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Chef Interviews

I originally started this blog to tell the life stories of the people I admired most – Chefs working behind the pass every day. And so I went down the path of building this series of chef interviews to tell their stories to the reader at home.

For all the good the Food Network does, it rarely touches on the true stories of people working in kitchens every day for little pay over long hours. Once a career of last resort, being a cook or chef is now something people have begun to aspire to.

I have nothing against the Emeril’s and Bobby Flay’s of the world – but they are anomalies. Most people who own a restaurant don’t make it on TV. And nobody tells the stories of how chefs are doing everything from hiring, firing, ordering, prepping, cleaning, cooking, payroll and everything in between. This series is my homage to them.

Dustin Ronspies of Art of the Table

James Beard award-nominated Chef Dustin Ronspies owns of Art of the Table – a cache of creative cuisine in Seattle. Read about his experiences of cooking for hot air balloon tours, yacht owners, billionaires and film legends in this story about the life of a Chef.

Eric Donnelly of RockCreek

Chef Eric Donnelly has a rule at RockCreek – his seafood restaurant in Seattle’s upper Fremont neighborhood. You will find no salmon or halibut on the menu here. Just some pretty amazing and creative dishes that you simply cannot find anywhere else in this town!

Bar del Corso’s Jerry Corso

Jerry Corso’s restaurant – Bar del Corso – is a hidden neighborhood gem in the Beacon Hill area of Seattle. Read on to learn about Jerry’s philosophy on food, community and la vita e bella!

Josh Henderson of Huxley Wallace

Josh Henderson pioneered the food truck movement in Seattle. He’s opened Skillet Diner x3 and founded the Huxley Wallace Collective which led to both The Hollywood Tavern and Westward. See what Josh is all about in this exclusive conversation!

Restaurant Roux’s Matt Lewis

Matt Lewis’ latest venture, Restaurant Roux in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, brings a taste of the South in the form of soul, spice and happiness on a plate. It’s one of the best new restaurants in town and for good reason – the food is awesome.

Maria Hines of Tilth, Agrodolce and Golden Beetle

Chef Maria Hines has pioneered the use of locally grown, organic food in Seattle over the past several years. Her focus and commitment to sustainability is evident at each of her restaurants: Tilth, Golden Beetle and Agrodolce. See what she has to say about her path to success and vision for the future here in this exclusive interview.

Derek Ronspies of Le Petit Cochon

Meet Chef Derek Ronspies, Chef and Owner of one of Seattle’s hottest new restaurants Le Petit Cochon – located in the bustling Fremont neighborhood. His unbridled passion for cooking and creativity are evident in both his approach to nose to tail cooking and his amazing flavor combinations!

Renee Erickson – Seattle’s Seafood Maven

Meet Chef Renee Erickson – one of Seattle’s best and brightest culinary stars and owner of Boat St. Cafe, The Walrus and the Carpenter, The Whale Wins and her newest venture – Barnacle recently opened in Ballard.

Chef Jason Stratton of Spinasse and Vespolina

I love meeting influential Chefs and recently I had the opportunity to meet with one of my favorites, Jason Stratton of Spinasse, Artusi and his latest venture – Vespolina. To read more about what he has to say – see the fourth in a series of interviews with Seattle-based Chefs on

Volunteer Park Cafe’s Ericka Burke

Meet Ericka Burke: Chef and Owner of the hidden gem of a restaurant – Volunteer Park Cafe in Seattle, WA. Learn about her mission to bring fresh, local good food to the people of Seattle and about her plans for the future.

Cafe Juanita’s Chef Holly Smith

Chef Holly Smith talks about her motivation and the spirit behind Cafe Juanita located in Kirkland, WA. She is regarded as one of the top Chefs in the Pacific Northwest and is a former James Beard Foundation award winner. Read about her past, present and future here!

Lecosho’s Matt Janke

I’ve eaten at Matt Janke’s restaurants for years starting with Matt’s in the Market and then moving on to Lecosho. One thing is for sure – Matt knows how to put together a winning combination of food, hospitality and ambiance. Check out what he has to say in the first of a series of Chef/Restaurant Owner interviews on The Hungry Dog Blog.

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