– Team –
General Manager/Wine Buyer
Dining Room Manager
Juan Carlos Galluzzi
THE HARVEST VINE FAMILY
CAROLIN MESSIER, Owner
Even though she was distracted by the idea of becoming a physician and pursued the study of micro biology and German, Carolin’s path to becoming a pastry chef and restaurant owner began when she baked a coconut covered bunny cake for her family one spring; she was eight.
After a few years of studying at the U of W, she went to work in Munich, Germany; woke up to her true passion of bringing people around a table; and returned to Seattle to study culinary and pastry arts at South Seattle Community College. She honed her skills in the kitchens of Labuznik, Le Tastevin, B&O Espresso, Cafe Flora, Fullers, and The Ruins before heading out on her own.
In 1998 along with her former partner, she opened a little specialty food store as an extension of their growing catering company. The neighborhood had other ideas; they wanted to stay for dinner, so they quickly evolved into a tiny 16 seat restaurant; The Harvest Vine was born. Since then she’s worked every job and kitchen station except that of head chef: from tile layer and plumber to host, bookkeeper, and pastry chef. The restaurant has expanded three times since its opening and now seats 74.
On her business card you won’t see the word “Owner” under her name. Instead you’ll read “Socialist Entrepreneur”. Carolin is deeply committed to working collaboratively with her crew at the restaurant, with her business neighbors, and the greater community in an effort to bring about positive change. She supports the work of Facing Homelessness, Community Lunch, The Healing Center and Forefront in particular.
When not working in the kitchen Carolin writes poetry, arranges flowers, digs in the garden, and enjoys time with her family in West Seattle.
JOEY SERQUINIA, Executive Chef
Joey Serquinia is the second executive chef of The Harvest Vine, taking over the helm from longtime friend and mentor chef Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez in 2008.
Joey is the youngest of twelve children, raised by farmers who had a stall at the Pike Place Market. His inspiration for cooking began when he used to get up at 4 am to prepare turkey and stuffing with his father for Thanksgiving.
Chef Serquinia's professional path began in 1995, when he enrolled in the Seattle Central Community College culinary program and started working under chef Walter Pisano at Tulio. While in school, Joey forged a relationship with Chef Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez who was working at The Spanish table. In his spare time, he would help Joseba make large paellas for his catering company. After he completed school, he worked for James Beard award winning chef Barbara Figueroa before taking his first chef position at Marco's Supperclub.
With a growing interest in Spanish/Basque cuisine, chef Serquinia reunited with Joseba and Carolin and started working at their restaurant, The Harvest Vine. After a few years, Serquinia was promoted to chef de cuisine position at their second restaurant, a San Sebastián-style pintxo bar called Txori, before returning to The Harvest Vine to be the executive chef in 2008.
With nearly two decades of experience, Serquinia enjoys traveling to Spain, working with local farmers, the camaraderie of the kitchen, and sharing all of these experiences with our customers.
Joey lives in West Seattle with his wife Karen and son Django.
JEFFREY WATANABE, General Manager/Wine Buyer
Jeffrey moved to Seattle in 1994 and started working at Café Flora. This is where he first met Harvest Vine owner Carolin Messier, who was at the time, the pastry chef. He started as a busser/server and was promoted to dining room manager a year later and eventually general manager. It was here that he learned the value of creating and nurturing an ethical workplace and giving back to the environment and community all while maintaining a profitable business.
It wasn’t until he had taken his first class at the CIA at Greystone, that Jeffrey realized this was the business he wanted to pursue as a career. He was inspired by the energy and professionalism of walking through the halls and training kitchens of the school. He continued his restaurant industry education at the CIA by attending classes in restaurant management and he benefitted greatly from their continuing education intensive wine seminars.
Jeffrey was hired by Carolin Messier and Chef Joseba Jimenez de Jimenez to be a part time server at the Harvest Vine in 2005. A few years later, Jeffrey was hired on as the general manager of Txori, the couple’s new San Sebastian-style Pinxto Bar, before returning to the Harvest Vine as the new general manager in 2009.
Jeffrey says, “The many facets of running a restaurant, is what keeps me going and motivated. I may be sitting at a desk paying bills in the morning, painting a wall or repairing a broken drain pipe in the afternoon and greeting guests and pouring wine in the evening. Everything needs to be done and sometimes all at once. Definitely not a job for the weary.”
In his down time Jeffrey can be found either working on the fixer upper he owns with his husband, Don, practicing his skills as an amateur baker, training for his next half marathon/marathon and traveling the world.