Director of Operations and Corporate Executive Chef
A 1990 graduate of the Culinary Arts Academy of Cincinnati, an affiliate of the Culinary Institute of America, Haley first crossed paths with Ralph Brennan during a pre-graduation externship at Ralph Brennan's Mr. B's Bistro. She returned to Mr. B's after graduation to train under former longtime Executive Chef Gerard Maras, a local pioneer in incorporating regional ingredients into innovative culinary creations. Quality and farm freshness dominated Chef Gerard's menu and appreciation for superior, fresh ingredients remains firmly entrenched in Haley's cooking.
In 1993, Haley was made Executive Chef at BACCO, the first woman to wear the top toque in a Brennan Family (of Commander's Palace Fame) Kitchen. "Haley's combined talent, personality, and genuine love of food preparation and foodservice have all contributed to her success at BACCO and beyond", says Ralph Brennan.
In 2000, Haley was given the title of Corporate Executive Chef. While still maintaining her BACCO Executive Chef responsibilities, Haley also worked with Red Fish Grill and took an active role in launching and supervising the culinary operations at Jazz Kitchen, Ralph Brennan's restaurant at the Disneyland Resort® in Southern California (2001) and Ralph's on the Park in Mid City New Orleans (2003). In June of 2005, Haley took on the role of Director of Operations for the Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group in addition to her Corporate Executive Chef responsibilities.
While Haley was at BACCO, the restaurant earned several local awards including the title of "Best Italian Restaurant" by Where New Orleans (three years in a row), New Orleans Magazine (1995) and Gambit Weekly (1994). Haley's Roasted Shrimp and Pasta Salad luncheon entree was honored as "Best Pasta Salad", and BACCO restaurant has been honored for "Best Ambiance" in New Orleans. Zagat Restaurant Survey named BACCO one of New Orleans' Best Italian and Most Romantic restaurants. BACCO earned a 4 'Bean' rating from the Times Picayune and was selected by Southern Living Magazine as one of its annual 'Top Ten Tastes' and 'Best Lovely Lunch'.
Haley's culinary talent has been featured in John Schoup's Great Chefs of The New Guard television series and was featured in the accompanying cookbook. She contributed her Chicken Cacciatore recipe to the New York Times #1 Best-selling Book SugarBusters! (Random House 1998) and has done live cooking demonstrations throughout the southeast. In February 1999, Haley presided over a Venetian Carnivale Dinner at the James Beard House in Manhattan.
The Louisiana State Office of Tourism selected Haley to represent Louisiana Cooking at editorial luncheons at The Southern Progress Corporation, the parent company of Southern Living, Cooking Light, Southern Accents and Coastal Living and at The Meredith Corporation, parent company of Better Homes & Gardens, Midwest Living, Mature Outing, and Northwest Airlines World Traveler. Haley also represented Louisiana at a dinner at the United States Ambassador to Canada's residence in Ottawa; at the Mont-Tremblent International Blues Festival; and at the Montreal International Jazz Festival. And the Montreal Highlights Festival, which features chefs from around the world cooking indigenous recipes.