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2015 Guest Chefs

Sarah Lorenzen - Andaluca

As a teenager, Chef Sarah Lorenzen moved to San Francisco when her mother went back to work and Sarah dove into cooking-for the entire family. To this day she still remembers all the birthday meal requests of her large family. Sarah’s culinary training had begun! It continued with a professional program at Santa Rosa College, while working as a prep cook at John Ash and Company. Soon after, Chef Sarah was one of only eight selected for the highly coveted Marc Hopkins Intercontinental three-year apprenticeship program based in San Francisco. Fresh out of the program she became a cook at Parc 55 Hotel. A year later she was recruited to join the Andaluca team as a lead cook and was quickly promoted to Sous Chef. She dabbled in catering and banquet management but was soon called back to the kitchen as Executive Chef of Andaluca.  When Chef Sarah isn’t working with her team at Andaluca, you can find her hanging out with her young daughter, Susie.

407 Olive Way, Seattle
(206) 382-6999

Caprial Pence – Bookstore Bar & Café

For those of you with some ties to the Northwest perhaps you dined at her Portland restaurant Caprial’s Bistro which she ran with her husband for almost two decades.
Or you sampled her wares at the award winning Fuller’s Restaurant at the Sheraton Hotel in Seattle where she was the Executive Chef.  (recognized by Conde Nast as one of the top 50 restaurants in the country).She did a few things in between. Like winning the James Beard Award for the Best Chef in the Northwest
And winning a Golden Fork Award
And hosting her own cooking show on PBS. (James Beard nominated her for an award for that too)
And writing nine cookbooks.
And cooking for Julia Child’s 80th Birthday
She’s a Portland native with a degree from the CIA (the one in New York, not Langley)
She became the Executive Chef of the Bookstore Bar & Café in July of 2014

Anthony Hubbard - CHOW Foods/Endolyne Joe’s

Anthony Hubbard, Executive Chef of CHOW Foods, is the creative mind behind the food.  Born and raised in Seattle, Anthony first knew he wanted to become a chef at the young age of 15, and held his first cooking job at Restaurant Caprice in Seattle when he was 16. Anthony studied at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI and has made appearances on PBS and the Canadian Food Network. Also, he was the winner of the prestigious Cochon 555 Seattle in 2009.

Anthony first started with CHOW Foods in 2001, and has since moved up to the position of Executive Chef for all of the CHOW Foods restaurants. He has made the menus continually new by introducing a fresh take on regional American-style cuisine with rotating menus at 5 Spot, Endolyne Joe’s and the Hi-Life.

CHOW Foods is comprised of four restaurants in the Seattle Area: 5 Spot on Queen Anne Hill, Hi-Life in Ballard, Endolyne Joe’s in West Seattle and TNT Taqueria in the heart of Wallingford.

9261 45th Ave SW, Seattle
(206) 937-5637

Grover Ramsey - Compass Group/Microsoft

Matt BrandseyEl Gaucho
Hailing from Minneapolis, Brandsey has been working in the restaurant industry since 1995, and earned a Culinary Arts degree from Hennepin Technical College in Eden Prairie, Minnesota in May 2000. Wanting to expand his horizons and see more of the world, he took a job with Cruise West, sailing out of Seattle. He met his wife onboard and, following a stint in Chicago, they settled in Tacoma in 2004.

With experience that extends beyond the boundaries of the kitchen, Brandsey brings a great breadth of knowledge to his position. He has opened five restaurants as Executive Chef, including three Travelers Tavern Hospitality Group locations in Chicago, the wine bar and restaurant Pour at Four in Tacoma, and DeCaterina’s Market Grill and Bar, a fine-dining restaurant in Puyallup, before moving onto the Sea Grill in downtown Tacoma. Brandsey has since stayed within El Gaucho, moving up to their award-winning Waterfront Seafood Grill (now AQUA by El Gaucho) for the bustling summer months, before finding his current home as Executive Chef at the flagship, El Gaucho Seattle.

2505 First Avenue, Seattle

Alvin Binuya - South Seattle College Alum - Ponti Seafood Grill

Executive Chef Alvin Binuya showcases his talent with an ever changing and seasonally focused menu. Chef Binuya has forged relationships with local farmers and fisherman so guests will continue to enjoy the new and unexpected flavors from the freshest local ingredients.  Ponti has received rave reviews from local and national press and honors such as Seattle Magazine's "Best Seafood Restaurant, "Best Northwest" and Gourmet Magazine's "Top Table".

3014 3rd Ave. N., Seattle

Paul Duncan - Ray's

A long-time resident of the Pacific Northwest, Chef Paul Duncan has built a decorated career at some of the region's finest restaurants, including Ray's where he is currently the Chef de Cuisine. He started his career at the age of 21, working at Widmere Brewing Company. He discovered a love for Italian Cuisine when he was the lead cook at Assaigo's in Portland -- which was named Restaurant of the Year in 1996. The accolades continued to come in for Chef Duncan as he was named one of Portland's "Best Young Chef" by Portland Monthly during his time at Chef de Cuisine at Tabla Mediterranean Bistro. In 2008, he moved away from the area  and moved to Maui, serving as Chef of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Lahaina. From there, he moved to the fine dining restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua. Chef Duncan was drawn back to the Pacfic Northwest serving as the Head Chef of the Hi-Life in Ballard before coming to Ray's.  

