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Catching up with Douglas Keane

  • Douglas Keane introduces his new DK Wings establishment in the Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park on Tuesday, October 29, 2013.
    (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Douglas Keane put his cooking career temporarily on a back burner when he and partner Nick Peyton closed one of Sonoma County's most celebrated restaurants, the Michelin two-starred Cyrus of Healdsburg, last October.

But the hard-working, down-to-earth chef with roots in Detroit hasn't exactly been resting on his laurels.

Last month, Keane proved his culinary prowess by winning Bravo's "Top Chef Masters" Season 5, beating out 12 other top chefs to take home $120,000 for his charity, Green Dog Rescue of Windsor.

'Top Chef Master' Douglas Keane

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"For four years, I said 'no' to the show because I didn't want to look like a jackass," he said.

"Even though Cyrus was closed, there was still the question of, 'What is this two-star chef going to do?'"

It turns out Keane was able to accomplish a lot, once he let go of his fear. That happened around Episode 6, when the chefs were asked to make a healthy dish for kids out of their least favorite ingredients.

"I kind of let go when I did the eggplant Jell-O, and I was rewarded," he said.

"They put me in the top three."

Earlier this month, Keane celebrated another milestone. He opened a casual fried-chicken restaurant, DK Wings, as one of nine Marketplace eateries in the new Graton Resort & Casino in Rohnert Park.

"The only real chain here is Starbucks," Keane said. "It's all niche stuff, and it's across the board. And I like that."


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