Thomas has been in and around restaurants his whole life. His grandparents owned a greasy spoon style cafe in Black Diamond, Washington which was just a couple blocks from his house. He spent a lot of time there and soon fell in love with restaurants and cooking. After working in the front of the house for many years he started dabbling in the kitchen and began getting guidance from chefs. Armed with that experience and pearls of wisdom about how to cook with love from his grandmother and mom, Thomas headed off to culinary school and soon became a full time chef. He now runs the show at ESR's Derby.
Where are you from?
Black Diamond, WA
First Restaurant Job
Last Restaurant Job
Alternate Universe Career
Favorite Late Night Snack
Safeway brand rising crust 3 meat pizza. 2 for $10!!
Best Meal Ever
The best meal ever is Christmas Eve dinner at my aunts. It's as eclectic and weird as it is tradition and love. There's Middle East influence, Asian influence, Irish, Italian, American classics. Cabbage rolls and quinoa tabouli, BBQ pork and fried rice, rabbit terrine, a whole turkey and a ham. It's one of the weirdest meals on the planet, and everyone in my family agrees, but it's made with love the way we were taught by my grandparents. It keeps them with us and brings us together. It changes every year but certain things are always on the table, and somehow, it keeps getting better.
After Work Hangout
Home. I really like my house.
Smoke. I love the complexity it brings. I love the different flavors you get from different wood.
Favorite Seattle Restaurants
Joule, Super Six, Joy Palace on MLK and Graham for Dim Sum, London Plane, Pho Cyclo, Tamarind Tree, Marjorie
I cook from a place of love. Food and cooking have always brought me so much joy, that is what I try to impart in my cooking. Quality ingredients, treated with respect, not bogged down by too many things going on.
Restaurant Pet Peeve
Using too many towels. Deli containers that are still wet when hey are stacked together. People who think they are "too good" to wash dishes, no one is above washing dishes.
What do you love about Seattle?
The people. I love the diversity of our city. I love that just a short drive in any direction and your in a completely different neighborhood that has its own personality.
Favorite Place In The World
I have a couple. One is my bed. I love being at home in bed with my dogs and John, it's the most peaceful place I know. The other is around the dinner table at my moms wih my whole family. Mom and Dad, my sisters and thier husbands, my nieces and nephews, me and John. It's a nice reminder of how lucky I am to have the people I do.
Memorable Kitchen Disaster
When I was a line cook at Marjorie, we had gotten a new 6 burner. The new sous chef left the stock pot on too high over night. Have you ever seen a hole melted into a rock pot? I have. When we got to work the next the fire department had been called to put out the stock that had boiled out and the ensuing fire. The entire place was filled with smoke and smelled like burnt veal bones for a week.
Can't Live Without
What's On The DVR?
Rachel Maddow, Game of Thrones, Face Off
What's On The Nightstand?
Apple TV Remote