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2016 Cooking Program (2017 Coming Soon)

 

2016 Tacoma Holiday Food & Gift Festival Cooking Show Host
Executive Chef Justin Mevs, Lobster Shop On Commencement Bay: Lobster Shop South on Commencement Bay is an award-winning restaurant (voted “Best Restaurant”, “Best Seafood”, “Best Brunch” and “Best Service” in the South Sound) that has long set the standard for fresh, simple, and unique preparations that highlight the flavor of impeccable seafood. Located on the Commencement Bay waterfront, it features majestic views of Mt. Rainier and the rugged Olympic Mountains. Corporate Executive Chef Justin Mevs is an East Coast Native with a lifelong passion for culinary arts and nearly twenty years of management experience. After attending Paul Smith’s College, a culinary institute in upstate New York, Justin served an externship abroad in Burgundy, France, before earning an Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University, Providence, Rhode Island. Justin assumed the role of Senior Sous Chef at Cutter’s Bayhouse (now Cutter’s Crabhouse) in Seattle for over three years, and returned later to serve as Training Executive Chef. During Justin’s interim from Cutter’s, he opened Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Bellevue, as Executive Chef, and also served as Executive Chef at The Brooklyn, an upscale seafood, steak, and oyster house. In addition to his responsibilities overseeing the kitchens of Lobster Shop South, Boathouse 19, and Tanglewood Grill, Justin successfully operated for over six years his own restaurant in the Belltown area of Seattle, The Lucky Diner.  Stop by The Lobster Shop or call for reservations. 253.759.2165 or visit wp.lobstershop.com Executive Chef Justin Mevs
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Executive Chef Hudson Slater, Tacoma Yacht Club: Hudson Slater was raised in the Pacific Northwest and has been cooking for Tacoma for the past 10 years. He has was won several cooking competitions in the Tacoma/Seattle area. You can find his recipes in the cookbook A Taste Of Washington. He was recently voted True Cooks All Star Of The Year in s nation wide contest. He is a husband and father of 3 and loves serving the city of Tacoma and the Tacoma Yacht Club through food.   www.tacomayachtclub.org

Executive Chef Hudson SlaterHudsonSlaterMaxwells250x300
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Chef Michael Gilbert, McNamara’s Pub & Eatery: is an Irish-inspired, American pub and eatery featuring great food and outstanding customer service with a warm and inviting atmosphere.  McNamara’s is an ideal location to bring a date for some live music and drinks, to watch a soccer match with the gang or to catch up with your family over dinner.  Whatever your reason for coming to McNamara’s, rest assured you will have an outstanding experience and will leave wanting more. McNamara’s Pub & Eatery opened in July, 2009 with the intent of bringing a little bit of the old world to DuPont, WA and to welcome all who entered into the McNamara family.  From the start, McNamara’s has been committed to quality, which is apparent in the detail of the pub, the presentation of the food and the level of customer service.  (253) 964-9200 www.mcnamaraspubandeatery.com

