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Le Pigeon's Gabriel Rucker has fun—seriously

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Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird, by Gabriel Rucker and Meredith Erickson with Lauren and Andrew Fortgang; Foreword by Tom Colicchio (Ten Speed Press, 2013).

If you’re looking for creative ideas, the bird is the word: You’ll see what we mean when you check out these recipes from Gabriel Rucker at Le Pigeon. Rucker, a two-time James Beard Award Winner and executive chef at the Portland, OR, destination restaurant, has compiled a new cookbook with writer Meredith Erickson, Le Pigeon pastry chef Lauren Fortgang and co-owner/g.m./sommelier Andrew Fortgang.  

The book’s 125 recipes—a retrospective of Le Pigeon’s hits, divided into categories that include Tongue, Fat Liver, Horns and Antlers, Rabbit and more—blend the whimsy and seriousness that has worked so well on the restaurant’s menu since Rucker took the helm at Le Pigeon. In the book’s foreword, Tom Colicchio writes, “It’s clear that he has found a way to keep his food irreverent and fun.” This book proves it.

Among the recipes included in Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird are Buffalo Sweetbreads, Hot Sauce, Celery and Blue Cheese; Duck Nuggets; Elk Tongue Stroganoff; Lamb Belly BLT and Rabbit and Eel Terrine.

Also included: dessert ideas such as Zucchini Doughnuts, and Carrot Cake, Raisins, Pecans and Chamomile Ice Cream from pastry chef Lauren Fortgang, as well as Pigeon Pours—beverage pairing recommendations from sommelier Andrew Fortgang.

In 2007, Restaurant Hospitality named Gabriel Rucker a RH Rising Star Chef when he was 25 years old; the same year he was named Food and Wine’s Best New Chef. In 2011, he was named James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year, and this year he earned the James Beard Best Chef Northwest honors.

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