Here's a little-known fact about Pike Place Market's Steelhead Diner: The restaurant may not have opened if it weren't for Hurricane Katrina.
Husband-and-wife team Kevin and Terresa Davis met in Terresa's native Australia, where they both worked at a restaurant called Bacall's. In 1991, the couple moved to Kevin's Louisiana home, where worked as chef of the renowned Arnaud's in New Orleans.
Though they moved away in 1996, the couple held onto the house they owned in the city, renting it out while they hopped from Napa to Seattle for their restaurant industry careers. They watched on the news as New Orleans flooded in 2005′s Hurricane Katrina, assuming their beloved house was destroyed like so many others. They soon found out it was spared, so they sold it and used the profits to open Steelhead Diner.
The couple's background and passions are present on the menu at Steelhead. There are the inflections of Kevin's Cajun family history in the pecan pie and gumbo. And there are hints of their time in California. "You'll see dishes Kevin and I have collected over 20 years of traveling around the country and, of course, being in New Orleans," Terresa says.
But the Pacific Northwest features heavily, as does local and sustainable seafood, an important value at Steelhead. "We spend a lot of time emphasizing local, in addition to our own history," Terresa says.
Each week, Steelhead features a different local market producer on its menu. "As a chef," Terresa says of Kevin, "being surrounded by all these high-quality vendors is a dream."