OUR TEAM

Get to know the Ray’s Family

Doug Zellers


GM & Co-Owner

Doug Zellers

- GM & Co-Owner

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 ex officio 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.

Paul Duncan


Executive Chef

Paul Duncan

- Executive Chef

A Pacific Northwest native, Paul began his chef career in Portland and spent time in Hawaii before settling in Seattle in 2012. He first worked in the food industry at the age of 14 when he sold Hebrew Nationals at the Portland Saturday Market. As a college student in Oregon, he found work in kitchens to pay the rent, but around the age of 21 he started taking cooking seriously. Working for Widmer Brothers Brewing in their Gasthaus Pub kitchen, he was introduced to the brigade system, how to work in a proper kitchen, and with a head chef.

Working at Assaggio in Southeast Portland in the late 1990’s as the chef’s right hand, Paul received a crash course in precision, speed and Italian cuisine. Next, Paul worked at Serratto, an upscale Italian restaurant in Northwest Portland. This was a neighborhood known for progressive restaurants and Paul had a rich experience working with talented, up-and-coming chefs. Learning new techniques and paying attention to different purveyors, farmers and foragers to source ingredients, Paul and his colleagues took part in the birth of the farm to table movement in Portland.

Paul went on to work at Caffe Mingo and Tabla in Portland before moving to Hawaii in 2008. He spent five years in Maui, first at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company for one, and then the Ritz Carlton Kapalua for four years. Paul joined Ray’s Boathouse & Café in 2013 as executive sous chef. He was promoted to Ray’s chef de cuisine in 2013 and in 2015 was promoted to executive chef.

 When Paul is not hard at work in the kitchen, he can be found seeking adventure through golf, hiking, running, swimming and boating.  

Tom Olsson


CFO & Co-Owner

Tom Olsson

- CFO & Co-Owner

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 a 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.    

Amanda Viereck


Director of Catering

Amanda Viereck

- Director of Catering

Born and raised in the Northwest, Seattle is Amanda’s favorite city! With so much at our fingertips from  saltwater to the mountains, desert and best of all some of the freshest seafood in the world, what’s not to love.

She began her career as a hostess, then honed her people skills as a maître d’ and eventually fell into a more customer service focused management role at one of Seattle’s most popular restaurants and music venue. After a long stint at the renowned McCaw Hall, home to the Seattle Opera and Pacific NW Ballet she joined the team at Ray’s as Director of Catering.

She loves what she does and most of all she loves who she does it with, teammates and clients alike. She works with some amazing couples and the Ray’s team truly anticipates their needs, leaving them with a one of a kind experience.

When she’s not running around Ray’s she can be found spending time with her husband and kids, cooking something new or hopefully on an occasional vacation in the Caribbean!

Chip Croteau


Boathouse Manager / Wine Director

Chip Croteau

- Boathouse Manager / Wine Director

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.

Nic Reinig


Boathouse Manager

Nic Reinig

- Boathouse Manager

Nic’s great grandparents homesteaded in Seattle and then moved to the Eastside in the late 1800’s. 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 like 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.

Darla Marchi


Lead Cafe & Beverage Manager

Darla Marchi

- Lead Cafe & Beverage Manager

I entered the workforce as a sandwich artist at Subway during high school and even though I’ve ventured off the food service path to pursue wildly different careers, my love of entertaining and bringing people together has lead me back to restaurants. Being a manager in the restaurant industry is as challenging as it is rewarding, and I have been lucky enough to have worked with titans of the industry who have taught me to never rest on my laurels.

I’m proud to have worked at some at some of Seattle’s finest, most iconic restaurants and upon my return to Seattle from Los Angeles, Rays, nestled on the sound with the Olympics on the horizon was an obvious choice. When I’m not haunting the halls of Rays you can find me crafting away (#imsomartha) or fueling my perfectly healthy obsession with all things Star Wars.

Emmett Niland


Restaurant Manager

Emmett Niland

- Restaurant Manager

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 a varsity assistant 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.

