Thompson Seattle, a luxury hotel with a refined edge in the heart of downtown Seattle near the historic Pike Place Market, announced the appointment of Kaleena Bliss as executive chef.
Bliss brings more than 14 years of culinary experience from Portland to Seattle and a love for connecting with the great outdoors to her role at Thompson Seattle. Beyond helming signature restaurant, Conversation, Bliss will oversee the culinary operations of the hotel’s additional venues and offerings including The Nest rooftop lounge, in-room dining, catering and banquets.
“I am honored to join the incredible team at Thompson Seattle as we work together to offer a new take on fun and approachable yet intentional dining in downtown Seattle,” said Bliss. “From the gorgeous mid-century style of our signature restaurant to the scenic beauty of the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains that you see from The Nest, I’m discovering inspiration and creativity at every turn.”
Prior to joining Thompson Seattle, Chef Bliss assumed culinary leadership roles at a trio of restaurants and hotels in Seattle, including James Beard Award-winning Canlis. Most recently, Bliss served as executive sous chef for nearly four years at SixSeven at The Edgewater Hotel, as chef de cuisine for three years at Mistral Kitchen in the South Lake Union neighborhood, and sous chef for two years at The Four Swallows on Bainbridge Island. Prior, Chef Bliss developed her culinary skills in Portland at a French bistro called Fenouil after receiving a bachelor’s degree in culinary arts management from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y.
A Pacific Northwest native who grew up along the Columbia River north of Portland, Chef Bliss always knew she wanted to be a chef – her first word was “eat.” She has sincedeveloped her deep passion for cooking and food philosophy through an honest appreciation for how simply the food we eat is intertwined with the areas we inhabit. Her approach to creating and sharing food is rooted in intention and integrity while local ingredients such as foraged mushrooms and fresh clams are allowed to shine.
Chef Bliss is already underway with approachable new dinner, happy hour, lunch, breakfast and brunch menus at signature restaurant, Conversation. The dinner menu showcases a return to a more traditional dinner service style with snacks, firsts and mains rather than family-style dishes grouped by theme. This approach invites diners to choose how they would like to eat and share – or not share! – their food. The dinner menu features nearly all new dishes including Manila Clams with chiles, lime, lemongrass and coconut milk; and Short Rib with galbi-style braising, fermented daikon, maitake mushroom and pear. The updated lunch menu offers a wider array of dishes and flavors includingKabocha Squash Soup with sweet potato, pomegranate and pepita relish; and White Bean Hummus with mushroom conserve, pickled beets and baguette.