|LEATHER STORRS · CHEF/CO-OWNER
Leather Storrs was the opening chef of Noble Rot and is the current chef of Noble Rot. But, during that ten-year window, all kinds of crazy happened. Storrs and bosses Kimberley Bernosky and Courtney Storrs received Willamette Week’s “Restaurant of the Year” title in 2003. 2005 was big: Storrs traveled to New York to cook at the James Beard house and the New York Times called him “Extremely Cool”. Thomas Keller came to town in 2006 so the Rot could host his book party. And then Leather left Noble Rot in 2007 to open his own restaurant (belly up in 2008). Noble Rot moved into Leather’s failed space, and he returned to the helm.
Noble Rot is now on the fourth floor of a LEED platinum building, the apex of environmental design. The restaurant has an unobstructed view West at the city of Portland. The rooftop features a 3000 square foot garden irrigated by an aquifer beneath the building. The menu has evolved to feature this produce, greater entrée options and a full bar. Storrs is wiser, happier and humble.
An Oregon native, Leather grew up gardening grudgingly, but an interest in food and his experience at Chez Panisse (head lettuce washer!) gave Storrs a deep appreciation for the influence that top quality raw materials have on a finished dish. The rooftop at Noble Rot epitomizes this connection. Storrs tends the garden and he continues to steward the kitchen at Noble Rot (named Sunset magazine’s wine bar of the year for 2009). He and his wife/partner/muse Courtney have two children, Rye and Charlotte, the best things he’s ever made.