Leading 95 Cordova Restaurant, Chef Harlan Walden directs a team with prestigious culinary expertise to create diverse dishes and a memorable dining experience for visitors of the oldest city and guests of the Casa Monica Hotel.
Chef Walden originated from the historic town of St. Augustine and aspired to be a distinguished and renowned chef from a very young age. He began this journey at The Columbia Restaurant where he utilized his knowledge to prepare assortments of delectable salad courses while aspiring to design his own savory and enticing creations. In 1999, he continued to pursue this desire by excelling as a Line Cook at the prominent Casa Monica Hotel; bringing his own flavor and sophistication to each dish served at 95 Cordova Restaurant. After a short time, he enrolled in the Navy where he received specialized culinary training while traveling internationally.
Returning to the oldest city in 2005, Chef Walden further developed his passion and dedication to the culinary arts by becoming the Executive Sous Chef at 95 Cordova Restaurant. Then in 2008, Chef Walden took the next step to lead him on a unique and engaging endeavor to Afghanistan to further explore and experience the different types of international culinary cuisine. While overseas, Chef Walden broadened his scope of culinary knowledge to include intercontinental cookery; enabling him to satisfy an assortment of unique palates in cooking for civilian workers, Special Forces, and army officers. “It was a humbling experience and really made me appreciate the simpler things in life,” remarked Harlan.
After his time in Afghanistan, he retraced his steps back to the Casa Monica Hotel where he has brought a newfound international flare to an assortment of rare and exquisite dishes. Having studied under past Executive Chef DeJuan Roy and Director of Culinary Operations Rene Nyfeler, Chef Walden has further developed an extraordinary presentation of the restaurant’s multi-course menu. This flavorful menu has encompassed his extensive knowledge of culinary arts by complimenting each dish with a unique and signature display. Now with over a decade of knowledge and experience, Chef Walden brings his cutting edge expertise to the culinary world by constantly refining and infusing new elements into signature dishes by what inspires him.
As Chef de Cuisine, Chef Walden puts his many years of experience to use at 95 Cordova Restaurant with his delectable menu creations. Using only the freshest local and finest imported ingredients to create distinctive plate presentations; Chef Walden and his culinary team create savory entrees, appetizers, salads, soups, and divine desserts that stir the senses and excite the palate. 95 Cordova’s menus consist of a masterful blend of American, Asian, Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Moroccan influences; highlighting the region’s freshest seafood, meats, and exceptional produce.