Dave Snyder Chef Spotlight

Following graduation from the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, chef Dave Snyder moved to New York City, gaining experience and sharpening his skills at The Essex House, Zoe, Union Square Café, and The Mark—serving under top chefs who prided themselves on training the next generation.

Heading south, Dave became executive chef at Azalea in Atlanta before moving to St. Simons Island, Georgia, as chef at J Mac’s. In 2000, he opened Halyards on St. Simons. He followed his first venture by opening Tramici in 2006, and most recently introduced the island to Latin street fare at La Plancha to celebrate his Colombian heritage. Today, along with Halyards Catering and Hook & Knife Charters, Dave’s three restaurants comprise Halyard Restaurant Group.

These restaurants, perennially ranked as the island’s and region’s most popular, enable Dave to share his love of hospitality and food, and how the two intertwine to create memorable culinary experiences. His monthly cooking classes further communicate his passion—how great food enhances life.

Drawing on his relationships with local fishermen and farmers, Dave demonstrates to eager guests that the best ingredients make a tremendous difference in food quality, in the sustainability of the environment, and in the financial strength of the local economy. He serves on the Advisory Panel for Snapper/Grouper Species for the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council and has worked with the South Atlantic Fishermen’s Association to improve the sustainability and health of the South Atlantic, the availability of local fish, and the financial future and heritage of the fishing industry. Dave is a steering committee member with The Marine Resource Education Program as part of GMRI, and also sits on the Shellfish Advisory and Mariculture Advisory Panel for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The Georgia Restaurant Association named Dave a finalist for Restaurateur of the Year in 2012 and selected him as one of four chefs to represent the GRA’s Georgia Grown program in 2013. In 2014, Dave was selected to serve on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Restaurant Association. Halyards and Tramici were named 2014 Businesses of the Year by the Brunswick and Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce.

Deeply devoted to community service, Dave serves on the boards of multiple organizations, including the Coastal Symphony of Georgia, The Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia, Hospice of the Golden Isles, Georgia Grown Trail 17, the Golden Isles Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Georgia Tourism Foundation, and the Culinary Board for the College of Coastal Georgia. He is also an active supporter of local numerous area organizations including The St. Simons Land Trust, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and The Humane Society of South Coastal Georgia. He is additionally involved in events and fundraisers at local schools where he hopes to inspire the next generation of chefs and restaurant leaders.

Dave loves to venture to Islamorada in the Florida Keys—his home away from home. One of Dave’s newest ventures, Hook & Knife Charters, combines his skills and passion for fishing with his love of preparing and serving catches to delighted charter guests at his restaurants. To learn more about these unique experiences, visit HookandKnifeCharters.com.