Terrence Tookes was named Executive Chef for Olive Garden in April 2023. In this role, he oversees the research, development and evolution of Olive Garden’s core and promotional menu items, leading a team of professional chefs to create abundant, craveable Italian food for a brand with more than 900 restaurants, 100,000 team members and more than $4.5 billion in annual sales.
Chef Tookes began his career at Darden in 2008 as a Culinary Manager for Olive Garden before eventually being promoted to General Manager. In 2015, he became an Executive Chef for Olive Garden.
Prior to joining Darden, Chef Tookes served in the United States Marine Corps and attained the rank of Sergeant. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Arts Institute of Atlanta in Food & Beverage Management, as well as a bachelor’s degree from Johnson and Wales College in Culinary Arts Management.
Chef Tookes obtained his certification as a Certified Executive Chef (CEC) from the American Culinary Federation. He is an active member of the local chapter, where he serves as Treasurer with the organization.