in partnership
(L to R) Elmer Dulla, Justin Legaspi, Allan Lee and Kelvyn Joaquin. (Image: Tess Owen / Seattle Refined)

JAKE Supper Club: Food-industry friends explore the city, remind us why we love to eat

Eat with people who bring out the best in you.

That’s the concept behind JAKE supper club, an informal group of food-industry friends, eating together as often as they can find the time. The four friends (Justin Legaspi of Bateau, Allan Lee of San Fermo, Kelvyn Joaquin of Salare and Elmer Dulla, formerly of Edouardo Jordan’s restaurants), meet up for a family-style meal at any hour. JAKE is entirely unofficial; it just so happens that these guys love to eat - especially with each other.

“It’s that universal language between even people who don’t speak the same language," says Legaspi. "Everyone’s gotta eat. Everyone has their own way of eating, and everyone has their own things that they like. It’s the type of thing that brings people together regardless.”

Gathering up a group of friends to enjoy a meal out isn’t anything unusual for most of us. But there’s something to be said for the way we’ve slowly integrated brunching as an important staple in our social repertoire. Instead of going to a movie, we’re more likely to bond over late-night ramen runs. But it can be a challenge to step out of your comfort zone, decide on a place and rally the troops.

“It’s easy to get comfortable in the food scene here in Seattle because a lot of the stuff is the same,” says Legaspi. “So that’s why we find things that we like first and foremost rather than what everyone else is going to or what’s trending.”

AKA don’t just go somewhere because everyone else did (we’re all a little guilty of this). In Seattle especially, it’s easy to overlook some amazing restaurants just because they don’t have an Instagram to drool over. So often we’re drawn to a place simply because everyone else is going, even if the food is only average.

A few of JAKE’s favorite spots? Tig Kitchen and Bar in the University District, Honey Court and even the card room of the Great American Casino in Tukwila.

“For some odd reason, wherever we eat it’s always the best time, regardless if the food’s mediocre, because it’s just us being with each other,” says Dulla.

JAKE isn’t worried about where they eat as much as who they’re eating with. Even if they’re making a late-night run to McDonald’s, they always share the food family style. The support is what they’re really in it for. Joaquin, the youngest of the bunch, says that getting feedback about his work from his fellow JAKE crew has helped him grow in the food industry. If they’re ever stuck in a rut at work, they can count on each other’s advice.

Amidst the COVID-19 outbreak in the greater Seattle area, we want to gently remind our readers that while we’ll still be posting stories as usual about places to visit and things to do in the area, please follow King County Public Health guidelines to stay home and self-quarantine if you are feeling ill. If you want more information about coronavirus, please visit KOMO’s resource page.