2019 Featured Chefs
Passionate about food, wine, spirits, and hospitality, Zoi has more than 20 years’ experience in the restaurant industry. Her long line of successful roles include Executive Chef of the award winning Westward Restaurant, Chef de Cuisine at Madison Park Conservatory in Seattle, Zazu Restaurant in Santa Rosa, Presidio Social Club in San Francisco, and a variety of other positions at restaurants along the West Coast. Zoi has received local and national acclaim for her contemporary, creative, and ingredient focused cooking style and was named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs in 2015. She takes inspiration from the sea, and her food reflects her love of the Mediterranean, specifically Greece. Restaurants under her direction have been featured in publications and broadcasts locally and across the country. As a leader in the industry, Zoi has spent time consulting, speaking on panels, and participating in acclaimed culinary events. Zoi is currently working on the opening of Little Fish, a restaurant, bar and cannery slated to open in Pike Place Market summer of 2019.
Salumist, Elias Cairo, grew up first generation Greek-American, with a father who made charcuterie at home. After five years in Switzerland under master chef Annegret Schlumpf, Cairo completed a chef apprenticeship. Utilizing the finest ingredients, he developed his skills and passion for making charcuterie, and the experience affirmed his beliefs – handmade is better. Back in Portland, Oregon, Elias set out to approach the craft of charcuterie with purity and patience, recreating a nearly extinct old world technique that’s seldom seen in America.
Chef Brian Clevenger founded General Harvest Restaurant Group in 2015, operating award winning spaces throughout greater Seattle. Establishments include Vendemmia, Raccolto, Le Messe, GH Pasta Co., and East Anchor Seafood. Chef Clevenger and the restaurant group have received local and national accolades and have been featured in publications and broadcasts across the country. Born and raised in Anacortes, he left his roots to study cooking at a two Michelin star restaurant in Lyon, France, followed by the celebrated Delfina in San Francisco. With an affinity for more refined foods, he then went to work for Ethan Stowell, cooking at both Tavolata and Staple & Fancy. Clevenger loves working with quality products that taste great on their own, and highlights simple and impactful dishes across all of his restaurants.
Chef Gregory Gourdet is the culinary mastermind behind Departure where he pairs local ingredients with the flavors and traditions of Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Korea to create modern Asian fare. Gourdet’s extensive travels to research and understand other cultures allow him to see Oregon’s bounty through an Asian lens, producing a constantly evolving seasonal menu inspired by cooking methods and ingredients from abroad. A two-time James Beard Award semifinalist and native New Yorker from Queens, Gourdet honed his culinary skills within celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant dynasty. Gourdet took the reins at Departure in Portland, OR in 2010. He was Eater Portland’s Chef of the Year in 2014, and in 2015, his fame skyrocketed as he earned runner-up in Bravo’s Top Chef Season 12. After much acclaim, he went on to open Departure’s second location in Denver, CO in 2016.
Born in Deep Run, N.C. to tobacco and hog farming parents, Vivian Howard’s upbringing was steeped in the Southern food traditions of her neighbors. After college, Vivian moved to New York to work in advertising, but soon transitioned to the city’s food and restaurant scene. Vivian honed her culinary skills and love of food working in the kitchens of some of New York’s most esteemed restaurants and training under some of the most cutting-edge chefs. In 2005, Vivian returned to Kinston, N.C. to open her first award-winning restaurant, Chef & the Farmer, followed by the Boiler Room, also in Kinston, and Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria in Wilmington. In the fall of 2018, Vivian will open her fourth restaurant, Handy & Hot in Kinston. Vivian and her restaurants have won numerous accolades, including her selection as a five-time James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast. In 2012, Vivian and director Cynthia Hill premiered A Chef’s Life, the award-winning documentary television series celebrating eastern North Carolina food traditions. After five seasons, it segued into a new series to premiere in 2019. Vivian then released her first cookbook, Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes from My Corner of the South, published by Little, Brown & Co., in October 2016. Today, the book has won numerous awards and Vivian is currently working on a second.
Edouardo Jordan was born and raised in St. Petersburg and attended college at the University of Florida. After graduating with dual degrees in business administration and sports management, Jordan decided to enroll in culinary school at the Le Cordon Bleu in Orlando. Following graduation from culinary school, Jordan’s ambition brought him to renowned restaurants such as The French Laundry, Per Se, and Lincoln Ristorante in New York. With thought of raising a family and opening a restaurant in mind, Jordan moved to Seattle where he began working at Sitka and Spruce as Sous Chef. In 2013, Jordan was asked to open Bar Sajor as Chef de Cuisine and used this as an opportunity to learn as much as he could about opening a restaurant. Taking this knowledge and experience he had gained from Bar Sajor, Jordan officially opened the doors to his restaurant, Salare, in June of 2015. Salare takes influences from France, Italy, the American south, and the Caribbean and has become one of Seattle’s hottest restaurants. In April 2017, Chef Jordan opened his second restaurant, JuneBaby and has already received much attention both nationally and locally. Chef Jordan was nominated for a James Beard Award in 2016, has been named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chef of 2016 and JuneBaby Restaurant Best New Restaurant for 2018, and Salare was listed as a Best New Restaurant in America in 2016 by Eater National. Chef Jordan was a 2017 James Beard Award finalist and received the prestigious James Beard Award for the Best Chef: Northwest 2018 and Best New Restaurant 2018 for JuneBaby Restaurant.
