Executive Chef and Owner Donal Link
Inspired by the Cajun and Southern cooking of his grandparents, Louisiana native Chef Donald Link began his professional cooking career at 15 years old. Recognized as one of New Orleans’ preeminent chefs, Chef Link has peppered the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans with several restaurants over the course of 10 years. Herbsaint, Link’s contemporary take on the French-American “bistro” was Link’s first restaurant. Cochon, opened with chef-partner Stephen Stryjewski, is where Link offers true Cajun and Southern cooking featuring the foods and cooking techniques he grew up preparing and eating. Cochon Butcher is a tribute to Old World butcher and charcuterie shops which also serves a bar menu, sandwiches, wine and creative cocktails. Calcasieu is Chef Link’s private event facility that takes its name from one of the parishes in the Acadiana region of southwest Louisiana.
In 2007, Link earned a James Beard award for Best Chef South, and in the same year, Cochon was nominated for Best New Restaurant. The James Beard Foundation again nominated Link in 2012 for the prestigious award of Outstanding Chef. The James Beard Foundation also honored Link’s first cookbook—Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana (Clarkson Potter) with their top award for Best American Cookbook. Released in 2009, Real Cajun is a collection of family recipes that Link has honed and perfected while honoring the authenticity of the Cajun people. Gourmet Magazine listed Herbsaint as one of the Top 50 Restaurants in America. It was also inducted into the Nations Restaurant News Hall of Fame and was listed in The New York Times as "one of the top 3 restaurants that count." For his commitment to the industry, Link was named Restaurateur of the Year in 2012 by the Louisiana Restaurant Association.
Link is partnered with msn.com to host Taste of Place, a new original video program on Delish.com that explores the connection between local ingredients and famed local dishes from around the country. Link travels the country to find people connected to the land and waters that produce our food—farmers, ranchers, winemakers, artisan bread and cheese-makers, fishermen—people who understand that “place makes the taste.”