Chef Shannon Galusha generated big buzz when Bastille opened in 2009; two years later he went to work with Classic Concepts restaurant group, opening Cal’s Classic American in Kent and, this past September, Cal’s Classic American Kitchen in Amazonia. Now Galusha has moved on from the company, and his right-hand man, Chris Fletcher, is running the culinary show. Galusha is now corporate culinary director at Columbia Hospitality.
Fletcher had worked with Galusha since Bastille first opened, eventually sharing the lead sous chef title with one Jason Stoneburner. Once Galusha was dialed into his new job with Cal’s, he brought Fletcher over to head up the kitchen, first in Kent, then South Lake Union. “My official title would have been chef de cuisine, but at the end of the day, I was just his right-hand guy,” he says. He’s fully aware this new role comes with more paperwork and logistics, but Fletcher is still hoping to spend as much time as possible actually cooking.
His first goal is to strengthen Cal’s identity, and have the menu reflect that. “It’s really hard to go outside the box when your name is Classic American,” he says, but even the most familiar Americana staples—pot roast, chicken pot pie, spaghetti and meatballs—can be elevated with techniques, ingredients, and presentation.
Oh, and did I mention that Fletcher, the man tasked with pondering all this Americanness, was born in Britain? He’s definitely planning to add a version of liver and onions to the menu and considers himself fan of offal, tongue, and marrow bones “when appropriate.” Before Bastille, he worked at Earth and Ocean. Look for new menu items at both Cal's locations in the coming weeks.