2015 Guest Chefs
Sarah Lorenzen - Andaluca
As a teenager, Chef Sarah lORENZENmoved 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
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
9261 45th Ave SW, Seattle
Grover Ramsey - Compass Group/Microsoft
Matt Brandsey – El 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
Mark Washington - South Seattle College Alum - Kingfish Café
Born in 1968 in New Jersey, Washington was one of seven siblings, and the most likely of that crew to be found hanging out with mom in the kitchen – absorbing her culinary knowledge as he helped with the tasks she would allow.
Washington joined and served in the armed forces, then worked for two decades as a youth advocate, case manager and program director. During that time he started cooking meals for the kids he worked with, and the passion born alongside mom in that New Jersey kitchen lit up again.
It was 1997 and the Kingfish Café had just opened. They were only looking for a busser, but Washington took the job (along with his youth services work) and found himself in a professional kitchen for the first time.
Raising a young family at the time, Washington talked to his partner about their future and she encouraged him to apply for culinary school. After weighing many options, he ultimately chose South Seattle College based on the recommendation of a co-worker.
After his education, Washington worked his way up as a chef at Cutters and the Washington Athletic Club. One day, a fellow South alum offered him a job back where his burgeoning career started - The Kingfish Café. Today, Mark Washington runs the Kingfish Café kitchen, crafting a mix of Creole and Cajun with a Northwest attitude.
602 19th Ave E, Seattle
Leonard Rede - South Seattle College Faculty - Northwest Wine Academy
Chef Lenny Rede serves as a faculty member for South Seattle College’s Northwest Wine Academy, and he is also manager of Wine World & Spirits. Lenny Rede specializes in food and wine pairing. The Northwest Wine Academy helps bridge the intricacies of food and wine, a one-of-a-kind concept in the area.
6000 16th Ave SW, Seattle
Alvin Binuya - South Seattle College Alum - Ponti Seafood Grill
3014 3rd Ave. N., Seattle
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".
Paul Duncan - Ray's
6049 Seaview Ave. NW, Seattle
Jay Sardeson - South Seattle College Alum - Sheraton Seattle
1400 6th Ave, 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.
Jeff Maxfield - South Seattle College Alum - SkyCity at the Needle
This is Chef Jeff Maxfield’s sizth year at “Gifts from the Earth.” Jeff Maxfield graduated from South’s Culinary Arts Program, and now he is Executive Chef at the Space Needle’s SkyCity Restaurant. He has a knack for bringing local flavors and ingredients together to make one-of-a-kind dishes. He uses local ingredients and prepares them simply!
400 Broad St., Seattle
Brandon Near - Snoqualmie Casino
37500 SE North Bend Way, Snoqualmie
Robert Scribner - South Seattle College Faculty - South Seattle College
Eric Floyd - Washington Athletic Club - 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
Ivo Sandrea - Westin Bellevue
This is Chef Ivo Sandrea’s third year participating in Gifts from the Earth. We are excited that he is here representing the Westin Bellevue, a long-time supporter of this great event. Contact the Westin Bellevue website or facebook page for events.
600 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue
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
11020 NE 6th St, Bellevue