Trained in New York City, Tamara Murphy honed her craft while
working at various top restaurants in the area. In 1988, drawn to
the Northwest’s bounty of fresh ingredients, Tamara decided
to move to Seattle. While working at Dominique’s as a Sous
Chef, Tamara was selected to participate in the Bocuse d’Or
competition. She represented the West Coast as one of twelve finalists
at the prestigious event. In 1990, after two years at Dominique’s,
Tamara was offered the opportunity to serve as Executive Chef at
Campagne, near the Pike Place Market.
Nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef
of the Year Award, Tamara was one of four finalists for chefs under
thirty years of age. She continued to receive nominations from the
James Beard Foundation, and in 1995 was named the Best Chef of the
Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. In addition, Food and Wine
Magazine dubbed her one of the Ten Best New Chefs in America. Other
publications such as Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food
Arts and The New York Times all profiled Tamara and her
unique culinary style. Meanwhile, local critics such as John Hinterberger,
Johnathan Susskind, Tom Sietsma, and “Seattle’s Best
Places” showered Tamara and Campagne with rave reviews.
In 1993 Peter Lewis decided to open Café Campagne. Tamara
enjoyed the process of opening the Cafe, and the challenge of overseeing
two restaurant operations. Hailed by the press as yet another Tamara
Murphy success, the café soon became the darling of Seattle
foodies. After numerous successful years at the helm of both restaurants,
Tamara decided it was time to open a venue of her own.
Partnering with Bryan Hill, the former General Manager and Wine
Director at Campagne, Tamara was anxious to be part of a restaurant
that was truly about community. Brasa is the culmination of their
many years working in the industry, and has been an opportunity
to create a restaurant that is truly about the people, cuisine,
and wine they love.
Brasa opened March 1st 1999 and has been wildly successful. Seattleites
love the creative food and sensual ambiance. It garnered an outstanding
review from Nancy Leson of the Seattle Times. Tamara was
honored to return to New York in June, 2000 to cook for a special
James Beard Foundation event, which was chronicled in the Seattle
Time’s Pacific Magazine. Both Food and Wine and
Gourmet magazines have recognized Brasa as one of Seattle’s
The prestigious Zagat Survey 2003 has again named Brasa as Seattle’s
Top Food in Mediterranean cuisine and given the restaurant high
Most Popular, Top Décor, and Rooms ratings
for its dramatic interior. Voters state that “Everything’s
a winner” and on the “unforgettable, creative”
cuisine, emhpasizing the “imaginative” and “memorable”
dishes created by Tamara.
Tamara has been an ardent supporter of FareStart and Share Our
Strength / Taste of the Nation. With a focus on children’s
causes, she has been a featured chef at the Auction of Washington
Wines, the second largest charity wine auction in the country, benefiting
Children’s Hospital. She has also been featured at the March
of Dimes annual Star Chef’s Gala for the last several years.
Tamara makes it a point to be extremely supportive of school children,
both through her many donations to school fundraisers and by hosting
groups at Brasa, where she invites them into her kitchen and actively
involves them in the culinary experience.