Doug Ruley was born and raised in Elkton MD. From a very young age he was interested in food and the kitchen, often helping prepare meals for special family occasions. He spent many hours helping his grandparents on their farm, tending to the garden, the livestock, and the smoke house. Doug spent endless summer days shucking corn and picking beans. His early childhood experiences created a strong foundation and an appreciation and love for food preparation at every stage.
In 1996 Doug graduated at the top of his class at Johnson and Wales, Rhode Island. He worked in many prestigious restaurants. Doug helped open and later was promoted to Executive Chef of Iron Hill, which now has over 10 locations. While at Iron Hill, the restaurant was awarded “Best of Delaware: Best Restaurant” for five consecutive years.
After 10 great years with Iron Hill, Doug and his wife decided to move to Coastal Delaware. In 2006 he started working for SoDel Concepts as Chef of Bluecoast Seafood Grill. He took on a strong role in helping the company grow as the opening chef of three SoDel restaurants. He currently serves as Vice President and Director of Culinary Operations for SoDel Concepts.
Doug has been the featured chef at the prestigious James Beard House a record breaking five times, and also was the head chef for the unprecedented event “Breaking Bread Behind Bars” at the 2015 Mid-Atlantic Food and Wine Festival, the most prestigious event of its kind in the region. Lastly he was featured as head chef for the 5th annual “Moments in the Moonlight” Gala to benefit Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, MD, which hosts over 600 guests.
Doug credits his success as a chef and restauranteur to the tremendously talented people he has worked with throughout his career and to his family for being understanding of the rigorous nature of the culinary world.
Doug lives in Fenwick Island with his wife Lisa and their children, Emma and Chase.