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Our Team

Tina Christiani - HR Manager

Tina Christiani - HR Manager

Mark Stelmach - Sous Chef

Mark Stelmach - Sous Chef

Jocelyn Bachmann - Boathouse Manager

Jocelyn Bachmann - Boathouse Manager

Chip Croteau - Boathouse Manager/Wine Director

Chip Croteau - Boathouse Manager/Wine Director

Amanda Viereck - Director of Catering

Amanda Viereck - Director of Catering

Paul Duncan – Executive Chef

Paul Duncan – Executive Chef

Steve Hauch – Executive Sous Chef

Steve Hauch – Executive Sous Chef

Jose Gonzalez – Sous Chef

Jose Gonzalez – Sous Chef

Gustavo Guerra – Catering Sous Chef

Gustavo Guerra – Catering Sous Chef

Doug Zellers – General Manager

Doug Zellers – General Manager

Darla Marchi – Lead Cafe & Beverage Manager

Darla Marchi – Lead Cafe & Beverage Manager

Karen Breen - Restaurant Manager

Karen Breen - Restaurant Manager

Emmett Niland – Restaurant Manager

Emmett Niland – Restaurant Manager

Rebecca Venturi – Private Event Sales Manager

Rebecca Venturi – Private Event Sales Manager

Tom Olsson - Controller

Tom Olsson - Controller

Tina Christiani - HR Manager Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Ray's: 
I haven't been here a full year yet, so I would have to say July.  The sun doesn't set until after 9pm, the view from the deck is amazing and the food is perfect. There's a ton of happy energy in the air, and I enjoy seeing guests and our staff enjoying the quintessential Seattle summer atmosphere

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:
Volunteering for the Jr. League of Seattle, The Swedish Foundation or Medical Teams International,  going on adventures with my husband David and our four legged sons, Tony and Macaroni, or screaming my head off with friends and family at the Clink -  GO HAWKS!!

The best job I ever had was:
Working in private dining for Tavern on the Green and the Russian Tea Room. It was my first real experience in high-end, high volume, full blown event planning and it was like banquet boot camp. Learning how weeks and sometimes months of planning goes into a 4 hour event is incredible.

The coolest place I've ever lived:
New York City. It felt like the entire world was smooshed into one big city. Total culture overload, and access to extraordinary food 24 hours a day.

One thing you really need to know about Ray's:
A lot of thought and careful planning goes into the food we serve our guests. Quality, creativity and sustainable resources are always a top priority.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
On a family vacation. My parents used to take my sister Lorna and I on trips every year and I have nothing but fond memories of them.

  • My first restaurant job was a hostess at Cucina! Cucina! I had to wear a necklace that would inspire people to talk to me.
  • I was a Maitre'd at Wolfgang Puck's Obachine in Downtown Seattle - my first upscale restaurant job.
  • I worked as a coat check girl at various high end restaurants in New York City and used to try on the fancy furs that came my way.
  • I worked for Windows on the World on the 107th floor of the World Trade center and I was seven minutes late to work on September 11th.
  • I was a catering lead at a private dining club called The Ruins in lower Queen Anne.
  • I spent almost 12 years as the Director of Human Resources for Wild Ginger and The Triple Door, and still love the food there.

Mark Stelmach - Sous Chef Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Ray’s:
September, always a beautiful month in Seattle.

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:
Golfing. I never seem to get any better, however. I also like to record shop and I like not knowing what treasure one is going to find on any given day. I like to go antiquing as well.

The best job I ever had was:
This is a tough one. I'm going to go all the way back to sixth and seventh grade when I worked for the local little league's city program, most days I got paid to just play baseball.

The coolest place I've ever lived:
That's a fairly easy one. I'm from Wisconsin and it's a great place to grow up. Go Packers!

One thing you really need to know about Ray's:
It's an extremely busy place. There is a lot of orchestrated work that goes on in the back to ensure that customers receive a top notch experience.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
Playing in as many little league baseball games in a day as possible.  I'd throw some skateboarding in there as well.

And some fun facts about you and where you've worked prior to Ray's:

  • I went to the University of Wisconsin and received a BA in secondary English Education.
  • I've been cooking since I was sixteen years old, including during my time in college.
  • I moved to Seattle in October of 1996 and worked at the Washington Athletic Club for 19.5 years before joining Ray’s as a sous chef.

Jocelyn Bachmann - Boathouse Manager Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Rays: 

June because the days are the longest and we have more hours to enjoy the beautiful view.

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably: 

At home reading, working in the garden, cooking, canning or out walking the dog.

