Get to know the Ray’s Family
Get to know the Ray’s Family
In his nearly 40 years in the hospitality industry, Douglas Zellers has had the opportunity to lead a diverse range of food and beverage operations, execute multiple high profile grand openings, restructure iconic programs, and has had the honor of working with Seattle’s top hospitality brands leading some of the most amazing teams.
Raised in Pennsylvania, Douglas worked his way up the culinary hierarchy within a wide range of food and beverage operations including family-owned businesses, multi-unit operations, and a local ski resort. Graduating from Dickinson College in 1991, Douglas then moved west to join the emerging global food and wine scene in Seattle. Finding a niche as a grand opening and turnaround specialist Douglas has helped open The Port of Seattle World Trade Center private dining rooms, The Wild Ginger 3rd and Union, and The Triple Door Music Theater. In the last 12 years he has helped reposition and revitalize food and beverage programs at the Washington Athletic Club and Palisade Waterfront Dining.
Douglas finds passion through service and after 11 years of dedication is now emeritus Chef du Sommelier for the annual Auction of Washington Wines that benefits uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital. His dedication to the advancement of the Washington wine industry helped earn him the 2010 Walter Clore Honorarium, the Washington Wine Commission’s lifetime achievement award. Douglas continues his giving though mentoring many of Seattle’s young up and coming food and beverage professionals not only within the teams that he leads directly, but also through participation at organizations such as FareStart and the Seattle Community College Culinary Advisory Board.
Tom Olsson is a Seattle native with 30 years’ experience in the local restaurant industry. He started at Ray’s as a banquet line cook in 1995 and has worked here ever since. As he grew and learned more in the kitchen, he figured out his real strength was financials. So he jumped at an opportunity to transfer to accounting in 2008. Ray’s is his home, and he can’t imagine being anywhere else.
Tom’s dad was a pilot in the military when he was growing up, so he got to experience many different countries and cultures. He spent all of grade school in Europe, and his exposure to the food and culture there formed his passion for a life in the restaurant business.
Outside of work, he tends to be an adrenaline junky. He’s always loved fast cars, and has tinkered with them since high school. He raced cars for about 10 years, but is now retired from that, though he still teaches people how to race at the local BMW Club. After cars, he discovered that he could get the same competitive rush from cycling for a lot less money. So if he’s missing from work… he’s probably on his bike somewhere racing along.
Kevin is an energetic and talented chef. He loves the month of May at Ray’s when we source his favorite fish, Copper River salmon from Alaska. He enjoys traveling and trying new foods from all over the world, like the time he lived in Doha, Qatar for two years in high school. During his college years at the University of Washington he worked at Agua Verde Paddle Club in Portage Bay each summer and enjoyed being on the water with ample bird watching opportunities, one of the traditions he has continued here at Ray’s. Kevin loves to view all sorts of bird life from bald eagles to cormorants, belted kingfishers and many other marine birds. When not at Ray’s Kevin can be found playing disc golf with Sous Chef Stephen Rodriguez, studying wine, cooking elaborate meals at home, or hanging with his two cats: Tupaws Shakur and Biggie Paws.
Gus feels very fortunate to be doing what he enjoys the most for the past twenty years—creating and presenting food in new and inventive ways. Starting in 2009 he has been on an incredible journey in the Northwest.
He began at Cave B, a vineyard and resort in eastern Washington. Then moved on to Poppy located in Capitol Hill. Since 2012 he has had the pleasure to be employed at the iconic Ray’s Boathouse. Each restaurant in his Northwest journey has provided the opportunity and blessing to collaborate with great chefs such as Chef Joe Richie, Chef Jerry Traunfeld and of course Chef Paul Duncan whom I currently work with.
Ray’s Boathouse has allowed him to express his own work in a creative manner. He worked his way into the Boathouse Sous Chef position, then was promoted to Sous Chef of Banquets and is currently Ray’s Executive Sous Chef. He is extremely honored to be at a restaurant that supports his creativity and is very excited for what the future holds. Siempre hacia Adelante!
