John, a West Virginia native, completed his formal training in classical
French cuisine as first in his class at L'Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda,
Maryland. Before settling in North Carolina he worked with several well known
chefs in the Washington DC area. Most notable were Jean Louis Palladin of the
Watergate, and Jeffrey Bueben chef/owner of Vidalia and Bis.
John’s relocation to Raleigh coincided with Rick Robinson's decision to open Mondo Bistro in
Chapel Hill where John served as sous chef from the restaurant's inception until
early 1995 when he left to open Bloomsbury Bistro.
Both John and the Bistro have become recognized locally and nationally for his
innovative menus and the Bistro’s sophisticated, yet comfortable dining
atmosphere. Publications such as USA Today, Bon Appétit and Southern Living
have cast a flattering spotlight on Chef Toler's cooking style.