It’s not often you grow up knowing what you want to do for a living, but such is the case with Travis Kukull, 33, who graduated from Shorewood High School in 1998, and then cooked and worked his way across the country and back. Looking for his food niche, but lacking any major funding, Maple Leaf–based Kukull (who worked at the now-shuttered Mandalay Café, Mona’s and Elemental) teamed up with Cody Morris to open a brewpub in SoDo. Morris brews the beer (Epic Ales) and Kukull runs the kitchen at his restaurant, Gastropod (3201 First Ave. S, Suite 104; 206.403.1228; gastropodsodo.com), an open and unadorned space in SoDo. Gastropod is not your typical brewpub, and Kukull turns out a full menu with nothing but a convection oven and induction burners. He prides himself on introducing beer lovers to something new and surprising. This chef excels in pairing the unthinkable—grilled sardines with a pile of mint-dressed lychee and sea beans successfully. And while he is happily ensconced at Gastropod for the time being, we expect him to shake up our palates and continue offering exceptional flavor combinations. Sumac-spiced beer, anyone?
The New Tastemakers of 2013
Up-and-coming talent in Seattle’s culinary world
| November 2013
Seattle’s food scene is hopping, no doubt thanks to a generous and creative energy that fuels young food entrepreneurs and catapults big ideas into reality. This year, we introduce a savvy mix of Northwest tastemakers who are trailblazing in a most delicious direction, and kindling our appetites in the process. This handpicked culinary posse is diverse in its endeavors: We have cooks, craftspeople and under-the-radar players you’d never know were influencing how you dine out. Watch them make tracks in the coming year and you’re sure to turn up something delicious.