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 will feature three celebrity hosts: chefs Tom Douglas, Thierry Rautureau, also known as The Chef in the Hat™, and Italian butcher Dario Cecchini. The Gala is the University’s annual major fundraising event for student scholarships. Save the date to join us on Saturday, Nov. 4, in the Marcus Pavilion on Saint Martin’s main campus in Lacey. Thanks to our generous community, the 2022 Gala raised a record breaking $3+ million for scholarships.

Read the full press release.


Ticket sales open Monday, June 12

Mark your calendars! Table and ticket sales will open to the general public on Monday, June 12.

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.

Gala Chef 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.

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

Gala Chef Thierry Rautureau

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.

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

Gala Chef 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.

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. 

Explore Saint Martin's Gala