Beyond the restaurants, the James Beard Outstanding Restaurateur award-winner has a weekly radio show Seattle Kitchen , where he talks food, wine, and anything else that is on his mind. I had the pleasure of writing some questions for Chef Tom Douglas about his past, present and future as a top-level chef, restaurateur and entrepreneur.
More on Douglas, his team and his various projects can be found online at www. Darren Paltrowitz is a native New Yorker with something years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his favorite band.
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Working for Douglas has its perks, but it also requires discipline and an ability to see the big picture. Those who have worked for him a long time have even learned to anticipate what his standards would be in new situations and with new dishes. Despite that, Douglas develops a close relationship of trust with his employees, particularly with the managers and cooks, because he has shifted largely into visionary mode.
He will be the first to admit that. Douglas' balance of respect and high expectations for his employees has resulted in low turnover in an industry that generally has 80 percent annual turnover for hourly workers.
Throughout the process of interviewing employees who work with Douglas, I heard about his perfectionist streak. An example:.
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In , Seth Mathison, a year-old bartender at Lola, was at his baby shower when he had a heart attack. He was still in the process of setting up his health insurance at the time. In addition to an unusual health crisis for an otherwise young and healthy man, he was facing tremendous medical debt with a new baby on the way.