Born and raised in Seattle, WildFin American Grill™’s Executive Chef Chris Bryant is passionate about the Pacific Northwest’s vast culinary bounty, from fresh seafood in local waters to the superior produce, meats and cheeses from the region’s fertile valleys and farms. He expresses his appreciation through his cooking, where his creations feature the best local ingredients, prepared simply to highlight the characteristics of individual flavors.
“My cooking philosophy goes far beyond the food we prepare,” Chef Bryant says. “It’s about putting the experience of the guest first. I have a special appreciation for the Northwest’s abundance and our fragile ecosystem. I strive to carefully select every ingredient and use each to create dishes that celebrate our region’s unique flavors.”
A graduate of Washington State University’s prestigious School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, Chef Bryant has more than 20 years of restaurant business experience, including training national culinary teams and developing unique menus for some of Seattle’s most esteemed restaurants – Palomino, Palisade, and Maggie Bluffs in Seattle.
Chef Bryant credits his grandmother for his love of cooking. He grew up visiting her on holidays and special occasions and remembers being captivated over the food, time, attention to detail, and passion she put into her cooking. Her dedication to good food remains his life-long inspiration.
To Seattle-area native Peter Jahnke, food means family, comfort and happiness. He remembers his great grandmother’s house always smelling of rich, mouthwatering flavors as she cooked batches of spaghetti sauce from scratch every Sunday. He also helped in his grandfather’s store, DeLaurenti Specialty Foods in Pike Place Market, which exposed him to fine cheeses, meats and other ingredients that laid the foundation for his desire to create his own great meals.
After high school Peter attended the Kitchen Academy in Tukwila (now Le Cordon Bleu) and immediately landed an internship at Sip in Issaquah upon graduation. At the completion of his internship he was promoted to sous chef. Two years later Peter took a chef position at Fonte, just two blocks from where his inspiration began in Pike Place Market – where he was excited to shop daily for the restaurant’s daily menu.
Looking to expand his passion for fresh local ingredients, Peter joined the WildFin family in Issaquah in 2013. He soon moved to the new Renton location, joining the team as sous chef. In 2014, Peter was promoted to chef.
When not whipping up unforgettable plates, Peter loves to hike, camp, fish and spend time with his wife, Sara and family.
Honolulu Native Ainoy Vongsy came to Washington in 2007 for a vacation, fell in love with the Northwest and never looked back. He felt at home (just a little colder) with the wide choice of great ingredients and natural beauty of the area. He joined the WildFin family in 2013 as our Sous Chef, bringing with him his love of Asian Fusion cuisine, and was promoted to Chef in 2014.
“Fusion cuisine is like the best of both worlds,” Ainoy explains. “You get to take a little something from here and combine it with a taste from there and create a dish that is completely new and wonderful.”
To Ainoy, being a chef requires more than knowing how to cook. It requires passion. He has passion for both his food and his customers, admitting that done correctly, great food makes an unforgettable impression. At the end of the day, he admits it’s connecting with his guests through a memorable meal that gives him a sense of a pride in his work.
Ainoy’s creativity with his hands extends beyond the kitchen. When not crafting great food, he enjoys working on cars, tinkering in his yard, spending time with family and exploring the Northwest’s great outdoors.
“My love of food comes from more than just enjoying a good meal. Food is more than just sustenance; it is an experience and art form. We express ourselves through our food designs, colors, smells, tastes, and appearance. Food brings people together and can create fond memories and experiences. I believe food is a culture we have created forming different regional areas and local cuisines. This is what brings us together and makes us family.
During my career I have driven across the country multiple times from Washington to Florida and New York, from east coast to west coast and many places in between. I have also traveled outside the US experiencing different cultures from different countries. I have been able to fuse different cuisines and create a variety of flavors that make you want more.
My family consists of my wife and three daughters. We are constantly doing new things and creating new memories. We try new things and learn new cuisines at home. Also doing fun things together as a family. Whether it is food related or fun related. Learning and doing new things is what makes life enjoyable. Memorable experiences bring us closer as a family.”
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