Karen Breen


Restaurant Manager

Karen Breen

- Restaurant Manager

My favorite month of the year at Ray’s:
November. I love the fall chill in the air, the excitement of the upcoming holidays, and the amazing sunsets.

When I’m not at Ray’s, I’m probably:
Checking out a new restaurant with my friends- Seattle always has great new places popping up! It’s hard to keep up with but I try! If I’m not out and about, I’m at home cooking.

My favorite dish at Ray’s is:
The Smoked Sablefish. Sablefish is so tender and delicious, and the smoke on it imparts such a wonderful heartiness.

The best job I ever had (besides Ray’s!) was: 
Working for the LA Dodgers at their Spring training camp. I got to meet some amazing people including a lot of Hall of Fame baseball players.

The coolest place I’ve ever lived was:
Seattle. I’ve lived in many East Coast states, but I really feel like I found my home here in Seattle. The water, the mountains, and the city create the perfect scene.

The one thing people really need to know about Ray’s is:
How passionate and dedicated the team is! We really enjoy our jobs here and care about the guests’ experience. Our co-workers are like family.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
Reliving the summers I had growing up in New York – neighborhood hide and seek games, bike riding, catching fireflies!

  • I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI.
  • Most of my jobs have been in the kitchen, but I almost always had a serving job as well. I feel it gives you a greater understanding of the business if you experience both sides.
  • I was a Personal Chef for a while in New England, that was such a fun job!
  • I spent a summer in college studying abroad in Germany where I focused on European cooking and wine, and pairing the two.
  • Prior to joining the FOH team at Ray’s I was a line cook here for 5 years- 3 years working in the Cafe and 2 years on the Boathouse line.

Zach Lake


Front of House Manager

Zach Lake

- Front of House Manager

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 to learn more about running a restaurant and diving deeper into Ray’s culture of excellent customer service. He is thrilled to now be a Front of House Manager and is excited about his new opportunities to grow and to learn from his coworkers and teammates.   

Jenna Hinton


Catering Sales Assoc.

Jenna Hinton

- Catering Sales Assoc.

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.

Gustavo Guerra


Catering Sous Chef

Gustavo Guerra

- Catering Sous Chef

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 before moving to his current position—Sous Chef of Banquets. This change allowed him to experiment and execute new ideas and recipes which has allowed him to thrive. 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!

Kevin Murray


A.M. Sous Chef

Kevin Murray

- A.M. Sous Chef

My favorite month of the year at Ray’s:

May! The beginning of the summer is a great time at Rays, especially since we are able to source some of the greatest Pacific salmon in the world, Copper River!

When I’m not at Ray’s, I’m probably:

Playing disc golf with Sous Chef Stephen Rodriguez. Otherwise, you might find me studying wine (or better yet drinking it), cooking way too many elaborate meals for home consumption, or kicking it with my two cats: Tupaws Shakur and Biggie Paws.

The best job I ever had (besides Ray’s!) was:

Working at Agua Verde Paddle Club in Portage Bay every summer during my college years at the University of Washington.  Getting to spend the summer on the water, in the sun, and on boats is never a bad idea! That job also provided me with ample birdwatching opportunities that I have continued here at Rays, which is a great place to view all sorts of bird life: bald eagles, cormorants, belted kingfisher and many other marine birds!

The coolest place I’ve ever lived was:

I spent two years during high school living in Doha, Qatar. It was an amazing way to experience a culture and a place so different from the United States. I can still taste the shawarma!

The one thing people really need to know about Ray’s is:

We like to have fun! There is always something special happening here. Whether it’s exciting new food and drink specials, wine dinner collaborations with local wineries, or holiday-themed events, you will always find something going on here. Oh, and the sunsets aren’t too bad either…

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:

Cooking dinner with my mother! I never missed an opportunity to stir a pot, breathe in the aromas, and take many, many tastes. Without those moments I wouldn’t be here at Ray’s.

What else should guests know about you?

