After 30 extraordinary and fulfilling years at The Waldorf-Astoria, Executive Chef John Doherty left in 2009 to fulfill his dream of entrepreneurship. Doherty says “the desire to create innovative menu and food concepts, develop exciting restaurant brands, and share my Leadership message, is so powerful, that I must pursue my vision”. Doherty has aligned with Designer Mark Zeff to create Black Barn Restaurant in New York City. Doherty is currently the Chef- Owner of Black Barn with childhood friend Tom Struzzieri, where they have created one of New York City’s most talked about restaurants. Since leaving the Waldorf, he has developed and opened Porto-Vivo Restaurant in Huntington, the Diamond Mills Inn in Saugerties N.Y., developed over 60 products for Chicken Soup for the Soul Foods and started Heavenly Harvest Foundation which makes meals for those less fortunate.
Perhaps it was prophesy when the graduating class of 1978 at the Culinary Institute of America voted John Doherty as student most likely to succeed, because by the time Doherty turned 27, he was named Executive Chef at The Waldorf=Astoria. The year was 1985 and Doherty became the youngest person ever named to the position of Executive Chef in the New York landmark's notable history. After more than 23 years after his appointment to the post, the passionate, affable culinary leader holds the distinction of having cooked for more presidents, royalty and heads-of-state than any other chef in the country. While holding the reigns of New York’s famed kitchen, Doherty elevated the quality of food to a level that positioned The Waldorf as one of New York’s dining hot spots. Doherty authored The Waldorf=Astoria Cookbook in 2006, featuring over 120 recipes. “The many challenges of this job have inspired me to grow personally and professionally. I have loved every minute of leading this inspired team of individuals through every special event and over the top request.
Beyond sublime cooking technique and creativity, Doherty’s admirable leadership abilities were the key to the success of The Waldorf’s culinary operations, which garnered more than $100 million in annual sales under his direction. Responsible for the cuisine at some of the country’s loftiest galas, events and fundraisers; 24-hour room service; and three distinct, successful restaurants with a brigade of over 150. Doherty has shared his Leadership secrets through numerous published articles and speaking engagements at Universities, national culinary and industry events. His powerful message inspires people to empower themselves to break through the barriers they set for themselves.
Doherty has appeared in numerous Travel Channel, A&E and Food Network programs as well as appearances on The Today Show, CBS, CW11 and many regional affiliates. He is an advisory board member to New York’s City Harvest, and the Culinary Institute of America. He has been awarded an honorary Doctorate degree from Johnson & Wales, an honorary Masters degree from the Culinary Institute of America and a Leadership award from Niagara University as well as Food Arts Magazines’ Silver Spoon Award.