A Michelin-starred chef will open a new restaurant this May in Camas, Washington. Peter Rudolph, known for his years at Madera in the Bay Area, decided to ditch the high-intensity restaurant world last year, packing his family in a van and traveling through North America. As Rudolph started to make his way to the Pacific Northwest, fellow California transplant and wine and restaurant industry alum Don Riedthaler encouraged him to come visit Camas — and surprised him with a tour of a downtown restaurant space.
“We had a couple of weeks of conversations, and... they were very serendipitous weeks,” Rudolph said. “Everything fell into place in a way that it felt like something we had to do together.” The chef decided to settle in the Pacific Northwest to open Hey Jack, which recently started advertising for servers and kitchen staff on Craigslist. The two are currently building the restaurant (literally), from the handmade curly maple tables to the renovation basics inside. “We’re kind of DIY people,” Rudolph said.
The menu itself is a far cry from the Madera kitchen, with its $130 tasting menu and Wagyu steaks; instead, Rudolph wants to play with salmon and steelhead from Washington and Oregon fishermen and lamb from Reister Farms in Washougal, Washington.
Menu specifics are hard to come by; Rudolph wants to keep the menu open-ended, picking out the day’s dishes at the morning farmer’s market. He has the shell in mind: five-ish starters, a few more entrees, three or four desserts, with the idea that customers will order “2.5 plates.”
“It’s not going to be expensive, it’s not going to be snooty, it’s going to be tight tables with good food where everyone knows each other,” Riedthaler said.
The team hopes to open by May 1, assuming everything goes according to plan. Stay tuned for menu updates and details.
• Hey Jack [Facebook]
• Hey Jack job listings [Craigslist]
• How one Bay Area chef left the kitchen and embraced #vanlife [The Six Fifty]