Chef Gary Danko & Liam Mayclem (credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

KCBS radio “Foodie Chap” and KPIX 5 television “Eye On The Bay” host Liam Mayclem introduces us to the culinary stars behind the food and wine loved by so many in the Bay Area.


Chef Gary Danko of Restaurant Gary Danko in San Francisco graduated the Culinary Institute of America in New York and studied with the renowned food author Madeleine Kamman. “Kamman helped me refine and expand my French techniques and theories even more. Once these techniques are honed, they can be expanded upon – that’s when the innovative cuisines start to be incorporated into chef’s repertoire,” Danko shares.

Danko was the executive chef for Beringer Vineyards and Chateau Souverain for six years. He shares, “Working at both wineries helped me incorporate American wines, cook with wines, and better pair food and wine together.” Chef Danko opened the Ritz-Carlton hotel and presided over the prestigious Dining Room inside the Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco during which the restaurant was called one of the best in the country. In 1995, Danko received the James Beard “Best Chef California” award. Danko’s success further led to appearances on the Food Network and the PBS programs Great Chefs, Martha Stewart, Pierre Franey, Joan Nathan, and Mark Bittman etc. as well, assisted with Jacques Pepin’s Cooking with Claudine on PBS.

Danko opened the cosmopolitan Restaurant Gary Danko in 1999 and generated instant critical acclaim. The restaurant received “Five Star” from both AAA and Exxon-Mobil Guide ratings and in 2000; Danko received the James Beard “Best New Restaurant award” as well as “Outstanding Service” award in 2006. . The restaurant is a member of Relais & Châteaux. For the past 10 or so years Gary Danko has been voted San Francisco Bay area’s highest ratings in food, service and most popular restaurant by the people choice. Gary Danko is heading into its 16thyear. A dinner there is one nonstop party on ones palatte.

Chef Danko is also one of the featured Chefs at Gourmet Fest by Relais & Chateaux. The festival takes place in Carmel-By-The-Sea on March 5th – 8th. It brings together some of the best Chefs in the world from France, Peru, Taiwan & the USA for demos, dinners and special events. All the details can be found by clicking the link below. And I look forward to seeing you in Carmel.

Meantime, please enjoy my tasty talk with one of our Bay Area culinary treasures – Chef Gary Danko.


KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:

Lobster Salad with Avocado, Fennel, and Citrus
Gary Danko, Chef at Gary Danko, San Francisco

(6 for first course)
3 each 1½ pound live Maine lobsters
2 avocados, peeled, cut into thirds, sliced and fanned
2 oranges, peeled to the flesh and segmented
1 bulb fennel, cut in half and sliced thin
3 ounces small greens, such as mesclun
Mustard Tarragon Dressing – recipe follows
2 tablespoon chopped chives

Mustard Tarragon Dressing:
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ egg yolk
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¾ cup vegetable oil, corn, canola etc.
½ teaspoon fresh tarragon or 1 teaspoon dried
¼ teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped fine
2 teaspoons tarragon vinegar
1 teaspoon hot water


Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Place Maine lobsters in water and return to a boil. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from boiling water into ice-cold water. Cool completely, about 15 minutes. Remove from ice bath and drain. Remove meat. Rinse quickly in salt water. Place on paper towel, cover, and refrigerate until needed.

Make mustard tarragon dressing.

Arrange avocado, orange segments, fennel, and lettuces on each plate. Place Maine lobster meat on plate and spoon dressing around Maine lobster and avocado. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Mustard Tarragon Dressing

In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the lemon juice, mustard, egg yolk and salt. With whisk attachment beat until light, about 3 minutes. With mixer running at high speed slowlydrizzle oil into egg-mustard mixture. The oil will emulsify forming a light mayonnaise consistency. Add herbs and thin with vinegar and water. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated until needed.