There’s a new chef in the kitchen at RN74, Michael Mina’s stylish downtown wine restaurant that arrived in June and has since challenged that adage that this town doesn’t cotton to big name chefs from other cities.
As of February 6, Seisuke (or Seis) Kamimura is running the show as executive chef. Original chef Michelle Retallack, who has spent most of her career cooking for Mina and waited for years for the Seattle job, is having a baby. It’s a process highly incompatible with the long hours and on-your-feet nature of kitchen life.
Kamimura’s resume incudes Wolfgang Puck’s Spago, Boka, and Terrance Brennan’s Artisanal Brasserie in Bellevue, a place that did fall victim to our skepticism toward outside chefs. Most recently he was at Munchbar, the loud clublike establishment that came to Bellevue Square by way of Vegas.
Per the press release, Kamimura cooked for Mina back in his Spago days. He trained at New York’s French Culinary Institute, which should be helpful in a French-focused restaurant, but the release also flat out says that the new chef will be applying some “bold interpretation” to the classics.
Though Mina, who grew up in Ellensburg but made a name for himself in San Francisco, has his hands full opening a big project in Baltimore, a rep says the chef will be spending more time in Seattle in the coming months while his new exec chef gets settled in.