Gerry Klaskala was an art student, but at age 17 he entered into a gourmet food show and took home best of show. He thus abandoned his aspirations for the art world for another passion, and graduated from the CIA. After working his way up the kitchen ladder for 10 years, including serving as executive chef at Hyatt Hotels in Boston and Savannah, Chef Klaskala decided to go out on his own. He helped launch the Buckhead Diner in Atlanta and 45 South in Savannah. He consulted for the Hillstone Group’s Bandera, and Horseradish Grill in Atlanta.
In 1995, he opened Canoe in Atlanta, but the Great Chefs crew showed up prematurely to tape Chef Klaskala at Canoe before opening day. The crew and chef improvised by borrowing a kitchen from a restaurant supply house, and Chef Gerry was taped for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of America days before the restaurant’s opening.
Now in 2016, some twenty-one years later, he still runs Canoe and has added Aria as a second restaurant.