Chef Gerard LaRuffa has always loved food and cooking has always been a part of his life. He remembers his Italian grandmother teaching his Vietnamese mother how to cook and he takes great pride in the fact his father was a US Army Cook for 22 years. All of the positive familial influence inspired him to become a Chef at an early age. Some of his earliest teen memories are working at seafood restaurants on the Susquehanna River & Chesapeake Bay in Aberdeen, MD.
As he grew older his interest in the art of great food only increased. He decided to go to culinary school at Baltimore’s International Culinary College in 1991. After graduation he immediately started working at Nickel City Grill, a 400-seat kitchen with a staff of more than 35 employees. He feels he also learned how to become a better manager during this time. He quickly discovered that one day he wanted his own kitchen. After his time at Nickel City Grill Gerard traveled throughout the US helping a company open new restaurants. During that time he met his wife (Lisa) on the West Coast and when she made the decision to come back to the Midwest to help run her family’s restaurant it was an easy decision for Gerard to move with her.
Gerard knew that he wanted to combine his passion for global flavors with his extensive background in Southwestern cuisine. He also wanted to create a place that was family friendly and a great place to hang your hat, relax, and have fun with friends. Gerard decided to combine his personal love of making delicious food along with his goal of providing a fun environment for entertaining friends & family and “Club Taco” was born.