Shawn Applin found his way to a career in the kitchen by a family food tradition. The rustic Sunday suppers his grandmother lovingly prepared for gathered family were a highlight for Shawn growing up in Upstate New York, and became the foundation for his familial cooking style.
Shawn first fell in love with working in a restaurant kitchen while cooking at a local cafe in high school. It struck a passion that stayed with him while he pursued a degree in architecture at Alfred State University. It didn’t take long for him to realize his true calling and he went back to the drawing table to reframe his career as a professional chef.
After attending the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Shawn joined a succession of high-profile restaurants in Seattle and the San Francisco Bay Area, including Fog City Diner, Scala’s Bistro and Flying Fish, where he worked alongside James Beard Award–winning chef Christine Keff.
Just prior to joining Sazerac, Shawn was executive chef at Seattle’s McCaw Hall— home to the Opera and Pacific Northwest Ballet — where he oversaw operations for Prelude restaurant and other eateries at the venue.
When he’s not cooking, Shawn can be found on the golf course. He’s also a top-notch sailor with a love of the Caribbean.