July 27-August 5 2018

La Ruta PDX and Toro Bravo Inc imported an entire 500-pound Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna from sustainable Spanish tuna producer Balfegó for Portland, Oregon’s premiere Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna Week. Eleven chefs from John Gorham’s Toro Bravo Inc Restaurant Group put their own twist on Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna dishes at their restaurants from July 27th-August 5th. 

The week kicked off on July 27th with a once-in-lifetime culinary event where all the chefs come together to prepare their dishes under one roof at the seventh edition of gastronomic society PLAZA DEL TORO’s Dim Sum Tapas dinner series. At Dim Sum Tapas guest chefs offer dishes inspired by their unique culinary specialties that circulate the room for guests to pick and choose without placing an order. 

Chefs & Restaurants

Mediterranean Bluefin Tuna Week chefs include Toro Bravo Chef de Cuisine Pat Manning,  Shalom Y’all SE Chef de Cuisine Natalie Gullish, Tasty n Alder brunch Chef de Cuisine James Cebron, Tasty n Alder dinner Chef de Cuisine Perry Austin, Tasty n Sons brunch Chef de Cuisine Erin Connell, Tasty n Sons dinner Chef de Cuisine Marcus Sherard, Shalom Y’all SW Chef de Cuisine Daniel Valley, and Mediterranean Exploration Company Chef de Cuisine Stephanie Arnet. PLAZA DEL TORO Chef de Cuisine Michael Kessler, MEC/Shalom Y'all Executive Chef Kasey Mills and restauranteur John Gorham prepared additional dishes for the Dim Sim Tapas menu while pastry chefs Ashley Claybaugh and Mary Silfven offered a variety of complementary desserts.

Specialty cocktails were available at each location paired with the Bluefin Tuna dishes. Bar Manager Erica Namare prepared a cocktail for Mediterranean Exploration Company while Jamal Hassan paired a cocktail for Shalom Y’all. Gabriel Pearlman paired a cocktail with Toro Bravo’s dish, while Jeremy Meilen paired for Tasty n Alder and Xtian Rouillier paired for Tasty n Sons. 

Bluefin Tuna Week


Bluefin Tuna Week


We were first introduced to Balfego’s Bluefin Tuna when Spanish chef Jordi Parra of el Bulli brought some of the beautiful fish from Spain in a suitcase for the 2017 La Ruta PDX gastronomic festival. Restauranteur John Gorham was so inspired that he wanted to experience these incredibly special tunas first-hand and swam with them during his 2017 culinary tour of Spain. La Ruta PDX is proud to introduce this delicacy to Portland with the help of True World Seafood to further our mission of connecting Spain and Portland. 

Gorham returns to Spain this October to lead another 10-Day food exploration trip around the hidden corners of Catalan and Spanish cuisines  with Spanish food insiders Aborígens. A small group of lucky travelers will start this journey in Barcelona and head North to South along the coast where they will meet artisan food producers, passionate winemakers, skilled fishermen, renowned local chefs, and swim with Bluefin tunas. For 2018 tour booking information please click here

Bluefin Tuna are some of the most desirable tuna in the world because their large size allows for a higher marbled fat content. Balfegó is a fifth generation Spanish fisherman-run company with multiple awards for their commitment to quality and the environment. Balfegó tuna are a sustainably farmed product that are heavily monitored and regulated. They are one of the few fish farms where the fish continue to breed in captivity.  The capture method doesn’t pick up by catch and Balfegó donates a portion of their profits to fund sustainability research. Read more about Balfegó’s practices in Forbes and on their website.