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Douglas grew up in Buffalo, NY and quickly learned the ins & outs of the restaurant industry from his song & dance father, a vaudeville entertainer and nightclub emcee.
Looking to continue his education, Douglas studied ceramics at Antioch College in Ohio (fun fact: his instructor still makes Wolfdale’s ceramic dinnerware) and was selected to study abroad in Japan. From Tokyo, he decided to do an independent study with a potter apprentice in a small community (about 12 hours by car from Tokyo). On the hillside of the town, he stumbled upon a Buddhist Temple called, Mineji, to stay at. He would help the mother of the temple cook, which led to invaluable instruction in Japanese Buddhist purification food and vegetarian cuisine called, Shojin Ryori.
After further training with a Japanese chef in Boston, Douglas moved to North Lake Tahoe in 1978 to open “Wolfdale's” with former partner & brother-in-law Jerry Wolf and his sister Deborah Dale Wolf in Homewood, CA. A few years later Douglas, and wife Kathleen Dale, moved the restaurant to it’s present day Tahoe City location, a historic building that was barged across Lake Tahoe from Glenbrook, NV in 1901.
Douglas is still passionate about his career and Wolfdale’s, even after 43 years, because he is always learning, enjoys celebrating milestones with our customers, and loves to teach his passion of cooking (and the martial art, Aikido). His daughter, Christine Dale, now helps him run the restaurant. Together, with their family, they love Tahoe because of the community, healthy lifestyle, and connection with nature.
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