Personal Chef

Chef Jane Hall

I am originally from Minneapolis where I was the pickiest eater in my family.  Although I loved being in restaurants and making food at home, it was very limited in scope aside from the fresh pasta that I helped my grandma make (red sauce only, please!). I grew restless as a teenager and began my journey to the West, by way of Europe, backpacking around and eating everything I could! A year later, I found myself in Washington State, astounded by the bounty of the Pacific Northwest.

Over many years in the home kitchen, I learned about ingredients, combinations, good ideas/bad ideas, and what I enjoyed most: farmer’s markets, fresh vegetables and fruits, and farm-fresh eggs. Under the wing of my first real chef, I began to learn the ins and outs of a working kitchen, in addition to making delicious meals. Ultimately, he left the company and passed the torch to me.  When the Covid pandemic wiped out that kitchen, I headed to Seattle Culinary Academy, where I had a blast and kept on learning. What I love about this industry is that the learning is never-ending!

Highlights from Jane's Menus

  • Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpeas with Pearl Couscous, Fresh Herbs and Tahini Sauce
  • Rosemary Chicken Thighs, Roasted Lemon Yukon Gold Potatoes & Brussels Sprouts
  • Arugula Salad with Dijon Vinaigrette, Sliced Apples, Carrot Ribbons & Toasted Hazelnuts
  • Thai Rice Noodles & Fresh Tofu in Red Thai Chili/Coconut Sauce, Seared Baby Bok Choy, Shredded Red Cabbage, Carrot, Red Onion, Cilantro & Thai Basil in Creamy Cashew Dressing
  • Salmon Fillet with White Wine & Shallot Reduction, Black Pepper Polenta, Seared Broccolini
  • Turkey Kofte, Lentil & Basmati Rice with Crispy Onions & Fresh Herbs, Spinach & Feta Salad
  • Seared Chicken Tacos, Fresh Masa Tortillas, Pico de Gallo, Pickled Red Cabbage, Avocado, Crema Fresca,
  • Delicata Squash with Couscous, Seeds & Nuts, Red Pepper, Garlic & Fresh Herbs

More about Jane

When did you first get interested in cooking?

Some of my favorite memories as a child include playing restaurant with my friends, serving chicken soup and biscuits. Also, I helped my Italian grandma make pasta and sauce for our family very often. Most of the jobs I had were in bakeries and bars, but usually in the front of the house. My first BOH job was working alongside a very good chef, who was very generous with his skills. He showed me everything he knew, which was a lot, and he trusted my growing skills. My curiosity grew from those days; after thinking it was just a job, it slowly became a career decision that I continue now to pursue.

What is one recipe skill you think everyone should have in the kitchen?

In the kitchen, I think having flexibility with ingredients is a very important skill, one that takes time to cultivate, through experience.

What 3 ingredients can you not live without?

Olive oil, salt, lemons

If you were not a chef, what would be your dream occupation?


Do you have a signature dish you are known for and what do you love about it?

Chicken-vegetable souvlaki with oven-roasted French fries, garnished with lots of fresh herbs, feta and lemon! I marinate and then sear the meat and vegetables to get the caramelization and build flavor, then finish everything in the oven. The fries are very easy to make very crispy; the secret is to cut them thin. I love Greek-inspired dishes with kalamata olives, fresh herbs, lemon and garlic.

If you were to describe your perfect dining experience, what would that look like? Menu, location, and the company you’d share it with!

An ideal meal and setting: Outside, in the shade, daytime, late summer, with my family, my band, all their spouses. We are eating roasted chickens with the skin on, flat bread, olive oil and herb dips, big green salads and crunchy slaws with lots of garnishes, tangy vinaigrette, Sun Gold cherry tomatoes, sweet pickles, crisp tart apples, bubble water, one big table, cloth napkins, forks and knives, fresh green figs, fresh goat cheese-BOOM. That was pretty much how it was at my wedding!

Do you have a culinary muse or hero? Tell us a bit about them!

My Chef-instructor from culinary school, Kaaren Jurgensen, whose work ethic and creativity are a beautiful marriage, has been a huge inspiration to me, as well as Lora Lea and Rick Misterly of Quillasascut Farms in Eastern Washington, whose focus on teaching and culinary on the farm is influencing culinarians to think more deeply about where food comes from, the true price of foods, and the hard work it takes to run a farm, are a huge influence on how I conduct myself both in the kitchen and in life.

Farmers are my heroes! They work tirelessly to nourish. Ingredients are my muse; thinking about an heirloom tomato in season, picked from a friend’s garden, the first nettles of spring, fresh goat cheese and fresh green figs, these are the things that excite and inspire me in the kitchen.

What would be your biggest piece of advice for young chefs just beginning their career?

My advice for young culinarians: Be humble; if you love serving people, love cooking, and love the industry, there will be opportunities for you. And there is always something more to learn!

Fun fact about you:

I play in an Arabic musical ensemble as the percussionist and have been in the same group for the last 25 years.

Favorite Quote:

"Herbs deserve to be used much more liberally."