Text by Charles Miller
As a Delaware native, Tom Douglas is no stranger to fresh seafood. Having grown up in a family of 10, he's also used to cooking for a crowd. Early on, Tom and his siblings learned that dipping a chicken neck tied to a string into the Chesapeake River would yield buckets of blue crabs; dinner at the Douglas house on those nights always included a heaping platter of fresh crab cakes.
Fast forward a few decades and Tom's commitment to using the freshest ingredients (seafood, especially), his attention to culinary detail, and his natural ability to create welcoming spaces for dining have earned him 13 Seattle restaurants, 3 cookbooks, and 3 James Beard awards, including this year's Outstanding Restaurateur in America.
But creating successful restaurants isn't the only thing Tom does. He works for several local nonprofit organizations, and dinner at the Douglas home with his wife and partner, Jackie Cross, is a perennial favorite item at charity auctions. In fact, a typical weekend dinner for the couple often includes 10 guests, all gathered around the huge picnic-style table that sits just off their kitchen. I recently paid Tom a visit to find out just what it takes to entertain big.
Watch the slideshow to go Behind the Kitchen Door for a tour of Tom's kitchen and dining room.
Leave a comment on Tom's Must-Have Tools & Serveware post for your chance to win his favorite kitchen items.