The Chefs

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Chef Kristyan d'Angelo

 

Chef Jacques Wislon

Chef Jacques Wilson began his career at The Gondolier Restaurant in New London, Connecticut, discovering his love for cooking and Italian food at the early age of 16.  A high school culinary graduate of Ella T. Grasso Technical School in Groton, Connecticut, Chef Jacques’ formal education began at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, in Hyde Park, New York.  In 1995, Chef Jacques became a Certified Executive Chef with the American Culinary Federation (ACF).

Chef Jacques’ resume includes resorts in New York, Maine, Nantucket Island, as well as the Eldorado Country Club in Indian Wells, California. For the past 18 years, Chef Jacques has worked in Steamboat Springs for the Vista Verde Guest Ranch, Starwood Hotels and Yampa Valley Medical Center. In September 2006, Chef Jacques was the Executive Chef of the famed Sardine Factory in Monterey, California. In 2008 Chef Jacques became the Executive Chef at the El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California.

Chef Jacques has won numerous ACF medals in ACF competitions across the nation. In 2003, he was the ACF Western Region Chef of the Year. On July 17, 2004, inducted into the American Academy of Chefs (AAC), the honor society of the American Culinary Federation (ACF).  In 2006 & 2008, Grand Champion of the Carmel Valley TomatoFest.  In 2009 placed 3rd place in the California State Fair Ironman Competition, 1st place in ANDY BOY® Nopalitos Competition, and was ACF Monterey Bay Chef’s Association, Chef of the Year Recipient.

 

In 2010, Chef Jacques became a certified Dietary Manager with the Dietary Manager’s Association.  January of 2011 Chef Jacques was nominated and received the Excellence in Action Award at El Camino Hospital. Chef Wilson has also received the 2011 United Fresh Excellence in Foodservice Award for Hotels and Healthcare. In 2016 Chef Wilson was inducted into the Disciples of Escoffier and in 2017 inducted into the Antonin Careme Society. In 2018, Chef Wilson was inducted in Les Toques Blanches - International Club - Monterey Chapter and Honored by American Academy of Chefs with The Good Taste Award.

 

Creating recipes is an artistic outlet for Chef Jacques. In 2013, he was recognized as a Culinary Creations Top 10 by the Premier Healthcare alliance. In 2015, 2017 and 2019 he was a Culinary Creations Top 4 Finalist recognized by the Premier Healthcare Alliance and the 2015 Maple Leaf Farms Discover Duck Recipe Contest Grand Prize winner for Professional Chefs.  2016 Chef Wilson place 2nd in the Vegan Chef Competition (#plated plants).

Chef Jacques dedicates his spare time to giving back to his community. He has been involved with Cooking for Solutions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Meals on Wheels Benefit Dinner, Culinary Classique d’Elegance, the Carmel Valley TomatoFest; and the Jefferson-Lincoln Awards Dinner hosted by The Panetta Institute.  Chef Jacques serves his local ACF chapter, the ACF Monterey Bay Chefs Association by contributing his organizational skills as the President for 2021 - 2023. He is also involved with Monterey County 4-H, The Living Breath Foundation Fundraiser benefitting those living with Cystic Fibrosis, and Culinary Coach\Mentor for the Rancho Cielo Drummond Culinary Academy. In 2020 Chef Wilson was awarded by the Living Breath Foundation the Ed Kinney Volunteerism Award for service and dedication to the Cystic fibrosis Community with the Living Breath.

 

Chef Esam Shaqir

Chef Esam Shaqir began his career in the food and restaurant industry early in his life. Growing up on a produce farm instilled a passion for cooking with whole, fresh ingredients and integrating food and flavors to everyday life. Esam has a background of growing-up working in local restaurants, and in selling fresh produce at local farmers markets in Israel and Palestine.

This early initiation to the industry and exposure to some of the world’s finest fresh ingredients in the Mediterranean – from vegetables to olives and olive oils, to unique herbs and spices–inspired Esam and his brother to share their family and inspirational recipes, flavors, and experiences.

 

Esam has both served at and managed restaurants in south bay area, and in Saratoga, and is happy to call Saratoga home for Tamra Mediterranean Grill. The Shaqir Brothers are from the Mediterranean, but call California home. As such, they cherish the unique similarities between Mediterranean and Californian cuisine and aim is to bring these together with over 20 years of experience working in the food and beverage industry, to give you a truly local and authentic dining experience.

 

Chef Kristyan d'Angelo

A native of the small town of Ginosa in the Apulia region of Italy, Kristyan was born with an appreciation for wonderful food made with fresh, local ingredients. Perhaps his passion for food began on the day he and his twin sister were born… in the kitchen, on the table in his family home.  This, along with his dislike of traditional schooling and desire to make people happy, motivated him to pursue a career as a chef. Kristyan’s mother worked at a restaurant, and he began his career alongside of her learning fundamental cooking techniques.  At age 15, the family relocated to Asti, in Piemonte in the north of Italy.  For the next ten years, he worked mornings with his father at the gas station and car wash they owned, and then went directly to the restaurant to work with his mother.  His enthusiasm for his craft is genuine and simple, “In Italy it is a tradition to follow your parents.  But, it is just inside of me.” At age 25, he yearned to learn the art of perfect pizza.  Knowing that Neapolitan pizza is world famous , Kristyan found the best Neapolitan ristorante in

Asti, and apprenticed with them for five years.  These years were well spent, as Kristyan’s restaurant Terun is now one of only fifteen in California that is a member of American Delegation of the Associazione Vera Pizza Napoletana, a non-profit that recognizes the handful of restaurants outside of Italy that meet strict standards and respect the meticulous process of traditional Neapolitan pizza making. At age 30, he decided to pursue his dream and move to the United States and work toward opening a restaurant.  He enrolled in English classes in Berkeley and worked several low-end jobs cooking and cleaning (lying to his mama back in Italy that he was working in a fantastic pizza restaurant), methodically working his way to Palo Alto where he met his future partners, Franco and Maico. Kristyan’s varied experiences, together with his strong work ethic and gracious hospitality, have given him a wildly successful first restaurant that exceeds guest’s expectations every time. In his spare time, Kristyan can be found on his racing bike, sporting his Terun cycling jersey.

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