Chef Aaron Willis was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest offered a great variety of food and culture for Willis and he soon found himself in the kitchen of a friend of the family learning the ins and outs of the restaurant industry. Never one to turn down a challenge and a willingness to learn and lead by example, Willis found himself at Crystal Mountain Ski Resort where he was given the opportunity to help transform the Summit House Deli into the Summit House Restaurant. This process took a number of years and culminated with Willis completing his Chef de Cuisine Certification through the San Diego Culinary Institute, graduating top two percent of his class with special recognition. Chef Willis also earned the title of Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers and graduating level two of the International Sommeliers Guild Program. When Seattle came calling, Delicatus was his first stop and after two years of developing a successful program at the deli and with the catering business, he moved to Bali to work and continue learning about Balinese cuisine and culture. After almost two years working and living in Bali, Chef Willis moved back to the states to take on a new project with a new focus. Ciudad (Grill) and Bar Ciudad were well received and thrived with every new month attracting more and more clientele and stellar food and service. The menu truly reflected Chef’s travels and was dotted with nods to the cuisines that helped shape him. Another two years passed and it was time for Willis to head back to Bali and recharge and consult on a few fun projects that used his range of knowledge with different food cultures to produce unique and approachable menus and dishes. Chef continues to travel between the US and Bali for both work and pleasure.

Willis has found travel to be a huge influence on his style of cooking. With trips to Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and abroad to Amsterdam, Istanbul, and Cologne to extended stays in Berlin and the Island of Bali; Willis has always found a home in the kitchen, no matter where. that is.


When it comes to my philosophy, I believe that the act of sharing food is a beautiful and fundamental part of life. I believe food is something that should be considerate, nourishing and sustainable. When I create a dish, I strive for balance throughout. Complimentary flavors, thoughtful presentation and of course deliciousness. Food doesn’t need to be expensive or high class if done with pure intentions. As a chef, I want anyone who eats my food to see and feel my philosophy.


I’ve been fortunate enough to have a wide range of experiences in the service industry which has allowed me to see a variety of cultures and food. My first job was at what would now be considered a Gastro Pub. I was taught all facets of the industry. Janitorial, bartending, waiting tables and cooking. While getting my certification from SDCI I worked at The Oceanaire in San Diego and eventually came back to be the chef at The Summit House. Moving to Bali allowed me to help open two new concepts and continue my passion for good food. I returned to the states and took the executive chef position at Delicatus and The Kitchen by Delicatus. From there it was the birth of “The Generous Chef” and the start of projects in both Bali and the States. Returning in 2016 to run the kitchen at Ciudad and Bar Ciudad in Seattle , to being a consultant for M&M Catering in Bali, my focus is to always create amazing, approachable and delicious food.


Life is an adventure I try to experience to the fullest. I like to think of traveling as an opportunity to engage different cultures and immerse myself in the area I am in. My adventures are not limited to traveling abroad, living in three major west coast cities has definitely influenced my growth. The people I’ve met along the way have become some of my closest friends and will always be one of the best parts of adventuring. Making food means making memories.