Rising Star Chef Travis Kukull of Mollusk - Biography

Seattle, WA

November 2015

Travis Kukull’s earliest memory of food is in his dreams. Sort of. As a kid in a family on a tight budget in Shoreline, Washington, Kukull remembers his father baking bread for the week. He and his brother would stumble out of a deep sleep, eat a slice of fresh-baked bread with butter, and go back to bed. Kukull and his brother also hosted dinner parties (for $10 a head) when their parents were out of town. Thos experience encouraged Kukull to enroll in a gourmet food program in high school and later culinary school, but before he finished, Kukull transferred to the University of Washington.  

While earning his degree, Kukull worked at Mona’s Bistro & Lounge and Mandalay Café. A bit wanderlust next took him to Maui and restaurant Pacific’O. He then traveled to Haines, Alaska, where he worked as a sous chef at the Hotel Halsingland and picked up beer brewing and mushroom foraging skills.

Working in Brooklyn at Stone Park Café, Kukull learned a new level of focus and execution, which he brought with him to Seattle restaurants Elemental, Solo Bar, and Tilikum Place Cafe. It was during a visit to a home brew store that Kukull met Epic Ales brewer Cody Morris, with whom he opened Gastropod and now Mollusk, where his no-limits, no-lables style of cooking is giving the Seattle dining scene a Kukull-style jolt of creativity.