Chef Chris Donato

As a boy, Chef Chris Donato’s favorite chore was to help his grandmother load up the clothes drying rack. But it wasn't laundry they were hanging. It was pasta, made from dough he carefully mixed and kneaded by hand at the kitchen table with his grandmother. “We didn’t have a fancy mixer,” Chef Chris recalls, “so egg, flour, and water between your fingers is fun when you’re six years old.” He never forgot that feeling of making a meal from scratch.

Today he embraces that same craftsmanship when making his famous shrimp and grits. It’s a dish loaded with the fresh, rich flavors of Coastal Carolina in the summer: South Carolina stone ground grits slow cooked with bacon and onion (in Minor’s® chicken base, of course), finished with butter and cream and topped with jumbo South Carolina shrimp, andouille, and more butter. You're guaranteed to need a nap after this meal.

Chef Chris Donato plating vegetables in the kitchen

More About This Chef

Favorite Food

Eastern North Carolina BBQ with creamy slaw and tater tots

Favorite Minor’s® Product

Minor’s® Flavor Concentrates and Hollandaise Sauce. They're easy to use and make me look better than I am!

Geographic Region

GPO Specialist


American Culinary Federation (ACF) Apprenticeship, Trellis Rest Williamsburg, VA

Major Achievements/Awards

Certified Executive Chef, ACF National Presidents Medallion

Work History

  • Colonial Williamsburg, VA—Cook
  • Trellis Restaurant Williamsburg, VA—Apprentice
  • Tobacco Company Restaurant, Richmond, VA—Sous Chef
  • Plaza Club Bradenton, FL—Executive Sous Chef
  • Pelican Bay Country Club, Daytona, FL—Executive Chef
  • MacGregor Downs Country Club, Cary, NC—Executive Chef
  • Garfield’s Restaurant, Knightdale, NC - Chef/Owner
  • Henderson Country Club, Henderson, NC—Executive Chef
  • Associated Foodservices, Charlotte, NC—Corporate Chef