|Education||The Culinary Institute of America|
|Cooking style||French, Mediterranean, and American|
Danko started cooking at the local Village Inn restaurant at age 14. By the time he graduated high school, he had been exposed to every position in the restaurant. Danko completed his culinary education at the Hyde Park, New York campus of the Culinary Institute of America. He relocated to San Francisco in 1977 and worked as a waiter at the Waterfront Restaurant. Chef Danko returned to New York to enroll in Madeleine Kamman's class at Peter Kump's New York Cooking School in 1983. In 1985, Danko became the executive chef at Beringer Vineyards. He later became the executive chef at Chateau Souverain in Sonoma County. In 1992 Danko left to become the chef of the Terrace restaurant at the Ritz Carlton, San Francisco. He was then appointed the executive chef of the Dining Room at the Ritz Carlton, S.F.Ritz-Carlton. Gary opened his eponymous restaurant in 1999, and has won numerous awards, including a Michelin star first awarded in 2007.
In 1999, Danko created his own restaurant, named for himself, near Fisherman's Wharf. Gary Danko has also made appearances as the featured chef on the Food Network and PBS. Restaurant Gary Danko has been a recipient of the Wine Spectator Grand Award since 2001. In 2002, the restaurant was designated one of 18 Relais & Chateaux properties in North America.
Diners select from three, four or five prix-fixe menu courses. Danko's signature dishes include roast Maine lobster with white corn, tarragon, and chanterelles, pancetta wrapped frog legs with garlic purée, and roasted quail stuffed with mushrooms and foie gras. Most dishes are served year round, but ingredients are adjusted seasonally to emphasize local produce. Before it was banned in California, in late spring 2012, Danko's seared foie gras was paired with Bing cherries, but in early fall, with roast figs. It was returned to the menu recently, and now comes as Salt Cured Foie Gras Torchon with Pear Compote, Spiced Walnuts and Country Bread.
Awards and honors
|1995||James Beard Foundation||Best Chef-California|
|1999||Esquire Magazine||Best New Restaurant|
|1999||Mobil Travel Guide||First "Five Star" rating|
|2000||James Beard Foundation||Best New Restaurant|
|2000||San Francisco Magazine||Chef of the Year|
|2002||James Beard Foundation Award||Nominated Outstanding Chef of the Year|
|2002||Relais & Chateaux||Relais & Chateaux property|
|2007||Michelin Guide||One Star Rating|
|2007||Zagat Survey||Top Restaurant|
|2008||Michelin Guide||One Star Rating|
|2012||Michelin Guide||One Star Rating|
|2013||James Beard Foundation Award||Nominated Outstanding Chef of the Year|
|2013||Michelin Guide||One Star Rating|
|2014||Michelin Guide||One Star Rating|
|2015||Michelin Guide||One Star Rating|
|2016||Michelin Guide||One Star Rating|
|2017||Michelin Guide||One Star Rating|
|2018||Michelin Guide||One Star Rating|