Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Willamette Weekly: Restaurant of the Year


I never get tired of blogging about my brother.

Mondok world: A self-taught iron chef who rules with an iron fist.

BY HEIDI YORKSHIRE | 503-243-2122

[October 8th, 2008]

Next time you’re dining at Sel Gris, listen. Over the muffled bass of background music, you’ll hear bursts of laughter, the clink of crystal, and the animated conversations of people who are happy to be exactly where they are. And, if you’re attentive, you’ll hear executive chef and co-owner Daniel Mondok’s voice, low and sharp, calling his staff to pick up a plate that’s ready to serve.


If 30 seconds or so pass, and that plate isn’t yet on its way to the dining room, you’ll hear him again, his tone more insistent.


The servers hustle, because those plates can’t wait in the kitchen. “I don’t use heat lamps,” Mondok explains. He’s a man of definite opinions. “My plates are hot. The food is hot. That’s how I want it served.”

You can’t miss Mondok at Sel Gris, WW’s 2008 Restaurant of the Year. He’s the leading man, front and center beneath the gun-metal-gray proscenium that frames the kitchen in this shoebox of a restaurant.

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