Chef Ethan Stowell, Delta Sky Clubs
Photo: © GEOFFREY SMITH
STOWELL AND SEATTLE ARE SYNONYMOUS. Ethan Stowell, the executive chef and owner of several Seattle-based restaurant concepts, now collaborates with Delta Air Lines to bring fresh, seasonal, locally sourced fare to the Delta Sky Club located on Concourse A at Seattle- Tacoma International Airport.
“The Delta team approached me about partnering on the food at the Club — making it more approachable and localized. During that time, the team has been open to our ideas and thinking. It makes me proud that what we’ve done at Delta Sky Club in Seattle is influencing Delta Sky Club’s approach to food across the country,” said Stowell.
The Seattle Sky Club menu includes a variety of salads, a weekly rotation of crudité and dips, pasta served with Stowell’s signature pasta sauce, and fresh-popped popcorn with Stowell’s popular topping.
With 16 restaurants in Seattle, Stowell clearly is committed to seeing Seattle recognized nationally as a culinary destination. One of his restaurants, Goldfinch Tavern, is located in the Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, and he also works with the Seattle Mariners and Holland America Line.
WHICH DESTINATIONS INSPIRED YOU, AND HOW HAS THAT INSPIRATION TRANSLATED INTO YOUR CULINARY CONCEPTS?
I’d say the top destinations that inspired my food are Italy, Vietnam, Thailand and, most recently, Spain. Of those, our biggest is definitely Italy — we started traveling there regularly and fell in love not just with the food but with their process. Italians don’t take presentation too seriously, they are approachable, and you can get an incredible meal without it being expensive. For them, it’s more about the experience and bringing people together to enjoy a meal — that approach matches our personality and the style of our restaurants. It also complements how we source food — we always start by finding quality, local products to work with. When it comes to our work at Delta Sky Club, our goal has been to create fresh, local offerings that make you feel good when you are traveling, while also sharing with travelers how important food is in the Northwest.
WHO TAUGHT YOU HOW TO COOK? HOW HAS THAT IMPACTED YOUR APPROACH TO COOKING?
I’m a self-taught chef, and honestly, I still learn every day from my colleagues and team members.
When I was growing up, my parents loved cooking, and meals were really important. My dad, in particular, loved cooking as a hobby. Every night, we sat down as a family to have dinner, and that moment of coming together influenced both my cooking style and our approach at our restaurants.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE FOOD CITY?
It’s impossible to pick, but I’ll go with Hanoi, Vietnam. It’s the best food city I’ve visited.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE NEXT BIG TREND ON THE FOOD SCENE WILL BE?
I think true, real food will always be and continue to become more important. I also think people are going out to eat more regularly for lunch and dinner — instead of only for special occasions, making food more casual.