Margot Leonard; OG Portland Culinarian
Wonderwoman has her lasso, Spidey has his keen senses and the Skyline has its own not-so-secret weapon; the great Margot Leonard. One of Portland’s original food pioneers, Margot opened her legendary restaurant “Bima” during the late 90s in the Pearl District, when it was still a scrappy neighborhood. With high ceilings and a rustic, industrial design often emulated today, Bima was the go-to place to drink fantastic wine paired with masterfully crafted, locally-sourced dishes.
Margot first discovered her interest in culinary arts while helping her bon vivant parents entertain at a young age, and developed her high level skills with years practice and exploration. After studying photography at San Francisco Art Institute, she traveled the world for 2 years experiencing local cuisine in Europe, India and Indonesia. When she returned to Portland she studied under chefs at iconic restaurants like Zefiro with contemporaries that would found some of the city’s current leading establishments, like Pok Pok and The Sauce Box.
In the early dawn of the Skyline Tavern Project, Margot was called as a trusted resource by her long-time friend, owner Scott Ray Becker. Although she works full time elsewhere, Margot developed the tavern menu and now comes up most Saturdays to create many of the soups and desserts. Last summer she transformed fresh produce grown in the Blackdog Gardens into a delightful corn chowder and her cream of mushroom tastes like it’s seasoned with the salt of the earth. Her Winter Root Soup from last week was a memory in just a few short days and her cookies are like, amazing.
Portland wouldn’t be the city it is today without locals like Margot paving the way. We are lucky to have her here at the Tavern, sharing her expertise and delicious recipes!