Bruce Naftaly

Chef & Culinary Professor


In 1976, Bruce Naftaly arrived in Seattle to study singing with Carlyle Kelley. Having a passionate interest in French cooking, he took a position as dishwasher at the legendary Rosellini's Other Place restaurant that summer. He fell instantly in love with restaurant life and cooking and set out to learn all he could about flavor and technique. In 1977 he became head chef of Rosellini's Other Place, a meteoric rise by any standard and was hailed by the Seattle Weekly as "Seattle's most brilliant young chef."

In 1980 he opened restaurant and charcuterie Les Copains with, as the name suggests, a group of friends. By 1982 he made a move to head the kitchen at the newly opened Alexis Hotel and in March of 1985 he and a partner boldly opened Restaurant Le Gourmand in the then far-flung Seattle neighborhood of Ballard. In February 1998 chef Bruce Naftaly met his future wife Sara - by November of that year they began to collaborate at Le Gourmand.