Keta Newhouse-Benson is the executive chef of Fiasco, a casual neighborhood Italian restaurant in Seattle. The adored dining spot is known for its welcoming service, comforting food and well-crafted drinks. Learn about Keta Newhouse-Benson…
Hometown: I was raised in La Crosse, WI. Yes, I am a proud cheesehead!
First job: My first job was a deli attendant at a local grocery store.
Favorite ways to spend your time in WA: I enjoy being with my kids and exploring the city and nature. Hiking and going to the beaches have become an escape for me to let go of all the stress in everyday life and just appreciate what we are surrounded by. Shooting hoops! Checking out new and favorite restaurants has been something I’ve really missed since the pandemic started.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment in my career has been Fiasco. Being challenged in a new role, a new restaurant with no probable future and being successful has been a huge win for me! Also, getting through this pandemic in an industry that is cracking at the seams and helping grow a restaurant group to a profitable future.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Raising three kids alone and still have a career as an executive chef.
Advice to someone who is pursuing a career path in what you do: My advice for anyone seeking a career in the kitchen is to always remain humble no matter how much you know or can do or handle. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, train your palate to identify flavors and how to balance the flavor of a dish. Be ready to get knocked down emotionally and physically constantly, and know failure is never an option. Master one skill and move on to the next!
Someone who inspires you and why: My mother has always been someone who inspires me. She is someone I can always relate to because of her struggles and accomplishments. Also, she has always taught me to work hard if I want to be successful in life, always treat people with kindness and respect, and be true to who I am.
Favorite quote: “I heard.” –Javier Santos Morales. Two words that are the glue that holds my kitchen together.
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am 100 percent Norwegian…skoal!
What makes someone fabulous: Being fabulous means to me that you’re focused on what you want and are confident. You’re able to study and emulate people that you admire who are powerful and successful. Lastly, having charisma and poise and know how to use it in any situation.