Chef Brian Walczyk’s journey through the kitchen isn’t like most. Truth is, he didn’t know what he wanted to do by the time he was 20 years old. It was a normal day, sitting in front of the TV, when his future hit him in the face--a commercial for the Art Institute of Seattle inspired him to apply, pack up and leave his hometown of Spokane for the big culinary city. It was truly a power move and the catalyst to his career.
While attending school, he was baking artisan breads at Grand Central Bakery--one of Seattle’s favorite locally owned bakeries. As he continued to evolve and grow his skills in the kitchen, he became a prep cook for James Beard award winner Chef Tom Douglas at Dahlia Lounge. He wouldn’t stay at the bottom of the totem pole for long, working his way beyond chopping, julienning and dicing vegetables to determining how those same vegetables would be presented and paired with some of Seattle’s finest seafood.
Chef Walczyk decided to spread his culinary wings to Los Angeles, growing his “knife bag” of techniques. He quickly returned to the Pacific Northwest’s culinary mecca of Seattle, continuing his creative combinations of local flavors for Chef Tom Douglas’s restaurants for 15 years. Chef Walczyk’s palate continued to improve as he opened and crafted menus for nationally-known eateries like: Lola, a modern Greek eatery; Bravehorse, a tavern with gourmet pub grub; TanakaSan, a new take on Asian-American fare; and Cantina Lena, which has a vibrant Mexican menu.
Even with his love for Seattle and the passion for the plate of artwork, Chef Walczyk craved a little more--that sought after Bend lifestyle. He wanted to raise his son, Weston, in the mountains. Now, they’re doing just that, spending time together outdoors and enjoying all of the recreation that comes with it.
When he’s not with his son, Chef Walczyk is running Washington’s kitchen, dipping into Bend’s different tastes with his creative and mouth-watering menu. He warmly invites you to his kitchen, the place he crafts his work and scribbles his nightly specials. When you do make it up to Washington, don’t only say hi, but truly act like you are at his house by trying several dishes to taste the different cuisines, styles and flavors he’s learned and mastered over his culinary profession. Hey, why not sit at the Chef’s Counter and see the art in action?