Meet Our Chefs
Derek Simcik, Executive Chef
Executive Chef Derek Simcik spent his formative years experiencing foods from around the world, having lived in Greece, Tunisia, Germany, France, Hong Kong, Japan, and Austria all before the age of 20. Derek spent over 8 years at Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants opening Morrison House and Jackson 20 in Washington DC before taking the helm at Chicago's Atwood in 2009. In 2014, Derek opened Santa Barbara's bohemian oasis, Outpost at The Goodland, in a dual role as the Executive Chef and General Manager.
Today, the international influences of Chef Derek’s style continue in Seattle, a global hub that inspires him to translate his eclectic childhood experiences into a nice, edible story while taking advantage of the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. Before launching Conversation at Thompson Seattle, Derek previously opened Scout PNW in the same space, named one of “Seattle’s 10 best new restaurants of 2016” by the Seattle Times. Derek’s passion for pushing the boundaries of culinary creativity is reflected in all of his menus at Conversation.
Kate Sigel, Executive Pastry Chef
Kate Sigel is from Chicago, Illinois and attended Harrington College of Design, where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design before attending the French Pastry School. She started her career at Chicago’s Bistro 110, Chez Moi, and Rush while also running her own custom cake business, Kate’s Cakes Chicago.
In 2015, Kate made the move to the Pacific Northwest where she launched the Seattle continuation of her business, Sweet Tooth Cake Co, and also signed on as Pastry Director for Huxley Wallace Collective. She then transitioned to Thompson Seattle as the Executive Pastry Chef of the newly opened hotel, overseeing pastry for Scout PNW restaurant, The Nest rooftop lounge, room service, and events. Today Kate remains at Thompson Seattle where she adds one more exciting chapter: Executive Pastry Chef at Conversation, the boutique hotel’s new signature all-day dining concept, where her fancy pastries and desserts bring a cleverly sweet perspective to the table. Don’t forget to order desert after your meal; you’ll be so impressed that you may think your order should be on display at an art museum!