Renowned chef purchases Alchemy Bistro

Chef Adam Levin begins makeover of popular Port Townsend destination

Laura Jean Schneider
ljschneider@ptleader.com
Posted 11/24/21

 

 

Local restauranteur Kris Nelson has parted with Alchemy Bistro in order to better focus on her three remaining restaurants.

Owner of The Old Whiskey Mill, Siren’s Pub, …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Renowned chef purchases Alchemy Bistro

Chef Adam Levin begins makeover of popular Port Townsend destination

Posted

 

 

Local restauranteur Kris Nelson has parted with Alchemy Bistro in order to better focus on her three remaining restaurants.

Owner of The Old Whiskey Mill, Siren’s Pub, and The In Between, Nelson said in a conversation with The Leader that she was simply being stretched too thin.

“I invented Alchemy,” she said. “It feels a little like selling my middle child.”

Yet, Nelson admitted: “I feel like I’m doing an OK job instead of a good job,” of running four restaurants in a pandemic.

“I have too much,” she said, adding that she wants to be more available for her staff.

“It’s sad right now,” Nelson said.

But, in a month, with more sleep and time on her hands, it will probably feel better. “All of my love of fine food and fine wines are rolled up into Alchemy,” she said.

Nelson is handing the keys to the business to Beijing steakhouse owner and world-renowned chef Adam Levin.

“I think Adam will do good,” she said. “I have confidence.”

Levin, who now lives on Marrowstone Island, was marooned in the U.S. during a business trip from China when the pandemic hit. His wife and son will be joining him shortly, but he hasn’t seen them in person since early 2020.

“I met Kris actually the first week I was here,” Levin said, taking a short break in the middle of a bustling overhaul of the restaurant. A soft opening was scheduled for the following day, and the place was a disaster.

He introduced himself, and stayed in touch with Nelson. Meanwhile, a series of Levin’s steakhouses closed in Beijing, whittling the number of his overseas responsibilities to a single restaurant.

Missing the industry, Levin contacted Nelson and worked a weekend at Alchemy four months ago when they were short-staffed.

When Nelson emailed Levin out of the blue, asking if he was interested in purchasing Alchemy, he didn’t even have to think about it.

The answer was yes.

Levin imagines using the restaurant to showcase a large collection of art, serving drinks and dinners on eclectic vintage dishes.

The new menu will tend more toward surf and turf, with vegan and vegetarian options.

After a stint playing football for the University of California Los Angeles, Levin studied at Universita di Firenze in Florence, Italy and the Culinary Institute of America-Greystone in Napa, California.

He has been executive chef at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, was voted as a No. 1 chef in America during his time at Wolfgang Pucks’ Spago restaurant, also in Las Vegas, and has worked at restaurants from Switzerland to Tucson.

Levin’s cuisine and restaurants have been featured in the likes of Time magazine, Elle, The Wall Street Journal, South China Morning Post, Beijing Magazine, and Shanghai Talk, and has been a regular on Chinese television for the past decade.

“Sometimes it’s scary how nice people are here,” Levin said.

He said he looks forward to introducing his family to the Pacific Northwest. “This is a culmination of a career of traveling around the world,” he said.

Comments

2 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • ecorep

    Sirens has always done a really good steak at a reasonable price. But we could use a little more meat around here. Congrats Kris

    Wednesday, November 24 Report this

  • ...

    Eat The Rich.

    Wednesday, November 24 Report this