He quickly found what he was looking for: wild watercress for a goat-cheese salad he would serve later that day at Google’s office in Kirkland. As executive chef at Google’s most productive satellite office, Leonardson provides the company’s hallmark perk — an unending supply of wholesome, free food.
The amuse bouche which started off dinner is a daily creation by Chef Darin Leonardson. Tonight’s treat was chopped calamari, pico di gallo, cilantro and lime served on an airy cracker. What I enjoyed most about this creation was how you could taste each fresh ingredient although the total size of it was nothing more than a bite-sized morsel.
“Our menus will support the healing process,” Chef Leonardson says. “Using fresh herbs, citrus notes and vinegar, I can reduce butter and salt content while achieving the same flavor components — all while creating an incredible, colorful presentation that’s pleasing to the eye.”
Debbie recently arranged for Chef Darin Leonardson from Leisure Care’s corporate office to give cooking demonstrations and private cooking lessons aboard a Holland America cruise to the Caribbean. As a featured chef, Darin had a chance to bring the Leisure Care experience to the high seas, cooking for residents and non-residents alike. Darin shared his insights into fast, fresh cooking and friendly, accessible instruction. Darin’s spring rolls went over like gangbusters, but it was his humor that gave him top billing.
The Mediterranean-influenced American cuisine is up to date, but not too trendy. Executive chef Darin Leonardson, who cooked previously at The Bellevue Club and Google, fields a team of cooks who can pan-sear chicken, grill steak and fish or compose a sauce as skillfully as they can bake a baklava cheesecake.
The chef-harvested wild watercress, goat cheese, strawberry and toasted almond salad at Google’s Kirkland cafeteria was spectacular.
I couldn’t resist the roasted lamb with blackberry sauce or the “garlic lover’s soup with Beecher’s white cheddar.”
To win the third annual MenuDirections Culinary Competition, Darin Leonardson, the director of hospitality at Golden Living in Plano, Texas, and Antoinette Bunn-Savage, the catering supervisor at Oklahoma State University, in Stillwater, Okla., decided to set themselves apart by serving up what has become many Americans most beloved meal: brunch.