Gerard Maras was born in Blackwell, Oklahoma to a family of incredible cooks, and food was central. He financed his education by working in New York restaurants and by the time he graduated from State University of New York in Oswego, he was hooked on foodservice. At 24, he became head chef of the Gaslight Restaurant in Fayetteville, New York. He then moved to Florida to work with European chefs and became head chef at Fitzgerald’s in West Palm and Harpoon Louie’s in Jupiter.
In 1983, he moved to New Orleans to become the sous chef at Commander’s Palace, working under the watchful eyes of Ella and Dick Brennan. When the Brennans opened Mr. B’s Bistro in the French Quarter, Gerard was put at the helm as executive chef. That’s where Great Chefs caught up with him to tape several dishes for their Great Chefs, the Louisiana New Garde television series in 1992.
Later, Chef Gerard worked for Ralph Brennan, another side of the Brennan family, and decided to buy a farm in Franklinton, Louisiana to grow his own produce. He also opened Gerard’s Downtown in the Central Business District of New Orleans, but closed it after a few years after earning accolades both locally and nationally. Gerard’s Downtown was rated as one of the top 15 New American Restaurants by Travel and Leisure.
Chef Gerard is now teaching private classes at the New Orleans Cooking Experience in New Orleans, and also brings his expertise into the homes of food lovers for private classes. His catering is unsurpassed and private dinners with menus created by Chef Gerard are very special.