Tina Quinn has nearly 20 years of experience in human resources, and has dedicated her career to the hospitality industry. Prior to Ray’s, she worked for Pineapple Hospitality and managed human resources for six hotels in three states, was Director of Human Resources for Wild Ginger and The Triple Door in downtown Seattle, and was the Assistant Director of Human Resources for Windows on the World in New York City.
Tina is an active member of the community and supports non-profit organizations that promote health, women, children and animals. Some of her favorites are the Junior League of Seattle, Medical Teams International, Kindering, and The Seattle Humane Society. In her spare time Tina can be found spending time with friends and family, traveling, exploring new restaurants, and cheering for the Seahawks.
Hannah joins Ray’s Catering team with a dedication to hospitality and extensive wedding, large event and operations experience. Since her first job bussing tables at age 15, hospitality has been her passion and one and only career goal. She graduated from Central Washington University with a BS in global wine studies and a minor in event planning.
Hannah has executed all types of events, from large movie nights at Redhook Brewery, to boutique corporate dinners and weddings at the Alexis Hotel. The details of set up and presentation and making her clients’ vision come to life are her favorite parts of the event planning process.
She has participated in local community events such as The Toast of Edmonds, Chili for Children’s – benefiting Children’s Hospital, and Women in Business – an organization that partners with local businesses owned by women in Edmonds, WA.
Outside of Ray’s she can be found paddle boarding, snowboarding, camping, hiking and enjoying the PNW. She finds inspiration through live music and traveling and loves to play fetch with her cat Gouda – named after her favorite cheese.
Darrell’s career in hospitality started right here on Shilshole Bay in 1993 while attending Seattle Pacific University. He was working as a busser at a nearby restaurant and he found that he enjoyed the industry more than anything else and continued on.
After working his way up he managed and ran the wine program at Ponti Seafood Grill for several years and then continued in a similar capacity at Nell’s in Green Lake for about 8 years before coming to Ray’s.
Darrell’s favorite wine is a 1995 Chateau Cos d’Estournal Saint-Estephe which pairs perfectly with a New York steak with demi-glace. He enjoys cooking at home and his go-to dish is grilled pork tenderloin with sweet potato puree, sauteed escarole and apple glaze. His hobbies are trail running with his dog and playing pool. When he gets away for travel, he’ll most frequently go to Manta, Ecuador.
Washington native, Bruce Sturgeon, comes with an impressive resume spanning over 40 years in the wine and restaurant business. He is a Certified Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers achieving multiple awards for the wine programs he has developed throughout his career.
After Bruce completed his tours of duty in Colorado and California he returned to Seattle to serve as the Wine Director at Wild Ginger. For the past 10 years he served as Director of Operations to four world-renowned Seattle restaurants, Steelhead Diner, Blueacre Seafood, Orfeo and Zane & Wylie’s Seattle Steakhouse. His mentorships and teachings to thousands of hospitality staff has transcended the Seattle restaurant scene, with many successfully opening their own venues.
From Aspen, Colorado to Newport Beach, California and Seattle, Washington, Bruce has done hundreds of food and wine pairing events with some of the finest wineries — catering to some of the most discriminating palates from around the world. His knowledge of wines is sought out by wine judging competitions including the West Coast Oyster Wine Competition, The Seattle/Oregon/Idaho Wine Awards, Seattle Magazine Wine Awards, and the Seattle Tasting Panel. He’s been published in several publications including Northwest Food and Drink, The Tasting Panel Magazine, the SOMM Journal.
Emmett has been a proud resident of Ballard his entire life. His restaurant career began unofficially as a six-year old at his parents’ restaurant in Magnolia where he would “help seat people” by aimlessly wandering through the dining room with a handful of menus with a trail of trusting guests behind him until he eventually picked a table at random. In the 90s both of his parents worked at Ray’s making him a second generation Ray’s employee.
Since then he’s improved his skills in hospitality by working at a variety of restaurants in Seattle before starting at Ray’s in 2014. He loves to be challenged and has a passion for creative problem-solving that he gets to exercise every day, both at work and in his personal life.
When not at Ray’s he’s proud to spend his time as an assistant varsity baseball coach at his alma mater, Ballard High School. In his free time you’ll likely find him eating and drinking at his favorite Seattle restaurants, at a concert for a local band, on a kayak in the Puget Sound, or at a baseball field both as a coach and lifelong Mariner fan.
