Grant Hinderliter

Fabulous People: Grant Hinderliter

Grant Hinderliter, executive chef at the Marcus Whitman Hotel, has worked in the kitchen at the Walla Walla hotel since 2011. A student of Le Cordon Bleu Institute of Culinary Arts, Hinderliter is known for his pickling and canning skills. Learn about Grant Hinderliter…

Hometown: Meadville Pennsylvania, North of Pittsburgh

First job:  Dishwasher at Sandis Italian Market.

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: I like to forage for morels, chanterelles, huckleberries. I like to try new restaurants and wineries in the valley. I also enjoy camping in the Blue Mountains, and fishing our streams, rivers and lakes.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: My current job! I love it and have worked my way up in restaurants and hotels throughout my career. I enjoy being able to cook all the awesome proteins and produce that Washington has to offer. I love cooking on the line, talking to chef’s tables, and being part of such and awesome F&B crew.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: I was in a bad car accident one time that took me out of the industry completely. It was hard for me not working every day. With help from family, I got healed up and back to work. Thankfully, I had a great support system that got me back on my feet.

Someone who inspires you and why: I am inspired by a lot of different people. I enjoy learning new things from people in different areas of the culinary world. From trying an heirloom tomato right off the vine in a farmer’s field, to the taste of a oyster or mussel that was just pulled out of the ocean in front of me, seeing the dedication of people in their fields and how it effects our family, community and restaurant directly.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Always work hard and keep your head down. People will notice there are a lot of people who bounce around a from kitchen to kitchen. I feel that they have only learned a small percentage of what they could have if they did not let small conflicts get in the way. Culinary school is also a great way to get into restaurants, but it is not completely necessary. Being a dishwasher will also get you in on ground level.

Favorite quote: Anthony Bourdain is one of my favorites. Here is a good one:I’ve long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we’re talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime ‘associates,’ food, for me, has always been an adventure.”

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: Some of my favorite foods are casseroles, stews and soups. We always cooked growing up and simple foods can be the best. For example, mom’s swiss steak, aunt’s baked beans on a camping trip and grandma’s mac and cheese. Also, go where the locals eat. You will have a way better time and eat a lot better than at the tourist traps on the strip.

What makes someone fabulous: Their actions and soul, enjoyment in community and trying to do something good every day. There is no substitute for hard work. Approach every day and every task with an attitude of “what can I learn from this experience?” And fabulous will follow!

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