Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Chef Pacific Grill

Jessica Armstrong, Ross Lewis, Eric Gray, Ian Thompson, Mike Hempel
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:

Anonymous said...

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