Meet Bar Dojo's Sensei!

Chef Luis runs our kitchen with passion and has the hardware to prove it

From dishwasher all the way to Chef de Cuisine--and everything in between--Luis Brambila has hard-fought his way up through the restaurant ranks not unlike a seasoned fighter in a judo dojo. And just like a focused judoka (one who practices judo) always striving for that next new belt, Chef Luis has earned his awards too.

In late 2015, Dine Around Seattle named Chef Luis' Pan Seared Spiced King Salmon Best Local Entree, beating out regionally recognized restaurants like Flying Fish, Stumbling Goat, Barking Frog, and Toulouse Petit.

In February of this year, Chef Luis picked up the Best Cutting-Edge Chowder at the Edmonds Clam Chowder Cook Off (and, hey, our sister restaurant Salt & Iron nabbed first place for the "Traditional"category to boot). Kathy Passage of was one of the judges that day and said Luis' chowder contained, "plentiful potatoes, celery, onions and of course plump clams (making) this one a winner with the judges."

"I love this place. I feel like I’m at home, just trying new things every day, and always getting better." --Chef Luis Brambila

And finally in June, Chef Luis had the distinct honor to represent Bar Dojo in competition for the James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project™ (a nationwide contest and challenge to make a "blended burger" by blending ground meat with finely chopped, cultivated mushrooms to create a delicious, healthier, and more sustainable burger). While the cleverly named "Dojo Burger!" didn't win--just 5 out of 347 entrees were named finalists and not one of which was west of Texas <cough cough>--Luis' innovative take on a blended burger drew rave reviews and was featured (with its recipe) in the Seattle Times along with 2009 James Beard Award-winning chef Maria Hines of Seattle's Tilth, Golden Beetle, and Agrodolce.

Before we appointed him as our Chef de Cuisine, Luis worked at Edmonds' own Epulo Bistro (with Shubert Ho) for three years and then for our events branch, Shooby Doo Catering before grabbing the kitchen at Bar Dojo by the collar and making the menu his own.

If you want to see what deliciously creative and passionate plates Chef Luis and his team are prepping to dish out next, make reservations here for the upcoming Seattle Restaurant Week, coming up October 9-13 & 16-20.

by Michael Dempsey, contributing writer