Off the Clock with Ann Downs of The Skillet Group

This month's C-Suite Confidential with the leader of the Seattle-based restaurant group.

This article appears in print in the February 2018 issue. Click here for a free subscription.

Tell us what your company does and what attracted you to this business.

Skillet operates four restaurants, a catering business and two food trucks here in Seattle. A Skillet diner came into my neighborhood in 2011 and I was hooked by the deconstructed corned beef hash. To me, the company means comfort food, great teamwork, big talent and a smart sense of humor.

What book/TV show/podcast are you reading/watching/listening to and why?

For some reason, I’m on a big World War II kick right now and all my latest reads have that wartime theme: Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls, Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War, Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. Oh, and last night I finished Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach.

What’s your favorite spot in Seattle?

It’s a tie between Azalea Way in the Washington Park Arboretum and the hold shelves at the Capitol Hill branch of the Seattle Public Library.

What kind of car do you drive and why?

I ride my electric bike to work and consider any day in which I don’t see the inside of a car a good day! We have restaurants all over town, and my bike gets me to my meetings faster than a car — and parking is free.

Tell us something people don’t know about you.

When I was young, I dreamed of being a professional surfer.

What are you passionate about outside of work?

A blissful day for me would include couch time with my family, a very long dog walk, some gardening and hosting a dinner party for friends.

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