Jay Guerrero is from Seattle, where he grew up unintentionally eating locally— picking blackberries and digging for clams, trapping Dungeness crab and spot prawns in the summer, and catching squid with his dad in the winter.
Only after getting an MFA at Parsons in New York and living as an artist for a few years did he start cooking, by way of begging to work for free at a restaurant in the East Village. After being convinced to not go to cooking school, Jay worked at Prune for 7 years, learning on the line under Gabrielle Hamilton.
He eventually came back to Seattle to work with Renee Erickson and was named a Rising Star Chef by Seattle Magazine in 2014. He was the Chef de Cuisine at both Boat Street Cafe and Bar Melusine, and decided to try his hand at teaching in 2016. His cooking is influenced by the numerous places he’s lived and traveled, including France, Japan, the Philippines, and Italy.