Dessert lover Chiyo Ishikawa told us she burns calories via “yoga, and the occasional day hike.” Photo: Jennifer Richard

Even if you’re not an art buff, the name Chiyo Ishikawa is probably familiar. A Seattleite since 1990, she helped engineer exhibits at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston before moving here to take an assistant curator position with the Seattle Art Museum.

Now in charge of European painting and sculpture, Ishikawa has helped SAM attract one important exhibit after another. Most recently, she was a key player in bringing a stellar selection of Picasso’s great works to our city from the Musée National Picasso in Paris.

Here, Ishikawa takes a break from the masterpieces to share her favorite edible pleasures around town.

Are you or have you ever been a vegan?
No way!

Where do you take out-of-town guests to eat?
Lark, The Harvest Vine, Spinasse, Boat Street Café, Poppy, Taste at SAM.

Do you use recipes or wing it?
Both. My most dog-eared cookbook is Marcella Hazan’s Second Volume Classic Italian Cooking.

What’s your desert-island condiment?
Homemade chutney with Turkish apricots.

What’s your favorite way to burn calories?
Yoga, and the occasional day hike.

Vita, Stumptown, or Starbucks?
My favorite is Stella Caffé, at 1st Avenue at University. It’s as close to the Italian coffee experience as I’ve been able to find in Seattle.

What’s your guilty food pleasure?
Almond schnecken at Café Besalu.

Dessert or appetizer?
These days, dessert.

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