Behind the Kitchen Door: Tom Douglas's Entertainer's Kitchen -
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Behind the Kitchen Door: Tom Douglas's Entertainer's Kitchen

Video Length: 6:57
Produced by: Robyn Doyon-Aitken; Photos by Charles Miller, except where noted.

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.

posted in: Behind the Kitchen Door, Tom Douglas
Comments (24)

seejanecook writes: I love seeing the private kitchens of professional chefs. Great article! Posted: 8:43 am on September 29th

FreshChef writes: when we first visited Seattle (2004), you, Kerry Sears & Tod English were the only game in town. We ate at all of the restaurants (it was def. a gastronomic trip) 3x a day. What an achievement for you now to have practically tripled your public offerings, and congratulations for still being in the game! Best Wishes, Carol Hargis, Chatham, NY. ps. my daughter Brigit, now 16, continues to enjoy cooking from the cookbook you sent her when she sent you money towards a Katrina relief meal you organized. Posted: 8:03 am on September 28th

pajoan writes: Tom, you're HOT! (Lucky Jackie) Posted: 4:32 pm on September 27th

FC_Editors writes: Hi everyone: Just a reminder. You're welcome to leave comments about Tom's kitchen here, but be sure to leave a comment on the giveaway post ( to be entered to win Tom's must-have kitchen gear and serveware. Thanks! Posted: 8:00 pm on September 26th

cavegirl writes: Casual, professional, warm and stylish! Great ideas that anyone can incorporate. Thanks. Posted: 10:44 am on September 26th

edna elizabeth writes: love all the stuff you get to cook with Posted: 3:09 am on September 26th

Kwazykats writes: An oven like that would be absolutey amazing to cook with. Posted: 6:43 pm on September 25th

Kahla writes: What an inspiring video! Your kitchen space is not only practical, incorporating good ideas in a thrifty way, but it is very also personal and beautiful. It has given me great ideas on how to do some remodeling to my current outdated kitchen without spending a fortune, and has provided great ways to make it a more efficient work space. The moveable island is an ingenious way to grab more space. Pots and lids are organized, knives and spices are accessible, clean-up is simple and your special dishes are on display to enjoy, not stored out of site and forgotten. Thank you for sharing.... Posted: 4:44 pm on September 25th

beachfire writes: The organization of this kitchen is incredible. I can only hope to be this good. However, that said, I am in the middle of a kitchen renovation and this has given me some great ideas. Thanks so much to the Douglass's for inviting us in. We love the restaurants, especially Lola. Posted: 4:19 pm on September 25th

bozocat writes: A moveable island--what a fantastic idea! Love the video! I an so envious! Posted: 3:54 pm on September 25th

gannacarto writes: What a beautiful kitchen - and a great place to entertain - Hope to get to Seattle one day and visit Tom's restaurants - think the first time I saw him was when he cooked w/Julia Child on PBS. Posted: 3:10 pm on September 25th

homer506 writes: Hi Tom. Beautiful kitchen. I am also a chef and have a restaurant in Stuart Florida. I sure appreciate how you set up your home kitchen. When you're so use to your restaurant kitchen it's hard to cook at home. You certainly thought of everything. Absolutely gorgeous. Enjoy!! And I know your guests will as well. :) Posted: 3:05 pm on September 25th

Lvern writes: Love being able to slide the island into the corner making more room for entertaining. What a marvelous idea. Posted: 2:51 pm on September 25th

stolipup writes: Perfect home for the cooking enthusiast!! I’m so jealous!! Posted: 2:36 pm on September 25th

cshea writes: Loved the kitchen. And the article. Would love to have the essential kitchen tools. Especially the fish platter. I live in Newfoundland where a fish platter really is an essential kitchen tool. Posted: 2:18 pm on September 25th

Weena writes: I really enjoyed this guided tour. So many great ideas in one space. I particularly like the magnetic racks and the movable island. The hand-made dining room table is spectacular, and should rightly be a point of pride! Posted: 1:36 pm on September 25th

JazzJanet writes: I love the fabulous blend of commercial and domestic kitchen! Everything is at hand so cooking would be efficient and hassle-free. I LOVE the commercial dishwasher and double sink!! But the idea I'm going to use (as we are renovating our kitchen) is the movable island.It makes so much sense to have a versatile space. Thanks for the tour...oh, and the colours in the dining space are so beautifully inviting. Posted: 11:02 pm on September 18th

AVM9 writes: The heart of any house is indeed the kitchen! I appreciate the thought and details behind each aspect of this kitchen and particularly, the movable island. Brilliant and practical! I feel I have a fresh perspective when viewing my own kitchen, which is always a work in progress. Posted: 11:20 am on September 18th

vaidas4444 writes: I love the moveable island. This would be a dream come thru for me! Posted: 11:05 am on September 18th

pega1975 writes: I love how you organized your kitchen/dining area to make it as efficient, yet inviting for you and your guests. Kudos to you for going organic and giving back to your community! The platters, your moving island and eclectic taste is awesome. Posted: 10:30 am on September 18th

ShawnReed writes: Great kitchen. Makes me want to set fire to my own. When in Seattle, we plan our trip around Tom's restaurants. Dahlia still one of the best anywhere. Posted: 4:14 pm on September 17th

cookingjudy writes: Very nice to have a guided tour. I especially liked the moveable island. What a joy to have all the herbs and spices visible and within reach, great idea. Posted: 8:07 am on August 31st

lanaya writes: I enjoyed watching the video link. It's a wonderful share about the home. The story is very inspiring and you can really appreciate the minimalist layout along with the appealing design. Posted: 10:16 pm on August 30th

janann1999 writes: Wonderful story and home! Just love the simple but smart layout and organization and design. The dining room light caught my eye right away. Posted: 4:04 pm on August 30th

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