A Love of People, Cuisine, and Wine: Chef Profile, Tamara Murphy

Centrum’s 2008 Gala welcomes chef Tamara Murphy from Seattle’s Brasa Restaurant. She will be one of Tamara_murphy four chefs lending their culinary skills to producing this year’s Gala menu.

Trained in New York City, Tamara Murphy further honed her craft while working at various restaurants in the area. In 1988, drawn to the Northwest’s bounty of fresh ingredients, Tamara decided to move to Seattle. While working at Dominique’s as a Sous Chef, Tamara was selected to participate in the Bocuse d’Or competition.

She represented the West Coast as one of twelve finalists at the prestigious event.
In 1990, after two years at Dominique’s, Tamara was offered the opportunity to serve as Executive Chef at Campagne in Pike Place Market. Nominated for the James Beard Foundation’s Rising Star Chef of the Year Award, Tamara was one of four finalists for the chefs under thirty award. She continued to receive nominations from the James Beard Foundation, and in 1995 was named the Best Chef of the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii.

In addition, Food and Wine Magazine dubbed her one of the Ten Best New Chefs in America. Other publications such as Bon Appetit, Gourmet, Food Arts, and The New York Times all profiled Tamara and her unique culinary style. Meanwhile, local critics such as John Hinterberger, Johnathan Susskin, Tom Sietsma, and “Seattle’s Best Places” have showered Tamara and Campagne with rave reviews.

Tamara enjoyed the process of opening Café Campagne in 1993, and the challenge of overseeing two restaurant operations. Hailed by the press as yet another Tamara Murphy success, the café soon became the darling of Seattle foodies. After numerous successful years at the helm of both Campagnes, Tamara decided it was time to open a venue of her own.

Partnering with Bryan Hill, the former General Manager and Wine Director at Campagne, Tamara was anxious to be part of a restaurant that was truly about community. Brasa is the culmination of their many years working in the industry, and has been an opportunity to create a restaurant that is truly about the people, cuisine, and wine they love.

Brasa opened March 1st, 1999 and has been wildly successful. Seattleites love the creative food and sensual ambiance. It garnered three stars from Nancy Leson at The Seattle Times and has been mentioned in Travel and Leisure, Food and Wine and Bon Appetit.

The Centrum Gala takes place on Saturday, November 15 at the Fort Worden Commons in Port Townsend, Washington. Besides a wonderful dinner of Northwest cuisine, the Gala will also offer guests the chance to purchase fixed-price specialty trips, adventures, and experiences from the Gatherings Catalog, which will premier that night. Light entertainment and a giving opportunity to the Centrum Scholarship Fund will round out the evening. The Gala is $125 per person and is open to everyone.

Please call the Centrum office at 360.385.3102 x116 for reservations and more information.

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