My interest in food and cooking has always been a natural one. Mom and my grandmas were all great cooks, none of the food was fancy…just really good! I don’t know whether it was a natural interest in food that drew me into the kitchen, or whether it was to be near mom, but in any case the important thing is that because of that early curiosity I now have a career I love!
Luckily that love of food was cemented early on and it was only natural to follow it as a career so I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. As a result of checking out the broad-base of hospitality options that were out there I knew that food truly was my passion, so I continued on at Johnson & Wales University, Providence, RI for my culinary degree.
Venturing on to London I had the terrific opportunity to work in an upscale Mediterranean restaurant in the West End theater district during my culinary internship. Upon my return to the states I wanted to hold out on a job offer that had been extended prior to my departure so I could see what else might be available. That’s when one of the best things to happen to me professionally occurred…A good friend told me that our alma mater (Cal Poly) was looking for a dinner chef instructor for the student operated restaurant.
My career has continued to take many unexpected but always exciting twists and turns from working with Le Cordon Bleu – Paris doing summer personal enrichment cooking classes in Southern California, to traveling Italy with Gisella Isidori, an Italian food & travel advisor who shared her knowledge of cooking as we traveled the by-ways of Italy visiting cheese, olive oil, and pasta producers one summer.
After nearly 9 years of conducting cooking classes as cooking school chef instructor and director of 700 Kitchen, I’m excited to have finally branched out on my own! Always part of my original plan when I came here, opening my own cooking school space took a bit longer than I had originally planned. Opened in April 2015, “Chef Darin’s Kitchen Table” is my hands-on cooking school in the Victorian district of Savannah, GA.