Chef / Owner
Maria Hines has been turning heads in the culinary world for over two decades as an ambassador for organic and sustainable food. The James Beard Award-winner has two critically acclaimed restaurants in Seattle: Tilth and Agrodolce.
In 2005, she was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s 10 Best New Chefs and went on to open her first restaurant, Tilth, in September 2006, which remains among one of the nation’s top culinary destinations. In 2008, Frank Bruni of the New York Times named Tilth one of the top 10 best new restaurants in the country. Maria competed in “Top Chef Masters” in 2010 and later that year appeared on Food Network’s “Iron Chef America” and won the “Battle of Pacific Cod.” In 2012, Maria opened Agrodolce with a focus on Southern Italian and Sicilian fare. Adding to her list of accolades, Maria was a semifinalist for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Chef in 2013.
She is a leader in the restaurant and sustainability community, donating her time to such causes as James Beard Foundation sustainability programs, American Chef Corps, Puget Sound Food Council, food equality for low-income families and other food system advocacy. She is a founding member of Seattle Restaurant Week, on the advisory council for the Mountaineers and previously served on the board for PCC Farmland Trust.
With her dedication to local, organic unwavering, both of her restaurants are certified organic by the highly esteemed, Oregon Tilth. Her long-standing commitment to use seasonal and organic Northwest products has blended together a personal and professional passion with New American cuisine at Tilth and Southern Italian and Sicilian fare at Agrodolce.
Executive Chef, Tilth
Joel‘s meticulous ingredient sourcing and dedication to organic cuisine make him a natural fit at Tilth. His technique is grounded in his time at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He further defined his culinary style working for several years in New York at Eleven Madison Park, where he first met Maria; followed by Tabla with Chef Floyd Cardoz. His culinary journey also had him doing stints at several fine dining restaurants in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada, before joining Tilth in 2014.
From the time he was young and cooking with his grandfather, food meant family, drawing people together and being transported to a different time and place. This notion, along with the energy and creativity of a restaurant kitchen that results in making guests happy, is what drives Joel to cook to his full potential at Tilth.
While fine dining restaurants have dominated his career path, his expertise at home lies with his well-used collection of six different grills and smokers. Joel’s two young sons and golden retriever also keep him busy with hikes while personal time finds him flipping through culinary books such as “The Flavor Bible” and “On Food and Cooking.”
General Manager Tilth Restaurant
Razz studied History at the University of Washington and after 25 years he returned to the UW to complete his degree as a member of the Class of 2015. A lifelong restaurant person, he has worked in both the corporate and small owner setting and has been the General Manager at Tilth since 2014. In his spare time he enjoys organic gardening with his husband Hong, working on projects around the house, traveling and cheering on the Seahawks and Mariners. He is also a connoisseur of "dad jokes."
Executive Chef, Agrodolce
Abby’s culinary direction is inspired by the farm-fresh bounty and a belief grounded in the farmer-chef relationship. Abby first entered the Maria Hines Restaurants family at Tilth, then moved on to open Agrodolce before being promoted to executive chef in 2016. Having cooked in Italy and attended the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners, Abby’s talents are particularly well-suited for the restaurant’s Southern Italian and Sicilian cuisine.
Abby cooks to bring out the ingredients’ natural flavors in a unique and delicious approach, experimenting with new flavor, texture and even color combinations. The source of the ingredients is of the utmost importance and Abby works directly with the farmers to understand the energy and devotion put into growing the best products possible, making her job “ tasty easy.”
Abby’s time away from the restaurant kitchen is often filled with riding motorcycles. While unwinding from a long day, wine glass in hand, Abby stays busy fixing up her first vintage bike.
General Manager | Agrodolce Restaurant
As the son of a climate and toxicology professor, you could say Alex has an inherent desire for a more sustainable future.
His years of working in hospitality and fine dining have allowed him to bear witness to the inspiring effect a plate can have on a patron. Furthermore he is encouraged to educate about the importance of everything that goes into a dish's preparation.
Merging his formal background in design with his passion for food, Alex is committed to the challenge of bringing an organic, sustainable food culture to all. A true believer that most problems can be solved through our food choices.
Catering Director of Maria Hines Catering
Kurt started working in restaurants at the age of 13 working from a busboy to server where the passion for food and the art of customer service began. Working with Maria Hines since 2014, he has developed a passion for local, organic and sustainable food. Today, Kurt now leads the catering department, assuring each client has a delightful event and while continuing the company's commitment to organic sustainable food practices.