Tom Delaney is, admittedly, a man of few words. He prefers to let his dishes speak for him. A man of acclaimed kitchen prowess, Tom Delaney has been active in chef quarters for more than four decades. Since he was a teenager, he has had his hands on pots, pans and grills, ready to whip up dishes both classic and creative.
As the owner and executive chef of Delaney’s Bistro and Bar on St. Simons Island, Tom Delaney has a strong culinary background. His family is dotted with cooks, chefs and bakers, and spending time mastering a recipe was simply a back of his childhood. As a teenager, when the family would plan meals for later in the evening, he took to mastering his own dishes, and when it came time for him to pick a route in the world, the kitchen simply kept calling.
After attending and graduating from Johnson and Wales with a Culinary Arts degree, the Connecticut-native then obtained a degree in business management from Providence College. It was there he met his wife Leslie, who brought Tom down to her Golden Isles home.
More than 20 years later, Tom and his family remain on St. Simons, with the family restaurant being as busy as ever. His son, Matthew, runs the front of the house, while Tom mans the kitchen along with his active and loyal staff. His wife, sister-in-law as well as son-in-law are active employees at Delaney’s, adding an intimate element of familiarity to the restaurant’s already charming atmosphere.
Several years ago, Tom added on to his restaurant resume, buying Café Frederica, a breakfast and lunch spot located next door to Delaney’s. That is also a family business, with his daughter Hannah running operations. Hannah, too, has brought a new role to the Delaney line: the family’s first grandchild. In July, Hannah gave birth to a baby girl, aptly naming her Delaney after her grandfather.
At both Delaney’s and Café Frederica, Tom’s business philosophy is simple: work hard, and provide great service, craft excellent food, and be good to your team. This motto has paid off, as most of his employees have worked for him for five or more years, and the majority of his clients are regulars.