SEATTLE - He may have some big shoes to fill, but Adam Stevenson is already leaving his footprint as the new executive chef of Earth & Ocean at the W Hotel.
The 36-year old was chosen to replace Maria Hines six months ago, when she left to open her own restaurant.
"To me, that was when the work really began, because it was my first Executive Chef job, it's in a very reputable house, it's a house that's got a lot of spot lights on it right now, and it's a great company and there's a lot on my shoulders," says Adam, who, with the exception of a few items, completely overhauled the menu.
"We have a lobster with a ravioli on it; it's a lobster tail and lobster claw ravioli. I'm using quinoa with crab meat. We've got quail on the menu. We're using venison. Periodically we're using buffalo."
Adam, who worked his way up from banquet chef, remembers the day he told his folks he wanted to cook for a living.
"I think I was probably 12 or 13 years old and we were out to dinner and I was having this big, giant bowl of salad and just out of the blue I told my mom I was going to be a chef someday and they were like, 'Okay, that's great.'"
But a chef he became, graduating from Portland's Western Culinary Institute in 1990. He moved to Seattle, quickly landing a job at Tulio, before leaving in 2001 to join Earth & Ocean; it's a name the owners actually chose to reflect change in the kitchen.
"And they wanted to have something that was versatile to accommodate a changing group of chefs," Adam said. "They wanted it to be a breeding ground for great chefs to come up. So, they gave it (a name) that was Northwest, something that anybody could work with."
Adam says he thinks the rotating roster of great chefs at Earth & Ocean is one of the reasons people keep coming back for more.
"Every two, two-and-a-half-years, there seems to be another chef, so that keeps people a buzz. They like that."
Places Adam likes to Go Eat!: Roti, Chinoise, Nishino, Monsoon, Kingfish, Harvest Vine, Rover's, Le Pichet.
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