Since closing its dining room in March 2020, Canlis has reinvented itself several times over, shape-shifting from Seattle’s loftiest fine-dining restaurant into a bagel shop, a crab shack and a drive-in movie theater.
Now, the restaurant has made another, more permanent change, hiring Aisha Ibrahim as its new executive chef. Ms. Ibrahim, 35, is the seventh chef, and the first woman, to helm the Canlis kitchen in its 70-year history. She started work on April 30.
Ms. Ibrahim succeeds Brady Williams, who ended a six-year run at Canlis in February, and who plans to open his own restaurant in Seattle later this year.
Canlis opened in 1950 in a striking midcentury modern building with views of Lake Union, serving a menu of surf-and-turf classics with a Pacific inflection. In recent years, under the leadership of its third-generation owners, the brothers Mark and Brian Canlis, it has evolved from a beloved local institution to a player on the national fine-dining stage. Jason Franey, who arrived from New York City’s Eleven Madison Park as executive chef in 2008, revamped the menu in a modernist idiom: more artful plating, with more crumbs, foams and emulsions.