There's been an explosion of restaurants in this city, and no young chef has opened more than Ethan Stowell, the subject of this week's cover story. The 36-year-old chef now runs four acclaimed restaurants, including Ballard's Staple & Fancy, where his evolution as a chef and businessman can best be seen.
His expanding empire has many people comparing him to Tom Douglas, Seattle's most famous chef, who just this month added three restaurants to his stable, now numbering 10. Yet one of the many things that distinguish Stowell from Douglas is that the younger chef shows no inclination of moving out of the kitchen in order to more completely dominate the dining scene. Cooking, as evident from his life story, seems a crucial part of his identity.
Here's Stowell at work in Staple & Fancy's galley kitchen, putting together a dish of spaghetti, anchovies, and cuttlefish.