By Lindsay Peyton
White Center resident Mariah Kmitta never pictured herself working as a chef – even though she had been building a resume in restaurant kitchens since she was a teenager.
Still, she is pleased that her path led her to where she is today – standing in the kitchen alongside Hajime Sato, owner of West Seattle’s famed sustainable sushi destination Mashiko.
Originally from California, Kmitta moved to Seattle with her family when she was 7 years old.
They settled in Burien and Kmitta’s first job was in a neighborhood sandwich shop, followed by a pizza shop and another restaurant before she landed a gig at Salty’s.
Kmitta pursued a degree in graphic design at Western Washington University – but she continued working seasonally at Salty’s, even working as a pastry chef for a while at the waterfront bistro.
In 2000, soon after graduating college, Kmitta spoke to a friend who had recently been hired at Mashiko.
“She called and asked me to help out for a couple of weeks, and I thought it would be fun,” Kmitta said.More ›