Chef Ethan Stowell of Union - Biography

Seattle, Seattle

October 2011

In the last five years, chef Ethan Stowell has brought three restaurant concepts to the Seattle dining scene, and his fourth is opening imminently. His restaurants share local, seasonal, Italian-inspired character, but differ in space, ambience and size. Stowell says that Seattle is a good environment for young chefs and restaurateurs—and he has helped create that environment through Union, Tavolàta, How to Cook a Wolf, and now Anchovies & Olives.

Stowell is a self-trained cook who credits his family kitchen for his culinary roots. Stowell’s parents ran the Seattle ballet; once he realized—at a mercifully young age—that he was a terrible dancer, Stowell took up food instead. He climbed the ranks at a family friend’s catering company before heading to Atlanta to work at Seeger’s. Back in Seattle he worked at Nell’s and The Painted Table, all the while picking up catering gigs on the side with the aim of building a loyal following and finding potential investors for the restaurant he knew he wanted to open. It worked out: one of his clients was the owner of the building that now houses Union.

Stowell opened both Tavolàta, a more casual, hip Italian eatery in Belltown and the 30-seat How to Cook a Wolf in Queen Anne in 2007. Anchovies & Olives is slated to open in late winter of 2009 in Capitol Hill. No small feat, Stowell got national recognition when he was named a 2008 “Best New Chef” by Food & Wine magazine.