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!
Chip hearts wine. Passing his sommelier certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2011 was one of the more stressful and gratifying experiences he’s had. The gift it gave him is a lifelong passion for wine: its history, geology, geography, the people that make it and the delicious juice that is the end result of all these contributing forces. His favorites range from Chablis to Vouvray and Eola-Amity Hills to Red Mountain. As well as most in between! Bringing his passion for wine to Ray’s has been the biggest treat of his career. The culture of family, friendship and camaraderie at Ray’s is so real and genuine.
Before getting into wine he received his MA in Social Anthropology from Queens University in 2005 but passed on his chance to go for his PhD to work in restaurants professionally, a decision that brought him to Seattle. He’s a self-proclaimed music nerd and has played in an acoustic Tool cover band and has seen Phish more times than he should probably admit.
When he’s not crafting our award-winning wine list (or his own personal wine cellar) he’s scouring bourbon blogs and collecting American whiskey. He’s been known as Max Power previously, Duff gardens is his favorite holiday spot and he once carved a spoon from a bigger spoon.
Randi fell in love with the gorgeous Northwest region after moving from Phoenix, AZ to study Nutrition at Bastyr University in the early 90s. She spent almost 20 years running two prepared meal delivery companies and working with some of the best catering teams in Seattle. Randi combines her passion for elegant sustainable menus with her love for designing unforgettable events and building community at Ray’s Boathouse. “Ray’s is a treasured icon in our town and who doesn’t love this breathtaking waterfront location and our fresh Pacific Northwest fare?” Randi loves nature, comedy, live music, karaoke and bringing people together around good food.
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.
Nic’s great-grandparents homesteaded in Seattle and then moved to the Eastside in the late 1800s. He will always call the greater Seattle area his home and believes in living life simply and extracting the most of what it has to offer. He believes in working hard and playing hard and that anything worth doing is worth doing well.
He has an obsessive attention to details and systems, and found an outlet for these neuroses in restaurants. From 14 years old he has been working in many of the city’s finest houses, perfecting his craft while enjoying what has become a life-long epicurean adventure.
His heroes are Winston Churchill and Reinhold Messner. He likes dogs better than cats and prefers the Beatles to the Stones. He is easily satisfied with the finest of things but can also have fun in a field, with a stick. He also really likes breakfast foods. When he’s not satisfying his palate, he’s satisfying his soul in the mountains. He is an avid alpine climber and skier and when not at work, he’s undoubtedly in the North Cascades or Nepal.
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.
Gabby first joined the Ray’s team as a reservationist where she honed her customer service skills and learned the inner workings of the restaurant business. She worked her way up to manager and can now be found in the Café interacting with guests and keeping the front-of-house running smoothly.
She loves being a part of the action in the dining room and on the deck, allowing her to see all aspects of the restaurant and help guide the team. She enjoys working on a team and offers a collaborative approach to management at Ray’s.
Gabby enjoys getting to know her customers and her community and loves working at an iconic Seattle restaurant with an incredible history! One of her favorite things about her job is hearing stories from long-time customers who have dined at Ray’s throughout their lives celebrating anniversaries, engagements, and birthdays and passing their Ray’s traditions on through generations. Her favorite menu items are the Sablefish and the Café’s famous Bloody Mary!
Growing up in Woodinville, Gabby enjoyed playing soccer and has always had an active lifestyle with a great appreciation for the outdoors. When she isn’t in the Café, she can be found riding her bike down Lake Washington Boulevard or on the Burke Gilman trail.
Jenna Hinton comes to Ray’s from Farmington Hills, MI, a suburb of Detroit. She began her career in food service/hospitality at age 16 as a banquet server in a country club. It was there that she developed a passion for catering and events. Upon graduating from high school, she moved to New York City to attend a rigorous acting conservatory program. Jenna continued to dabble in the hospitality industry, catering to many notable actors, journalists, and tv personalities. Her pursuits also led her to stage management, which set her up with the necessary skills to become a successful event coordinator. She returned to Michigan for a brief time and worked as a Private Event Coordinator at the Novi Chophouse.
Having dreamed of the West Coast for many years, she finally made the move to Seattle and joined the Ray’s family. She is delighted to be working with and learning from the incredibly knowledgeable and talented staff at Ray’s while serving the residents of Seattle. Her long term goal is to explore event planning and design, a career that combines her creativity and her desire to craft a unique guest experience.
Zach has spent his restaurant career in many different roles learning various aspects of the industry and has worked in what he considers to be some of the top restaurants in Washington. He spent the first 10 years of his restaurant career as a line cook, and in 2013 was promoted to pantry cook at Ray’s Café making salads and desserts. He moved up to lead Café cook and a couple of years later he moved to the Boathouse as a line cook, also working his way up to a lead line cook.
Next he transitioned to the front of the house where he worked in expo, preparing food before it’s delivered to the guest, and as a host then Front of House Manager to learn more about running a restaurant and diving deeper into Ray’s culture of excellent customer service. He is thrilled to now be Café Sous Chef and help lead this bustling and busy kitchen!
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.
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.
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.
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