Chef Tory McPhail of Commander's Palace - Biography

New Orleans, Louisiana

September 2015

Hailing from Ferndale, Washington, a small town near the Canadian border, Tory McPhail learned to appreciate the local goods and the comfortable gathering space of his parents’ kitchen. After high school, McPhail attended Seattle Community College and received a degree in culinary science. Compelled by New Orleans’ history, soul, and Mardi Gras celebrations, he moved to the Crescent City at 19 and was soon hired by Commander’s Palace Executive Chef Jamie Shannon. Working diligently through all 12 stations of the kitchen, he honed his craft.

McPhail later completed a series of stints at properties, including the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach; the Michelin-starred L’Escargot in London and its sister restaurant the Picasso Room; and the Mongoose Restaurant in the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 2000, McPhail returned to the Commander’s family as executive sous chef at Commander’s Palace Las Vegas. But in 2002, Shannon would need him back in the Big Easy to serve as executive chef of the original Palace. All these years later, McPhail continues to lead the storied kitchen and create strong relationships with local purveyors.

McPhail’s has made a number of TV appearances, including Bravo’s “Top Chef,” NBC’s “Today,” CBS’s “Early Show,” “After Hours With Daniel Boulud,” and numerous Food Network programs. A James Beard “Rising Star Chef” and “Best Chef, South” winner, he was named one of the best chefs in the country by The Daily Meal in 2013 and one of Saveur’s inaugural “Tastemaker Chefs” in 2012. He won the Great American Seafood CookOff in 2009, co-authored Commander’s Wild Side, served on the Nutrition Advisory Board for Cooking Light magazine, and has been a spokesperson for Wild American Shrimp and Old Bay seasoning.