Premier Chefs Dinner


Featured Chefs


Garrett Abel

A Northwest native and self-taught chef, Garrett Abel finds inspiration through art, nature and living life. His cooking started at an early age in his grandmother’s kitchen using fresh organically grown vegetables from her garden. In the time he spent with his grandmother, she taught him countless lessons in food. Most importantly, he learned that cooking with love is the best ingredient of all.

For the past six years, Garrett Abel has been Executive Chef at DeLaurenti Specialty Food & Wine in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. Having the world’s best ingredients at his fingertips and the largest outdoor market in the U.S. at his doorstep, Garrett has been able to develop his culinary skill in a playground most chefs only dream of. 


Peter Birk

Originally from Joplin, Missouri, BOKA restaurant + bar Executive Chef Peter Birk brings more than 33 years of culinary experience to his position at Hotel 1000. His career began in 1980 when he worked at his family owned business, the Spring River Inn in Riverton, Kansas. Over the span of 12 years, he worked his way up the culinary chain, to become co-owner of the restaurant.

Peter combines his background in traditional comfort food from the heartland with a contemporary whimsy in his preparation of Pacific Northwest cuisine. BOKA menus showcase Peter’s vision and passion, which have evolved over his past 13 years as a celebrated Northwest chef. During his time in the Northwest, Peter has built strong relationships with local fishermen, farmers and ranchers who all share common values of sustainability in the work they do. Through these relationships, Peter is able to offer fresh, local, sustainably produced ingredients on every plate. 


Don Curtiss

Don began his Northwest culinary adventure in 1994 as Executive Chef at Al Boccalino. He went on to serve as Opening Chef of Andaluca where he received acclaim as “one of America’s most innovative chefs” by Wine Spectator. At Assaggio, his loyal fan base continued to grow. In 1999, Don took over the kitchen at the newly renovated Prego Ristorante and Italian Cooking and Living named him “One of America’s Top 26 Chefs.” Don also served as Chef Partner of Il Fornaio and then lived in Europe during 2004, gaining inspiration for Volterra which opened its flagship location in Ballard in 2005 and again in Kirkland in 2012.

For the duration of his career, Don has been dedicated to serving what local vendors have to offer, from fish and seafood to fruits and vegetables grown by small farmers to boutique cheeses and cured meats. Throughout his culinary successes, Don has inspired excellence in his team members. He has instilled a passion for innovation along with regard for tradition in his staff. 


Nathan Lockwood

Chef Nathan Lockwood brings his passion for locally-driven seasonal Italian cuisine to Altura, which he opened with his wife Rebecca, in October 2011. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park in 2001 and continued his classical training under culinary luminaries Hubert Keller and Suzette Gresham.

As Chef de Cuisine at Acquerello Restaurant in San Francisco, he led a kitchen brigade that achieved and maintained a coveted Michelin star. Prior to opening Altura, he earned excellent reviews as Chef at Fork restaurant in San Anselmo, California and Jory restaurant in the Willamette Valley, and also led the evening dining operations for The Ruins in lower Queen Anne.

Since opening Altura, he is proud to have received a James Beard semifinalist nod for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest 2012 and 2013, and to have won Nicky Meats Wild About Game competition in September 2012.


Autumn Martin

Autumn Martin is a proud fourth generation Washingtonian. She finds inspiration in the natural elements found in the Pacific Northwest and is passionate about incorporating them into her creations—from innovative confections to the earthy brand she’s created with Hot Cakes.

Autumn opened Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, an artisan dessert and craft cocktail bar featuring creative, small-batch desserts and fine spirits to rave reviews. She has developed a devoted following over the years, and is highly respected for her innovative flavor profiles and commitment to creating quality products. Hot Cakes’ molten chocolate cake was named one of Oprah’s “Favorite Things” in 2013 and has been awarded “Best Dessert” at the NW Chocolate Festival the last three years in a row.

Autumn is a graduate of the Culinary Arts Program at Edmonds Community College and was the Pastry Chef at Seattle’s world-renowned Canlis restaurant from 2002 to 2004. In 2005, she devoted her life to chocolate and became the Head Chocolatier for Theo Chocolate where she created award-winning confections and chocolate bars for nearly five years. 


Carrie Mashaney

In early 2013, Seattle Metropolitan magazine named Carrie Mashaney a Rising Star Chef and in October of the same year, she premiered as a contestant on Season 13 of Bravo’s “Top Chef New Orleans.” In December, after serving in supporting culinary roles for nearly 15 years, Carrie took the lead as Chef de Cuisine at Jason Stratton’s new Spanish restaurant Aragona. 

