I first became enamored with cooking while in high school in Columbia City. I accepted a job at a restaurant, Club 30, cooking for my long time friend Bob Haisley. Through my last 2 years of high school and 4 years at college, I frequently pulled shifts at Club 30. I finally realized that this was my passion.
I enrolled in the French Culinary Institute in New York City. I had the pleasure of being tutored by Jacques Pepin and Alain Sailhac. This was an experience that really ignited my desire to excel into new heights. With many thanks to Chef Sailhac, this was a jumping board to my most fulfilling learning experience which was Union Square Cafe.
I started working for Danny Meyer and Michael Romano as an entry level employee, shucking oysters and making lunch sandwiches. During the next three years, I worked every position in the kitchen and was finally promoted to the PM Sous Chef position. During this time, we retained our New York Times 3-Star rating and became Zagat's #1 most popular restaurant. After two years at the helm of the night kitchen, I was offered a kitchen of my own in Atlanta.
Blue Ridge Grill was a budding new restaurant in Buckhead, which is right outside of Atlanta. The Olympics were coming to town so it was a very exciting time in Atlanta. I couldn't resist, I accepted the job. I spent two exciting years at Blue Ridge, earning 3-Peaches from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Unfortunately, my time was cut short. After a long bought with cancer, my beloved father passed away. I decided to move home to be with my family.
After three months of driving my mother crazy, I accepted an offer from Michael Romano to move back to NYC and become Union Square Cafe's first Chef de Cuisine. This was a great time. We again retained or New York Times 3-Stars and were still #1 in Zagat. After two years, we realized I was ready to head up my own kitchen.
I accepted a banquet chef position with Myriad Restaurant Group at Drew Neiporent and Robert DeNiro's Tribeca Grill. After a short stint there, I was offered the Executive Chef position at the Harbor View Hotel in Martha's Vineyard. This was truly a wonderful experience that allowed me expand my horizons and open my eyes to the world of high volume and high quality banquets.
In the fall of my second year at the Harbor View Hotel, I was ask to come back to NYC to help revive NYLA. This was a collaborative effort between Britney Spears and Bobby Ochs. While the effort was futile, it was still good experience while it lasted.
Shortly after parting with NYLA, I partnered with Brad Tobin on a project on the Upper East Side called "Pioneer." The concept was based on local organic sustainable products and naturally raised meats. The place was a hit. I worked with the Today Show and did a live segment on Wild Salmon vs. Farm-Raised. While the restaurant did well, we lost our backing due to the death of our investor. After 18 months Brad Tobin had to close the doors.
After a couple more consulting opportunities, I moved to Indianapolis to take the Executive Chef position for Wolfgang Puck at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. This was the most important job I've ever had, because this is where I met my wonderful wife, Meggin.
At the start of my second year, I was approached by Chuck Mack. He had an unbelievable project brewing downtown on the canal, Bugg's Temple. I fell in love right from the start. The experience was one I will never forget. The opening of two restaurants and a catering operation was quite a task, but very rewarding in the end. With almost 4 years of blood, sweat and tears into this project, I decided to take the plunge, and go into business for myself.
And thus.......Brad Gates Catering and Events!