Tom Douglas was born in August 1958 in Wilmington Delaware and his first culinary job was as an assistant to the Chef of the Hotel duPont. He moved to Seattle when he was 19 in 1977 and began working at a local restaurant called Café Sport. In 1989, he opened his first restaurant, Dahlia Lounge, taking another Great Chef with him from Café Sport, Shelly Lance. Tom Douglas has been called “the chef who put Seattle on the culinary map”.
In September 1994, Great Chefs caught up with him in Seattle while they were producing their Great Chefs-Great Cities series for The Discovery Channel. Chef Douglas prepared a steamed salmon for the series. Later, Great Chefs went back with Weber Grills to watch Chef Douglas prepare a grilled duck and a grilled salmon for the specials Great Chefs Cook Out – Seattle.
In 1995 Tom and his wife Jackie Cross, opened Etta’s Seafood, named after their daughter Loretta. Since then, he has opened another 14 restaurants, written 4 cookbooks, appeared on an equal amount of television shows, and received dozens of awards, including his third James Beard Foundation award in 2012 as “Outstanding Restaurateur”.
Chef Tom has a weekly radio show with another Seattle Great Chef, Thierry Rautureau.