Up Close With Peter Leigh Gallin

Peter Gallin

Current job: Owner and executive chef at Say Ciao! Creative Catering/Columbia River Tap Room and Eatery. I have been in the culinary field in some capacity for over 40 years, and a classically trained chef and business owner for over 30 years, and love what I do with passion.

Proudest professional moment: Succeeding in a very tough business for as many years as I’ve been doing it. Always being a mentor and teacher of the culinary arts along the way, inspiring my guests and employees to love food, cuisine and amazing ingredients.

First job: Making pizza at the age of 13. The beginning of a long career.

Fun fact: I worked as a contract archaeologist for quite a few years, mostly in the southern states of the U.S. and paired it with 14 years in the Rockies as a waiter, chef and ski bum. By the time I was 18, I had traveled in 36 countries; my father is a retired cultural anthropologist and mother a retired sociologist, hence a life filled with travel.

Favorite spot on a Saturday night: At a friend’s dining room table enjoying dinner and wine after spending a good amount of time playing in the kitchen.

Favorite movie: Maybe only the most memorable, but none the less always considered my favorites: Seven Samurai, the original Swiss Family Robinson and The Count of Monte Cristo. However, reading good books has always, and always will be my favorite entertainment medium.

Music of choice: Blues from the late J.J. Cale, some Motown and Celtic rock; let’s just say, eclectic…

Favorite place to eat: Say Ciao! of course, or my food cart, located at Fortside Brewing; Say Ciao! Chow Cart … I do like to dine out on occasion, mostly to enjoy the company of friends and be out and about. Love ethnic cuisines, nice fine wines and great craft beers and/or a cocktail or two are always part of dining out.

Motto/Inspirational quote: “I am the artist of my life; I draw the line I follow.” I wrote this as a poem in Kashmir in Northern India in 1979 and always felt it was my mantra for how I live my life.

Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.