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April 20, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Hunt for Club membership narrowed: semifinalists named

In the ongoing discussion regarding “The Hunt” (the Sorrento Hotel’s very public search for a new executive chef), Hunt Club management has reviewed resumes, held interviews and gotten a taste of what their wannabe chef-execs might bring to the table. This week the final four will take to the stage (more precisely, the Hunt Club kitchen) on successive nights — April 21 through 24 — vying for the job by managing the restaurant’s existing culinary team and creating and preparing a four-course prix-fixe dinner. Patrons will help evaluate their efforts (want in? reserve at 206-343-6156 or, tickets $95 per person, wine included). In the end, two finalists will be named before facing-off at a benefit dinner April 28th at Seattle Culinary Academy on Capitol Hill. Proceeds from that showdown ($250 per person) benefit the Quillisascut Farm School Scholarship Fund, offering culinary students and professionals an opportunity to experience the farm-to-table connection first-hand.

Down on the (Quillisascut Farm School) farm. Seattle Times photo by Harley Soltes

Karen Jurgensen (above center), chef/instructor at Seattle Culinary Academy and Quillisascut Farm, will be on hand to pass judgment on the Hunt Club finalist April 28th. I’ll be there to weigh-in with my vote, too, as will a posse of professional colleagues and Seattle’s favorite actor-cum-fork lifter Tom Skerritt, seen here making reservations for the final night of “The Hunt” (206-386-0799):

Tom Skerritt calls it as he eat it (Seattle Times photo: Harley Soltes)

So, who won an opportunity to showcase their talent and land a new job at the Hunt Club? Here’s the lineup, with bios provided by the Sorrento:

Chris Jensen (April 21st): Chris is currently the Hunt Club’s interim Executive Chef. A Hunt Club veteran since 2004, Chris has also worked as a line cook and sous chef in the kitchen at the Hunt Club. Prior to moving to Seattle, Chris garnered restaurant experience at several Boulder, Colorado restaurants.

Anthony Clark (April 22nd): A Culinary Arts graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle, Anthony’s work at Earth and Ocean Restaurant at the W Hotel has focused on developing a local and organic menu. Anthony’s previous experience also includes work at a number of Seattle-area restaurants including Amber and Sapphire Kitchen and Bar.

Matthew Mina (April 23rd): Growing up in Bellevue, WA, and more recently living in the San Francisco are, Mina is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy and the Culinary Institute of America. He has worked in the kitchens of Auberge du Soleil, Ponzu and most recently served as Executive Sous Chef at San Francisco’s Bong Su Restaurant and Lounge.

Tyler Hefford-Anderson (April 24th): Tyler brings more than 10 years of culinary experience to the kitchen including an eight-year stint at The Rainier Club where he served as both sous chef and pastry chef. A graduate of the American Culinary Federation’s Apprenticeship Program, Tyler most recently worked at Opal Restaurant in Seattle.

Tyler Hefford-Anderson (at left), formerly of Queen Anne’s Opal (Seattle Times photo: John Lok)

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