Chef Jim Watkins Named Bastyr University Food Services Director

Chef Jim Watkins brings his sustainable, whole food approach to campus

Chef Jim Watkins was recently named the Director of University Food Services for Bastyr University.

Watkins has 25 years of experience as an accomplished chef, restaurateur and food consultant. He is a founding chef of Café Flora, an iconic Seattle vegetarian restaurant. Watkins grew up on a farm in Virginia and has always valued and incorporated locally grown whole foods in his work.

"We are pleased to welcome someone so accomplished in the culinary world and with such a stellar reputation to oversee our menu," said Bastyr University Senior Vice President and Provost Tim Callahan, PhD. "We know he can help us develop more innovative ways to nourish our students, faculty and staff. Chef Watkins' emphasis on local foods and sustainable food systems has been demonstrated throughout his career and mirrors the goals we strive to accomplish at Bastyr University."

In his role, Watkins will work with Bastyr's cafeteria staff as well as faculty members in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science to move Bastyr University's food services operation forward — an exciting challenge he embraces. While Bastyr’s cafeteria has always served wholesome and award-winning vegetarian fare, recent organizational changes and the hiring of Watkins ensure an even greater commitment to sustainable meals and kitchen practices at the University.

"My interest lies in pursuing a whole health approach to nourishing the body," said Watkins.  "While I have had classic culinary training in both food preparation and hospitality management, my passion has always been in line with the mission and vision of Bastyr."

Watkins begins his work at Bastyr University on Monday, Feb. 7.