Joey's culinary career has been fast and full of promotions. On his sister's recommendation, Joey was simply looking into attending culinary school, when he fell in love with cooking and enrolled immediately after high school at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Chef Joey loved the rush and competitiveness of cooking school; the idea of learning the same skills and fighting for the same spot was a constant motivation to hold himself to the highest standard.
Joey's career was launched while attending culinary school. He began working for Wolfgang Puck's Spago in Palo Alto as a stage. Joey credits then Spago Chef, Aram Mardigian, with seeing his potential and paying special attention to him, teaching him everything he knows about being a restaurant chef. Joey was promoted steadily during the next three years at Spago, starting as a saucier and leaving as Banquet Chef when the restaurant closed in 2007. Joey worked for Rolland Passot and Brian Berling as Executive Chef of Tanglewood on Santana Row in San Jose before starting with Chez TJ as Sous Chef in 2009, becoming Executive Chef in 2011. Chef Joey has a straight-forward food philosophy: don't over do it. Joey grew up eating simple food; mom's pork chop and potatoes and hamburger pie. Many of his dishes are sparked by nature and the world around him. Following his belief that it is harder to show restraint, Joey's menus let the ingredients do the talking; he surprises diners with a new spin on foods they might already know.
Since taking over as Executive Chef Joey has been awarded numerous accolades from critics. In October of 2011 he retained the restaurant's one Michelin Star for the Michelin Guide 2012. This highly coveted award makes him the youngest Chef in California to currently hold a Michelin Star. Early in the new year Joey was then included in a respected list of up and coming hospitality professionals awarded by Zagat. This was the first year the Zagat 30 Under 30 award was selected for the Bay Area. Shortly after, in March of 2012, Joey was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle for the Rising Star Chef award given to five chefs in the Bay Area that show extreme promise. Chez TJ has also been reviewed several times by local publications. Links to many of these awards and features can be found here (link to the reviews and recognition page).
Joey loves being a chef most because he never stops learning and improving; he can never know enough about our dynamic culinary world. Born and raised in the South Bay, he now lives in San Jose with fiance, a source of much inspiration. He enjoys being active in the bay area and stays involved by participating in numerous community and charity events. To learn more about upcoming events Joey will be attending, see our news page or sign up for our newsletter.
Follow Chef Elenterio on Twitter for fun food notes, restaurant info, and updates! @jelenterio
Come join us for dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays. You may contact us directly at 650-964-7466 to make a reservation or use Open Table by clicking here.