Mark Laska moved to Whidbey Island in 2005 with his wife Jennifer and their sons, Michael and Nicholas.
His passion for peasant food led him to open his first restaurant in 2006, followed by The BBQ Joint in Oak Harbor in 2010.
After selling that restaurant, he moved temporarily to Italy, began a culinary apprenticeship and returned to open CIAO restaurant in Coupeville in 2011.
Mark spent much of his career as a creative executive specializing in public relations, brand creation and marketing.
As a publicist, he worked on a wide array of projects in film, music, television, new media, on the Internet and working with celebrities. He has also had the opportunity to co-author several books in that field.