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Foodies Favorite Finds: Rick Holguin of Raven & Rose

Monday, March 23, 2015



Gramma's Corner in Milwaukie. Photo: Google Maps

Portland and the surrounding region is a food lover's paradise. But with so many different places to choose to eat, drink and be merry at, some of the coolest places don't get the spotlight they deserve. GoLocalPDX has asked local food luminaries to share their favorite off-the-beaten-track dining hot spots. First up: Chef Rick Holguin of Raven & Rose

Born in Salem, Oregon, Chef Rick Holguin of Raven & Rose grew up in Aumsville, “where there aren’t stop lights or grocery stores,” says the chef. Rick grew up with his grandmother — a second-generation French lady who was as equally obsessed with cassoulet and rhubarb soup as she was with dogs. Rick and his three siblings shared their grandma’s tiny house with 120 dogs. In the backyard chickens and ducks would graze around and eventually end up in the family pot. Rick quickly became enamored with butchering. Today, his favorite activity behind the kitchen counter at Raven & Rose is when he breaks apart the half-pig monthly delivery and turns the pig’s head into mouth-watering head cheese, bath chaps, crispy scratching, trotters and pig ears.

Following his childhood dream of getting into culinary school and becoming a great chef, Rick got his first job as a fry cook at a Chinese restaurant. The family's tight finances didn't allow for Rick to achieve his desire to enroll in culinary school. More determined than defeated, he looked for a different route to learn about fine cooking and found it among the dusty books of Salem’s public library where he spent long afternoons, tucked away from the daily routine. There, the sixteen-year-old filled his head with French techniques and recipes that he was eager to test and master. Rick moved to Hawaii in 2005 where he spent six years working with different chefs, including Mavro on Oahu and Ben Takahashi. As Portland began making a name for itself in the culinary world, Rick decided to wrap up his Hawaii experience to explore the City of Roses. In Portland, Rick worked at Bluehour, Dig a Pony — as the head chef— Clyde Commons and Woodsman Tavern before joining Raven & Rose on Valentine's Day in 2014. 

Rick’s favorite spot is a dive-y, yet homey spot located in Milwaukie called Gramma’s Corner Restaurant.

“My favorite seat is right in front of the electric fire place” Rick says about Gramma's.  “It’s décor looks as if they robbed an antique store.” Located right next to Rick’s neighborhood, he swings by the joint at least two to three times a week for breakfast. With the usual order of corned beef and hash, sunny side eggs, sides of gravy and toast, all washed down with a refreshing cup of Maxwell House coffee, Rick recommends Grandma’s Corner as the perfect hangover spot.

Gramma's Corner Restaurant, 10880 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Milwaukie, 503-654-7110.


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