, even with all those people being professional cooks, I would not be surprised if 90 percent of what we get is Popeyes Fried Chicken."
1. While preparing to open Gado Gado, Pisha-Duffly says he too often defaulted to eating fast food. He tries to make up for it now by riding his bike to work and sprinkling spirulina and flaxseed on his cereal. "Someone recently told me I'm the only adult they know who still eats cereal," he says. "Occasionally, I'll buy Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries and eat that all in one go."
2. Pisha-Duffly still eats on the go, though—as this teriyaki platter from Hawaiian food truck Mgwalexs in Lents attests.
3. "We do a lot of mini-vacations as a family to stay close in our free time," Pisha-Duffly says. This smoked salmon—from Maine, Pisha-Duffly's onetime home—is left over from a cooler they recently brought out to the coast.
4. One of Mariah Pisha-Duffly's staples during her pregnancy were gluten-free buckwheat wildberry waffles.
5. About the only thing in the fridge Pisha-Duffly made himself were these salt- and oil-cured sardines—a personal favorite. "Usually, if we go to my sister's house [in Sellwood]," he says, "we always eat pickled and cured fish."
6. Pisha-Duffly has been sober for four years, but he kept this bottle of '84 Dom Perignon to celebrate his daughter's birth. "I won't ever have a drink," he says, "but if we're 'cheers'-ing here, I'll do a tasting sip because I love old Champagne." He also developed a taste for caviar during his time in Maine. "I always joke that I gave up doing lines of coke and now I just eat a lot of expensive caviar."
GO: Gado Gado, 1801 NE César E. Chávez Blvd., 503-206-8778, gadogadopdx.com. 5-10 pm Monday-Friday, 10 am-1 pm and 5-10 pm Saturday-Sunday.