• 'A Big, Warm Hug' at Portland's Andina

     
    FROM THE Fall 2022 ISSUE
     
    Photo credit: Anna Caitlin

Comfortable, familiar, and adorned with the color tones and tapestries of Peru, Portland’s Andina restaurant, housed in a historic onetime abattoir and warehouse in the city’s Pearl District, serves up modern Peruvian cuisine. 

The longtime Pacific Northwest eatery sources ingredients locally (including from the restaurant’s garden) and in direct trade with organic farmers in the Chincha Province of Peru. Many of the ingredients, including ají amarillo (a traditional yellow Peruvian hot pepper flavoring 80% of Andina’s dishes), are grown only in Peru, a country known for the original cultivation of numerous ajíen (hot peppers), potatoes, and many other tubers thousands of years ago.

“[Andina’s cuisine] is specifically focused on what is known as cocina Criolla [Creole cooking from the coast of Lima] and updates that with modern influences,” says Peter Platt, the founder and owner of Andina. “It reflects accurately the way Peruvians are cooking now and also tries to imagine how Peruvian chefs who we have worked with over the years would approach cooking in the Pacific Northwest with all the fresh ingredients and bounty that we have here.”

For those looking to gather, the restaurant has four private dining and event spaces, including three on the bottom floor that seat 16 to 35 people and a larger top-story space with room for 60 seated and 100 for cocktails. A three-story atrium topped with a skylight brings natural light into the restaurant’s many spaces. But it is Andina’s staff that really sets the restaurant apart.

“We pride ourselves on warmth and the polish of our service,” Platt notes. “That’s what we’re known for as much as for our food. It really feels like Latin-style hospitality. … Many customers have said, ‘When it comes to Andina, it really feels like I’m getting a big, warm hug.’”

As the story goes for millions around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic put plans and work on hold for Ray Maestas when it first hit in 2020. Promptly, the restaurant Maestas was working at closed, and he suddenly had extra time on his hands. 

 

Hyatt Regency Lake Washington appointed Victor Diaz as director of operations, bringing 15 years of hospitality experience at world renowned resorts as well as various other hotels in the Hyatt portfolio, according to the hotel’s announcement. 

 

From making her kids’ Kraken Halloween costumes inspired by Seattle’s National Hockey League team to chasing the sun in eastern Washington looking for spots to camp, Kelly Saling’s love for the Pacific Northwest is apparent in all aspects of her life—including her career. Promoted to senior vice president and chief sales officer at Visit Seattle in September 2021, Saling pulls from this personal appreciation to plug people into the region’s array of venues, natural landscapes, and everything in between.