In a culinary career spanning coast to coast, Executive Chef Darrin Finkel lends his expertise to the cuisine of yet another coast — the Louisiana Gulf Coast — at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in the Downtown Disney district.
After graduating summa cum laude from the prestigious Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, Chef Darrin worked as a Tournant at Fidler's Elbow Country Club in New Jersey, then as a Sous Chef at Jamie's Restaurant and Shipwreck Grill. In 2001, Chef Darrin became Executive Chef of the acclaimed Halstead Avenue Bistro in Harrison, New York. During his tenure, the restaurant garnered praise in The New York Times and quickly became known as one of the best new restaurants in the region.
Chef Darrin arrived at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen in 2002 as a Sous Chef, and immediately began to contribute his creativity and his strong work ethic to all aspects of Jazz Kitchen's culinary operations. Currently the Executive Chef at Jazz Kitchen, Chef Darrin has served since 2004 as the culinary host of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange Country "Mardi Gras" fundraiser held annually at the Jazz Kitchen. Throughout his career, he has participated in several other fundraisers, including Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation®, the National Kidney Foundation and Great Chefs of Orange County.
Popular dishes Chef Darrin has created at the Jazz Kitchen include Panéed Chicken Bercy, Blackened Shrimp and Parmesan Grit Cake, and New York Strip Tchoupitoulas.