2011 Portland Rising Star Chef Naomi Pomeroy was raised by a single, mother who had spent time in France as a child—and passed on her love of simple meals done with love and a dash of technique (think a soufflé and a salad) to Pomeroy. The pair lived in Corvallis, and Pomeroy spent her youth hanging around the stove with her Southern grandmother. It was a culture steeped in hospitality and food, where everyone was expected to do their part. Pomeroy remembers learning to make French toast when she was 5, but “not being treated like a kid.”
From early earnest adventures in French toast, Pomeroy cut her professional teeth at catering companies and privately catered weddings in Oregon. She teamed up with Michael Hebb to open Ripe Catering in 1999. An offshoot of the company, a supper club run from their home, aptly called called Family Supper, came soon afterwards. They would eventually open Gotham Coffee Shop, ClarkLewis Restaurant, and Gotham Tavern.
In 2007 Gotham Coffee Shop and Gotham Tavern closed, and Pomeroy sold ClarkLewis. When she thought about committing to her first solo brick and mortar venture, Pomeroy decided to return to her supper club roots, opening Beast later that year with her sous chef Mika Parades. Pomeroy has since gained national media attention, including a James Beard nomination for Best Chef Pacific Northwest and finalist slot on Bravo’s "Top Chef Masters." But Pomeroy’s focus is consumed by her Lilliputian restaurant that hosts set menu, prix-fixe meals at communal tables, for which she butchers whole animals and serves their various parts throughout the week. The result is seductive and comforting cuisine that has customers flocking to the intimate Beast, eager for food as cheeky, sexy, and warm as Pomeroy.