"After 15 years, I’m all salmoned out,” says Eva Stone. She still relishes much of Seattle’s seafood bounty.

This weekend Bellevue hosts Chop Shop, the Eastside’s largest modern dance festival. The woman behind the curtain is Eva Stone, the two-day festival’s producer and Artistic Director of The Stone Dance Collective, a company she founded while living in London in 1993.

The Phoenix, Arizona, native began choreographing in high school, where, she says, a teacher who “knew exactly what to do with students who were wildly creative and equally untrained” guided her. Her technical dance training didn’t begin until college, but she continued on to pursue a masters degree in dance studies. She met and married an Englishman, and they made a deal: She would finish her masters in London while he finished his service in the Royal Air Force.

“After three years he looked at his watch and said, ‘Time to go!’ I cried all the way back to the US. He wanted his chance in the land of opportunity and I wanted to keep my Queen, but a deal is a deal.” So they pulled out a map of the western United States, closed their eyes, and threw down a finger.

London was home, she says, but Seattle was destiny.

One of the reasons the Pacific Northwest is such a good fit? With her Eastern European and Ukrainian gene pool, food isn’t something that she takes lightly—fine dining is her favorite hobby. “The fish in Arizona tasted just like it smelled and was a culinary kiss of death for me. I adore the fresh products available to us in the Northwest, but I will be honest…after 15 years, I’m all salmoned out.”

Vita, Stumptown, or Starbucks? The Walnut Cafe in Edmonds. They serve Vivace beans…enough said!

Favorite way to burn calories? Teaching, choreographing, and cruising Green Lake with my family.

Eat to live or live to eat? Live to eat…gene pool, remember?

Where do you take out-of-town guests to eat? Daniel’s Broiler (killer steaks, great view), Epulo , the 5 Spot for breakfast, and Café Besalu for a treat.

Do you use recipes or wing it? I use my husband, Richard, who is an amazing cook and makes the biggest mess in the kitchen that I most happily clean up. He studies Jacques Pepin and Jamie Oliver and then wings it. It works every time and I’m the luckiest girl in the world.

What’s your guilty food pleasure? Baklava.

Are you or have you ever been a vegan? No. Cheese is too important to ignore.

What’s your desert-island condiment? Branston Pickle. It goes perfectly with cheese.

Dessert or appetizer? Dessert, for that romantic end-of-a-meal sharing experience.

Three restaurants that sum up Seattle? Canlis (an ‘Old Boy’ Seattle standard…wonderful food, service and atmosphere), Le Pichet (the first time I had the chocolate chaude, it brought tears to my eyes), and Lark (love the local, seasonal menus and attention to detail).

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