2018 Portland Rising Star Chef Bonnie Morales of Kachka

2018 Portland Rising Star Chef Bonnie Morales of Kachka
March 2018

Kachka
720 SE Grand Avenue
Portland, OR 97214

Recipe

Photos

First generation American Bonnie Morales grew up in Chicago with the food and drink of her Belarussian parents. The tiny smoked fish, the chicken liver pashtet, the kvass, all served as comforting reminders of the far off (now former) Soviet state. That childhood would define Morales’ adult life and mission as a chef.  

After earning a traditional degree and a stint in industrial design, Morales enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America, and went on to acquire an elite resumé working at such restaurants as New York’s Craft and Chicago’s Moto and TRU. In 2010, she and her husband, Israel Morales, moved to Portland to open a restaurant. In 2014 Kachka was born, telling the story of Morales’ family. 

Kachka quickly gained a following and critical notices, including a James Beard semifinalist nod for “Best New Restaurant,” GQ’s “25 Most Outstanding Restaurants,” and Bon Appétit’s “Generation Next.” Morales then decided to broaden her vision and translate her take on Eastern European hospitality into Kachka the cookbook, published in 2017.  

In 2018, Morales was nominated for James Beard’s “Best Chef, Northwest,” and she will open a larger Kachka with an expanded menu, Russianstyle service, and a deli. The old, beloved Kachka will continue with a slight name change (Kachinka), a noreservations policy, and happy hour all the time.