Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs: Donald Link
By Dana Mortell, ICE Department of Student Affairs
On April 3rd, ICE welcomed Chef Donald Link as part of our ongoing Meet the Culinary Entrepreneurs series. This was a unique opportunity for ICE's student body and the general public to interact with one of New Orleans' leading chefs and restaurateurs. Link is the Chief Executive Officer of the New Orleans based restaurant group Link Restaurant Group, which includes 5 different operations. Link is the recipient of the 2007 James Beard Award for "Best Chef South" and has also been nominated for the "Outstanding Chef" Award in 2012 and 2013. His group's latest addition, Pêche Seafood Grill, also scored its fourth and fifth JBF Awards in 2014, for "Best New Restaurant in America" and "Best Chef: South."
He began his professional culinary career at the age of fifteen, inspired by his grandparents' mastery of Cajun and southern cooking. Working his way up the professional ladder, he made it a priority to learn all the roles of the kitchen—including the not-so-glamorous ones. Through this careful strategy of observation and practice, Link has honed his celebrated culinary identity, creatively utilizing his southern roots in the process.