Use code TRIPLE10 to save $10 on your first three grocery orders.

Restaurant Spotlight: Greg and Gabi of Ox Restaurant

Meet Greg and Gabi co-owners of Ox Restaurant in Portland, Oregan.
Restaurant Spotlight: Greg and Gabi of Ox Restaurant
Restaurant Spotlight: Greg and Gabi of Ox Restaurant
SideChef
Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
GO TO BLOG
Love This Recipe?
SideChef
Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
GO TO BLOG

Greg and Gabi Denton of Ox Restaurant in Portland pretty much live the culinary dream: they're a couple of amazing chefs, they co-own a restaurant named for the hardworking work animal, and they have co-published a cookbook called Around the Fire. Read more to learn their story in our interview.

Tell us about yourselves: How did you get into this profession?

Greg: At four years old I got an EasyBake Oven as a birthday gift. I was hooked! The next step was a job as a prep cook at the age of nine at the restaurant my dad managed called Lums. After that, all I ever wanted was to be a chef.

Gabi: I developed a love of cooking when I was in college. My roommates and I were vegetarian, and I became the one who would most often cook at home for all of us. I wasn't yet ready to commit to cooking as a profession, but that changed after I took a summer job waiting tables. I realized that I really enjoyed restaurant culture and decided to enroll in culinary school.

How long have you been doing it?

Greg: 31 years

Gabi: Since 1999

Why do you love it?

Greg: I love cooking for, teaching, and managing people because no day is ever the same as the last. I don't think I would be happy at a 9 to 5 style job, no matter how much it paid.

Gabi: I love how multifaceted this job is. I get to be creative and work with my hands, but then I also get to interact with guests and manage employees. And when I'm in the mood for none of those aspects of the job, I can sit down at my desk and focus on paperwork, recipe writing, and coming up with new dish ideas.

How did you two meet? Was it love at first sight?

We met in 1999, working together in the pantry station at a restaurant named Terra in Napa Valley. It wasn't so much love, but rather teamwork and respect at first sight, which is almost more important in the long term.

Tell us about your restaurant Ox and how it got started.

Ox Restaurant finds inspiration in the wood-fired grilling tradition of Argentina, and with it, the culinary heritage of Spain, France and Italy. Showcasing prime local meats and fish, Ox also features seasonal produce in distinctive preparations.

The name Ox pays homage to the work animal that pulls the plow, tilling the soil and replenishing the land’s ability to produce its fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Ox is a friendly and comfortable neighborhood restaurant with an energetic vibe and creative menu designed to appeal to the palate of the Pacific Northwest.

Where did the inspiration come from?

When we met at Terra Restaurant, we both were attracted to the fire of the grill. We found the simplicity of cooking items over coals and flame very pleasing and have always wanted to share that passion.

What has been the most memorable night at Ox?

The most memorable night at Ox was our very first night of service. Our nerves were on edge, and we were exhausted and beyond scared that people wouldn't like what we were offering. After that night we knew that we were doing something special, and we couldn't have been more excited and proud of each other.

What are the challenges of working with your spouse, especially in the kitchen?

The greatest challenge of working with your spouse is making sure you leave any issues with the day at work and not bringing them home with you.

What's the best way you two have found to resolve issues?

We will sit in the car if we have to and talk about anything that may be bothering us before we walk into the house. Never going home angry has helped us stay happy and in love throughout the years, and it has also made us very forthright in our communication with each other.

How is Around the Fire different from other cookbooks?

Greg: Our Around the Fire cookbook is different from other grill cookbooks because it doesn't focus solely on grilled foods. While it has a very large section dedicated to the grilling of meat, fish, and vegetables, we also wanted to feature other dishes that help balance out a meal cooked over fire. By adding recipes that highlight contrasting flavors, temperatures, and cooking techniques, your palate can recover from the char and smokiness, and you can get back to enjoying more of those delicious grill flavors.

What was the most exciting part about creating a cookbook?

The most exciting part about creating a cookbook is the idea that you get to share what you love to do with other people, many of whom may never have even eaten at Ox.

Do you have a favorite recipe?

Greg: Yes, my favorite recipe from Around the Fire is the Maple-Glazed Heirloom Carrots. I grew up in Vermont, so any chance I get to use maple syrup in a recipe I will. It is a great accompaniment to pork, chicken or lamb. It is also a really fun dish to cook for the holidays.

