Chef Tom Douglas and his wife and business partner, Jackie Cross, have more than a dozen restaurants up and running in the Seattle area—from the long-thriving Dahlia Lounge (opened in 1989) and Etta’s (named for their daughter) to pizza joint Serious Pie and L.A./Japanese dumpling house Tanakasan.
Digging in to Seattle’s Pike Place Market and establishing relationships with Pacific Northwest farmers, Douglas has brought the best of the region’s produce to the table: Copper River salmon and Pacific squid, morel mushrooms, and Washington goat’s milk cheese. A 1994 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Northwest and 2012 winner for Outstanding Restaurateur, Douglas became a farmer in 2006, when he and Cross (the “Farmer-in-Chief”) bought land in the Yakima Valley and now (after what they describe as a major learning curve) harvest 50,000 pounds of produce a year for their restaurants.
A 2005 winner of Food Network’s Iron Chef, Douglas has also shared his recipes with fans, in four cookbooks: Tom Douglas’ Seattle Kitchen (2001), Tom’s Big Dinners (2003), I Love Crab Cakes! (2006), and The Dahlia Bakery Cookbook (2012). With friend and chef Thierry Rautureau (restaurant Luc), he’s given listeners the low-down on the Pacific Northwest food scene in a long-running weekly radio show on KIRO, In the Kitchen with Tom and Thierry, and most recently, The Seattle Kitchen. And he’s even opened a cooking school, The Hot Stove Society.
Douglas has served on the board for nonprofit Food Lifeline, which provides food banks, hot meal programs, and shelters in western Washington, and has helped the Seattle school system design a more nutritious lunch program. He’s even combined seafood and civic spirit, recently participating in an event to raise money for city parks, called, in very Douglas fashion, Salmon Chanted Evening.