Tag Archives: Tom Douglas

Tom Douglas shares holiday recipes from new cookbook at Macy’s Culinary Council event

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.

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Filed under Events

A serious happy hour

Chanterelle truffle cheese pizza and clam, pancetta and lemon thyme pizza at Serious Pie in Seattle

It’s Friday, which means that people will be plotting all day where to meet their friends for happy hour. Last year I wrote about some of my favorite happy hours, and there’s one more I definitely need to add to the list.

It’s the pizza happy hour at Serious Pie, Tom Douglas’s gourmet take on a pizzeria. Happy hour is early (3:00-5:00 p.m.) and short, but if you can make it during this window, you should. It can be virtually impossible to score a seat in Serious Pie during lunch or dinner.

Full-size pizza are usually around $17, but during happy hour, you can order mini pies for just $5. Happy hour beer is $3 and wine is $5.

Last week my friend Sharon and I were shopping downtown one afternoon and ducked into Serious Pie for a hearty snack and to escape an impending rainstorm. Pizza toppings run the gamut from basic (mozzarella and tomato) to full-blown foodie (guanciale, soft egg and arugula).

We ordered two mini pies to share: the chanterelle mushroom and truffle cheese and one with Penn Cove clams, pancetta and lemon thyme.

The clam and pancetta pizza is a salty snack lover’s dream, while the mushroom and the other pie had a sweet and mellow flavor with just a hint of truffle. The pizza at Serious Pie is soft and pillowy (no cracker-thin crust here!) making the top-notch ingredients taste that much more luxurious.

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Filed under Reviews, Savory

Choose your own (alcoholic) adventure

My friend Lynn and I recently had dinner in the bar at Lola in downtown Seattle. When the bartender, Ian, asked us what we wanted to drink, Lynn said she wanted something that was like an Irish coffee but better. More like a hot chocolate.

Ian said he would make up a new drink as long as we came up with a name for it. The mixologist went to work, and the result was a warm and cozy drink that was also spicy and creamy. I liked that you could tell that it had alcohol in it, but the liquor didn’t overpower all other flavors. We christened the new concoction “Lynn’s Clove and Cocoa.” Here’s what goes into the drink:

Half an ounce of tuaca, followed by 3/4 ounce creme de cacao.

Half an ounce of falernum, which I had never heard of, but apparently, I’ve drunk a lot of it because of my love of tiki drinks. Lola makes their own falernum for its bar. (Hence the handwritten, masking tape label on the bottle.)

Next come five dashes of chocolate bitters and then you top everything off with some steamed milk.

Ian wrote down the recipe on the back of a coaster and put it in his drink recipe file. (Who knew bartenders had such a thing? But I guess it makes sense.)

So if you happen to be at Lola on a Sunday or Monday when Ian is working, order a clove and cocoa. Tell him Lynn sent you.

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Oh yes, it’s ladies night

So the Thursday morning after the Top Chef Masters finale, I was a little bummed because Hubert Keller lost, but I wasn’t down for too long because I had dinner at my friend Ellen’s house to look forward to. As I wrote a few months ago, every Thursday Ellen hosts a “Girls Night” at her home.

Ellen is a fabulous cook and host. She usually prepares an entree and then the rest of us sign up to bring salad, bread, wine or dessert. Along with Ellen, my weekly dining companions are Mahnaz, Tara, Jill, Lynn and Michelle. Although it’s “Girls Night,” men are welcome so Ellen’s husband, Jeff, is also at the table and other spouses make frequent appearances. Half of us are new moms so there are also a few babies in the mix as well as Jeff and Ellen’s dachsund, Chaplin.

This past Thursday, we celebrated the return of Project Runway with an all-appetizers menu.

Jill made garam masala deviled eggs and ham tartines.

Garam masala deviled eggs

Ham tartines

Tara brought a fancy cheese plate and a not-so-fancy, but delicious, sweet dip for strawberries made with cream cheese and marshmallow fluff.

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Strawberries and dip

Ellen prepared Italian meatballs and Jamaican chicken bites.

Meat balls

Jamaican chicken bites

Mahnaz roasted an assortment of vegetables dusted with curry powder.

Roasted vegetables

And I attempted to recreate a Tom Douglas appetizer I had tasted at an event. It was a thin slice of granny smith apple topped with smoked salmon, creme fraiche and dill. I couldn’t find any creme fraiche at the grocery store so I used sour cream instead. They turned out surprisingly well!

Apples with salmon and dill

Lynn rounded out things with amazing chocolate and peanut butter brownie bites.

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Tara and Mahnaz dressed up for Project Runway viewing and looked fierce. (I wore sweats.)

Tara and Mahnaz

The lone male that evening was Ellen’s baby boy, Jonah.

Ellen and Jonah

The food was awesome, the company divine. And Project Runway? I enjoyed the All-Stars edition much more than the season 6 premiere, although there was way too much Santino for my taste. Season 6 has way too many designers to keep track of, and I thought the challenge of creating an outfit for a “red carpet event” was pretty dull.

Speaking of fashion, who designed the outfit for the lead singer in this video? If your client says, “I’d like a floor length jacket that looks like a brick wall,” you should say no.

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Filed under Savory, Sweet, Thursday night dinners