My favorite dish at Ray's is: 

King Crab. It's the ultimate luxury.

The coolest place I've ever lived was: 

Montana. We spent all summer camping, boating, fishing and riding horses and all winter skiing at Bridger Bowl, just 15 minutes from our house. I love Big Sky Country!

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it: 

With my grandparents. Growing up I spent at least 1 month a summer staying with them. We would go to the pool, take long bike rides, hang out at the family appliance store playing in the electronics department (LaserDiscs were fascinating!) and spend long hours cooking and baking. Those are some of my favorite childhood memories.

Chip Croteau - Boathouse Manager/Wine Director Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Rays:

July. Long days of sunlight shining down on the water leading into a 9-10pm sunset over the mountains?  I think yes!

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:

Seeing live music in a city with so much of it to offer.

My favorite dish at Ray's is:

It changes every day but if I HAD to choose, it would either be the Ahi Tataki or the Smoked Sablefish or our house cured and smoked bacon or our...well, it's all pretty darn tasty.

The best job I ever had (besides Ray's!) was:

Running a singer/songwriter open mic night for a couple years in Belfast, Northern Ireland.  They paid me handsomely to run a large soundboard that I was not qualified to run, organize the play times of talented musicians from all over the world and play a few songs myself whenever I felt like it.

The coolest place I've ever lived was:

If not Belfast or Seattle (we're really lucky here), possibly Burlington, VT.  It's cool as in "cold", i.e. "freezing" in the winter, but also stunningly beautiful with charm up the wazoo.

The one thing you really need to know about Ray's is:

The culture of family, friendship and camaraderie is so real and genuine.  The team that runs Ray's is just wonderful and it's reflected in the food we serve and hospitality we provide.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:

In bouncy castles.  Unless they make those for adults in which case, please direct me to the nearest one.

More About Chip:

- I received my MA in Social Anthropology from Queens University in 2005 but passed on my chance to go for my PhD to work in restaurants professionally, a decision that brought me to Seattle about 9 years ago.

- I'm a total music nerd:  For example, I've played in an acoustic Tool cover band and have seen Phish more times than I should probably admit.

- Passing my sommelier certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2011 was one of the more stressful and gratifying experiences I'd had in years.  The gift it gave me is a life long passion for wine: it's history, geology, geography, the people that make it and the delicious juice that is the end result of all these contributing forces.

- I spend WAY too much money on my whiskey and wine collection...fancy a glass?

Amanda Viereck - Director of Catering Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Rays:

All 12 months are amazing! You cannot beat this view, it consumes you.

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:

Keeping busy with my family and daughter. She’s a toddler, so every day is an adventure!

My favorite dish at Ray's is:

It's hard to choose! Everything is thoughtfully sourced and prepared with precision. Our culinary team is fantastic.

The best job I ever had (besides Ray's!) was:

I consulted on the opening team for a dinner and music theatre in San Diego. I love the excitement and challenges that go into new ventures.

The coolest place I've ever lived was:

I grew up in Washington and feel extremely lucky to have done so. Everything I could want is right in my backyard - the desert, the mountains, lakes and my favorite coastal beaches. The natural beauty of our state is unmatched.

The one thing you really need to know about Ray's is:

How genuinely committed the team is to each guest experience. Whether it’s a small work meeting, a large dinner or a wedding, the team anticipates your needs and is always a step ahead.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:

Enjoying the summer at my grandparents' home on the beach in Buoy Bay, Orcas Island. I learned to fish, set crab pots, dig for clams, grow vegetables and then watch it all come together on the dinner table!

Paul Duncan – Executive Chef Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Ray’s:
I am fairly new to the Seattle area and have not had the opportunity to experience Ray’s during every season. However the first time I visited Ray’s as a customer was April. It was a beautiful day, one of those first warmish days in the Northwest where everyone seems to be off work in the middle of the week. We sat outside upstairs, the view was gorgeous, the atmosphere perfect and I couldn't have imagined a more perfect place for an afternoon lunch.

When I’m not at Ray’s, I’m probably:
On the golf course or somewhere very near to water. I like to explore the surrounding islands with friends or take a long hike.

The best job I ever had was:
The first job I ever had. I was 14 and worked for a gentlemen who ran a Jewish deli in Portland, OR. On the weekends we would go to the Saturday market and sell Kosher hot dogs from a New York style hot dog cart. We also sold hand-made knish filled with potato and broccoli. It was my true first exposure to food and the preparation of it (outside of my mother's kitchen). It was new and exciting and at 14 I could eat all the Hebrew Nationals I wanted….

