It's all about the island at Chef's Kitchen
After blazing through the Seattle restaurant scene as a high-profile chef, Matt Costello has found a restaurant of his own. At the aptly named...
Northwest Travel Guides
After blazing through the Seattle restaurant scene as a high-profile chef, Matt Costello has found a restaurant of his own.
At the aptly named Chef's Kitchen at the Inn at Langley, Costello happily does it all. He devises each night's six-course, set-menu dinner; buys the fresh produce, much of it from Whidbey Island farmers; does a lot of the prep work; and cooks each course of the elaborate meal in the open-plan kitchen in front of diners.
"I have complete control every step of the way," says a happy Costello, who is also general manager of the inn. Before arriving at the inn four years ago, Costello, who grew up in Olympia and started cooking as a student at The Evergreen State College, worked at high-profile Seattle restaurants including Dahlia Lounge and Palace Kitchen.
While he obviously likes being a one-man show, Costello is a soft-spoken, modest man for whom the restaurant is more than fine dining and a 3,000-bottle wine cellar. He's trying to build an island community that revolves around high-quality food — and connect out-of-town diners with it.
Before each dinner, Costello gives a brief talk about the ingredients he's using in the night's meal.
Later he paints a larger picture: "You might drive by the farm where the radishes are growing, bump into the lady who raised the beans, see the lamb on the hill. The local economy is a big thing for me."
"It's an expensive dinner," adds Costello, "and I can sleep at night in good conscience knowing that [money] goes back into helping preserve farmland. We give out seed money in winter months, some no-interest loans to farmers."
It comes back in farm-fresh, island ingredients on the tables of the Chef's Kitchen.
— Kristin Jackson,
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.