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Introducing the Culinary Maverick: Ethan Stowell, a Chef to Watch in the Northwest

You can scarcely visit any big city in Washington state and not stumble across a Chef Ethan Stowell venture, whether you’re visiting a Mariners game or enjoying an elegant meal downtown. With over 12 unique concepts and 20 locations, Ethan Stowell’s restaurants combine sophisticated dining with comfort, with each dish a simple, honest masterpiece. His food philosophy is all about keeping it simple and honest, to use fresh and local ingredients, and allow the food to do the talking. 

He sounds too good to be true, but if you’ve ever dined at one of Ethan Stowell’s numerous Seattle area eateries, at his Spokane Tavolàta, or Victory Burger, you know he doesn’t just talk the talk…he walks the walk. 

In this new series, I’ll share with makes Chef Ethan Stowell a chef to watch in the Northwest, covering his start in the industry to what exactly makes his dining so spectacular. After this, you’ll be glad so many Stowell restaurants exist around Washington, because you’ll want to try them all!

Born in Germany, the self-taught and James Beard nominated chef Ethan Stowell grew up in Seattle and came up through the culinary ranks working in local restaurants Lampreia, Nell’s, and The Painted Table. He followed up that success with even more restaurants and eateries, including the pasta-focused Tavolàta in both Belltown and downtown Spokane. 

It’s more than just a love for food; it’s a cultural philosophy that permeates Chef Stowell’s approach. He doesn’t merely create dishes; he crafts experiences. Spend five minutes on Stowell’s Instagram account (@chefethanstowell) and you’ll see not only his dedication to the culinary craft, but also making meals that actual people can and will eat. Some of his popular posts include creating healthy and delicious meals for caregivers, in support of Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and cooking with kids, in support of Seattle Children’s Hospital. 

If you’ve had the privilege of dining at one of his culinary sanctuaries in Seattle or enjoyed the culinary symphonies at his Spokane Tavolàta or Victory Burger, you’ve witnessed firsthand that Chef Stowell is not just a culinary luminary in words, but in every delectable bite.

And speaking of delicious bites, one outstanding place I visit regularly is Tavolata in downtown Spokane. Tavolàta is a pasta-forward, Italian-influenced family style dining experience with curated wines, superb service, and beautifully fresh ingredients prepared and cooked to perfection. It’s a happy hour and date night must, but it’s not the only ESR eatery we have here in Spokane. 

His eateries Victory Burger and Victory Bar and Coffee are both a deliciously fun way to spend an afternoon. Located in Spokane’s historic Wonder Building, Victory Burger is the best place to grab a beautifully and honestly prepared burger (I LOVE the Blue Moon—I’m a sucker for Blue Cheese on a burger!) and a delicious local brew while catching a Seahawks or Kraken game with friends.

Victory Bar & Coffee offers REALLY tasty cocktails, delicious coffee, and lighter fare, which makes it the perfect place to hang with your friends and catch up. We love to play some of their classic games like corn hole or oversized Connect Four!

However, Chef Stowell’s culinary brilliance isn’t limited to the dishes he serves; it extends to the culture he fosters. The in-house culture he and his team have cultivated are a thing of beauty, maybe even rivaling the beauty of his hospitality and cuisine. 

watch or listen to our interview with chef stowell here

With a focus on culture, community, growth, honesty, and leadership, he reinvests into his team, the community, and the people within it. A well known philanthropist and all around very cool human, he is consistently promoting his message of having pride in our communities by conducting various fundraisers and putting words into action. 

And truly, if you’re not following Chef Stowell on social media, you’re missing out! He also has a killer social media presence, his collabs with other creators are so authentic, and his recipe and technique videos are spectacular. His good, honest food philosophy is present in every one, without fail – and you can tell he has a great time doing it. 

Make sure to dine out at one of his many amazing eateries, cook one of his amazing Instagram recipes at home (his charred skirt steak tacos are bomb!), and find out why he is truly a Chef to Watch! 

Kim Lehr

Kim Lehr is a bar/restaurant industry veteran who owns The Accompaniment Co. and is obsessed with all things pickled. Most importantly? She’s a wife and mom who wants to feed her family more healthful, wholesome, flavorful, and creative meals. Join her to share some of those meals and her small batch, local products with your family’s table.

read all of kim’s articles here.

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