Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Chef Pacific Grill

Jessica Armstrong, Ross Lewis, Eric Gray, Ian Thompson, Mike Hempel
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After our previous chef, Aaron Valimont, moved to Marysville we began to search for a new chef to replace him. Recently we hired Ian Thompson. He has already started wowing our dining room with interesting new specials like his Scallops “Crudo” ~ thinly sliced raw sea scallops, ginger, mint & vanilla salt; Crispy Salmon Fritters with cucumber, apple, ginger, cilantro & black pepper tartar sauce; and Mahi Mahi with cannellini beans, pancetta, arugula, broccolini & lemon butter.
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Here is some background on Ian in his own words:
I was born and raised in Gig Harbor, Washington. My restaurant career began at the age of 15 washing dishes at Gig Harbor Spiro's. Soon after I became a cook and started slinging out pizzas and pasta.
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It did not take me long to fall in love with the chaos of kitchens.
I began culinary school at the age of 18 at South Seattle Community College.. While attending school I was a member of the SSCC hot foods competition team under Chef and mentor Stephen Sparks.
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Also during this time I floated around through various line cook positions in different restaurants including Coastal Kitchen and Primo Grill. I then joined the opening crew at El Gaucho Tacoma under Executive Chef Sean Quinn. There I worked as line lead and in banquettes.
Quinn sent me out to their Sumner location, The Garden Cafe at Windmill Gardens to be their wedding caterer. I then became Sean's Sous Chef at the Garden Cafe and ran both the catering and restaurant.
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Quinn was the opening Executive Chef of Asado Restaurant and brought me on as his opening Sous Chef. I became Chef of Asado upon the opening of their Masa location across the street. I worked as Chef of Asado until September of 2007 when I got an opportunity to go back to school. I went back to SSCC to attend their new hospitality management program, which I am set to graduate this June.
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While in school I have learned all aspects of restaurant management, while at the same time working on my cooking skills for Chef Vicky McCaffrey at Yarrow Bay Grill. I was only member of Vicky's team for about 6 months, due to an opportunity to study overseas.
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I have spent the last 6 months working on my degree in Copenhagen, Denmark. Now I am back and happy to be on board at Pacific Grill.

1 comment:

Marguerite said...

I had no idea the chefs at Pacific Grill were so young and good looking...