Born and raised in Iowa, Carrie made her way to Seattle where she enrolled in the School of Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Seattle, followed by a degree in Specialty Breads and Desserts from Seattle Central Community College in 2000. In 2001, Carrie spent four months in France where she apprenticed at St. Germain en Laye, learning French pastries, cakes, chocolates and ice creams. Upon her return to Seattle, Carrie worked for four years as a server and pastry assistant at the Sorrento Hotel before moving to Café Juanita in 2005. In 2008, Carrie became Sous Chef and Pastry Chef at Beato Food and Wine and in 2009, Sous Chef at Dinette restaurant. When Jason Stratton took over the Spinasse kitchen in 2009, he recruited Carrie to join him and she has been his right-hand culinary partner ever since. 


Garrett Melkonian

Garrett Melkonian’s earliest memories of food were formed by weekends spent at his grandparents’ house in suburban Los Angeles, where he would watch his Armenian grandmother prepare lavish Middle Eastern meals for all of their family and friends. It was these early memories that would shape a passionate desire to cook, feed, and more importantly, nourish.

After attending the culinary program at the Art Institute of Seattle, Garrett began working at various restaurants around the city including The Dahlia Lounge and Flying Fish. After four years in Seattle, Garrett moved to San Francisco and found himself working in some of the most acclaimed kitchens in the bay area. After several years in San Francisco, Garrett returned home to Seattle to take over the pastry department for Tom Douglas Restaurants. He then went on to spend a brief period of time consulting on the bread and pastry programs for Spring Hill (now Ma’Ono), The Inn at Langley and Café Juanita. Garrett also did all of the recipe development for the James Beard nominated Dahlia Bakery Cookbook.

In the fall of 2012, Garrett took on the position of Executive Chef, opening Mamnoon with owners Racha and Wassef Haroun. Mamnoon presented an opportunity to cook the cuisine of his childhood, and honor the culture which first sparked the desire to cook.


Lisa Nakamura

Lisa Nakamura hails from Hawaii, where the confluence of cultures has produced a rich food story. Fond memories of her grandmother’s cooking, and of her using the local ingredients around her, continues to inspire Lisa to cook true, honest food that speaks to the heart.

Lisa has been cooking for the past 18 years, and has spent time overseas in France, Austria, Germany and Korea honing her skills. She has worked in the kitchens of Gerard Pangaud, David Kinch and Thomas Keller.

Most recently Lisa was the chef and owner of Allium Restaurant on Orcas Island. After three plus years commuting back and forth between the restaurant and her family, Lisa has closed Allium, and is currently working on her next venture, Gnocchi Bar.


Angie Roberts

Angie Roberts is a native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Northern Idaho on her family farm. At the age of 18, Roberts began her career studying both nutrition and culinary arts at Seattle Central Community College. She has worked for some of Seattle’s most celebrated restaurants including Flying Fish under Christine Keff, BOKA kitchen + bar, Earth & Ocean, and most recently she was part of the chef team for Josh Henderson’s Huxley Wallace Collective restaurant group.

Roberts now leads the culinary team behind Marination Ma Kai, Marination Station and Marination Mobile, the Seattle-based Hawaiian-Korean food truck named “America’s Best Food Truck” by “Good Morning America” viewers. Angie is looking forward to creating a summer events series at Marination Ma Kai in West Seattle, including luaus and barbeques overlooking the Puget Sound. 


Ethan Stowell

Ethan Stowell is the Executive Chef and owner of Ethan Stowell Restaurants in Seattle. His highly acclaimed restaurants include Tavolàta, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, Staple & Fancy Mercantile, Ballard Pizza Company, Rione Xlll, Bar Cotto, mkt., and Red Cow. His food philosophy is all about keeping it simple, using fresh ingredients and allowing the food to do the talking. In 2010, Ethan launched Lagana Foods, an artisan pasta line, and began consulting for the Seattle Mariners. His work with the Mariners helps to bring local products into the stadium for fans to enjoy. In September 2010 he released Ethan Stowell’s New Italian Kitchen.

Ethan was named one of the 2008 Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine magazine and has been honored with multiple James Beard Award nominations for “Best Chef Northwest.” In July 2013, Ethan was named one of the Best New Chef All-Stars by Food & Wine magazine.


Gordon Wishard

Gordon Wishard was born and raised in Indiana. After college in Arizona he returned to Indiana and began his career as a prep cook and was soon promoted up the culinary chain. After years of mastering every station in the kitchen, Gordon moved to Seattle in the winter of 1998 and joined the staff at the Harvest Vine, learning from Carolin Messier and Joseph Jiménez de Jiménez.

Gordon took over at the helm of Vios, and then moved on to Lark briefly before opening Licorous with John Sundstrom. After a year-and-a-half, he opened Smith for Linda Derschang. Next it was back to Vios before falling in love with, and eventually purchasing La Medusa.