Although Patterson worked in restaurants as a youth, his culinary training began in 1996 when he went to Western Culinary School in Portland, OR. He was one of the few students with no kitchen experience and recalls barely being able to hold a knife correctly, but his natural talents quickly emerged. Upon graduation Patterson worked in a few different kitchens before moving to Crystal Mountain Ski Resort on the north side of Mount Ranier where he worked as sous chef in the winter, returning to Seattle for the summers. After four years there, Patterson’s boss approached him about opening a restaurant together. Coho’s Wine Bar and Seafood Grill, a 60-seat restaurant, opened in the fall of 2001 with Patterson as head chef.
In 2003, Patterson moved to the Big Island of Hawaii to help open a Japanese restaurant, Kenichi, with a friend. After a year he was invited to move to Kauai to become the executive chef of the Blossoming Lotus, an organic, vegan, fine dining restaurant that was more in alignment with Patterson’s yogic lifestyle. After two years in Hawaii, Patterson returned to Seattle to become a yoga teacher, marking the beginning of a three-year hiatus from the culinary industry.
This past summer (in July 2008), Patterson, along with his partner Amber Tande and two close friends, opened Sutra. The restaurant is centered around sustainability, community, and eclectic vegetarian cuisine that jives with and is next to Patterson and Tande’s yoga studio. All of Sutra's food is prepared fresh each day. The practice is artistic, intuitive cooking with a menu that respects the seasons, local organic ingredients, and the experience of connecting to the community in a holistic, urban environment.