Chris McDonald

Chef Chris was born in Upstate New York and he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1985 and shortly thereafter began working at Tavern on The Green in New York City. He opened Le Bernardin – one of a handful of four-star restaurants in New York City – in the fall of 1986, becoming sous chef just four years later. After getting married and moving to Atlanta, McDonald opened the Atlanta Fish Market in 1992. After his two daughters were born, he moved to Winchester, Tenn., to be closer to his wife’s family. He started working in Huntsville in 2002, opening Humphrey’s, Pauli’s Chop House, Sazio and Starfish with the Washington Square Group, then joining Restaurant Partners in 2006 and opening Grill 29 and Market Street Café. McDonald, who has been working for more than 30 years and opened at least 15 restaurants, loves living in the South. What is the secret to McDonald’s success? He claims that, “Excuses are the stepping stones to failure” and one must stick to it. McDonald says, “Learn something every day and add just the right amount of season to everything.”

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