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May 27, 2008 7:15 AM

Heads she wins, and Spring Hill has sprung

Posted by Nancy Leson

Doesn't it drive you crazy when you're looking at someone, and you know you know them, and you just can't place the face? That happens to me all the time, and it happened again last week at a Books & Cooks event, where I spotted this familiar face:

"Who's that cooking?" I asked Heidi Kenyon, who was hosting the event at Culinary Communion's new digs on Beacon Hill. And when she replied, "That's Mei-Lin Kong," I was floored: The last time I saw Mei-Lin, she was sporting a famously bald pate bearing an intricate tattoo that resembled a colorful yarmulke . It was the most gorgeous tattoo on one of the most gorgeous heads I'd ever seen:

You may know Mei-Lin, too, if you've spent any time at the sushi bar at Kisaku, where I came to appreciate her keen eye for detail -- and her expertise at rolling maki. You may even recognize her from Brasa, and remember that tattoo, now hidden from view by hair that (when she's not hard at work) flows halfway down her back:

While she was busy making appetizers. . .

. . . Mei-Lin told me that since leaving Kisaku she's worked at The Herbfarm and Harvest Vine. And after lending a hand at Culinary Communion on Thursday, she was headed over to West Seattle to help out during the (much anticipated) "soft" opening of chef Mark Fuller's Spring Hill Restaurant & Bar, though she'll soon head off to another gig -- this time as a private chef.

Fuller is the former head chef at the Dahlia Lounge, and his restaurant had been in the planning and build-out stage forever. Late last summer, Tom Douglas told me he considered investing $100,000 in Spring Hill but as the opening date dragged on, he reconsidered, figuring he'd go in for $25,000. Whether Tom invested, and how much of an investment he finally coughed-up I can't say, but here's what he said about Mark Fuller: "I'm going to become an investor because I like him. He's a great man, and a great cook."

So, anybody been to Spring Hill yet? Whaddaya know?

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