A day in the life of Chef Gabriel Rucker is a journey of juxtapositions. One moment, the father-of-three and multi-James-Beard-Award winner is demonstrating his decades of craft behind the Chef’s counter at Portland’s iconic Le Pigeon. The next moment, he’s crafting the perfect PB&J with squeeze jelly for his kids’ school lunches at his kitchen counter at home.
Rucker’s emerging talent earned him the title of Chef at just 25 years old, and his role at Le Pigeon allowed him to define his unique craft, bending the rules just enough to balance classic French flavors with an adventurous twist. Chef Rucker has continued building award-winning restaurants, and he currently serves as Chef and co-owner of Canard—a French brasserie with two locations in Oregon–in addition to Le Pigeon.
He seamlessly transitions from tender, family moments with his kids, to the precision and creativity demanded by his career. Family comes first no matter what, and Chef Rucker feeds off of that energy and love, in his unbound, full-of-heart approach to life.
When he’s not getting up an hour before his kids to find moments of quiet and self-care, or enjoying meals at home with his family, Chef Rucker is putting his talent and heart into mentoring colleagues, and leading community-focused activities centered around uplift and well-being.
Inspired by Chef Philip Speer’s Comedor Run Club in Austin, Chef Rucker infused the same spirit of community, and empowerment into Bird Dog Movement Club in Portland–which he started in early 2019, and still draws a crowd each Friday morning.
His journey is a testament to growth, and advocates for the dynamic work-life balance parents in our industry so dearly deserve. Chef Rucker is the guy who will convince you to try blood pudding for the first time, and the guy who will lift your spirits by going on a replenishing run with you. And we’re grateful to be part of his empowering community.