Chef David Haydon at Il Davide
901 A. Street
San Rafael, CA 94901
It was 35 years ago when I walked into a restaurant kitchen. I remember the smells of stocks and soups reducing, and watching the busy, focused crew ready themselves for dinner service. I was placed in a small scullery area to peel carrots – 50 lb. sacks! Looking around as I peeled I wondered, how did all this work? I definitely wanted to learn more. I had been working since I was 15 at various jobs, including paperboy, construction, painter, and gas station attendant, but this was different. I felt an excitement and curiosity I had never felt before. Was this going to be something important in my life?
I was hired to wash dishes at one of the most respected and busiest French restaurants in the bay area, La Petit Auberge in San Rafael, California. As I washed the scalding hot pots and scrubbed the caked on food pans at a furious pace and under pressure to keep up with the service, I realized this was heaven for me and I was in the right place. My journey was launched into one of the most exciting, unpredictable, baffling and difficult businesses.
I worked my way up the kitchen ladder at various restaurants and eventually chose my favorite italian cuisine to focus on. At the age of 23, I opened my first restaurant, Café Ristorante Italia, as a junior partner. Seven years later, going solo, Il Davide was born.
My style of cooking is Northern Italian influenced by local ingredients. I strive to create dishes that have big flavors, consistency, and presentation with local fresh ingredients.