Vino Paradiso to Rebrand, Change Direction

I’m not doing many news stories these days, but since I had just started working on a review when chef Paul Losh announced he was leaving Vino Paradiso, I’ve been paying attention to the changes.

You may have heard that Paul is moving to DOC – his last day is this Thursday. The new chef is Alex Bourgidu, who is working alongside Paul this week, and will be taking over the kitchen on Friday.

Alex, was the chef at Genoa for three years (‘o4 – ’07) with a total of 12 years of experience, cooking mostly Northern Italian cuisine. For the yet to be renamed Vino Paradiso, he will concentrate on the cuisine of Piedmont, which he and owner Timothy Nishimoto share a passion. Expect to see Brasato al Barolo, Agnolotti, Bagna Cauda…

They will be also be changing the name of the business to show their commitment to doing great food. This has been a focus for several years, but Timothy is realizing more and more that the name Vino Paradiso doesn’t say “Food” to people in any way. When they opened six years ago, they didn’t have much of kitchen, and didn’t to try to be serious about food. But, after installing the full kitchen three years ago, his intention was to get serious, and put out a full dinner menu.

One other addition will be a specialty cocktail menu created by local mastermind-bartender Tommy Klus, of Bluehour and Teardrop Cocktail Lounge fame.

Expect a contest to re-name the restaurant; details will probably be released tomorrow (Wed).

Your thoughts are welcome

  1. Alex Bourgidu says

    To set the record strait, I was only chef at Genoa for the last year that I was there. I was honored to get the chance to work under Jerry Huisinga, who I have immense respect for. Jerry was and is an incredible chef and teacher. I would never take that away from him or the other cooks that I worked with. Genoa remains one of the highlights of my cooking career and loved the opportunity to be a part of a Portland institution.

  2. PDX2CDG says

    Well let’s hope you can knock it out of the ball park. It would be great to have something like this in the Pearl. Just when we were getting excited about the new goings on, there are more changes ahead.Wishing you good luck. Can’t wait to see the new name and expect some fine meals comin’ out of the kitchen.

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