The distinguished alumni of Tom Douglas University

A bit ago, I read an article that mentioned all of the local folks that have worked under Tom Douglas and his many restaurants. I never internalized this until I started to work on some recent posts; a ton of the best chefs in Seattle all worked under Tom Douglas and have since branched out to do their thing.

This blew me away. He has alumni across all areas of Seattle. Tom Douglas and his Tom Douglas Restaurant Group have quite the hand in the local food scene. With five restaurants, a bakery, and a bunch of products (books, rubs, sauces), they are well known within the Seattle food scene. It’s awesome how many talented folks come from his restaurants. Great in that they’ve each been able to go out on their own. Kind of shows the caliber of people that Tom has as part of his restaurants. As mentioned in another article, ‘he learned from the folks he has worked with and for’. Tom’s restaurant family has certainly helped generate and maintain our Seattle foodie community, placing Seattle on the map as a food scene that’s a force to be reckoned with. You get the impression that Tom fosters an environment of growth and has influenced his staff to achieve their own food goals. Just my feeling, but I think this synergy has benefited a fair bit of people.

From what I’ve gathered here are some of the folks that have worked with Tom Douglas and where they are now. I’m sure I’m missing some (my apologies), but this list is already pretty formidable:

Head on over to one of Tom’s restaurants, you might be eating food from the next great chef of Seattle.

Photo from Ron Wurzer
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3 thoughts on “The distinguished alumni of Tom Douglas University

  1. Indeed! I’ve always said Tom Douglas is the Gene Juarez of food in Seattle. He trains them well, then go on to become these great stars of food.

    Add Toby Matasar to the list. She owns Eats Market Cafe in West Seattle.

  2. [...] Mentors. They’re really hard to find and when you finally gain one, hold on tight. Any mentor will tell you that it takes hard work to see the results. But it is sure nice to look back and realize how far you’ve come. So when I asked Angie Sorenson of Lambs Ear Shoes about the inspirations behind the opening of her store, it’s not surprising that she mentioned her mentor Becky Buford of Les Amis and Essenza in Fremont. And the more I hear about Becky, the more she resembles a retail savvy version Tom Douglas, unofficially noted for Tom Douglas University. [...]

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