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.