Chef Michael Gilbert
Chef Michael Gilbert, McNamara’s Pub & Eatery 
 boathouse Executive Chef Ta’ani Ma’ama,  Boathouse 19: Boathouse 19 is a casual, comfortable, affordable and fun restaurant situated dockside at the Tacoma Narrows Marina. Honored as “Best New Restaurant” in 2012, and Best Happy Hour 2012-2016, we serve a wide selection of regional American favorite foods with a modern twist. Pacific Northwest seafood, meat from nearby farms, and local produce – when in season – reflect our local heritage.  Fabulous views of the Narrows Bridges, the snow-capped Olympic Mountains, and all the maritime activity of the marina combine to make a visit to Boathouse 19 the quintessential Northwest experience. Ta’ani’s enthusiasm for the culinary arts was sparked during his childhood in Hawaii, where he was surrounded by top quality, fresh ingredients.  He brought his curiosity and natural affinity for hospitality to the mainland (Kitsap Peninsula) while he was still in high school.  Quick to learn and progress, after mastering considerable technical skills Ta’ani served in a management position at Anthony’s Home Port, Bremerton, and then as Chef at Sawatdy Thai Cuisine on Bainbridge Island. He built and led a strong team as Executive Chef (and eventually assistant General Manger) at the very busy Silver City Restaurant & Brewery in Silverdale, WA, before bringing his considerable expertise to Boathouse 19 in 2014. He is a true culinary professional, dedicated to training and developing strong teams.  boathouse19restaurant.com Executive Chef Ta’ani Ma’amaTaani-Maama-for-web
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Executive Chef Bill Trudnowski, Adriatic Grill has been a Chef in the Seattle-Tacoma area for over 20 years. In 2000, Bill was recruited by Consolidated Restaurants to become their Corporate Executive Chef. Building the Chef team and overseeing recipes for Metropolitan Grill, Elliott’s Oyster House and Union Square Grill kept Bill passionate about food while fueling his desire to be a restaurateur. All of his years of hard work paid off when he established Adriatic Grill Italian Cuisine and Wine Bar in Tacoma.  The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce awarded the restaurant with the Spotlight on Business Award in June ‘10, recognizing its outstanding business contributions in the community. In addition, South Sound magazine recently honored Chef Trudnowski with the 2011 Best Chef Award. (253) 475-6000 www.adriaticgrill.com

Executive Chef Bill TrudnowskiBill-Trudnowski
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Executive Chef Matt Stickle, Bite Restaurant at Hotel Murano: Exploring the Tacoma art scene is without question, an experience that feeds your soul. In between excursions, nourish your body and spirit with a cocktail and a nibble in our Lobby Bar or up on the fourth floor at BITE. Under the direction of Executive Chef Matt Stickle, these art-filled venues offer cuisine that will entrance and inspire.Stickle, a native of the Tacoma area, graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and has worked in kitchens at the Mission Grille in Sister Bay, WI, The Little Nell in Aspen and the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas. A regular at the Tacoma Farmer’s Market, he is passionate about sourcing the best local ingredients and incorporating them into his menus here at the Hotel Murano. Find out more info @ 253.591.4151 and www.hotelmuranotacoma.com/hotel-murano-restaurant-bar

Executive Chef Matt Stickle
Chef Douglas Kim, JW Restaurant: JW is located in downtown Gig Harbor.  JW offers a personal experience for the guest in which no detail is overlooked, and southern hospitality is realized.  What is the fare and style of JW???  It’s simple…Honest Food and Honest Prices.  Welcome Home Gig Harbor!!!  JW is voted South Sound’s “Best” for the 5th year in a row.  Thanks to all of our loyal guests for voting JW “The Best” again in 2015, this year for “Best Romantic Dinner” & “Best Chef in the South Sound!” www.jwgigharbor.com Chef Doug Kim
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Chef Mike Rutledge, Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza: John, Margaret and Jacque Farrell founded “Farrelli’s Pizza and Pool Co.” in 1995 in Lacey, WA. They emphasized ‘quality’ understanding that focusing on making the best products and offering great customer service would earn customer loyalty. This positioning strategy has also served them well throughout the years, with achievements such as the Independent Pizzeria of the Year Award in 2006 by Pizza Today magazine, as well as numerous other local and national awards recognizing superior quality and commendable growth.

Mike Rutledge is the Director of Kitchen Systems for 8 unit Farrelli’s Pizza in Washington state.  Mike has 19 years’ pizza experience, a graduate of Tony’s Scoula Italiana Pizzaioli, and winner of the 2016 Traditional NW Division.  Farrelli’s was awarded the Best Pizza in the Best of Western Washington 2015. www.farrellispizza.com

Chef Mike Rutledge

Tea Madame Tea Shop, LaDonna Olmstead: We are a premium tea merchant specializing in high quality, hand-produced, loose leaf teas and herbs. We believe in fresh, authentic and affordable loose leaf teas. All teas and herbs are hand selected by Owner LaDonna Olmstead for your enjoyment. We strive to be passionately knowledgeable about our products and love to share that enthusiasm with our customers. From the true tea beginner to the seasoned enthusiast, the Tea Madame has something for everyone. The Tea Madame Tea Shop is located in picturesque Sumner at the Windmill Gardens’ Nursery and is open for business daily from 10-5. (253) 891-2900 www.tea-madame.com

