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Tom Douglas

You can’t go far in Seattle without running into one of the14 restaurants launched by chef Tom Douglas and his wife and business partner, Jackie Cross—from the long-adored Dahlia Lounge (opened in 1989) and Etta’s (named for their daughter) to modern American Asian TanakaSan, and Scandinavian-inspired lounge Ändra Loft. There’s even a market and deli, Home Remedy, in the mix, should you need to pick up some Indian street food, a growler of beer, or a bouquet of flowers.

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, including Copper River salmon and Pacific squid, morel mushrooms, and Washington goat’s-milk cheese. A 1994 James Beard Award winner for Best Northwest Chef, Douglas became a farmer in 2006, when he and Cross (the “Farmer-in-Chief”) bought land in the Yakima Valley. Today, they 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). Together with friend and chef Thierry Rautureau (café Luc), he gives listeners the lowdown on the Pacific Northwest food scene in their long-running weekly radio show on KIRO, “In the Kitchen with Tom and Thierry,” which then evolved into “Seattle Kitchen.”
Douglas serves on the board for nonprofit Food Lifeline, which provides food banks, hot meal programs, and shelters in western Washington, and has helped the Seattle Public Schools system design a more nutritious lunch program. He’s even combined seafood and civic spirit, participating in an event to raise money for city parks, called, in very Douglas fashion, Salmon Chanted Evening.

Next up for Douglas, a Belltown cantina, whose name-in-progress is The Lonesome Stranger.