By Meg Olson
Melissa Bray is happy to be back on home turf and happy to have the fresh bounty of Northwest waters literally at her door.
The new chef at the Compass Rose Bar & Grill at Point Roberts Marina is originally from Vancouver, B.C. and worked at the iconic Cannery restaurant there before moving on with her 20-year career as an executive chef.
A graduate of the Debrulle Culinary Academy, Bray said she was looking for an opportunity to relocate to the Pacific Northwest from Michigan when she became aware of the vacancy in the Compass Rose kitchen “to be closer to family and get away from the winters.”
Bray has been redesigning the restaurant’s menu which will debut in early October. “I want to concentrate more on a Northwest style of cooking using lots of local ingredients and lots and lots of seafood,” she said.
Entrees on the dinner menu run from $20 to $30 and include Bray’s signature bouillabaisse, a rich Mediterranean-style seafood stew. While seafood takes center stage, meat eaters will not be disappointed, with a selection of steaks and a lamb osso bucco. The lunch menu has a selection of sandwiches and burgers, but also four salad options that diners can spruce up by adding a salmon filet, chicken breast, crab cake, baby shrimp or oysters.
Both menus feature a selection of vegetarian and gluten free items, and Bray said she was happy to accommodate special requests. “If we aren’t busy and we have the ingredients, I never mind making what someone needs,” she said.