In 1990, Chef Gerard Parrat (proprietor of Gerard’s Relais de Lyon) and I (proprietor of Dominique’s Place) could not find a true lox style smoked salmon to serve in our Seattle restaurants. To create one, we began with the traditional French curing method, added a few Northwest influences to represent our new home, and smoked it on site. We called it our European Style Smoked Salmon, affectionately referred to as Euro. The Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Hotel (now known as the Fairmont) here in Seattle was a regular patron and loved our smoked salmon. The Chef was so impressed, he asked us to make it for him. The Chef’s requests inspired us to open Gerard & Dominique Seafoods (G&D) and offer our signature Euro to all. This is why we say, “Created by chefs for chefs!”
Chef Gerard retired in 1998, so my wife Andrée (Chouchou, to all that know her) and I took over the helm. With Chouchou on the phones and myself in the back filleting and smoking the fish, we built our devoted customer base. After several wonderful years (albeit extremely long hours), we decided it would be nice to take a day off together. Our children had dreams of their own in other fields, and we realized we needed a new partner – a company that would be as passionate about the quality, and give the personalized, hands-on service that our customers were used to.
In 2008, we joined SeaBear Smokehouse, an artisan Northwest Style smoked salmon company out of Anacortes, Washington. We had complementary lines and some of the same customers; it just made sense! Then, in 2012 Chouchou took a new full time job as Mimi (Grandma), while I moved the G&D Smokers to Anacortes to consolidate our facilities. Fast forward a few more years and here we are today. I am in the part time role as the Chief Culinary Officer for SeaBear company, with just enough time to play the role of Papi (Grandpa). Don’t worry, I am still very set on ensuring that the quality and customer service remains at the highest of standards.
In fact, I am proud to let you know that our smokehouse in Anacortes is a level 2 SQF Global Food Safety Initiative certified facility, and several of our products are PROJECT Non-GMO Verified. We are also inspected regularly by the military and our Kosher certifying body, Kof-K for our Kosher products. Our sustainability program continues to evolve as we achieve our goals.
On a final note, a genuine, “Thank you!” from Chouchou and I to all of our wonderful customers who have supported and encouraged us over the years. And to our future customers; we would be honored for you to serve Gerard & Dominique’s smoked seafoods to your patrons, friends, and family.
Dominique received the Merite Agricole from the French government – an honor created in 1883 to recognize those with exemplary contribution to the preservation and spreading of French culinary culture. As recipient of this esteemed and historic award, Chef Dominique Place is officially recognized as a Knight in the Order of Agriculture Merit.