Gabi: My favorite dish in Around the Fire is the Grilled Bone-In, Skin-On Halibut with Toasted Garlic Lemon Oil. Cooking halibut this way turns it into such a beautifully meaty, tender, and juicy fish. And if your fishmonger won't butcher the fish for you as the recipe dictates, no worries! There's a step-by-step tutorial with photos to show you how to do it yourself.

Get weekly recipes, grocery shopping, meal planning, and home-cooking inspiration sent straight in your inbox
Will be used in accordance with our PRIVACY POLICY.
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Is Walmart Open on Thanksgiving 2022?
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Secrets of Japanese Cuisine with Kazumi Wickenkamp of MJCA
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
What to Do With Leftover Easter Eggs
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Easy Guide to Creating Custom Recipes With Grocery Shopping Lists
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Irish Food: The Hug You Didn’t Know You Needed
LEARN COOK EAT
How to Make Crispy Baked Chicken Wings: the Ultimate Guide
WHAT'S IN SEASON
Sliders Are Better Than Burgers: 8 Sliders Recipes to Prove It
TRIED & TESTED
We Tried 50 Times and Here's How to Make Perfect Scrambled Eggs
HOT TAKES
Lunch Break: Healthy Banana Bread to Start Your New Year Guilt-Free
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Lunch Break: Sparkling Lemon Drop Martinis for a New Year Celebration
LEARN COOK EAT
Lunch Break: Cookie Butter Kitchen Sink Cookies to Take Your Cookie Game to the Next Level
TRIED & TESTED
Lunch Break: Homemade Mulled Wine for a Holiday Crowd-Pleaser
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Is Walmart Open on Thanksgiving 2022?
When you are planning Thanksgiving dinner, grocery shopping is one of the essential tasks. What to do if there is this one last-minute item you forgot to get? Is Walmart open on Thanksgiving Day for a quick grocery run?
CULINARY PARTNER FEATURE
Secrets of Japanese Cuisine with Kazumi Wickenkamp of MJCA
We chatted with Kazumi Wickenkamp, the Master of Japanese Cuisine Academy founder. A few things make Japanese cuisine stand out from the crowd. For one, there's the use of delicate flavors and ingredients. Then, there is the careful preparation that goes into each dish. Finally, presentation is always key. Find out more from this interview.
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
What to Do With Leftover Easter Eggs
After Easter festivities are said and done, you're probably hunting for ways to use up all those leftover eggs. Lucky for you, eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients; here are just a few ways to get creative with 'em!
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Easy Guide to Creating Custom Recipes With Grocery Shopping Lists
SideChef lets you create custom recipes and turn them into grocery shopping lists. Save all your favorite recipes in one place and shop the ingredients in one click!
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Irish Food: The Hug You Didn’t Know You Needed
Setting the record straight: Ireland has a lot more to offer than majestic rolling hills and cozy pubs.
LEARN COOK EAT
How to Make Crispy Baked Chicken Wings: the Ultimate Guide
Whether it’s for a game night party or just your late-night cravings. Forget deep frying and make crispy baked chicken wings in the oven!
WHAT'S IN SEASON
Sliders Are Better Than Burgers: 8 Sliders Recipes to Prove It
Sliders are not just mini burgers. Forget the classic burger and check out these addictive sliders recipes instead - from everyone’s favorite buffalo chicken sliders to sinfully delicious Kentucky hot brown sandwiches.
TRIED & TESTED
We Tried 50 Times and Here's How to Make Perfect Scrambled Eggs
Everyone wants soft and creamy scrambled eggs and has their secret cooking hack to achieve it. We tried it all, scrambled 50 eggs in 50 slightly different ways, and here’s what we have learned.
HOT TAKES
Lunch Break: Healthy Banana Bread to Start Your New Year Guilt-Free
We all love warm, satisfying banana bread, especially during colder days. What if you can make your banana bread a lot healthier without sacrificing any flavor? We believe this version tastes even better than your regular ones!
WHAT TO READ THIS WEEK
Lunch Break: Sparkling Lemon Drop Martinis for a New Year Celebration
Watch the ball drop with a lemon drop martini! Celebrate the New Year by impressing your friends with this festive and crowd-pleasing drink.
LEARN COOK EAT
Lunch Break: Cookie Butter Kitchen Sink Cookies to Take Your Cookie Game to the Next Level
Lauren’s over-the-top cookies combine almost everything delicious in the world into one cookie. Don’t believe us? Try it for yourself!
TRIED & TESTED
Lunch Break: Homemade Mulled Wine for a Holiday Crowd-Pleaser
Get into the holiday spirit with this warm, cozy, and fragrant homemade Ginger Cinnamon Mulled Wine.