Seattle has one of the most dynamic culinary scenes in the country, in part because the Pacific Northwest has an abundance of natural resources. Lakes, mountains and the Pacific Ocean all surround the lush landscape, and since Seattle is a port city, people from all over the world visit and lend their cultural influences.

All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar is located right in the heart of downtown Seattle. With so many other restaurants in the area, the team made sure to bring in a chef who would stand out among the competition. Introducing Benjamin Closson, a Midwesterner who is now the Executive Chef at All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar.

Chef Benjamin Closson

Where did you grow up?

St. Joseph, Michigan.

Why did you decide to become a chef?

I started in the industry when I was 14 — kind of by accident, just looking for some spending money. But I fell in love with the action, creativity, culture, and the family that is the industry, as well as being able to create edible beauty from a raw product.

Where and how were you trained?

Most of my training came on the job, but I did go to culinary school at Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, from 2002–2004.

Is there a chef you admire the most? Who and why?

Anthony Bourdain. He was a rockstar chef who viewed the industry as it was, is, and will be. I really appreciate his storytelling ability about the rigors of such an over-glamorized industry.

What trends are you noticing in the food scene and what do you do to stay current?

In the Seattle market, it’s all about responsibility — being real, and backing up what you say you’re doing.  Staying current for me is a mix of reading, dining, and engaging people that I meet about what they love to experience when they dine.

When are you happiest at work?

Listening to music and cooking, having fun with my team.

What do you like best about working as a chef?

I love being creative first and foremost, but I also love to teach and develop team members to do things they may not have thought they could do. I adore the farmers, fishermen, and foragers I get to work closely with, and enjoy showcasing the love and passion they have for their work through mine.

Autumn Stone Fruit Salad

Favorite thing about working at All Water Seafood and with Loews Hotels?

All Water and Loews has been a great experience for me so far because I am able to bring the people, products, and food I am passionate about to the table for our customers to experience and enjoy. Having the support and freedom to make it all come to life makes it a great experience for me.

What’s your favorite dish on the menu?

Our stuffed calamari and grill octopus dish is my favorite. Really simple but packed with flavor, and it allows our customers to reach outside of the box a little bit, while still feeling comfortable in doing so.

What’s your favorite thing to cook?

I don’t really have a favorite thing to cook; it really depends on my mood. I love cooking for my family — no matter what I’m preparing, we like to celebrate gathered around a table with great food, wine, friends and family. It’s a really special time.

Where do you like to eat on your days off?

A Vietnamese street food restaurant called Ba Bar that my wife and I love going to. It’s a Vietnamese-street-food-meets-Seattle-craft-cocktail bar. It’s delicious and very reasonably priced. Definitely our go-to.

What do you love about Seattle?

Seattle is a place where I can fulfill every piece of my being. Professionally, I have every product and season at my fingertips, and a great community of chefs constantly pushing each other to be better and think about how we interact in our community. And, personally, I have the Cascade Mountains to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and every outdoor adventure I can dream of just outside my back door. The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place and I feel lucky to have found it.

All Water Seafood & Oyster Bar

Loews Hotel 1000 is grateful to have such a passionate chef heading up its restaurant. For more information, please visit the restaurant’s website,, or call (206) 357-9455.

Hashtag Signature

Loews Hotels & Co.