Chef Ruben Pina
Senior Personal Chef

Chef Ruben Piña, Jr

Growing up in San Antonio, Texas, I was inspired by my mother, grandfather and uncles who were always cooking for the family. After high school, I began cooking at the Hyatt Hill Country Resort. My focus there was on garde manger, smoking meats, and Tex-Mex cuisine.

Then, I moved to Seattle to pursue a formal education in French based culinary arts. This training included extensive education and experience in working with French pastries. Afterwards, I taught at some of the local colleges and worked at several different local restaurants in the Seattle area. There is a lot of creativity that goes into cooking and baking. During the holidays, I spend a lot of time baking so many Christmas cookies and other treats for friends and family.

I look forward to making wonderful, flavorful dishes for you and introducing you to new ideas and experiences in the kitchen. In particular, I love teaching people how to cook and bake. There are many topics I can present for Seattle cooking classes in the comforts of your home or a corporate lunch and learn.

Highlights from Ruben's Menus

  • Hazelnut Chicken with Quinoa Pilaf, Green Beans and Cherry Tomatoes 
  • Chicken Fajitas, Refried Pinto Beans, Mexican Rice and Homemade Pico de Gallo 
  • Blackened Salmon with Zucchini Noodles and Brown Rice
  • Honey Gingered Pork Tenderloin Served with Pan-Roasted Fingerling Potatoes and Grilled Asparagus 
  • Ginger Sesame Glazed Salmon and Green Beans Sautéed with Mushrooms and Caramelized Leeks 
  • Grilled Thai Chicken Skewers and Coconut Peanut Sauce with Sugar Snap Peas and Carrot Soba Noodles 
  • Blackened Salmon with Asian Garlic Green Beans and Steamed Rice 
  • Greek Gyro Meatballs and Tomatoes with Tzatziki Sauce and Naan Bread
  • Cheesy Veggie Frittata
  • Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash Boats with Chicken
  • Korean Sizzling Beef Lettuce Wraps with Quinoa Fried “Rice”
  • Fresh Croissants, Dinner Rolls, Pies, Cookies, Chocolate Truffles

More about Ruben

What is your favorite cuisine to cook?
I would say French cuisine is my favorite type of food to cook. I especially enjoy making French pastries.

Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?
Julia Child: she was such an innovator by bringing baking and French cuisine into American homes via television.

Antony Bourdain introduced a new perspective on the culinary industry and made it an honorable and respected profession

What food trends are you noticing? Thoughts on yay or nay?
I think that trends come and go; “what was old, is new”. I remember reading about how Sous Vide cooking was all the rage in the 80’s. In the 90’s everything was made from scratch ingredients. Now sous vide is making a comeback with better technology, but at the end of the day you’re boiling food in a bag. I’m always willing to learn a new technique.

What is one recipe or skill you think everyone should have in the kitchen? 
Being able to control your heat is a very important skill everyone should have.

What three ingredients can you not live without?
Butter, garlic, and cumin

What’s one fun fact about you?
I enjoy woodworking and LOVE cutting the grass.

When are you happiest at work as a Personal Chef?
Making nourishing meals for my clients. I also enjoy sharing any knowledge concerning baking and culinary dishes. I love to answer any questions my clients may have.

Favorite Quote:

"Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing you will be successful."

E.G., Ballard
E.G., Ballard
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"Chef Ruben has been great with communication and cooking delicious and healthy meals for our family. He works with us so we get meals that suit everyone in the family from the picky eater to the vegetarian kid with food allergies to the guy whose diet is dictated by needing healing foods that maintain his appetite. We are very, very pleased!"
M.M., Laurelhurst
M.M., Laurelhurst
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"We were so excited to have Chef Ruben start. The food that he made was healthy and so flavorful - it completely exceeded our expectations! He was very friendly and left the kitchen clean."
E.C., Shoreline
E.C., Shoreline
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"We utilized Honest to Goodness for weekly services to help us survive having a new baby and a toddler at home - we really loved how much easier everything was when someone else was doing the shopping, the meal prep, the cooking, the cleaning. Our favorite dishes from Chef Ruben [were] his lamb chops and steak. His banana bread and brownies [were] our son's favorites."
B.L., Seattle
B.L., Seattle
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"Chef Ruben was great. Everything went so smoothly thanks to Ruben's attention to detail and help. We hope to work with you again in the future."
I.L., Seattle
I.L., Seattle
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"We've been very pleased with Ruben. His menus always have good options and he accommodates our preferences (swapping out one ingredient for another, changing a side dish, etc). He is courteous and professional and we're happy with the service overall!"

See Chef Ruben in Action with this 3-Minute Meal Prep Video