Artist Spotlight: John Spearman

Executive Chef, Windmill Bistro

For as long as he can remember, John Spearman wanted to become one of two things. Inspired by G.I. Joe action figures, he dreamed of being a U.S. Marine. “Mainly because I enjoyed helping my mom in the kitchen,” he also had aspirations of becoming a chef. He was successful in realizing both dreams.

He enlisted in the Marines as a non-commissioned officer where for four years he travelled the world cooking for Brigadier General A. Butcher. At Boston’s Top of the Hub, he worked his way up through the ranks from line cook to Executive Banquet Chef. As Chef de Cuisine, he created a new menu for Parker’s Light House in Long Beach, California; it wasn’t long before he was promoted to Executive Chef.

Currently, he is the Executive Chef at Sumner’s Windmill Gardens where “we focus on favorite foods with an emphasis on northwest regional products and locally owned produce.”

What does it take to be a chef?

I truly believe you are born into it. I began refining my skills at the Culinary Institute of America and continued to learn through positions I have held along the way.

Who or what inspires your style?

The inspiration for my style probably started with the first chef I worked under, Chef Dean Moore in Boston, but you really need to develop your own style through the years to set yourself apart from everyone else.

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from giving each and every one of my guests a truly unique experience with food and wine.

What makes great food?

The key to making great food is to use only the finest quality ingredients and to have a fantastic imagination.

What has been your most memorable compliment?

A patron once said, “Your creations are a work of art.”

What is one thing that people generally don’t know about you?

One thing that people generally don’t know is that I was once actually pretty shy.

What has been your biggest accomplishment?

My biggest accomplishment is being a dad to a couple of great kids.

Janae Colombini