Chef Clay Blake
Chef Clay Blake studied formally at the Cincinnati Culinary Arts Institute, a small program co-instructed with chefs from the CIA in Hyde Park, NY. Prior to graduation, Blake completed a six week externship for Jean-Robert de Cavelle at The Maisonette, a French restaurant which at the time held the US record for consecutive years at the Mobil 5-star level. His first professional turn would be at Kirkland, WA’s destination restaurant, Café Juanita, where he quickly rose to Sous Chef under John Neumark, and winemaker/owner Peter Dow. After Holly Smith purchased the café in early 2000, Blake went to work for James Beard winner Christine Keff at her landmark Flying Fish, then in the Belltown district of Seattle. Before moving to southern California, Blake cooked at Serafina Osteria e Enoteca near Lake Union, and polished his skills in Mediterranean cuisine for restaurateur Susan Kaufman. North of San Diego, in Temecula Valley Wine Country, Blake would helm the kitchens of two of the largest and most well-known wineries. Opening Wilson Creek Winery’s Creekside Grille to critical acclaim was a stellar achievement of which he’s very proud. Chef Blake would follow that success with an Executive Chef position at Ponte Winery, the area’s most well-regarded estate for weddings and al fresco dining. Now, as the Chef at Spencer’s inside the Hilton Seattle Airport, Chef Blake continues to craft outstanding food built on quality ingredients, and sound technique.