*CO-OWNER & HEAD CHEF*   Seth began his culinary journey in his family’s kitchen preparing meals with his mother while listening to vinyl. He worked in the Boston, MA restaurant world for 14 years. He served as the sous-chef of the Harvard Square institution “Upstairs on the Square” for three years. He then worked as head chef of Vee Vee, a neighborhood bistro in Boston’s Jamaica Plain. After two years and building a strong following at Vee Vee, he left to head up the kitchen at the Signet Society, a private arts club at Harvard University. Throughout his 14 years in Boston, Seth always yearned to return to the country life he had known as a child in New Hampshire. In 2014 he moved to the Shenandoah Valley with a renewed energy and excitement for his craft, ready to begin the next stage of his journey. He cooks with his whole heart and with a passion to keep growing creatively while staying rooted in the humble comfort of his days cooking with his mother.

*CO-OWNER & HEAD CHEF*

Seth began his culinary journey in his family’s kitchen preparing meals with his mother while listening to vinyl. He worked in the Boston, MA restaurant world for 14 years. He served as the sous-chef of the Harvard Square institution “Upstairs on the Square” for three years. He then worked as head chef of Vee Vee, a neighborhood bistro in Boston’s Jamaica Plain. After two years and building a strong following at Vee Vee, he left to head up the kitchen at the Signet Society, a private arts club at Harvard University. Throughout his 14 years in Boston, Seth always yearned to return to the country life he had known as a child in New Hampshire. In 2014 he moved to the Shenandoah Valley with a renewed energy and excitement for his craft, ready to begin the next stage of his journey. He cooks with his whole heart and with a passion to keep growing creatively while staying rooted in the humble comfort of his days cooking with his mother.

*CO-OWNER & MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION*   Soula is a photographer,  ceramic artist , and community worker. In 2019, she completed her PhD in Depth Psychology with an emphasis on Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology. For her dissertation, she created a gardening and food skills curriculum that employs an empowerment-focused pedagogy, designed for incarcerated individuals. Through this work, she seeks to provide a space for individual and community empowerment by reconnecting individuals with the very old and therapeutic tradition of food cultivation. Soula is passionate about the power of food to reconnect us with the Earth and each other. She is keenly interested in the ways ancestral explorations happen through food via uncovering old family and cultural recipes. She is a community-builder; whether teaching, creating art, hosting and organizing community events, or crafting visual narratives through her art, Soula engages her work and the people she encounters with an eye towards the possibility of building and strengthening community.

*CO-OWNER & MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION*

Soula is a photographer, ceramic artist, and community worker. In 2019, she completed her PhD in Depth Psychology with an emphasis on Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology. For her dissertation, she created a gardening and food skills curriculum that employs an empowerment-focused pedagogy, designed for incarcerated individuals. Through this work, she seeks to provide a space for individual and community empowerment by reconnecting individuals with the very old and therapeutic tradition of food cultivation. Soula is passionate about the power of food to reconnect us with the Earth and each other. She is keenly interested in the ways ancestral explorations happen through food via uncovering old family and cultural recipes. She is a community-builder; whether teaching, creating art, hosting and organizing community events, or crafting visual narratives through her art, Soula engages her work and the people she encounters with an eye towards the possibility of building and strengthening community.

Our History

Gray Jay opened its doors in 2017 and was founded by Michelle Gagnon and Seth Amsden. Michelle and Seth put in many years of planning and work to solidify their vision and transform the space into our lovely restaurant. Michelle has moved on to other endeavors and left a beautiful mark on Gray Jay with her commitment, hard work, and the energy she brought to all our guests.

A WORD ON THE BIRD   The Gray Jay symbolizes both our past and our future. This exceedingly amiable bird hails from the far north, it’s southernmost range including central Maine and the White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire, the respective homelands of Michelle and Seth. Always ready to share a meal, these birds will eagerly alight on the open hand of a hiker who offers a bit of trail mix. Just as we put up stores of food to preserve the summer bounty for wintertime sustenance these clever corvids maintain hundreds of bark caches in trees around the forest, flitting away with a few nuts in their beak to return a moment later requesting more provisions. Intensely loyal and hardy, they mate for life and do not migrate to warmer climes, but stick it out when the going gets tough, relying on their own gumption and the generosity of the humans they befriend. And, as you can see in the photo, they are a bit playfully mischievous

A WORD ON THE BIRD

The Gray Jay symbolizes both our past and our future. This exceedingly amiable bird hails from the far north, it’s southernmost range including central Maine and the White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire, the respective homelands of Michelle and Seth. Always ready to share a meal, these birds will eagerly alight on the open hand of a hiker who offers a bit of trail mix. Just as we put up stores of food to preserve the summer bounty for wintertime sustenance these clever corvids maintain hundreds of bark caches in trees around the forest, flitting away with a few nuts in their beak to return a moment later requesting more provisions. Intensely loyal and hardy, they mate for life and do not migrate to warmer climes, but stick it out when the going gets tough, relying on their own gumption and the generosity of the humans they befriend. And, as you can see in the photo, they are a bit playfully mischievous