The chef Sarah Pliner, known for the acclaimed today Aviary, was killed in a bike crash yesterday, October 4, according to Bike Portland. According to the post, Pliner was killed while bicycling near Southeast 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard.
Jasper Shen, a former co-owner of the Aviary, and Portland food writers Karen Brooks and Michael Zusman confirmed the news. The Portland Police Department has not officially released the identification of the bicyclist who died in the collision.
During the 1990s, Pliner began her career as a chef in Portland, working at restaurants like Giorgio’s and the Heathman. As a New Yorker who relocated to Portland, she re-entered the city’s cuisine culture, dining at places like the Michelin-starred Nordic restaurant Aquavit.
Along with pastry chef Kat Whitehead and Shen, formerly of XLB and Win Win, she launched the small plate restaurant Aviary in 2011. Foods like glazed black cod and oxtail croquettes served in a chic, yet laid-back atmosphere soon won over Portlanders. After a two-alarm fire broke out in the building five months after it had opened, the restaurant temporarily closed. It reopened in December.
The fame of Aviary only increased in the years that came after. Willamette Week Aviary was named Conde Nast Traveler’s 2012 Restaurant of the Year, and the publication praised the eatery as “innovative” and “outstanding.” It was consistently ranked among Eater Portland’s top 38 restaurants for years, and its foie gras bao, crispy pig ears, and cardamom pudding attracted customers.
Pliner partially blamed the restaurant’s closure in 2020 on the COVID-19 epidemic. Zusman reported that Pliner had most recently worked as a cook at the southeast Portland restaurant Bluto’s Greek, where she also participated in tasting dinners with Fullerton Wines.
Sarah was indeed a fantastic chef in her own right, with unquestionably superb taste in her cooking, and she was well-liked and received a great deal of recognition for her work. If we look at her net worth, there is no information about her earnings and net worth.