Today, MINA Group announces the appointment of Shawn Applin as executive chef of Chef Michael Mina’s Northwest restaurant, RN74. Applin takes the culinary lead in menu development, product sourcing and execution.
New York born and raised, Applin was drawn to Seattle’s food scene in 1997 after graduating from Culinary Institute of America Hyde Park. His first stint in Seattle included working for James Beard Award-winning chef Christine Keff at Flying Fish (chef de cuisine) and Fandango (executive chef). He then moved to San Francisco and worked in notable restaurants Fog City Diner, Scala’s Bistro, and Azie, before returning to Seattle to serve as executive chef of McCaw Hall. Most recently he was executive chef at Outlier in Seattle, which he helped transform from the well-regarded Sazerac restaurant in Kimpton’s Hotel Monaco.
“Chef Michael Mina has long been a culinary hero of mine, setting some of the highest standards in the industry. The talent he surrounds himself with is second to none. I feel privileged to work alongside such an inspiring group of people and am honored to have the opportunity to lead the team at RN74,” Applin says.
The classic French approach drew Applin to RN74 where he is working to dial in high-level French technique as well as ushering in new, local purveyors and ethically sourced, high quality ingredients, two hallmarks of his career. Applin is slowly changing the menu with the seasons, including bringing in Preservation Meat Collective, a group of local farmers and ranchers, such as Pure Country Farm (Ephrata, WA), a fifth-generation farm that Applin sources sustainably raised beef and pork, and Valley Rabbits’ (Acme, WA) fresh winter rabbit, which was recently highlighted in Stuffed Rabbit Saddle Royale over cassoulet beans. Applin also plans to bring in pasture raised chickens from Pasture Bird (Murrieta, CA).
Applin will spearhead new a la carte dishes alongside Mina’s signature Roasted Bone Marrow and Classic Beef Tartare a la Francaise. He has already incorporated a new tasting menu, including Scallop and Uni Crudo (blood orange, fennel, orange oil), Coffee Crusted Torchon of Foie Gras (spiced pears, brioche toast), and Anderson Ranch Lamb Loin (charred eggplant puree, pickled mustard seeds, mustard greens). Applin hopes to increase tableside service to showcase the food executed by the inspiring, professional service staff, to raise the bar for the already popular happy hour, and to elevate the overall cuisine offered with the award-winning wine program.