If you have lived in Seattle for any significant amount of time, it can be easy to be blasé about chef Tom Douglas. The man is everywhere. He’s frying doughnuts at the Bite of Seattle, selling his Rubs With Love at Costco, joking around with Thierry Rautureau on their radio show, judging dishes on “Top Chef,” and expanding his restaurant empire.
No matter what you think of Douglas, you have to respect his hustle and ambition. He currently operates 13 restaurants with more on the way, including the re-imagining of his Tibetan dumpling house, Ting Momo, as a food truck. In recognition of his incredible culinary career, the James Beard Foundation named Douglas “Outstanding Restaurateur” in May 2012.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a cooking demo with Douglas at Macy’s in downtown Seattle. He is a member of Macy’s Culinary Council and was at the store to share recipes from his new Dahlia Bakery Cookbook for holiday entertaining.
A large audience gathered for the event, obviously eager to see the chef in action. In addition to the excellent service and food at his restaurants, what makes Tom Douglas successful? Here are 4 things I observed.