Executive Chef, The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
Wente Vineyards is pleased to welcome Chef Matt Greco direct from the East Coast as the new Executive Chef at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards. Beginning October 1, 2011, the fall season introduces a new talent to the kitchen at Wente Vineyards. Looking forward to putting his spin on California cuisine, Chef Greco brings excellent technique, passion, and creativity to his new role.
Born and raised in Texas, Chef Greco began his career at an organic market in his hometown. His insatiable hunger continued to propel his budding chef talents and he moved to New York to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. Following culinary school, Matt was offered a job at Cafe Boulud, Daniel Boulud’s restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. There he spent four years learning and perfecting the art of French cuisine under the guidance of Chef Andrew Carmellini, before assisting in the launch of Café Gray. Working as a Sous Chef at the prestigious restaurant, A Voce, for a year, Chef Greco then returned to Café Gray in 2007 where he was appointed Sous Chef. There he played an integral role developing the menus and running the kitchen.
During this time, New York’s casual dining scene was starting to gain ground and Matt was inspired to embrace his Southern roots for a casual dining concept. In June 2008, Matt launched the southern inspired restaurant, Char No. 4 in the Brooklyn quarters. Designing both kitchen and menu, Matt led the kitchen operations and launched the restaurant to great acclaim, earning a spot in New York Magazine’s ‘Top Ten Best New Restaurants 2009’, and Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand 2009-12.
Following three years at the helm of the kitchen, Chef Greco was inspired to move west and try his hand at California cuisine. “I have always been extremely influenced by the Bay Area food scene,” says Greco. Excited to begin his life and career in the Bay area with his wife and son by his side, Chef Greco joins the team at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards with new ideas and creativity.
“I love that the restaurant has its own garden and am excited to source unique local products and take full advantage of California’s bounty,” says Chef Greco. His role as Executive Chef will include working closely with Master Gardener, Diane Dovholuk to decide what produce to plant and source for the seasonally changing menu.
Matt’s warm demeanor is a perfect fit for the family owned and run Wente Vineyards. The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards is delighted to bring Matt’s creativity, love of food, and new ideas to The Restaurant. His enthusiasm for food and hospitality will be a great addition to the team, where he will collaborate with Carolyn Wente to continue delivering a memorable dining experience for guests at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards.
General Manager, The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
Tracy Dunne, recently appointed as the General Manager of The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, brings a wealth of knowledge from her 15 years on property. Joining the hospitality side first as a server and bartender, Tracy was promoted to management level within three years of working at Wente Vineyards. Learning everything in-house, Tracy’s education has been through years of hands-on experience.
Originally from St. Bruno, CA, Tracy began her career in accounting. Following a move to Livermore, Tracy happened upon the Wente Estate one day while out jogging. Falling in love with the scenic property, Tracy applied for a job at The Restaurant and quickly progressed, working her way up the ranks from server to management. Educating herself through her years of hard work and devotion to the restaurant, she has grown and built a strong staff of well-trained and passionate servers and chefs, overseeing 63 employees, the alcohol program, and all operations for The Restaurant.
Tracy has been a part of Wente Vineyards success in a variety of departments. Now taking the lead as General Manager at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, Tracy’s vision for the growth of The Restaurant comes from years of watching it evolve and form.
This year, The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Tracy’s emphasis is to match The Restaurant’s seasonal wine country cuisine with warm and exceptional service and hospitality. Sharing a love and respect for The Restaurant with the dedicated chef team, Tracy’s passion lies in creating a memorable dining experience for every guest visiting the property.
Tracy has a strong love for food and wine. An avid traveler, Tracy enjoys fine dining in restaurants abroad and finding inspiration to bring back to the dining room at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards.
Sommelier, The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards
As Sommelier for The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, Jorge Tinoco combines his passion for wine with his dedication to educating guests and staff alike on the myriad possibilities for pairing fine wine with gourmet cuisine. Tinoco works closely with the inspirations provided by Chef Matt Greco to create a wine list that complements the daily changing menu.
The result of this creative partnership is The Restaurant’s frequently updated list of more than 750 fine West Coast wines, featuring selections from all California appellations and some Northwest wine regions. The wine list has won the prestigious Restaurant Hospitality Award in 2005 and 2006, and the Wine Spectator Best Award of Excellence “For an Outstanding Wine List” every year since The Restaurant’s opening in 1986 and is known as one of the most extensive wine menus in Northern California.
Tinoco oversees the extensive training and education of The Restaurant’s servers, imparting his passion and knowledge for wine selection and service. Wine training and education for the staff includes sessions on wine service etiquette, wine history and sensory evaluation.
Jorge also selects The Restaurants micro-brews, spirits, fresh signature cocktails, mineral-waters and cigars.
Tinoco joined The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards as a bartender in 1996. He graduated from the San Francisco School of Bartending in 2005 and has also studied winemaking at Napa Valley College. Currently, Tinoco is enrolled at the Court of Master Sommeliers to further expand his wine knowledge, tasting and service, and is pursuing his Masters in Wine, a title that only a small percentage of professional sommeliers achieve. He has been featured in the Sommeliers’ Guide to Restaurants in America, most recently in its 5th edition and has recently received his Advanced Sommelier Certificate” for the United States Sommelier Association. In his free time, Jorge is a home winemaker.