After exploring many arenas including zoology and photography, my passion for cooking turned me on to a different pursuit. As Executive Chef/Co-owner of Terzo, I feature pan-Mediterranean cuisine inspired by my travels, with dishes changing daily to showcase seasonal, fresh produce purchased direct from local, organic farmers.
I began my culinary career at the Kendall College Culinary Program in Chicago after spending years as a professional photographer for the Chicago advertising industry. Upon graduation, I moved to California and worked my way up in various Bay Area kitchens, including Fetzer Winery’s Culinary Center under the direction of Chef John Ash and San Francisco’s renowned 42 degrees. In October of 2000, I joined Rose’s Café as the Executive Chef where I created a compelling, upscale Café menu to cater to the tastes of the trendy Cow-Hollow neighborhood.
After five years at Rose’s Café, I was ready for another challenge and worked closely with owner Laurie Thomas to create a concept for a new sister restaurant, Terzo. In June 2005, I traveled with Thomas, architect Cass Calder Smith and the rest of the design team to Sicily, Rome, Lisbon, Seville and Madrid to help solidify the design concept and brainstorm the menu for Terzo. To meander through the markets, restaurants and shops gave me a better knowledge of the food and how to emulate what the locals do at home. We put a lot of effort into making the food as genuine as possible and this can only be accomplished by seeing first-hand how it’s done in a dish’s native land.
In April 2006 Terzo opened for dinner and instantly gained critical acclaim from publications including Bon Appetit, The San Francisco Examiner and San Francisco Chronicle.
I believe the food speaks for itself at Terzo. Start with a good product of any kind, and try to use it in a way that shows its incredible flavors.
Some of our dishes at Terzo include Fried Egg Bruschetta with Green Garlic and Spinach, Grilled Sea Bass with Garbanzo Beans and Charmoula, Free Range Chicken Spiedini with Bread Chili and Onions and Roasted Eggplant with Moroccan Spiced Yogurt and Pomegranate Molasses.
I live in Oakland with my wife Lori Podroza, who is a Sous Chef at Terzo. When we're not working, we enjoy traveling and dining around the Bay Area.
Awards, Honors and Societies
Top 100 Restaurants for 2008 (San Francisco Chronicle)
Top 100 Restaurants for 2007 (San Francisco Chronicle)