Meet the artists that make our catering department magic.

They are the reason that generations have come to us for

the exquisite food and impeccable service that is expected of the Morton's brand.

 

 Executive Catering Chef Malin Parker  |  Executive Chef Fernando Cruz

 The Culinary Institute of America      |  Johnson & Wales University

EXECUTIVE CATERING CHEF MALIN PARKER

 

I grew up during the 1970’s and ‘80’s in Gunnison, Colorado.  I literally can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t love food, and wasn’t in the kitchen cooking, being encouraged and mentored by my Mom, a stay-at-home parent, to learn the craft.   Growing up, my parents didn’t have a lot of money, so we always had a garden, and nothing in our home ever went to waste.  From this upbringing, I have a tremendous respect for, fresh, locally grown, seasonal ingredients, buzz-words today, but a way of life back then.

 

My Father’s job of writing and doing research always  involved a lot of traveling.  Thankfully, my parents saw the educational value for me in tagging along.   While Dad worked, Mom and I would check out museums and other landmarks, but, most remarkably, hole-in-the-wall, mom-and-pop restaurants and markets. It was our goal to try to eat at a different ethnic restaurant every meal, and experience all that the world had to offer.   I would often return home, and try to “recreate” many of the dishes that I was introduced to.

 

During high school, I took my first job in a professional kitchen.  I loved everything about working in a kitchen, from getting to play with food, the camaraderie of the kitchen team, even the back-breaking, long hours.  I couldn’t wait to get out of school each day to go to work, and getting paid for it was just an added bonus!

 

I was 17 when I decided I wanted to be a Chef, and after high school, I moved to Hyde Park, New York to attend cooking school at The Culinary Institute of America.

After graduating from The Culinary, I moved to Dallas, Texas where I went to work for Bristol Hotels and Resorts.  I started out as a Sous Chef, and worked for 4-years in one of the largest  hotels in the D/FW metroplex.  The company that I worked for promoted me to Executive Chef, and I spent the next 4 years in three more properties, two of which were in Texas, and one in Jackson, Mississippi.

 

I left the hotel business to work as Corporate Development Chef for TGI Friday’s restaurants doing R&D.  I created a lot of the food that Friday’s used for national TV campaigns during the late 90’s.

 

In 1999, I moved to Sarasota, Florida where I began working as a Corporate Executive Chef for a small, independent restaurant group called “Epicurean Life.” For many years, my dream was to work for myself, so in 2004, I started a catering / consulting company.  In addition, I also taught cooking classes for Viking Culinary Center in Lakewood Ranch, Florida.

 

In 2012, I went back to work at Morton’s Market, (which had been a part of the Epicurean Life group) as the Executive Catering Chef for the market.

 

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