LaDonna Olmstead

Executive Chef Tom Pantly, Toscano’s Italian Grill: Serving the Puyallup Valley with fresh seafood, aged steaks, fine wines and cocktails. Soft lights and warm wood. A perfectly grilled steak. Aromatic martini clams. Cocktails that stimulate the imagination and wine that warms the soul. This is Toscanos. The owners and staff are proud to have served the Puyallup area these past 10 years. We deeply appreciate the support we have been given by the community and look forward to many more years of fun, friendship and good food! Executive Chef Tom Pantley was recently certified as a “Specialist of Wine” by the Society of Wine Educators. This title is awarded to people who complete a rigorous course of study regarding wine knowledge and mastery of key elements within the worlds of viticulture and wine production. This certification is widely recognized by the international wine and spirits industry. Chef Pantley hopes this will be a first step to eventually becoming a Sommelier. 253-864-8600  www.toscanospuyallup.com

Executive Chef Tom Pantly

ChucH, Chef Jon Maley: We are a restaurant in the making. Collaborating with local wine makers, ChūcH is focused on providing high-quality food, service and customer satisfaction – we will do everything we can to meet your expectations. ChūcH is named after Chef Jon’s dad. Jon was taught at an early age that hard work and discipline will reward itself with self respect and a sense of accomplishment. That is all thanks to the man who taught him that, his dad. Jon has proceeded to work as hard as possible to learn and self teach himself about what this culinary world has to offer. He is now ready to share it with the world, one plate at a time. Bringing a refined style to some of our favorite rustic dishes, we hope to intrigue your senses and satisfy your every need. Let us help you make a great memory. www.chuchrestaurant.com

