Douglas Keane's interest in cooking developed as a young boy helping his mother in their Michigan kitchen. His desire to get a date in high-school, however, led him to enroll in a culinary class, where he scored the date, but also realized he wanted to cook. Close family friend and renowned hotelier, Stan Bromley, further influenced his desire, encouraging him to enroll at Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration, where his fascination for the culinary arts took over. After graduating with a degree that would allow him to work in any hotel of his choosing, he decided to follow his heart to the kitchen.

Experience with the best

Keane proceeded to work for a decade in some of the best kitchens of the United States, each adding a layer to the chef and entrepreneur he is today. At The Four Seasons in New York City, he learned to adapt to the pressure of cooking in a high-powered, fast-paced, three-star restaurant and his eyes opened to the bounty of pristine products available to cooks. After saving his meager chef's earnings to dine at Gary Kunz's Lespinasse, he concluded the food was so good he'd better work for this chef or quit cooking altogether. He secured a position and was inspired not only by the exotic flavor combinations but by the technique and precision which the fine cooks possessed.

West to California

Heading west to San Francisco for a reunion with his family, Keane was immediately drawn to Traci Des Jardins' respect for ingredients, technique and staff. After working his way up to Chef de Cuisine in a year's time, he was granted a leave of absence to serve as opening Sous Chef at the restaurant Gary Danko. There, he forged a friendship with his future Cyrus partner, Nick Peyton. Keane returned to Jardiniere as Executive Chef where, in 2002, he was honored by the San Francisco Chronicle as a "Rising Star Chef" and earned three-and-a-half stars for his cuisine in a glowing review by Michael Bauer.

A place in wine country

Soon, the call of dirt underneath his feet and a place for some dogs to run around drew Keane, a country boy at heart, just north to wine country. In 2003 Des Jardins bid Douglas a fond farewell, as he and partner Nick Peyton ventured out to open Market: an American Restaurant, a small casual eatery in Napa Valley, while they envisioned their luxury restaurant in Sonoma County that would be Cyrus.


In the eight years that Cyrus was open (2004-2012), Chef Keane and his team amassed numerous local and national awards. Reflecting the spirit of his early cooking days against the joy of over the top ingredients in a perfectly choreographed experience for visitors, he sought to transport people. "I try to pull the most out of each ingredient, capturing its essence and treating it with respect. At this level of dining, guests deserve to see and taste dishes that cannot be replicated by a trip to the farmers' market and a sharp chef's knife in a home kitchen."

Asian influences

In 2010, he was one of four chefs from around the world selected for a prestigious fellowship with the Japanese Culinary Academy. Learning from the best chefs of Kyoto and in 7th and 8th generation owned restaurants, he was re-inspired by their respect for ingredients and practices steeped in tradition. This added to the knowledge gained during previous food studies in Tokyo and Sendai. Returning to Healdsburg, he further applied these flavors and techniques at Cyrus, as well as at Shimo, a high-quality steakhouse with an Asian twist, that he ran for a year.

Life currently

Today Keane is envisioning the next iteration of Cyrus, which he hopes to locate in Alexander Valley, the homestead of the restaurant's namesake - Cyrus Alexander. He operates Two Birds/One Stone with his chef partner and good friend Sang Yoon, as well as the Healdsburg Bar & Grill, a popular destination where locals and tourists alike enjoy his take on American comfort food. He also makes time for his other passions: dog rescue and rehabilitation; playing with his own dogs: Finnegan, Cash and Piglet; and testing out the grill and pizza oven with his wife, Lael, on their new patio overlooking Alexander Valley. On any given day, you can see Keane, a Dearborn, Michigan native, driving around idyllic Sonoma wine country in his spiffy new Ford 150 pick-up. (Naturally his original 1997 model is still part of the family.)


  • Two Stars - Michelin Guide: Cyrus (2007-2012)
  • 4 Stars - SF Chronicle: Cyrus (2007-2012)
  • Top 40 Restaurants in US - Gayot: Cyrus (2007-2012)
  • Five Stars - AAA: Cyrus (2007-2012)
  • Best Chef Pacific: James Beard Awards (2010)
  • Top 25 Burgers in US - Food and Wine Magazine: Healdsburg Bar & Grill (2010)
  • 50 Best Restaurants in US - Gourmet Magazine: Cyrus (2006)
  • Best New Chefs - Food and Wine Magazine: Cyrus (2006)
  • Chef of the Year - San Francisco Magazine: Cyrus (2006)
  • Best New Restaurant in Wine Country - Food and Wine Magazine: Cyrus (2006)
  • Chef of the Year - Esquire Magazine: Cyrus (2005)
  • Best New Restaurant - Esquire Magazine: Cyrus (2005)
  • Best New Restaurant - Esquire Magazine: Market (2003)
  • Rising Star Chef - San Francisco Chronicle: Jardiniere (2002)