20+ years as a chef
Mario Tolentino has had the opportunity of working in the finest kitchens in San Francisco, New York City and Miami, including 1 and 2 Michelin star rated restaurants, which taught him the highest level of standards and creativity. Taking those experiences he applied them to winning the Food Network's Chopped and Chopped Champions. He also, competed on Bravos new show “Recipe for Deception” which aired March 24, 2016.
Refining his techniques and cuisines his expertise is in California farm to table, classic + modern French, South East Asian, New American, Southern low country, he has also, mastered the arts of butchery for seafoods and meats. Tolentino returned to his hometown and revamped well-known Betelnut. He has also, created two restaurant concepts, The first Bait & Barley, which is a seafood market and counter highlighting local & sustainable seafood and craft beer. The second is Low Country a sports bar highlighting the food of the Carolina coast. .
He is currently the Culinary Director at The Market on Market in San Francisco’s rejuvenated and dynamic Mid-Market district.
Born and raised in San Francisco, Mario Tolentino was destined to become a chef from a ripe young age. His love for food and passion for travel has brought Tolentino to all corners of the U.S. and overseas in search of new cultures and cuisines. Trained in modern and classical cooking techniques, Tolentino’s “New American” cuisine is a mélange of flavors and styles inspired by his travels and experiences.
After attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Tolentino spent the next 12 years traveling coast to coast, working with high caliber chefs in their award-winning kitchens. Norman’s under executive chef Norman Van Alken, Pacific Time under executive chef Jonathan Eisman in Miami beach. . San Francisco’s acclaimed AQUA under executive chef Michael Mina. He also returned AQUA, this time as corporate sous chef under Laurent Manrique where he opened 3 restaurants with the now 2 Michelin star restaurant group and helped revamp 1 Michelin star 5th floor.
The chef decided to make the move overseas to Barcelona, Spain, where he fully immersed himself into the culture and cuisine of the Catalan people. Taking advantage of his location in Spain, he toured many of the gastronomic centers of Europe.
Soon after, Tolentino moved to Kona Coast, Hawaii to embark on a new industry venture. There he founded Can Cook Cuisines, a personal chef business preparing residential dinners and events for some of the most high-end clientele including the Millionaires Club of the Kona Coast.
The hunger for restaurant life lured Tolentino to New York City where he worked as the Executive Chef of Juliet Supperclub, where he created a dynamic menu based on, international and ethnic style street food.
Before returning back to San Francisco, Tolentino partnered with LDV a New York City based hospitality group to create the F&B program for The Shelborne hotel, South Beach Miami. The dining concepts where added to the property along with room service and the banquet program. His involvement included kitchen design, small ware and kitchen equipment procurement, concept and menu development, financials and hiring of the culinary staff.
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Juliet Supper Club