During this time Donald cooked at many San Francisco restaurants,
including the eccentric Flying Saucer, the newly opened Scala’s
Bistro, Cole Valley’s Zazie, and at the Elite Café
as Sunday Brunch Chef.
In 1995, Chef Link pursued his externship at Susan Spicer’s
Bayona and continued on to become sous chef. In 1997, he returned
to San Francisco to open Jardinière with Traci Des Jardin.
This soon led to an executive chef opportunity at the Elite Café
in San Francisco’s Fillmore District where he received raved
reviews and appeared on local cooking shows and participated in
many charity events around Northern California.
In partnership with Tom Clendening, owner of the Elite Café,
Chef Link opened the critically acclaimed MOJO in Palo Alto, Ca.
He received 3 ½ stars from the San Jose Mercury News, the
top three restaurants on the Peninsula by San Francisco Magazine,
and was hailed by the San Francisco Chronicle as “…probably
the premiere chef doing Creole food in the Bay Area”. Link
continued to participate in special events such as Sonoma Wine Maker’s
Dinners and Bill Graham’s New Orleans by the Bay where he
was the featured chef two years in a row.
Since opening Herbsaint in 2000 Donald has been named Chef of the
Year by New Orleans Magazine as well as a top ten Chefs to watch
by Forbes Magazine. Chef Link was also named to the Top 40 under
40 "Power Generation" by New Orleans City Business. Donald
continues to travel for events such as Meals on Wheels and Dinner
at the James Beard House.