Greg Denton &
Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of Ox


Finding inspiration in the wood-fired grilling tradition of Argentina, and with it, the culinary heritage of Spain, France and Italy, Ox harnesses the culinary talent of Portland chefs Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton in a friendly and comfortable neighborhood restaurant with an energetic vibe and creative menu designed to appeal to the palate of the Pacific Northwest.

What is your idea of a perfect meal?
Gabi & Greg: We would start with some kind of chilled fish crudo or oysters, then fresh pasta with Italian white truffles and Parmigiano, then some kind of grilled meat with bitter greens, and then chocolate cake for dessert.

Greg Denton And Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton of Ox Restaurant

What recipe still gives you goosebumps?
Gabi: A properly executed quenelle de brochet.
Greg: Souffle does it for me!

What cooking personality, living or dead do you most admire?
Gabi: Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Not only does he cook really delicious food, but watching him work the dining room floor of one of his restaurants is a valuable lesson in hospitality. He is so smooth and gracious!
Greg: Chef Thomas Keller. He is so detail-oriented. Everything matters to him, and he continues to be an example to so many on how to deal with challenges.

What’s a style of cooking foreign to you that you wish you had down?
Gabi: Thai. It’s so complex and bright, and the flavors just pop you in the mouth in the best possible way.
Greg: I think Chinese cuisine is fascinating!

Which ingredients do you find yourself using the most?
Gabi: Fresh chiles, good olive oil, anchovies, cheese, chicories.
Greg: Garlic, onions, chilies.

What was your biggest culinary disaster?
Greg: I fried a turkey one year for my family. I thought it would be cool to inject the turkey with pure maple syrup. Great idea, right? Wrong! It basically gave the turkey a hard candy shell and dried out the inside. Not a great way to impress on Thanksgiving.

Jiro Dreams of Sushi. What food do you dream of?
Greg: I dream of pizza!

What’s your most treasured kitchen tool?
Gabi: My mom’s vintage 1970s potato masher that she regrets giving to me, because, well, they just don’t make them like they used to.
Greg: My fish knife. It was a gift from a former chef of mine, Hiro Sone of Terra. It has a great flexibility to it without being too flexible.

If you weren’t a chef, in what other occupation could you see yourself excelling?
Gabi: I like to think I would be a good architect, but that’s probably not true.
Greg: Acting or directing films. Or teaching.

Mario Batali has clogs. What’s your most marked characteristic?
Greg: Gabi.
Gabi: Greg.

What food do you hold in the lowest of regard?
Gabi: Shitty canned foods (as opposed to good canned foods, like Spanish tuna ventresca, which I love).
Greg: Any endangered ingredient, such as blue fin tuna.

What is the quality you most like in a chef?
Greg: Kindness.

What is the quality you most like in a diner?
Greg: Kindness.

Chef Boyardee or Colonel Sanders?
Gabi: Can I trade out Colonel Sanders for Popeye’s instead?
Greg: Gross and grosser.

Who or what inspires you?
Gabi: My husband. He’s talented and passionate about cooking, and he loves to share his knowledge with others. He’s hardworking and gives really great pep talks when they’re needed.
Greg: Awww, that’s sweet! Gabi inspires me, for the same reasons!

How do you take your coffee?
Gabi: Ideally, with steamed milk.
Greg: Black.

What food trend drives you batty?
Gabi: The sous vide poached egg. So snotty!
Greg: Large quantities of shitty food.

In-N-Out or Five Guys?
Greg & Gabi: Five Guys!

Could you “beat” Bobby Flay?
Greg: Yes.

Do you prescribe to any kitchen superstitions?
Gabi: No whistling in the kitchen. If I spill salt, I toss some over my left shoulder. If we give a knife as a gift, we always make sure to collect a penny as payment for it.
Greg: I believe in Murphy’s Law. “We are going to be busy tonight!” Crickets!

What’s a childhood dish you loved that still sticks with you?
Gabi: Quimbolitos. They are an Ecuadorian steamed cake that is enriched with butter, egg, and cheese and lightly flavored with brandy, anise seed, and a few raisins.
Greg: Anything fried. We ate a lot of fried food when I was young.

Biggest cooking fear?
Gabi: Running out of food before everyone is fed.
Greg: Failure.

What do you cook on your off days?
Greg & Gabi: We love going out to eat on our day off, but if we feel like cooking, it’s usually a spatchcocked chicken on our backyard grill with mushrooms and chiles and some grilled bread to soak up the juices.

Go-to guilty pleasure food?
Greg & Gabi: Pizza with sausage, basil, and extra cheese.

If you ate some poorly prepared blowfish sashimi and passed, what person or thing would you like to come back as?
Greg: I would prefer not to come back.

What is your catchphrase?
Greg & Gabi: Don’t suck!

Marcel Roost is a hyper-intelligent rooster who could out-write and out-cook the best of them. His love for haute cuisine is only matched by his hatred of Kentucky Colonels. When he's not heckling fusion chefs, he can usually be found at some high-end bar "singing the body Martini." He's anything but corn fed, despite being—well—corn fed.

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