6049 Seaview Ave. NW, Seattle

Jay Sardeson - South Seattle College Alum - Sheraton Seattle

Jay Sardeson’s culinary career started back in 1984 when he graduated from the culinary program at the South Seattle College. For the past 27 years, Jay's career has been with the Sheraton Seattle Hotel, where he is currently the Banquet Chef. Throughout the years Jay has donated his talent and expertise by serving on the Board of Directors of Food Lifeline and working with the Pike Market Food Bank. Each year during the holidays, Jay and his fellow chefs spend countless hours demonstrating their talents on the “Annual Gingerbread Village” at the Sheraton Seattle Hotel, with proceeds supporting the local chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

1400 6th Ave, Seattle
(206) 621-9000

Jeff Maxfield - South Seattle College Alum - SkyCity at the Needle

In his boyhood home of West Seattle, Jeff Maxfield developed a love for food thanks to a mother who taught home economics and a grandmother who hailed from France. At 15, he lied about his age to get a job as a line cook at the Seattle Tennis Club. He graduated from high school in 1996, worked at a pizza parlor over the summer, then started his culinary education at South Seattle College that fall. 

After earning his certification from South, Jeff worked as Sous Chef at Seattle’s Canlis Restaurant, where he developed his passion for all things Pacific Northwest. He served as Executive Sous Chef at The Five Palms Beach Grille in Hawaii, and Chef de Cuisine at Seattle-area restaurants Chez Shea and The Golf Club at Newcastle. As Executive Chef with Southbridge Restaurant Group in Scottsdale, Ariz., he opened the first of three full-service restaurants, creating a high-end European-style marketplace menu by using sustainable, local and organic products.

Jeff returned from Arizona to take the position with SkyCity six years ago. During his tenure, SkyCity has experienced a revitalization of its menu, receiving accolades such as an “excellent” rating from Zagat for its simple and elegant treatment of Northwest ingredients, and the honor of taking a team to cook at the James Beard House in New York in 2013. Jeff’s focus on creative use of high-quality ingredients and authentic flavors makes dining at the Space Needle an unforgettable experience.

400 Broad St., Seattle
(206) 905-2100

Brandon Near - Snoqualmie Casino

Chef Brandon Near grew up in a well-traveled American family where he learned at an early age that quality food was an essential ingredient to good living. As a child, he watched his relatives prepare culinary masterpieces from scratch. His parents were avid travelers and instilled in Brandon the importance of experiencing the many diverse cuisines from around the globe.

Brandon started working in kitchens at 16. At 19, he was determined to become professionally trained. While attending Renton Technical College to earn his degree in Culinary Arts, he worked full time at Flying Fish under Chris Keff. His local culinary travels have taken him through icons, such as, the Yarrow Bay Café, Pan Pacific Hotel, Barking Frog, and currently Terra Vista at Snoqualmie Casino.

At Terra Vista, Brandon creates food that is masterfully designed to engage the intellect and surprise of the palate, emphasizing fresh, sustainable, local growers along with molecular gastronomy. Brandon’s menus utilize state-of-the art equipment and modern techniques such as Sous Vide, Anti-Griddle and Molecular Gastronomy. Brandon believes dining out should be anticipated enthusiastically and enjoyed thoroughly, right down to the final bite.

37500 SE North Bend Way, Snoqualmie
(425) 888-1234

Robert Scribner - South Seattle College Faculty - South Seattle College                 

Eric Floyd - Washington Athletic Club

Chef Eric Floyd was raised in Southern California where his propensity for food and cooking blossomed at a young age. Growing up in such a diverse melting pot, Eric was exposed to a variety of different ethnic cultures. It wasn’t long before he fused his American palate with others creating unique dishes. This love of cooking grew, and he inevitably took his first kitchen job at age 15.   Eric worked as sous chef with South Seattle College Chef Instructor Will McNamara for several years.  When Chef McNamara decided to join the South Seattle College Culinary Arts Program, Eric Floyd became the Executive Chef at the WAC. 

1325 6th Ave, Seattle
(206) 464-4626

Ivo Sandrea - Westin Bellevue

This is Chef Ivo Sandrea’s third year participating in Gifts from the Earth.  Ivo has been Executive Chef at the Westin Bellevue since 2012, having previously held the positions of Executive Chef at Hilton Hotels in Hawaii and New Jersey and at Sea Island in Georgia.

Chef Ivo oversees all culinary operations at the Westin Bellevue, including the Cypress Lounge and Wine Bar, which features Northwest regional cuisine in a warm and modern atmosphere.

600 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue
(425) 638-1000

Jacky Lo - Wild Ginger

Jacky Lo’s unlikely journey from a Hong Kong business school to chef at the Wild Ginger is the kind of story every teen would like to impress upon their parents.  A middle of the road business student, Jacky pleaded with his family to let him quit and follow his desire to attain a culinary education.  Jacky says the majority of his culture doesn’t understand needing to go to school to learn how to make good food.  Against this notion, he insisted that was what he needed to do.

Jacky came to America in 1994, and eventually enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, California. Once armed with his coveted culinary education, Jacky began to follow another great Western culinary tradition – moving through restaurants and picking up knowledge from the chefs and cooks with whom he worked. Jacky worked as a chef at several Seattle restaurants before landing his coveted position at Wild Ginger and The Triple Door. Jacky’s unique blend of traditional practices and modern techniques has helped him oversee Seattle’s pan-Asian giant and its new location in Bellevue.

Jacky says his wife and children are his solace outside of the kitchen and strives to spend as much time with them as possible.

1401 3rd Ave, Seattle
(206) 623-4450

11020 NE 6th St, Bellevue
(425) 495-8889                         

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