Chef Jason Wilson
Chef Jason Wilson’s Modern American Cuisine has garnered award and notice from across the nation and beyond as his restaurant, CRUSH, has grown over the past 6 years. Named “Best Chef Northwest 2010” from the James Beard Foundation and one of Food & Wines “Best New Chefs 2006,” Jason continues to innovate and lead the culinary movement in the Northwest.
A passion for the highest quality ingredients and the very best techniques are the foundation for his cuisine. Embracing a modern sensibility, he works closely with farmers, growers and producers in the Northwest to find the best seasonal offerings. The Monterey Bay Aquarium recognized Jason’s commitment to sustainable seafood in 2010 as a leader in the industry during their “Cooking for Solutions” gala event.
Jason’s culinary experience spans 20 years and many countries. A graduate of the California Culinary Academy, Jason sought out great chefs to learn from: Albert Tordjman (Flying Saucer), Michael Mina (Aqua), and Jeremiah Tower (Stars). Under Jeremiah Tower in San Francisco he found mentorship and built a strong foundation of skills. Following Tower to Singapore, Jason worked as Executive Sous Chef at Stars Singapore working and cooking throughout Southeast Asia. After 2 years Jason landed in Seattle, working for Stars Seattle, where he met his wife and business partner Nicole. Together they opened CRUSH in 2005.
Nicole’s vision for CRUSH started when she first found the 1903 Tudor property. Her 12 years of Commercial Real Estate management and sales experience gave her the business skills to strike out and create a place that captured her sensibilities & spirit; in place, design, quality and experience. She saw the tradition & craftsmanship that was throughout the building in the original woods, windows and classic design. Her vision for a space based on hospitality, inviting rooms and inspired foods took shape through a collaborative design with Interior Designer Shelley Buurman and a 16 month remodel. Nicole’s business acumen has allowed her to establish a restaurant that has grown to become one of the region’s best. Her graciousness, overwhelming sense of hospitality and ability to build service teams who embody her vision can be felt in each step of your dining experience.
Lori-Ann Masaki grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she discovered baking at a young age. She enjoyed making cookies, cakes, brownies, and other delicious desserts. Masaki attended Southern Oregon University where she obtained a Business degree. She worked at a Public Accounting firm for 4 years until she decided to follow her passion and attend Le Cordon Blue in Portland to study pastry.
Upon completing culinary school Lori worked in Portland until December 2010, when she moved to Seattle to begin working at CRUSH. Her approach to desserts is to present familiar flavors in new and unique ways. She uses traditional and nontraditional techniques, as well as fresh, local produce to create light yet decadent desserts.