I work hard and play harder. I’m definitely a talker, so if you see me out, don’t hesitate to say hello!

Jose Gonzalez


Sous Chef

Jose Gonzalez

- Sous Chef

My favorite month of the year at Ray’s is:
December because I really enjoy the holidays with my friends and family.

When I’m not at Ray’s, I’m probably:
Enjoying time with my family or playing basketball (my favorite sport!) with friends.

My favorite dish at Ray’s is:
Any of our salmon entrees, because I just love the freshness and flavor of that fish!

The best job I ever had (besides Ray’s!) was:
The Nordstrom Cafe, where I made many good friends.

The coolest place I’ve ever lived was:
Seattle, where I’ve lived for more than 18 years. I really like the rain and it’s just a fantastic place to live.

The one thing people really need to know about Ray’s:
We have excellent food, great service and we’re the best in town!

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
Playing with my friends, and helping my mom, dad and brothers.

  • Prior to Ray’s, I worked six years as Sous Chef at the Daily Grill in the Sheraton Hotel
  • I served 7 years as Sous Chef for Nordstrom Café
  • I have fine dining experience as a line cook at the Metropolitan Grill and the Brooklyn Seafood and Steak House

Stephen Rodriguez


Sous Chef

Stephen Rodriguez

- Sous Chef

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.

Tina Christiani


HR Manager

Tina Christiani

- HR Manager

My favorite month of the year at Ray’s: 
I haven’t been here a full year yet, so I would have to say July.  The sun doesn’t set until after 9pm, the view from the deck is amazing and the food is perfect. There’s a ton of happy energy in the air, and I enjoy seeing guests and our staff enjoying the quintessential Seattle summer atmosphere

When I’m not at Ray’s, I’m probably:
Volunteering for the Jr. League of Seattle, The Swedish Foundation or Medical Teams International,  going on adventures with my husband David and our four legged sons, Tony and Macaroni, or screaming my head off with friends and family at the Clink –  GO HAWKS!!

The best job I ever had was:
Working in private dining for Tavern on the Green and the Russian Tea Room. It was my first real experience in high-end, high volume, full blown event planning and it was like banquet boot camp. Learning how weeks and sometimes months of planning goes into a 4 hour event is incredible.

The coolest place I’ve ever lived:
New York City. It felt like the entire world was smooshed into one big city. Total culture overload, and access to extraordinary food 24 hours a day.

One thing you really need to know about Ray’s:
A lot of thought and careful planning goes into the food we serve our guests. Quality, creativity and sustainable resources are always a top priority.

If I could be a kid again for one day, I would spend it:
On a family vacation. My parents used to take my sister Lorna and I on trips every year and I have nothing but fond memories of them.

  • My first restaurant job was a hostess at Cucina! Cucina! I had to wear a necklace that would inspire people to talk to me.
  • I was a Maitre’d at Wolfgang Puck’s Obachine in Downtown Seattle – my first upscale restaurant job.
  • I worked as a coat check girl at various high end restaurants in New York City and used to try on the fancy furs that came my way.
  • I worked for Windows on the World on the 107th floor of the World Trade center and I was seven minutes late to work on September 11th.
  • I was a catering lead at a private dining club called The Ruins in lower Queen Anne.
  • I spent almost 12 years as the Director of Human Resources for Wild Ginger and The Triple Door, and still love the food there.

Bring Ray’s to your Home & Earn Loyalty Points!

Bring Ray’s local, sustainable seafood and award winning service to your next in-home event and earn Loyalty Points! For the first time, Ray’s Catering is extending Loyalty Card Points to any guest that books an in-home catering event with us in October 2018. This means you’ll earn 1.5 points for every $10 spent on your …

BOOK A TABLE  AT RAY’S BOATHOUSE

Ray’s Boathouse elevates local, sustainable seafood with global flavors and Northwest inspiration nightly.

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Classic seafood dishes with seasonal preparations in our upstairs Café overlooking Puget Sound.

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