Sonoma County Chef Douglas Keane Gets a Book Deal

The charismatic co-owner of Geyserville's Cyrus restaurant recently sealed a book deal for a personal memoir and tell-all.

Chef Douglas Keane is adding a new job title to his resume — author. The charismatic co-owner of Geyserville’s Cyrus restaurant recently sealed a book deal for a personal memoir and tell-all entitled “Culinary Leverage: A Journey Through The Heat.” The book will be published in January 2025 by Koehler Books.

In addition to personal anecdotes about his life, Keane hopes the book will inspire other restaurateurs to disrupt the status quo of unsustainable wages for restaurant workers.

“My book, a memoir and essay on this industry called hospitality is…honest, intense, raw, sad, promising and passionate,” Keane wrote last August in an Instagram post.

When Keane reopened Cyrus in 2022, a decade after shuttering his original Michelin-starred restaurant in Healdsburg, he implemented an audacious plan to provide a living wage to staff, who share tips and roles throughout each shift — a server may be helping in the kitchen or a cook bringing plates to the table. He also employs around 20 people, less than a third of the staff size of the original restaurant.

“I take a very deep look at myself and my chosen profession. Where did we both go so wrong and what did we get right? And equally important, what can we do better?” he said.

When it opened in Geyserville in 2022, Cyrus almost immediately received a Michelin star and has been praised for its creativity, attention to detail and for the equitable work environment Keane advocates.

Guests journey through the subdivided restaurant space, starting with a sparkling wine course in the Bubble Room, followed by a chef’s table seating in the kitchen, then the dining room and, finally, a Willy Wonka-esque chocolate room. Despite the $295 price tag per person, Cyrus’ multicourse menu is a relative value compared to other high-end Michelin restaurants.

Keane, who won Top Chef Masters in 2013, has been noodling on the idea of writing a book for years, saying that he doesn’t have all the perfect answers to ongoing financial inequities in the restaurant industry but does offer honest opinions. The book will name names and point fingers, Keane said, but he calls the book “part expose, part confessional, part hopeful.”