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Lindsay Peyton
Mariah Kmitta at Mashiko.

Chef Mariah Kmitta creates art on a plate

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.

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