The coolest place I’ve ever lived:
The island of Maui. I love the water  and the weather. The people on the island are the best and I made some of the greatest connections of my life there.

One thing you really need to know about Ray’s:
I have discovered that Ray’s is more than a restaurant, it’s a community. People have passion for this place and it shows, from the staff to the guests.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
With my family and friends at our beach house in Cannon Beach, OR. Playing in the waves of the Pacific and at the shoreline for some drip castles. The water is far too cold for me now.

  • I began my career at 21 working at the then-newly opened Widmer Brothers Brewing Company.
  •  I worked as the lead cook for the “Restaurant of the Year 1996” Assaggio in Portland OR, where I found my love for Italian cuisine.
  •  I was featured as one of Portland’s “Best Young Chefs” by Portland Monthly, as Chef de Cuisine at Tabla Mediterranean Bistro in Portland.
  •  I moved to Maui in 2008 to try my hand at the corporate side of the restaurant industry, serving as Chef of the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Lahaina. From there I moved to the fine dining restaurant at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua .
  •  Prior to Ray's, I was Head Chef of the Hi-Life in Ballard.

Steve Hauch – Executive Sous Chef Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Ray's:
May is a great month. The energy at Rays is kick'n. It feels fresh with new - new ideas, new faces and positive attitudes.

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:
When I'm in town, riding my bike and eating out are the best. Otherwise I'm usually trying to catch the ferry boat on the way to the coast. My favorite time is in the water surfing or on the mountain riding the snow.

My favorite dish at Ray's is:
Bacon Cheese Burgers! I know we are a seafood house, but burgers trump all!

The best job I ever had (besides Ray's!) was:
The Ram's Head at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. I worked in a kitchen that was originally a wine cellar that had been converted. Tiny. I used to snowboard all day and then change in the bathroom at work. We never complained about our 32 hour limit work week.

The coolest place I've ever lived was:
Breckenridge, Colorado. In the hot tub, there was a million dollar view of the mountain. Bluebird days, every day, and riding all day then off to work.

The one thing people really need to know about Ray's is:
This place is an ANIMAL! It's alive. Just when you think it's all mayhem, you stare at the water and the mountains, and that's all out the door. You'll be lost. So many times I see guests and co-workers walk all the way to the window and become lost. There is an amazing feeling you get when you are here and we want to share it with you.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
I would call my buddy up and go ride bikes. We'd probably get muddy and go swim the lake later. Maybe play some Legos. No worries.

  • Working as a cook was a great job as I moved around a bit in my younger years. I worked at several types of restaurants from fast food to dinners, to a mezzanine.  I finally found Ray's, working in the Cafe pantry in 2003.
  • After working the line in the Cafe, I was moved to the Boathouse line where I then explored new techniques of fine dining.
  • In 2007 I graduated from Shoreline Community College with a Technical Degree in Automotive. I love cars so I moved forward with my new career becoming ASE certified in several areas in automotive repair.
  • In 2009, I proudly returned to Rays where I was a Lead cook in the Boathouse. Later in 2011 I left the line and became the Purchaser to seek out the best quality products for our guests to enjoy. In 2016 I was promoted to Executive Sous Chef.
  • I really like to share the knowledge I have learned from my peers to my peers. I feel even more eager to learn more.

Jose Gonzalez – Sous Chef Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Ray's is:
December because I really enjoy the holidays with my friends and family.

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:
Enjoying time with my family or playing basketball (my favorite sport!) with friends.

My favorite dish at Ray's is:
Any of our salmon entrees, because I just love the freshness and flavor of that fish!

The best job I ever had (besides Ray's!) was:
The Nordstrom Cafe, where I made many good friends.

The coolest place I've ever lived was:
Seattle, where I've lived for more than 18 years. I really like the rain and it's just a fantastic place to live.

The one thing people really need to know about Ray's:
We have excellent food, great service and we're the best in town!

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
Playing with my friends, and helping my mom, dad and brothers.

  • Prior to Ray's, I worked six years as Sous Chef at the Daily Grill in the Sheraton Hotel
  • I served 7 years as Sous Chef for Nordstrom Café
  • I have fine dining experience as a line cook at the Metropolitan Grill and the Brooklyn Seafood and Steak House

Gustavo Guerra – Catering Sous Chef Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Ray's:
September. There's great weather, it's still warm, but you can feel the transition to Fall. Plus it is my wedding anniversary!

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:
Spending time with my kids, reading, or cooking for my family.

My favorite dish at Ray's is:
The halibut; I love that fish!

The best job I ever had (besides Ray's!) was:
Tendrils at Cave B Winery. It's such a great place, especially in the summer. They have their own small farm where they harvest the produce the same day it's used in the dining room - what a great experience.

