Tomorrow, June 1, is proclaimed “Tom Douglas Day in King County” in honor of Douglas receiving Outstanding Restaurateur of the Year Award by the James Beard Foundation earlier this month. The award is considered by many to be the nation’s most prestigious national food and restaurant industry accolade.
Douglas, who was not able to accept the award in-person in New York on May 7, was subsequently surprised by an in person presentation and proclamation reading by King County Executive Dow Constantine at the board of directors meeting of Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau (SCVB). Douglas, who serves on the board and has been influential within the regional tourism industry, was praised for his national success and local commitment by Constantine and tourism industry leaders who were present.
Constantine encouraged all county residents to join in congratulating Tom on his national honors and “many years of keeping Seattle diners happy and well-fed.” He noted that Douglas’ “collegial nature and entrepreneurial spirit have fortunately proven contagious, as many chefs trained and mentored in his restaurants have gone on to start their own businesses.”
Douglas owns 12 restaurants in the Seattle neighborhoods of Belltown, Pike Place Market, and South Lake Union and has been a pioneer of regional cuisine in Seattle during the past two decades, often appearing in national and international food, travel and lifestyle media.
“We’re honored to salute Tom Douglas as one of the city and county’s top tourism assets,” said Tom Norwalk, President and CEO of Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Not only has he achieved the nation’s highest restaurant industry award but, by way of his long-running success and outspoken passion for local cuisine and Northwest ingredients, he has helped cultivate our region as one of the top food destinations in the world.“