Chef Gregory Denton of Metrovino - Biography

Portland, OR

March 2011

Raised in Rutland, Vermont, Gregory Denton knew he wanted to be a chef from age four. By nine, he was already learning to cook in the family-run restaurant. Denton’s formal culinary education began in high school, and he continued his studies at Paul Smith’s College in upstate New York. He eventually transferred and graduated with honors from The Culinary Institute of America.

After completing an externship in the Executive Dining Room of the Central Intelligence Agency, Denton began his career in fine dining under the classically-trained French chef Richard Blondin at The Refectory Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. A year and a half later, Gregory moved back home to Vermont to work with Ted and Linda Fondulas at the acclaimed Hemingway’s Restaurant in Killington, VT, where he quickly moved up the ranks and became the restaurant’s youngest sous chef. Exposed to incredible wine and food pairings at the restaurant led Denton out west to Napa, where he went to work for Chef Hiro Sone at the famed restaurant Terra in St. Helena. Denton worked his through the various kitchen stations to become the first titled chef de cuisine at the restaurant. During this time, Chef Sone was awarded the James Beard Award for Best Chef of California (and Denton met his future wife, Gabrielle).

With an urge to travel and an interest in learning more about Asian Pacific cuisines, Denton found himself looking even further west to Hawaii. Fortunately, he was hired by Mark Ellman to be the Executive Chef of Mala Ocean Tavern in Maui. In April of 2007, Denton had the privilege of cooking the personal meals for His Holiness the Dalai Lama for the two days he was in Maui.

Denton opened as executive chef of Metrovino in the north end of the Pearl District in May 2009 with a menu featuring refined, yet rustic, New American cuisine (his wife Gabrielle is chef de cuisine and pastry chef). And his three years as executive chef at Mala Ocean Tavern honed his skills at sourcing local and organic foods, integrating perfectly with Metrovino’s commitment to sourcing as locally, organically, and responsibly as possible. It’s no surprise the fresh, local, seasonal menu was honored with one of the top three restaurant awards in the Oregonian’s 2010 Diner issue, and one of the top restaurants in Portland Monthly’s November 2010 restaurant issue.