"It's definitely a nice place to come," said Christopher Schwarz, who has been Alderbrook's chef since last October.
"Even in the winter it's nice to come for a night or two just to relax, use the pool, the spa. It's a great place to eat, curl up with a book, go for a walk, you know, it's totally cool like that."
Chris worked for Tom Douglas for 13 years before making the move to the small town of Union, Wash.
"I had worked for Tom for a long time and I was looking for something different, you know. To be honest with you, I was kind of getting burned out going to Seattle every day. So, I was kind of looking and this place opened up and I drove out here on a beautiful summer day and I was like, 'Wow. This is nice!'"
He makes the commute from Federal Way several times a week.
"It takes me about an hour and 10 minutes driving depending on traffic, depending on time of day. But it seems like a whole other world. Like, sometimes it would take me an hour to get to Seattle from my house, even though it was only 23 minutes depending on the day, depending if I-5 was backed up."
His menu is heavy on fresh seafood - things like Alaskan scallops, clam chowder, wild King salmon and Dungeness crab cakes.
"There are certain things we can get out here that you probably can't get as easily (in Seattle) like when they open up for Hood Canal prawns. So, they're a little easier to get that might not be as easy in Seattle."
For a guy who grew up with a big Italian family in New Jersey, chef Chris says food has always been his comfort zone.
"I feel good doing it. I don't know how to describe it, but you're on the line cooking and the camaraderie, putting things together, making it work, sending out a great dish, just the flow of it, you know, it's what I feel comfortable doing."
Places Chef Schwarz likes to Go Eat!: Le Pichet, Flying Fish, Tavolata, Palace Kitchen, Sea Garden.
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