A light brown image of a kitchen knife, butcher's knife, and cooking fork over a darker brown background with the chef names and Gala 2023 text repeated continuously

Saint Martin's Gala

The 2023 Saint Martin's University Gala featured three special hosts: Seattle-based chefs Tom Douglas and Roy Breiman, and Italian butcher Dario Cecchini. The Gala is the University’s annual major fundraising event for student scholarships. Thanks to our generous community, the Gala raised more than $2 million for student scholarships. Read the full announcement.

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Celebrity chef Tom Douglas stands in his show kitchen, with lots of kitchen accoutrements around him, and the brand label "rub with love" behind him.

Tom Douglas

Tom Douglas has been cooking up Pacific Northwest cuisine in Seattle since 1984, opening his own restaurant, Dahlia Lounge, in 1989. For the last 30 years, he’s made a name for himself alongside business partner and wife Jackie Cross and business partner (since 2006) Eric Tanaka by opening 13 full-service restaurants; an event space, Palace Ballroom; a cooking school, Hot Stove Society; and a product line including rubs, sauces, mustards, and knives. An executive chef, restaurateur, author, and radio talk show host, he was the winner of the 1994 James Beard Award for Best Northwest Chef. In 2012 he also won the James Beard Award as Best Restaurateur. He is the author of Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen, which was named the Best American Cookbook by the James Beard Foundation and KitchenAid, in 2001. In 2005, he appeared on an episode of the Food Network's Iron Chef America, in which he defeated Chef Masaharu Morimoto.

Celebrity chef and butcher Dario Cecchini poses holding several cuts of meat and a knife, wearing a white apron in a white room.

Dario Cecchini

Dario Cecchini is a leading contemporary internationally known Italian butcher from Panzano in the Chianti region of Italy. Cecchini, on a mission to protect and promote the traditional local butcher from the rise of the powerful supermarkets, explained that he believed butchery was an ancient art that involved a respect for the animal, seeing his role as that of teacher and educator. According to Cecchini, there were no "premium" and "lower" cuts of meat, but rather all the parts of the animal were useful if butchered and cooked in an appropriate way. Cecchini argues that his work could amount to poetry, a combination of knowledge (understanding that you can use every part of the animal) and consciousness (respect for the animal) that can bring people back to the “original customs of the tribe,“ in a world where everything seems to be getting more and more commodified, processed and impersonal. In 2019, Dario Cecchini was featured in Netflix' documentary series Chef's Table.

Trustee Roy Breiman

Roy Breiman

Chef Roy Breiman is taking the place of Chef Thierry Rautureau, who is unable to attend the Gala due to a serious medical issue.

Breiman is a member of the Saint Martin’s University Board of Trustees as well as an accomplished Michelin Star Restaurant chef, cookbook author, and hospitality industry leader. He is the Vice President of Food and Beverage at Columbia Hospitality. Breiman’s most recent endeavors include competing on and winning the Food Network Show "Beat Bobby Flay". He also wrote “Wine Country Chefs Table”, which is a regional cookbook centered on the world premier wine making region of Napa and Sonoma valleys. In 1995, Breiman became a member of the James Beard Foundation, and in 1998, joined the ranks of StarChefs’ “Chefs to Know.” PBS named Breiman one of America’s Rising Star Chefs; John Mariani of Esquire Magazine named him a “Chef to Keep Your Eyes On,” and Bon Appétit Magazine named him one of the “Top Hotel Chefs in America.” 

Thierry Rautureau poses in a kitchen holding a giant whisk and wearing a hat and chef coat, silver pans hanging behind him.

Thierry Rautureau

Chef Thierry Rautureau is unable to attend the Gala due to a serious medical issue.

Thierry Rautureau, nicknamed "The Chef In The Hat™," is a Seattle, Washington celebrity chef and the chef/owner of several former restaurants, including Loulay and Luc. He apprenticed in Anjou, France, and at twenty moved to the United States to work at several fine restaurants. He became the chef/owner of Rover's Restaurant in 1987, and before closing its doors in 2013 it helped make him one of the most recognizable chefs around Seattle. Rautureau has won various awards including the James Beard Award for Best Chef in the Pacific Northwest in 1998, and has been awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre Du Mérite Agricole by the French government. In 2013, Rautureau opened Loulay Kitchen & Bar, a French-inspired restaurant that balanced the upscale Rover's with country-style cooking that he enjoyed growing up on the farm in France. Both his restaurants, Luc and Loulay, closed in 2021, following difficulties with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alumna Speaker Tracey Porter '20

The importance of scholarships

The Gala is Saint Martin's signature student scholarship fundraising event. An annual celebration of community, food and wine, the Gala combines two important Benedictine values: hospitality and stewardship. As we gather to break bread, we support our students, whose educational dreams are made possible through scholarships funded from the proceeds of this event. 

Gala sponsors

Gala event sponsors and logos

Event sponsors

Artfully plated food

Table sponsors

Saint Martin Table
FORMA Construction
Joe Williams

Saint Benedict Table
Marcus Military Appreciation Table
Michelle & John Riel
Pat & Helen Rants
Tedi Reynolds '71
Waite Dalrymple & Perry Shea

Saint Gertrude Table
Armandino Batali '59, HD'15        
Christopher and Lisa Thomsen
Farrelli’s Pizza
Great Western Supply
Heye Family
ImageSource Inc.
Lemon Family Dental
Lucky Eagle Casino
Mc Erl Dave Andres
MultiCare Health System, Inc.
Olympia Federal Savings
Olympia Orthopaedic Associates
Providence Swedish South Puget Sound
Puget Sound Energy
Rick & Pam Panowicz
Rockefeller Capital Management
SMU-Engineering Advisory Board
SMU-Institutional Advancement
SMU-School of Business Advisory Board
South Puget Sound Community College
Sunset Air
Tedi Reynolds '71
The Evergreen State College
Timberland Bank
Tovani Hart
TwinStar Credit Union
US Bank

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