Ricardo DeLeon Executive Chef
Chef Ricardo DeLeon brings more than 20 years of culinary experience to Rustle+Roux. His earliest influences were his parents who raised him with the sights, smells and tastes of his Mexican-American heritage. At an early age he discovered a love and passion for food, along with the joy it brings to people. He later went on to formally expand his culinary techniques, skills and knowledge by attending the prestigious Johnson and Wales University in Charleston, SC.
He started his culinary career and began developing his refined flavors while under Chef John Akhile at Azalea in Atlanta. Chef Ricardo was later offered a position at Nava restaurant working under Chef Kevin Rathbun, one of the top Southwestern chefs in the country.
After leaving Atlanta, he took his culinary talent to Levy Restaurants, Sports & Entertainment and launched a successful 15 year relationship with the company. He brought his talents to venues throughout the country, including US Cellular Field, Bankers Life Fieldhouse and American Airlines Arena. Chef Ricardo had the opportunity to open the Molson Centre in Montreal and Bongo’s Cuban Café, a Gloria Estefan restaurant. He has also worked special events all over the country including, the NBA Finals, NBA All-Star Game, World Series, Kentucky Derby, US Tennis Open and Grammy Awards.
During his time at Fulton’s on the River, a premier prime Steak and Seafood house in Chicago, he was recognized for holding the best banana cream pie recipe by Chicago Magazine. Chef Ricardo also had the opportunity to bring to life a longtime dream and open his Latin inspired restaurant, “Guava”. He believes that cooking with a classical style provides refined, flavorful food. “My goal is to infuse my flavors and passion for cooking into the menu’s here at Rustle+Roux”.
Fabio Viviani Executive Chef
Chef Fabio Viviani has possessed a passion for food since his childhood growing up in Florence, Italy. At age 11, Viviani worked nights at a local bakery (since he was too young to officially join the staff) and, over his teenage years, held several positions in the restaurant industry, even serving under the mentorship of Simone Mugnaini, an iconic figure in the Italian restaurant scene.
Between his training in Italian and Mediterranean cuisine at IPSSAR Saffi and working with culinary luminaries such as Alessandro Panzani and Saverio Carmagini, Vivani owned and operated five restaurants in Florence, a Farm House and two nightclubs by the time he was 27. Although a well-respected businessman in Italy, he was ready for a change and moved to Ventura County, CA. There he opened Café Firenze in Moorpark and, soon after, popular Los Angeles Italian eatery Firenze Osteria in North Hollywood. Teaming up with Chicago’s most innovative restaurant consulting group, Dine|Amic, Viviani opened a third restaurant called Siena Tavern, in Chicago in February 2013. Siena Tavern has received accolades from Michal Avenue, the Chicago Tribune, Thrillist and others.
Fabio Viviani is perhaps best known for his appearance on season 5 of Bravo’s hit reality series, Top Chef, in 2008, earning the “Fan Favorite” title. Vivani returned to Bravo in 2010 to compete in their Top Chef All Stars edition and a spinoff culinary reality show, Life After Top Chef. His on-screen appearances have propelled him to become one of the fastest growing household names in the country. A gregarious host and entertaining guest, Viviani has appeared in a number of television cooking segments and is a recurring guest on television shows such as Good Morning America, The Talk, The Chew, Ellen, Good Day LA, and Access Hollywood, and he hosts a regular spot on the QVC channel with various kitchen appliances and products. He is also the host of the award-winning web series Chow Ciao! On Yahoo!, the #1 lifestyle and food show on the internet.
Off screen, Viviani is a regular headliner at global food events and festivals, sells a line of ceramic cookware at Bed Bath & Beyond, and is a proud endorser of beloved brands such as Bialetti Cookware, Bertolli Olive Oil and Yahoo.com. He has authored two successful cookbooks, Café Firenze Cookbook, and his latest release, Fabio’s Italian Kitchen, as well as a series of Ebooks about various food subjects that have appeared on multiple Amazon bestseller lists within weeks of release. Fabio has another cookbook in the works due in 2014 that will showcase his passion for food made simple. Viviani regularly shares recipes with his fans through his online magazine, Fabio’s Kitchen Academy. Rounding out the Fabio Viviani brand, Viviani offers elite restaurant consulting through his partnership in Dine|Amic group.
Patricio Sandoval Executive Chef
Practically a gourmand from birth, Mercadito Chef and Partner Patricio Sandoval almost seems genetically engineered for a culinary life. Born on June 16, 1974, in Acapulco, Mexico, Sandoval virtually grew up in the kitchen of his father Manuel Sandoval’s world class restaurant, Madeiras. After moving to California to attend high school, Sandoval left for New York City to work with his older brother Richard, who also followed in the family’s culinary footsteps with his own restaurant, Maya. It was while working alongside Richard that Sandoval discovered his passion for cooking.
Although his brother was aware of his potential, Sandoval started on the “ground floor” of the restaurant business, eventually working his way up from an apprentice in 1998 to Sous Chef. After moving back to California in 1999 to help Richard set up Maya in San Francisco, and working as Sous Chef at Hawthorne Lane in 2000, Sandoval decided that it was time to seriously train as a chef.
Returning to New York City, he enrolled in the French Culinary Institute and further refined his skills while working with Peter Hoffman at the legendary Savoy in 2000. Upon graduating from the French Culinary Institute, Sandoval returned to the Savoy but was tapped by his brother Richard to act as a Consulting Chef for his latest restaurant, Pampano, in 2004. It was during this time that Sandoval began to consider opening his own restaurant.
Sandoval’s inspiration for Mercadito Restaurants drew from his experiences shopping with his mother in the markets of his native Mexico. The young Sandoval instinctively gravitated towards the small market stalls where local merchants sold native delicacies that fueled a day of bargaining. Never forgetting these delectable yet uncomplicated dishes, Sandoval strived to capture the flavor and energy of this cuisine. Operating four Mercadito restaurants in New York, Chicago and Miami by the end of 2009, it is safe to say that Sandoval more than exceeded his goal. These restaurants are a fitting tribute to the rich culinary tradition that began with his father Manuel and lingers throughout the Sandoval family today.