After more than 19 years of preparing four-star meals in elegant European restaurants, aboard luxury expedition ships plying the waters of the Amazon, Arctic or Antarctic, or at the Olympic Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle, Master Chef Andreas Wurzrainer came to a couple of realizations.
One was that he wanted to raise his children in a small, friendly town like the one he grew up in Austria. The other was that he wanted to open his own restaurant and prepare meals that were more about substance, style and taste, than trends. Andreas and his wife Lisa chose to relocate to the charming town of Coupeville on Whidbey Island. Not long after their move, the couple purchased Christopher's Front Street Café in January of 2002.
Ever since, patrons of the quietly stylish, comfortable restaurant have been rewarded for those decisions with sumptuous servings from Andreas' kitchen. Whether tempted by the succulent bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin, the Penn Cove seafood stew, the raspberry barbecued salmon, the ever-popular daily specials, a delicious variety of salads and pasta dishes, or the mouth watering home made desserts, Christopher's customers inevitably leave with their taste buds and appetites well satisfied.
Andreas says though he has enjoyed and learned from every cooking position he has held, he knew he would never go home and prepare the same smallish, artistically presented and expensive meals for himself or his family - nor would he do so in his own restaurant. "I wanted to own a place where every dish I had on my menu would be something I would be happy to serve to friends in my home." That said, every meal he prepares still must meet five key criteria: It must be high quality, as fresh as possible, delicious, ample and affordable.
Andreas' early culinary career experiences include a three-year, traditional cooking apprenticeship in Austria, several years as a Sous Chef in Munich, Master Chef certification - graduating with honors in Germany, and stints as Executive Chef aboard globe-circling luxury expedition ships where diners feasted on multi-course meals. It was aboard one of these ships in the Antarctic that Andreas met his future wife Lisa. After a couple of years of traveling together, the two decided to quit working at sea and to return to Seattle - Lisa's home - to begin a family.
Andreas quickly landed a position at the Olympic Four Seasons Hotel in Seattle and from there was involved in the grand opening of the renowned Cascadia Restaurant in Seattle's Belltown. After a couple of years he and Lisa, tired of the fast pace and crowds of Seattle, decided that the future for them and their children would be on Whidbey Island.
Now Christopher's is drawing rave reviews and loyal regulars. The couple's two children, Sebastian and Tia, are happy little landlubbers living in sight of the sea, and dining in Coupeville has never been better.