CHEF HARRY “COACH” MILLS almost accidentally had a career in politics. That would have been a disaster. However, he did enjoy what he remembers about college. His first restaurant job was at the drive-thru window at a now defunct fast food restaurant. (He takes no credit for its demise.) His next step up in the culinary world was washing dishes, which eventually led to a degree at the Art Institute School of Culinary Arts. He graduated in ’97, worked as Sous Chef in several small European bistros where he learned the then obscure art of charcuterie. It was this specialized skill that earned him a faculty position at his alma mater, a position he held for seven years. A lifetime of wine enthusiasm made working at a wine focused restaurant appealing. His tenure at Purple Café and Wine Bar began in 2006.
He has spent the last decade working with Chris Horn, which is clearly the highlight of his career.
He lives in the Magnolia neighborhood of Seattle with his wife Kristin.