Chef Elizabeth Kenyon hails from Missoula, Montana. She has been working with Manolin for three years and will soon run the kitchen at Rupee, a Sri Lankan/Indian bar, set to open this year.
Chef Melissa King is one of the most exciting young talents in America’s culinary scene -- She has been recognized as “one of the best female chefs in San Francisco” and a “40 under 40: Rising Star”. She earned national recognition placing as a finalist on the television series Top Chef.
A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, King trained at several Michelin starred restaurants in San Francisco under acclaimed names such as Dominique Crenn and Ron Siegel. King’s cooking style combines the best local ingredients with modern techniques and Asian flavors. Her partnership with Whole Foods Market includes exclusive product development, industry leadership, and connecting customers to healthy and delicious natural and organic foods.
Along with being a chef, international consultant, television personality, and brand partner, King participates in speaking panels supporting women’s empowerment, environmental sustainability, food education for youths, and entrepreneurship.
To learn more about Melissa King, please visit chefmelissaking.com
Chef Shota began his culinary journey at the age of sixteen, working for a well-acclaimed sushi restaurant in his hometown of Seattle, WA. At the age of eighteen, Nakajima moved to Osaka, Japan to learn about the art of Japanese cuisine. In Japan, Nakajima had the opportunity to work for Michelin Star rated Chef Yasuhiko Sakamoto. As one would expect, this experience changed Chef Shota’s perspective on cooking. Since returning to Seattle, it has been Nakajima’s dream to convey Chef Sakamoto’s approach to hospitality and Japanese cuisine in the United States. In 2017 competed on Iron Chef Gauntlet and in 2018 semifinalist for the James Beard Award.
Chef Kyle Peterson discovered an interest in food while spending time in the kitchen with his grandmother. As a chef, he loves creating elevated versions of dishes that remind him of those experiences cooking with her. After participating in a part time culinary education program during high school, he further honed his skills while attending the Culinary Arts program at the Art Institute of Seattle.
Kyle began his career with Tom Douglas Restaurants as a cook at Seatown before moving over to become sous-chef with Adrienne Chamberlain and then Sam Burkhart at Etta’s. In February of 2017, Kyle was able to move up to Palace Kitchen as sous-chef under Chef Nate Crave. Kyle credits Nate with affording him the space and tutelage to help develop his own unique style of cooking, which he employs now as Chef of Palace Kitchen. Kyle lives in Edmonds, WA, with his wife, two kids, two dogs, two cats and a back yard full of chickens. An avid horror film collector, he puts on annual scary movie marathons for his family and friends. When he isn’t cooking, Kyle loves spending time outdoors with his family, hunting and fishing.
Ethan Stowell is the chef and owner of Ethan Stowell Restaurants in Seattle. His highly acclaimed restaurants include Tavolàta, How to Cook a Wolf, Staple & Fancy Mercantile, Ballard Pizza Company, Rione Xlll, Bar Cotto, Mkt., Red Cow, Frēlard Pizza Company, Bramling Cross, Marine Hardware, Tavolàta Capitol Hill, Ballard Pizza Company SLU, Cortina, and Super Bueno, as well as Goldfinch Tavern in the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. His food philosophy is all about keeping it simple, using fresh ingredients, and allowing the food to do the talking.
Deeply devoted to his hometown, Stowell spends much of his time helping the community through charity work and is a fervent advocate committed to seeing that Seattle is recognized nationally as a culinary destination. To learn more, visit www.ethanstowellrestaurants.com.
Rachel Yang, a 2017 James Beard Foundation Award nominee for the Best Chef: Northwest, is known for her singular culinary vision that artfully blends a love of bold, unexpected flavors with classic technique. Her food defies expectation and simple definition, and has earned her a reputation as an innovator and creative force. Yang’s food is beloved by seasoned, adventurous diners and often considered a revelation by newcomers eager to expand their palates. Her cuisine is informed equally by her personal history as a Korean native as well as her kitchen experience at restaurants Per Se, Essex House, and DB Bistro Moderne. Along with her Co-Chef and husband, Seif Chirchi, Yang owns three Seattle restaurants: Joule, a contemporary Korean steakhouse that was named one of 2013’s Best New Restaurants in America by Bon Appétit, and Revel, a lively, casual space for street food-style comfort food. Trove, one of GQ’s 25 Best New Restaurants 2015, features noodle bar, Korean BBQ, and parfait window. Now, Portland is the new home for her latest and most exciting restaurant, Revelry, opened in August 2016.