Gary Darling came to Louisiana from Los Angeles in the late seventies, after extensive restaurant training in Europe, Mexico and the United States. He opened his own restaurant in Covington to critical acclaim. In 1983, he accepted the roles of Corporate Executive Chef and Vice President of Research and Development for a multi-concept operation, and was directly involved with growing the restaurant from a single location to a nationwide chain. That same year, he was named New Orleans Chef of the Year. A past president of the New Orleans Chef Association, Gary has also served as head instructor and director of the association’s Apprentice Program, transitioning it from a simple cooking program to an academic culinary curriculum. He is also an active member of the Research Chefs Association, and a former Executive Chef at La Pavilion Hotel in New Orleans and at the St Louis Hotel’s acclaimed Louis XVI Restaurant Francais, also in New Orleans.