Visit Seattle Tells Local Immigrants’ Stories Through the Lens of Cuisine

Five of the city's beloved chefs share their traditions in new series from PB& and Vice Media

Seattle chef David Orozco with his mother and daughter. - Credit by Visit Seattle
Headshot of Doug Zanger

Seattle has an adventurous, welcoming and competitive food scene. James Beard-recognized chefs are not uncommon, and the city is scattered with compelling cuisine, with equally interesting stories behind the restaurants that have popped up over the years. Additionally, Seattle prides itself on being welcoming—especially to immigrants—and is not shy about touting its standing as a sanctuary city and a haven of inclusion.

And now, with “Family Style,” Visit Seattle has brought these attributes together in a new series that tells the stories of five immigrants who are helping shape the city’s burgeoning restaurant scene. Created by agency PB& Seattle and coproduced by Vice Media, the short documentaries offer a glimpse into how the city influenced their lives.

“Celebrating how these immigrant chefs are bringing their traditions and family stories into Seattle and the effect that is having on the culinary scene here is very exciting and important,” said Ali Daniels, Visit Seattle CMO and an honoree at Adweek’s Seattle Brand Stars in 2018.

In the first episode, chef David Orozco discussed how his upbringing in Guadalajara—and its food—informed his journey from running a food stand to a opening popular Mexican steakhouse with two locations in the Seattle area. He notes that the city’s willingness to try something different from the typical chips-and-salsa restaurant helped him build a successful business.

“It’s very satisfying to do something that is changing the culinary aspect of Seattle from the Mexican point of view,” Orozco said in the film.

The next four episodes, which will be released every two weeks on Visit Seattle’s website, include stories that originated from other parts of the world.

David Nussbaum’s family, for example, emigrated from Israel, and his love of Israeli food drove him to eventually open one of the city’s most popular lunch spots, Aviv Hummus Bar. Donna Moodie, the owner of Marjorie Restaurant, was born in Jamaica and brought her mom’s hospitality to the Pacific Northwest. Japan-born Mutsuko Soma (a James Beard nominee) brought the very specific Edo cuisine and her grandmother’s noodle recipe to her tiny Kamonegi restaurant in the Freemont neighborhood. Finally, Filipino immigrants Chera Amlag and Geo Quibuyen began a pop-up dinner to raise money to bring their children to their homeland, which eventually turned into a popular bakery, Hood Famous, in the Ballard section of town.

“Not only were we able to put a spotlight on some of the restaurants that are popular with the locals, but we were also able to represent a wide range of different backgrounds and cultures from around the world,” said Britt Fero, PB& Seattle principal. “And there are hundreds of places in Seattle that have interesting stories like this.”

“Family Style” will live on Visit Seattle’s site and on YouTube, and will be promoted across Vice’s channels, including social.


Agency: PB&
Client: Visit Seattle
Creative Production: Vice Media

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@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.
Publish date: March 13, 2019 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT