For Gabriel Pascuzzi, one of two Portland-area chefs competing on “Top Chef” Season 18, having the show finally come to town in 2020 provided a much-needed boost for the local food scene. “It’s kind of the perfect timing,” Pascuzzi says, in that the cooking competition series, which airs weekly on the Bravo cable channel, gives Oregon food and dining a positive national spotlight.
In a recent phone interview, Pascuzzi also sounded a bit wistful about “Top Chef” not being able to film in Portland “during normal times.” Instead, the Bravo series came to the Rose City during September and October of 2020, when measures meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus forced many restaurants to close, or pivot to takeout-only. For food professionals in Portland, the pandemic has often meant lost jobs, financial hardship and unprecedented challenges.
“I think ‘Top Chef’ will definitely help,” Pascuzzi says, because of its