Two Recipes from Top Chef Finalist Gregory Gourdet

Baked Halibut with Whole Roasted Carrots and Ginger Glaze

Runner and executive chef of Departure in Portland, Oregon, US, Gregory Gourdet follows a slightly modified Paleo diet. He eats some grains (mostly rice) and no dairy or refined sugar. “I look to more nutritionally dense carb sources, such as roasted vegetables – sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, squash. You get carbs plus vitamins and minerals,” he says.

You can substitute cod, fluke or flounder for the halibut. If you can’t find red jalapeno, try a Fresno chilli instead. With either chilli, remove the seeds if you prefer less spice. “Baby carrots” are a miniature variety often sold with the greens still attached (not the little carrot nubs you see in grocery stores). If you can’t find them, you can use medium-size carrots. Just cut them into 5cm pieces before roasting.

Ingredients for the Carrots

450g whole, baby carrots, unpeeled and tops trimmed with some green stem left on
1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
8 small cloves garlic
½ red jalapeno, cut into ½cm slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt

Ingredients for the Halibut

4 pieces halibut (140g each)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon crushed chilli powder
4 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for the Glaze and Garnish

1½ cups orange juice
¼ cup maple syrup
4cm piece ginger, peeled and minced (about 2 tablespoons)
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons coriander leaves, some stem left on


To make the carrots, preheat the oven at 190 degrees Celsius. Scrub the carrots to clean them, then rinse and pat dry. Place them on a large baking sheet. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno. Drizzle with the 2 tablespoons oil and toss to coat. Season with the ¼ teaspoon salt. Roast for about 25 minutes, or until tender and easily pierced with a knife. The onion should be caramelised and the jalapeno slightly charred.

To make the fish, pat the halibut dry with a paper towel. Season with the ¼ teaspoon salt and chili powder. Drizzle the fish with the 4 tablespoons oil, then rub all over to coat (both sides). Place the fish on a second baking sheet and bake in the lower third of the oven for the last 10 minutes of the vegetable cook time, or until opaque and just cooked through.

To make the glaze, combine the orange juice, maple syrup, ginger and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by two-thirds (to about ½ cup) and thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

Divide the carrots among four plates. Top with the halibut and drizzle with the glaze. Sprinkle with the coriander leaves. Serves 4.

Nutrition Information

1980 kilojoules per serving
Carbs: 40g
Fibre: 4g
Protein: 29g
Fat: 23g

Vietnamese Chicken Thighs with Rice Noodles

Gourdet likes to use Red Boat fish sauce for this dish but notes that any all-natural fish sauce containing anchovies and salt and/or sugar works well.

Ingredients for the Chicken and Marinade

1 stalk lemongrass
6 cloves garlic, chopped
2 spring onions, thinly sliced
Small handful coriander, chopped
3 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons coarse black pepper
565g boneless chicken thighs (preferably skin-on)
1 tablespoon olive oil


Remove the dried-out layer and tip of the lemongrass stalk. Pound the stalk with a heavy mallet and chop very fine. In a bowl, combine the lemongrass, garlic, spring onions, coriander, maple syrup, fish sauce, tamari, sesame oil and pepper. Mix well. Place the chicken in a baking dish and pour the marinade over top. Marinate in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours, or over night, flipping the chicken halfway through. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Transfer the chicken to a shallow roasting pan and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 45 minutes, or until the chicken is golden brown. Alternately, cook the chicken on a grill heated on medium-high until slightly charred and cooked through.

Ingredients for the Vegetables and Chilli Sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 small Thai chilli peppers, thinly sliced (wear gloves while handling)
¾ cup rice wine vinegar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
¾ cup maple syrup
½ cup water
2 cups thinly sliced carrots
2 cups small pickling cucumbers, unpeeled and cut into half moons


In a small bowl, combine the garlic, chilli, vinegar, fish sauce, maple syrup and water. Mix well. Place the carrots and cucumbers in a large bowl and pour the sauce mixture over them. Marinate the vegetables for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally

Ingredients for the Noodles and Garnish

1 package thin rice noodles
½ cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
Coriander leaves, some stem left on (for garnish)
Handful mint leaves (for garnish)
Lime wedges (for garnish)


Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let them sit for 2 minutes, then drain. Divide the noodles among four wide, shallow bowls and allow to cool slightly. Top each with chicken (and the chicken pan juices), carrots and cucumber. Drizzle with the chilli sauce. Garnish with the hazelnuts, spring onions, coriander and mint, then serve with a wedge of lime. Serves 4.

Nutrition Information

2470 kilojoules per serving
Carbs: 68g
Fibre: 6g
Protein: 35g
Fat: 20g

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