Since her emancipation at age 16 – due to an unflinching need for independence – Danielle has been involved in the food service industry.   She started her experience in the school cafeteria and waitressing at the local Denny’s, but she soon found an opportunity in the form of an internship at a 5-Star restaurant in Albuquerque, New Mexico under Head Chef Lincoln Tarantino.

She sold everything she owned, bought a van, and drove to the Land of Enchantment to start her career.  She worked her way from dish washer to hostess, then from food preparation to line cook, up to Assistant Kitchen Manager in the span of a year and a half. While the Head Chef was away on business, she ran the kitchen for four months – providing her invaluable experience in the management field as well as contributing to her culinary skills.

She credits Tarantino’s “tactic” of “Feeding her to the wolves” for her success in his restaurant. She learned every facet of the food service industry, in ways that traditional schooling simply couldn’t compare. When she felt she had learned all she could from the esteemed Head Chef, Danielle decided to take – and pass – the New Mexico Proficiency Test, the equivalent to the final test you’d take to graduate culinary school.

Wanting to return to her roots, she returned to California and over the next 12 years worked in various restaurants around the Northern California area (including Shadowbrook in Santa Cruz, the Crow’s Nest in Capitola, and the Rusty Duck in Sacramento), before settling on a corporate job working for Strings.  She managed 35 restaurants in California, but it took her away from her passion; cooking.  She grew tired of the travel and the lack of in-kitchen experience, so returned to her hometown to work in a restaurant close to home.

Ludy’s was that restaurant.

Danielle serves as our Executive Sous Chef and attends many catering events personally to ensure that the our quality of food remains top-notch in both taste and aesthetic.

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I want to thank Ludy’s for the amazing job you did at your VIP event in San Francisco last week. The rather demanding client and his guest repeatedly raved about both the food and the service, insisting that–despite their high expectations–the entire event went above and beyond anything they had anticipated, especially the catering. We have worked with every type and level of caterer in the Greater Bay Area, but none of them comes close to Ludy’s. Thanks again, for being the best.