The coolest place I've ever lived was:
Seattle. This city is beautiful and can always surprise you with a great restaurant to discover on any corner.

The one thing people really need to know about Ray's is:
We provide a great environment to enjoy fresh and delicious fish.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
Playing with my friends in the streets of my hometown in Mexico. 

  • I joined the Ray's team in January 2013 during the remodel/reopening of the Boathouse
  • Previously I worked at Poppy Restaurant for 13 months, which was my first job ever in Seattle
  • I worked 2.5 years at Cave B Winery, my first fine dining position, where I learned a lot about wine and food pairings
  • When I lived in Temecula, CA, I spent three years working at the Original Roadhouse steak house.
  • I studied Gastronomy at the Instituto Gastronomico Español, the Spanish Culinary Institute.

Doug Zellers – General Manager Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Rays:
June. It will always be remembered as my anniversary month here and when I became part of the Ray’s family.

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:
At home in my kitchen cooking up something creative with my daughter Savannah.

My favorite dish at Ray's is:
Mediterranean mussels in Thai red curry and coconut milk broth.  This exemplifies my philosophy on food: Start with great ingredients, get great results.

The best job I ever had (besides Ray's!) was:
Manager at The Wild Ginger working with Seattle’s elite service and culinary crew.

The coolest place I've ever lived was:
Seattle!  Specifically my current home in Ballard. Built in 1924 with a view of the Olympics and Sound. A true Ballard original.

The one thing you really need to know about Ray's is:
How caring and outgoing our Team Members are.  I am inspired by their commitment to service each and every day.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
Getting to know my grandparents better. There is so much to learn from our past that remains essential to our success in the future.

  • I started in the food and beverage industry at the age of 13 in my parent’s Italian family style restaurant. I had so much fun I never wanted to do anything else.
  • I received the Walter Clore Honorarium from the Washington Wine Commission for my dedication to the advancement of the Washington Wine Industry.
  • I proudly serve as Chef du Sommelier for the Auction of Washington Wines that benefits Children’s Hospital and sit on the South Seattle Community College Hospitality Advisory Committee.
  • I have 2 children – Peyton and Savannah - and I am married to a true hospitality professional, Marney.

Darla Marchi – Lead Cafe & Beverage Manager Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Rays is:
December. I love the holidays and especially watching the Christmas Ships as they pass Ballard. The bright lights on the pitch black water is a fantastic sight.

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:
Seeing what Martha Stewart is up to; I am obsessed!

The best job I ever had (besides Ray's!):
When I used to bartend at art gallery openings. It was an unique experience to mingle with iconic artists that I wouldn't have otherwise had the opportunity to meet.

The coolest place I've ever lived was:
Hawaii. The notion of "Island Time" is truly spectacular. If I could only wear flip flops the rest of my life it would be fine with me.

The one thing you really need to know about Ray's is that:
Everyone here is genuinely passionate about making sure our guests have a positive experience.

If I could be a kid again for one day:
I would spend it Trick-or-treating! Dressing up in a costume and getting tons of candy…it doesn't get any better than that.

  • In addition to working in restaurants, I was a photography producer and managed campaigns for magazines, websites, and billboards.
  • I was the manager at Cobras and Matadors in West Hollywood during its heyday, catering to celebrities and entertainment icons.
  • Culinary is a huge passion of mine and I love and creating new recipes at home and cooking for friends and family.
  • I was sure I would grow up to be Mrs. Han Solo.
  • I worked on Lake Hood, Alaska, which is the busiest seaplane airport in the world.

Karen Breen - Restaurant Manager Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Ray's:
November. I love the fall chill in the air, the excitement of the upcoming holidays, and the amazing sunsets.

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:
Checking out a new restaurant with my friends- Seattle always has great new places popping up! It's hard to keep up with but I try! If I'm not out and about, I'm at home cooking.

My favorite dish at Ray's is:
The Smoked Sablefish. Sablefish is so tender and delicious, and the smoke on it imparts such a wonderful heartiness.

The best job I ever had (besides Ray's!) was: 
Working for the LA Dodgers at their Spring training camp. I got to meet some amazing people including a lot of Hall of Fame baseball players.

The coolest place I've ever lived was:
Seattle. I've lived in many East Coast states, but I really feel like I found my home here in Seattle. The water, the mountains, and the city create the perfect scene.

The one thing people really need to know about Ray's is:
How passionate and dedicated the team is! We really enjoy our jobs here and care about the guests' experience. Our co-workers are like family.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
Reliving the summers I had growing up in New York - neighborhood hide and seek games, bike riding, catching fireflies!

