Born and raised in the Sacramento valley, Gary is steeped in California sunshine and local values. Stints traveling in Europe inspired his exploration of the foundational cuisines of the West and his trips to Asia have provided valuable context for the traditions of the East. These influences combine to yield a modern interpretation of California cuisine — a nouveau style of seasonal cooking utilizing the best ingredients available to deliver nutrient-conscious yet approachable cuisine inspired by the local environment.
Gary first learned to cook at his grandmother's apron strings, growing up with an appreciation for the traditions of Old World cuisine prepared with love and skill. While studying literature & publishing in college, he took a job at Spice Creek Cafe in Chico, California where he apprenticed under Chef Rebecca Stewart. There he learned the intricacies of fusion cooking by exploring the limits of many regional cuisines. He spent the next decade continuing his exploration in Northern California, developing his farm-to-table ethos managing farmers’ markets, and cooking with seasonal products. In 2016 Alice Waters asked him to join the team of cooks working in the celebrated kitchen of the downstairs restaurant at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. He's been happily manning the stoves and tending the hearth there ever since.