Meet Our Team
Art of the Table is a family-owned restaurant headed by husband-and-wife team Chef Dustin Ronspies and Shannon Van Horn. Together, Dustin and Shannon have built a staff that includes the most dedicated, talented, and passionate people in our industry.
Stop by, and say hello. We'd be happy to pour you a drink.
Owner & Executive Chef
“My favorite thing about this place is the connection I have with the food, and the relationships forged with the farmers, ranchers, fishermen and artisans in the Pacific Northwest,” Dustin says.
Those relationships have been the foundation for Art of the Table since the beginning. Dustin opened the restaurant in 2007 as a supper club, with 20 seats and two nights of service each week. He did all the cooking and dishwashing himself.
Dustin’s goal was to elevate the most delicious, seasonal ingredients in the Northwest. So, Dustin went to farmers markets around Seattle almost every day, seeking the best of the best. There, he met farmers and vendors who he worked with to supply ingredients for the supper club’s weekly menus. These local farmers and artisans helped Art of the Table to grow as well – they let Dustin put on cooking demos at their farm stands, and helped get the word out about his supper clubs.
Over the restaurant’s ten-year history, Art of the Table has continuously grown and changed, all under Dustin’s direction and design. In 2015, Dustin began to think about the next iteration of Art of the Table, and two years later moved the restaurant to its new, larger space on Stone Way North. Now there’s room to grow (literally), and Dustin and his team continue to push the food and the experience to new levels.
“I’m proud of our staff, our food and our vision for the future,” Dustin says. “I have nothing but passion for this crazy lifestyle.”
Shannon Van Horn
Owner & General Manager
“I love food and wine!” Shannon says, explaining her passion for the industry and her dedication to running Art of the Table. “I love dining so much, I think it’s one of life’s most wonderful luxuries.”
Shannon joined the Art of the Table team in 2014 as the garde manger/dishwasher in our old space. Since then she has worked almost every job in the restaurant, and now leads our front-of-house team and serves as general manager. Shannon attended culinary school at Inland Northwest Culinary Academy in Spokane, and was working as the sous chef at Elemental when the owners introduced her to Dustin.
After her first year at Art of the Table, she took a break from our kitchen to pursue her love of baking. She was a baker at Portage Bay Café in South Lake Union, and then returned to AOTT in 2014 as pastry chef.
She left her pastry role after becoming pregnant (“I couldn’t fit in the kitchen anymore!”) and made the jump to front-of-house. Shannon feels right at home working directly with guests and the service team.
“I love the camaraderie of working in a restaurant,” Shannon says. “I love the diverse walks of life that can come together and work toward the same goal and the fact that you always meet lasting friends wherever you work!”
Mitch was the restaurant’s first-ever bartender and worked with Dustin at the old location from 2011 to 2014. Mitch returned in early 2017 to manage our new, expanded bar. He has worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years, with a range of experience – everything from bus boy to sous chef to management.
“My favorite thing about working at Art of the Table is being part of a great team,” Mitch says. “Everyone is supportive and pushes each other to constantly grow creatively, individually and as a team.”
Chef De Cuisine
Rick has been with Art of the Table since 2014, and was promoted to Chef de Cuisine in 2017. He has worked in restaurants since he was 15, starting out in the dish tank and making his way around the kitchen. He moved to Seattle from his native Gig Harbor to pursue a higher level of cooking.
“This job is more than a paycheck and more than a creative outlet,” Rick says. “My favorite thing about this place is the staff. I get to work with great people, and I get to support them, and learn from them. I also get to be a part of supporting the community of farmers and purveyors we work with. Everything we do is based in community, and relationships.”
dining room Manager
“I love that our menus are constantly changing and evolving,” Hilary says. “It keeps things exciting and interesting, and there's always something new to learn about and introduce our guests to.”
Hilary has been a member of our team since 2015. She has 14 years’ experience in the restaurant industry, from working prep/pantry at a small family Italian spot in Bellingham, to cocktail waitressing in dive bars, to serving in steak houses, and wearing a number of hats here at Art of the Table.