A New York native, Karen is a hospitality vet through and through. She has a Bachelor’s of Science in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI and during school she spent a summer studying abroad in Germany where she focused on European cooking and wine, learning how to perfectly pair the two. Most of her restaurant jobs have been in the kitchen, but she’s also made sure to work as a server to gain a greater understanding of the business from all aspects.
She had a stint as a personal chef in New England for a while. Prior to joining the front of house team at Ray’s she was a line cook for 5 years, 3 years working in the Cafe and 2 years on the Boathouse line. Working at Ray’s has felt like home to Karen she loves how passionate and dedicated the team is to their jobs and to the guests’ experience. When she’s not at Ray’s Karen can be found checking out a new restaurant with her friends, or at home cooking.
Jose is an excellent addition to the Ray’s management team. He’s been working in hospitality for the last 15 years bartending and managing restaurants and is a level 1 Cicerone and level 1 Sommelier.
Jose grew up in California and after moving to Washington graduated from Cascade High School in Everett. After studying math and Spanish at Spokane Falls Community College while planning to earn his teaching degree, he found his passion was in the hospitality industry and changed course to focus his attention to managing and training young adults in fine dining atmospheres.
He loves to cook and makes a great surf and turf with filet mignon, a mushroom gravy, and sauteed butter prawns, all of which he pairs with a great Malbec.
When he’s not helping run a busy dining room he enjoys snowboarding in the winter and kite boarding and paddle boarding in the summer. And he loves to travel to the beautiful PNW mountains for hiking and camping.
Originally from the Midwest, Pamela comes to Seattle and Ray’s with an extensive hospitality career. She has been both the front and back of the house management for TGI Fridays, The Hard Rock NYC, Le Madri NYC, Hank’s Oyster Bar DC, and numerous smaller casual and fine dining restaurants across the country.
For a time, she stepped away from hospitality and explored the worlds of talent management, movie-making, video game production senior management, government consulting and finance.
Her passion for helping a client bring their event from a dream to reality brought Pamela back to hospitality and catering. Most recently at Thyme Café and Restaurant in Santa Monica, CA, she responsible for all aspects of all events – from small 10 guest dinners at client’s home, to lavish weddings or huge 2-day corporate events – Pamela handled all the details to make client’s visions reality.
Pamela’s extended family reside in the PNW, and she is excited to explore the area and all that it offers from hiking mountains to wine tasting in Woodinville and restaurants in Ballard.
Born and raised in south Texas, Stephen Rodriguez moved to Washington in 2013 looking for glory. He began his culinary career at 25, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed straight out of the Art Institute of San Antonio with a degree in culinary management. Over the years he’s worked with many talented young chefs whom have helped to shape his personal philosophy. Hard work and dedication are some of life’s best and most endearing qualities and working in the kitchen has really shown him how to love life and respect the wonder of nature’s bounty.
When he’s not working he’s at either at a coffee shop reading a book or a bar here in Ballard talking about aliens or food. In the Boathouse he and his crew have fun and work hard producing high-quality, fresh seafood.
Jose brings many years of experience and talent to Ray’s. He spent six years as Sous Chef at the Daily Grill in the Sheraton Hotel, seven years as Sous Chef for Nordstrom Café and also has fine dining experience as a line cook at the Metropolitan Grill and The Brooklyn Seafood, Steak & Oyster House. Jose’s favorite fish is salmon and he loves preparing it fresh every day. When not in the kitchen cooking, he enjoys spending time with his family or playing basketball with friends.
Join us at Ray’s to imbibe during Seattle Cocktail Week! From March 26-April 2 we’ll be offering four special cocktails created by Ray’s bartender LeAnne Burk, so make sure to join us in the Boathouse or Cafe to try them all! Foreign Relations Monkey 47 Gin, yuzu, lime leaf, simple, topped with bubbles Checking Out Plantation Stiggins pineapple rum, Plantation …
Continue reading “Seattle Cocktail Week at Ray’s March 26-April 2!”
Ray’s Boathouse elevates local, sustainable seafood with global flavors and Northwest inspiration nightly.
Classic seafood dishes with seasonal preparations in our upstairs Café overlooking Puget Sound.