Even on the busiest of nights, it’s hard to rattle 190 Sunset’s Director of Operations Greg Campbell. When you’ve overseen a catered dinner for hundreds of celebrities at the Oscar ceremonies, not much else can phase you. “I love this line of work,” he says. “No two events are ever the same. I love to improvise, and I constantly strive to over-deliver for my guests.”
Greg has spent much of his professional life serving some of the most famous folks in the world. While working side by side with internationally renowned Chef Wolfgang Puck at Puck’s flagship restaurant, Spago, in Beverly Hills, Greg managed countless events for VIP events at both the restaurant and in the homes of Los Angeles celebrities – even overseeing a dinner for 1800 for the Oscars! With Wolfgang at his side, he also oversaw VIP events that ranged from a sit-down dinner fundraiser for then-President Clinton, and a $10 million wedding that featured Lady Gaga as the entertainer. The experience left Greg with both some spectacular memories – and some powerful life lessons.
“Chef Matt Bencivenga was the Executive chef for Wolfgang Puck Catering, and a huge inspiration for me, “ recalls Greg. “I have never met anyone who had such universal respect from everyone who worked for him. He once told me that ‘every day is an audition,’ and that what we did yesterday, good or bad, is in the past. That still drives me today.”
It’s been quite a ride for this Washington native. Greg graduated from the University of Washington where he was a member of the 1989 and 1990 Pac 10 Championship varsity crew team. He then went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, and completed his externship for Puck at Spago, where serving Hollywood celebrities was just part of the daily job. While not one to “kiss and tell” celebrity secrets, Greg says one thing that did strike him about working with so many high-profile people was how down-to-earth most of them were in person. “Even at the Oscars,” he says. “Lots of people come back to the kitchen, and no one tries to ‘big time’ you. That was refreshing.”
Greg returned to his Seattle roots when Wolfgang Puck opened his first Seattle location with his signature restaurant, ObaChine. From there, Greg went on to become the managing partner of Third Floor Fish, which was recognized as one of the finest seafood establishments in Seattle. He then became the opening chef for newly-remodeled Husky Stadium. More recently Greg was wooed back by Wolfgang Puck Catering as executive chef where he was in charge of catering operations, including the Experience Music Project Museum and The Showbox. By then, he’d learned the secret to hosting a successful catered event: “Always be organized and always have a back-up plan. Every event is different, so you need to be prepared for anything and everything.”
With a resume like his, it’s no wonder 190 Sunset was thrilled to offer Greg the position of Director of Operations to oversee both daily restaurant events and catered events throughout the Edmonds community. And Greg was thrilled to accept. “I chose to come to Edmonds for both the opportunity at 190 and because both of our children are going to school in Bellingham,” says Greg. “So having the opportunity to work for a celebrated restaurant like 190 Sunset and still stay close to our kids was a great fit.”
So what most excites him about his new opportunity at 190 Sunset?
“I’m really excited about taking things to the next level here at 190, both with the restaurant’s dining and events spaces and with all the possibilities we have to offer the Edmonds community through catered events,” says Greg. “I’m also excited to be able to use my experience to create a memorable, unique environment for the employees.” Watch out, Wolfgang. There’s a new star in town.