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May 15, 2008 11:48 AM

Gossip: Microsoft CEO Summit spouses cooking with Tom Douglas

Posted by Benjamin J. Romano

As Bill Gates hobnobbed with the chief executives invited to his CEO Summit yesterday, their spouses were getting a personal cooking lesson with Seattle restaurateur and chef Tom Douglas, according to a source familiar with planning for the hush-hush Microsoft event.

Updated, 5:43 p.m.: After the jump, details on a Douglas-led tour of Pike Place Market and what was on the lunchtime menu.

This person asked not to be named because activities surrounding the CEO Summit are kept secret by Microsoft to protect attendee privacy.

I left a message with Tom Douglas Restaurants seeking more details, but haven't heard back yet. I'll update if I do.

In past years, the spouses have been treated to tours of Dale Chihuly's studios and private concerts at Benaroya Hall.

The person said the spouses were also given gifts including signed Tom Douglas cookbooks and locally made glassybaby candle holders.

The CEOs themselves were given three books including preview copies of Thomas Friedman's forthcoming "Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America." Not surprising considering Friedman attended the event and was interviewed by Charlie Rose during the opening dinner Tuesday at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

Microsoft also planned to give the attendees digital picture frames and photos from the event, which concludes today.

Update: Robyn Wolfe with Tom Douglas Restaurants shared some additional detail about the CEO spouses' excursion Wednesday.

It started with a guided tour of Pike Place Market. Tom Douglas and other members of his staff took small groups to a series of tastings: olive oil at DeLaurenti, Washington wine at Pike & Western, coffee at Starbucks, cheese and then mac and cheese at Beecher's -- "So we all gained five pounds there," said Wolfe. They hit other market destinations including Sur La Table and the Pike Place Fish Market.

The groups reconvened at the Palace Ballroom, where Douglas gave a cooking demonstration as the spouses ate and watched and occasionally helped out. The Market Tour menu, including Washington wines:

Appetizers to Start
Gouger with Tarragon Mousse
Sage Potato Toast, Beecher's Flagship
Local Spot Prawns, Brown Butter and Thyme

Chateau Ste. Michelle Frizzante, Columbia Valley, WA
2006 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Sauvignon Blanc, Columbia Valley, WA
2000 Columbia Crest Grand Estates Syrah, Columbia Valley, WA

Salad Course
Cold Smoked Beef Tenderloin, Lemon Oil, Mache and Rye Croutons

2006 McKinley Springs Rose, Washington

Entree Course
Riesling Braised Halibut with Spring Vegetables and New Potatoes

2006 Long Shadows Poet's Leap Riesling, Walla Walla, WA

Dessert Course
Strawberry Marmalade Tart, Cardamom Whip

More Chateau Ste. Michelle Frizzante

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