Chef Jon Maley
Kitchen Beautician, Aura Mae: Aura has been creating beautiful hair since 1987. She turned her focus to creating beautiful food in 2004 when she moved into a house with an expansive kitchen that just cried out for puttering.  Needing to help control her husband’s diabetes, Aura cleared out the pantry of packaged foods and worked on learning how to cook delicious food from scratch. She learned from TV chefs, cooking blogs and experimentation. When she hit a wall, she would troubleshoot with her friends in the restaurant business.  Her healthy approach to home cooking has paid off in a dramatic weight loss for both Aura and her husband. Using lots of vegetables and fewer refined carbohydrates with plenty of healthy fats and protein, Aura designs great tasting meals that support both good health and a healthy ecology. www.auramae.com Aura Mae
STINK Chesse-Meat, Kris Blondin: Born and raised in Tacoma, Kris is the former owner of Vin Grotto Cafe & Wine Bar and is now the owner of STINK Cheese-Meat, whee she specializes in fine cheese, meats, and old-world inspired wines and beer.  Kris has written columns for the Weekly volcano, contributed to Culture Magazine and continues to conduct cooking and beverage pairing seminars for organizations like the Tacoma Farmer’s Market, Gig Harbor Food & Wine Festival, Tacoma Community College and Metro Parks Tacoma.  Kris loves to eat, drink and talk about it all!  Her style of teaching is down to earth and smattered with humor. www.stinktacoma.com Kris Blondin
Private Chef Tobie Robinson: My name is Tobie Robinson and I’m working on opening a farm to table restaurant. My goal is to have a locally sustainable business that works with Northwest farmers, ranchers and wineries. My other goal is to serve delicious cuisine that is house made and not processed. I’m born and raised in Renton, WA and love living here. I have a lifelong passion for cooking. I graduated from Le Cordon Bleu- Seattle. Since then I have worked for many restaurants and have been in the culinary industry for ten years, but cooking all my life. My goal is to get community support and excitement for my idea. Chef Tobie Robinson
Sous Chef Will Hansen: Will has a strong culinary history in the Northwest, spanning over a dozen years. Growing up in Seattle, he earned an Associate Degree in Culinary Arts fromNorth Seattle Community College which helped launch a career that has gravitated towards new establishments and has included some of the most acclaimed restaurants in the Puget Sound. Serious skills must have been honed while Will held the title of Lead Grill at Toulouse Petite, a New-Orleans inspired restaurant in Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne district. Frequently on Seattle’s “Best of” lists, and ranked by CNBC as one of the top 10 Happy Hours in the country, the restaurant boasts a shockingly large menu – especially considering the size of its kitchen. (There are 56 items on the Happy Hour menu alone!) When it came time to open his own restaurant, Toulouse Petit Chef Eric Donnelly lured Will to Wallingford to help launch Rock Creek Spirits and Seafood. In a comfortable, casual atmosphere, Rock Creek is dedicated to serving eco-friendly seafood. Not far away in Fremont is Ha! Comfort House, where Will next became the Executive Chef. This restaurant prides itself on serving “the kind of food that makes you want to un-button your pants and take a nap!” Will continued with the “quality comfort food” concept as the Sous Chef at Skillet Diner. This Capitol Hill neighborhood restaurant has received consistent awards for its fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, served in a relaxed and approachable environment. An opportunity to open Wildfin American Grill at Point Ruston persuaded Will to relocate to Tacoma. He has been an anchor as the PM Sous Chef, leading a crew he helped hire and train through an incredibly busy summer. Will is looking forward to expanding his management responsibilities and culinary skills at Lobster Shop and sharing his passion for this business and expertise with his crew.  wp.lobstershop.com Chef Will Hansen
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  Executive Chef Alexander Anton, Pacific Grill:I am a third generation chef in the Pacific Northwest. My grandfather, Tony Anton had several restaurants in downtown Tacoma, and then my father, James Anton and uncle, Basil Anton followed the same path and came to own several restaurants of their own. Having grown up in a restaurant family, I spent nearly all of my free time with my father at the restaurants learning the craft. It was here I gained the passion for food and hospitality that ultimately led to my chosen profession. It was from my father that I learned the hard work and discipline required to be a chef. Although I never attended culinary school, it was the long hours and my fathers’ demand for excellence that rooted the base to my ever continuing gastronomic education. I eventually left home and ended up in Hood River, Oregon at the Columbia Gorge Hotel; a beautiful historic property that sits atop a 200 foot waterfall into the Columbia River. It was here that I honed my skills and gained my “formal” training, under the tutelage of a classically French trained chef named Jeffrey Croke. We came to be good friends, almost like brothers during my time in the Gorge. He encouraged me to read all the books and work through all of the exercises that I would’ve been exposed to in culinary school. I worked at the hotel for several years as the Executive Sous Chef and even a short time as the Executive Chef once he had decided to move on. Once my time in Hood River came to an end, I made my way back to the Tacoma area. I spent some time on the Thea Foss waterway at Woody’s on the Water as a Sous Chef before going back to the family business and taking over as the Chef of Catering. When my father and uncle decided to retire in 2012, I made my first venture into the Seattle area, working as a Chef at the High Life in Ballard for Chow Foods; a longtime Seattle institution. After a few years of commuting from Tacoma to Seattle, It was time to bring it back home, which is when I was presented with the opportunity to work with Gordon Naccarato and Joe Hardwick at their newest restaurant, Smoke + Cedar on the Allenmore Golf Course. It didn’t take me long to align with the concept; a beautiful lodge where we now cure and smoke our own bacon using kurobuta pork, make our own nova-lox from fresh Columbia River steelhead, and pull our own mozzarella from scratch. Upon the unfortunate closure of Smoke + Cedar, I was brought over to Pacific Grill to oversee catering and events as well as the new Boozy Brunch in the restaurant, plus many exciting new things to come! www.pacificgrilltacoma.com Exectuive Chef Alexander Anton

  Pit Master Saffron, Bush Kitchen: Finishing her sixth season of competitive BBQ Saffron is a well know competitor across America, Canada and Australia. Although primarily focused on BBQ she has extensive experience in all aspects of live fire cooking including Dutch oven, camp cooking and grilling, most recently stretching herself to compete in Chuck Wagon which focuses on the skills and methods used by cowboys in the late 1800’s. Her cooking style is minimal taking advantage of the characteristics of live fire over a wide range of ingredients, making her recipes easily replicable in the backyard or while camping. Saffron Hodgson

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