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Monday, Mar. 30, 2009

Seattle group hires ex-Walla Walla chef

Walla Walla's loss is Bellevue's gain.

Acclaimed chef Mike Davis, whose 26 Brix was among several in Walla Walla restaurants to close this winter, has been hired by the Seattle-based Heavy Restaurant Group.

Davis will head up the culinary program at three restaurants scheduled to open later this year in the Bellevue Towers -- Purple Cafe & Wine Bar, Barrio, and Bliss.

Davis, 35, twice served as a guest chef at the famed James Beard House in New York City, and the wine list at 26 Brix was heavy on Walla Walla content. Davis was featured in Wine Press Northwest as a Match Maker chef in 2007, shortly after he temporarily closed 26 Brix during the 2006 holiday season.

He first opened 26 Brix in 2004 after serving as executive chef at The Salish Lodge in Snoqualmie.

If Heavy's new restaurants are anything like its more established sister properties, Davis will be working with a lot of Northwest wines. Each year, Purple Cafe and Wine Bar — with locations in Kirkland, Seattle and Woodinville — pops up on Wine Press Northwest's annual wine list competition.