  • I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.
  • Most of my jobs have been in the kitchen, but I almost always had a serving job as well. I feel it gives you a greater understanding of the business if you experience both sides.
  • I was a Personal Chef for a while in New England, that was such a fun job!
  • I spent a summer in college studying abroad in Germany where I focused on European cooking and wine, and pairing the two.
  • Prior to joining the FOH team at Ray's I was a line cook here for 5 years- 3 years working in the Cafe and 2 years on the Boathouse line.

Emmett Niland – Restaurant Manager Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Ray's:
May. I love the feeling of everybody gearing up for summer when the deck starts to open and the weather starts to get nice! The energy and anticipation are contagious as the the days start to get longer and the sunsets get prettier.

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:
At Safeco Field or Century Link Field cheering out my favorite local sports teams! I also love to hike, play baseball, collect vinyl music, play the piano and have campfires in my back yard.

My favorite dish at Ray's is:
Sablefish in Sake Kasu. Always cooked to perfection with delicious scallion oil and honey soy sauce

The best job I ever had (besides Ray's!) was:
Staff reporter for the Abilene Reporter News. When I was in college is worked for the local news paper covering college and high school sports. I got paid to watch and write about sports!

The coolest place I've ever lived was:
Texas. I love where I’m from and Ballard is my favorite place in the world, but I learned so much about myself and where I’m from by living in a small town in the south.

The one thing people really need to know about Ray's is:
We have something for every situation. Whether you want a intimate romantic evening, a casual get together with family and friends, or a fully catered event, Ray’s will fill your belly with deliciousness.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
Playing baseball. I’ve played baseball my entire life. Nothing made me happier as a kid than a big win in a little league game.

  •  I started working in restaurants when I was 6 in a restaurant that my parents owned in Magnolia. Since then I’ve worked in 4 restaurants and Ray’s is by far my favorite!
  • I am a second generation Ray’s employee. Both of my parents used to work at Ray’s.
  • I’m a middle kid with two amazing sisters and have lived in Ballard since 3rd grade.
  • I graduated from Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas where I studied advertising and public relations.
  • I played baseball at two different colleges and won a regional championship in 2011

Rebecca Venturi – Private Event Sales Manager Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Rays is:
October. The sunsets in the fall are nonpareil, lending to the perfect backdrop for a serene evening.

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably: 
Restoring old furniture, reading, or inciting random dance intermissions with my son.

My favorite dish at Ray's is:
The Crab Cakes!

The best job I ever had (besides Ray's!) was:  
Being a mom has always been the most humbling and rewarding job.

The coolest place I've ever lived was:  
Walla Walla.

The one thing people really need to know about Ray's is:  
Our team is dedicated to perfecting the guest experience by making each visit a memorable one!

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
Gallivanting through the woods pretending to be competing in the “Hunger Games”

  • Prior to joining Ray's, I worked six years in fine dining service at Palisade Restaurant
  • While attending Whitman College, I began my restaurant career working at the acclaimed The Marc restaurant
  • I was the lead server for two years at Mixtura Restaurant (Kirkland), and was responsible for wine inventory and training all front of house staff
  • I originally wanted to be a journalist and have won many writing awards including the Young Writers Award in college.
  • I have my cosmetology license and still participate in hair shows.

Tom Olsson - Controller Close Window   X

My favorite month of the year at Rays:
October! Still plenty of sunlight, but temperatures are mild, and it’s really nice to be outside.

When I'm not at Ray's, I'm probably:
Either out on my road bike or at the track racing cars.

My favorite dish at Ray's is:
Tuna Nicoise salad in the Café. Absolutely delicious, and lots of veggies!

The best job I ever had (besides Ray's!) was:
I’ve worked at only three places in my life,  and Ray’s is the best!

The coolest place I've ever lived was:
Germany in the early 80’s when my Dad was stationed there for the Army. How awesome is it to grow up travelling all over Europe experiencing the history, food, and culture?

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
Still acting like a kid now! Pretty sure I’m still doing the same dumb stuff now that I was doing then.

  • I'm an Army brat, so I’m not really from anywhere, but we got to live all over the U.S., plus Europe and Korea when I was growing up
  • I'm a proud University of Washington grad - Go Huskies!
  • I've been at Ray’s since 1994, and I started as a cook in the Banquet kitchen.
  • I'm a senior driving instructor with the local BMW Club and race a BMW in a group called Pro3 in the International Conference of Sports Car Clubs
  • I met my wife Regina in college and we've been married since 1997