J. Alphonsine Haslet-Phillips is new executive chef of Coho Restaurant

J. Alphonsine Haslet-Phillips is the new executive chef of Coho Restaurant in Friday Harbor.

J. Alphonsine Haslet-Phillips is the new executive chef of Coho Restaurant in Friday Harbor.

Haslet-Phillips began in March and has slowly been transitioning the menu to her fresh, lighter style of cooking. “I wanted to work at a restaurant which had a philosophy that extended beyond the plate on the table, that cared about sourcing food for local, sustainably-grown seasonal ingredients,” she said in a press release.

Haslet-Phillips developed her Italian and Mediterranean-inspired cooking style while working at notable Seattle-area restaurants Le Pichet, Dandelion, and Dinette. In her most recent position as executive chef/kitchen manager at the West Seattle restaurant Circa, she expanded on her principal philosophy of developing approachable and deeply flavorful meals that do not mask the individual ingredients.

“We are very fortunate to have Haslet-Phillips’s expertise and deft hand leading up Coho’s kitchen,” said Anna Maria de Freitas, one of Coho’s owners. “Alphonsine loves being able to experiment with fresh, local ingredients that highlight the season; and every plate of food that goes out that door reflects her delicate touch and skill in spontaneous creativity.”

In addition to her professional employment, Haslet-Phillips has taught for Beecher’s PureKids Flagship Program in Seattle, instructing grade-school children on whole foods, nutrition, and food advertising, as well as training students at Seattle Girls School in regional Italian cooking. She has volunteered for numerous non-profit organizations, including New Beginnings, helping women and children suffering from domestic abuse to transition to healthy, independent homes.

The Harrison House and Tucker House Inns and Coho Restaurant are three historic properties on San Juan Island located near the Friday Harbor Ferry Landing. Coho Restaurant serves island-grown Pacific cuisine with an international flair, and its wine list was awarded a 2009 Award of Distinction from Wine Spectator.