Douglas Jones

Fabulous People: Douglas Jones

In his work as the executive chef of Aerlume in Seattle, Douglas Jones aims to help guests experience the versatility of farm-to-table products with seasonality as the focus. Learn about Douglas Jones…

Hometown: Nashville, TN

First job: Dishwasher and eventually garde manager at a French bed and breakfast in Nesbit, MS, called Bonne Terre. 

Favorite ways to spend your free time in WA: Snowboarding, wood working and hiking.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: Taking the initiative and having the drive to move 550 miles, put myself through culinary school, at the Le Cordón Bleu in Chicago, and have the grit to finish the program while working full time and not knowing anyone in the area. Cooking has been a major passion for me since I first started, and I know culinary school would push me further ahead.

The biggest obstacle you overcame: Making the transition into management from being a line cook. Absorbing all the food costing, menu planning, inventory management and dynamics of dealing with building up and working with newer cooks.

Someone who inspires you and why: Enrique Olvera – chef of Pujol, Mexico City (among many others). His approach to elevated pre-Hispanic cuisine is astounding. Taking ingredients and plates made for thousands of years and pushing them to ultra-high levels and new ways of thinking about them is awe inspiring.

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Be prepared to dedicate your work life to the service of others. Putting in long nights and weekends is required, but seeing it pay off when someone understands your inspiration and execution of their food.

Favorite quote: “Take your job seriously, but don’t take yourself too seriously.” –Alex Trebek

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I’m always learning and love the jack-of-all-trades approach, instead of the master of any. I take inspiration from all aspects of life for my work life. I try to always think of anything I can do to make our restaurant and team’s day better.

What makes someone fabulous: Passion makes someone fabulous. You see it come out in many ways, but when they are passionate and inspired, it becomes contagious for everyone they share space with.

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