• February 1, 2023
          One Page Wednesday- February
          February 1, 2023
          An Evening with Amor Towles
          February 16, 2023
          Slamlandia
          February 22, 2023
          Portland Arts & Lectures 2022/23: Patrick Radden Keefe
  • Box Office
  1. Events
  2. Lester Walker

Lester Walker

Lester Walker is chef and co-founder of Ghetto Gastro. Walker brings unrelenting imagination, competition-ready technique, and skill at layering flavors to Ghetto Gastro’s iconic events, offerings, and storytelling. A native of the Bronx’s Co-op City, Walker discovered cooking at a pivotal moment in his teen years. New York City’s Careers Through Culinary Arts Program inspired him to pursue a career in food. Spurred by the speed, focus, and creativity of cooking, Walker worked up the fine-dining line in award-winning kitchens in New York, Washington, D.C., and Miami.

Walker’s cooking merges the roots of NYC-based Black American foodways with the cuisines he studied professionally: French, Italian, Indian, and Southeast Asian. In 2012, he won Chopped on the Food Network. That same year, seeking ways to explore historic and modern Black culture through food, he partnered with Jon Gray, fellow Co-op City native, to launch Ghetto Gastro. With GhettoGastro, Walker aims to create art by intentionally pairing food with ideas that represent and celebrate where he comes from.

Events, Classes, and Seminars

Our events, classes, and seminars bring the community together to hear, learn, and discuss the most compelling issues and ideas of our day. We hope you will join us in our downtown Literary Arts space, online, and at partnering venues across Portland and Oregon.