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Culinary Perseverance Inside Hyatt Regency Bellevue

April 11, 2022 - by Sandy Vo

Culinary Perseverance Inside Hyatt Regency Bellevue

For 33 years, the Hyatt Regency Bellevue on Seattle’s Eastside has been a temporary home for visitors to explore world-class shopping, dining, entertainment and major corporate headquarters within a short walk. They're most known for their contemporary rooms, quality services, culinary vision and artistry. Jef Foster, executive chef at Hyatt Regency Bellevue, said he's proud to create menus that resonate with the downtown community. Since starting in 2018, Foster oversees the culinary program for Eques, the hotel’s breakfast and brunch restaurant.

Eques' tiramisu pancake

“Hyatt Regency Bellevue introduces dishes with local, fresh ingredients,” Foster said. “We also adjust our menu every season to bring new items to the table.”

Eques recently launched a new spring menu packed with heavenly dishes, including their savory duck, chocolatey tiramisu pancake, waffle plate and more.

“We want people to roll out of bed, come to Eques and enjoy delicious comfort food,” he said.

In addition to Eques, Foster also takes charge of event catering. Hyatt Regency currently has 70,000 square feet of meeting and event space, the largest gathering spot on the Eastside. Foster said they’re proud to host everything from gala social events and weddings to corporate meetings.

“The events here are amazing,” Foster said. “We have lots of great clients, and it’s a fantastic time when they come to celebrate here because we’re able to get creative with their menu.”

One of their prominent achievements within the culinary department has been cooking and donating meals regularly to the Eastside Academy and the Congregation for the Homeless.

Hyatt Regency Bellevue's panna cotta catered

“We are proud of the service culture that has been built within our hotel,” he said. “It’s always a great thing to be able to give back to a community you’re a part of.”

According to Foster, the pandemic caused a massive shift in occupancy rate at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue, dropping down to roughly 5% in 2020. In turn, catering and events came to a screeching halt.

“In my 30+ year career in the hotel industry, the pandemic was the only time I questioned my career choice. It felt like we were always fighting to survive,” Foster said.

Executive Chef Jef Foster

As the pandemic slows, the hotel has seen more foot traffic as people return to the office. Foster has not lost all hope. His experience working for the Hyatt in Serbia, London, and Mumbai taught him to persevere, even through the darkest times.

“Every restaurant and locale I’ve worked at has brought unique learning opportunities into my cooking, allowing me to add diversity in dishes I create, which is what I’m doing at the Hyatt Regency Bellevue,” said Foster. “The one thing I’ve discovered throughout my career is that whatever the world may come to, people will still need to eat.”

This blog is part of the Heart of Bellevue: our campaign to showcase local businesses while connecting you with stories of activity, creativity and recovery. Find out about our campaign and explore more of what’s happening around Downtown.


Hyatt Regency Bellevue
900 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA 98004

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