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donald link
rising stars
October 2003 NEW ORLEANS
B i o g r a p h y
Donald Link began working in the kitchen at age 15 washing dishes and soon began cooking professionally. After years of experience working in Louisiana restaurants, Donald moved to San Francisco in 1993. After one year at the wildly popular Cha Cha Cha, he attended the California Culinary Academy.

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.

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