Raised in Washington State's Snoqualmie Valley, Joe Ritchie’s first job was harvesting local blueberries for ten cents a pound. A childhood surrounded by dairies, orchards, and rivers full of trout led him to enroll in and graduate from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute in 2001.
“I love the instant gratification you get from cooking; the intense challenge it provides and how it has let me develop a deep appreciation for all sorts of ingredients.”
He headed back to the Northwest in 2002, to a sous chef position at The Herbfarm, where he established himself as a skilled chef under Jerry Traunfeld.
In 2006 he moved to Grouse Mountain Grill, a fine dining restaurant at Colorado’s luxury Beaver Creek resort. In 2009, Ritchie became the executive chef at Cave B Inn at SageCliffe in Quincy, Washington, where he worked closely with the winemaker as he created his menus. In 2010, he rejoined Traunfeld at Poppy, Seattle’s award-winning thali restaurant, where he tried his hand at micro farming with a vegetable garden, berry patch and a flock of chickens. After a jaunt down to Healdsburg, California’s two-Michelin star restaurant Cyrus, he returned to facilitate the reopening and rebranding of Ray’s Boathouse.
Ritchie joined the Ethan Stowell Restaurant team in September of 2013, as the opening chef at Mkt. He’s garnered many accolades for the tiny restaurant – three stars from The Seattle Times, who called it “simple yet sumptuous,” as well as glowing reviews from The Stranger and Seattle Weekly.
Ritchie finds culinary inspiration in both urban and rural environments. When he’s not in the kitchen he’s likely out on his sister’s organic farm in Ellensburg, Washington, cruising around the state on his motorcycle, or on a culinary adventure with his wife.