Chef Doug Adams
2015 Imperial

Doug Adams is the executive chef of Imperial and Portland Penny Diner, chef Vitaly Paley’s renowned Portland, Oregon, restaurants. Adams earned fans across America as a finalist on season 12 of Top Chef, where he wowed judges with dishes such as his fried chicken—now a favorite dish on Imperial’s menu. As written by Eater PDX, Adams “has turned his phenomenal run on the most recent season of Top Chef into a set of menu items that everyone's flocking in to taste.” At Imperial, Paley and Adams explore menu ideas with historic significance and use cooking methods and ingredients from Oregon’s diverse bounty. Inspired by campfires and the big open spaces of the Pacific Northwest, Imperial concentrates on healthy and uncomplicated preparations, which works well with Adam’s passion for in-house butchery, seasonal seafood and big, bold flavors. One of Adams’ favorite (as well as the most prominent) features in the Imperial kitchen is the impressive wood fire grill and rotisserie that incorporate the use of native hard and fruitwoods, one of the reasons Imperial was named one of 2013’s Top 11 Barbecue and Grill Restaurants in the nation by the Huffington Post.
Adams is a chef full of creative energy, as his career path reflects his insatiable drive to cook and cook well. Growing up in Tyler, Texas, Adams spent time in Missoula, Montana, and eventually moved to Portland in 2008 to work at Lucier restaurant on Portland’s South Waterfront. With determination and skill, Adams quickly moved on to work for James Beard Award winner and 2014 Food & Wine Best New Chef Gregory Denton at Metrovino. In 2011, Adams began working under chef Paley’s mentorship at Portland’s culinary landmark, Paley’s Place. A James Beard Award winner himself, Paley opened Imperial and Portland Penny Diner in 2012, and Adams was promoted to sous chef at both restaurants. He later became chef de cuisine in 2014 and was named executive chef in 2015.
Adams has put his drive to good use under Paley’s leadership, cooking for many wine, beer and culinary events, including Chefs' Week PDX, Top Chef at Sea and Feast Portland. In 2013, Adams and fellow Imperial chefs won a competition leading up to the famed Wild About Game event by creating dishes with rabbit and elk meat.