EXECUTIVE CHEF / CO-Owner
I grew up here in South Oceanside where I learned how to surf at Cassidy Beach and played in local rock bands for most of my life.
In 1999, I graduated from the California Culinary Academy San Francisco and worked at a few prestigious restaurants such as the Four Seasons Resort Aviara and The Bridges Club Rancho Santa Fe. I then ventured on my own and opened my own restaurant in 2003 called Hec's Grill at Buccaneer Beach.
I have been working in the restaurant industry now for over 13 years and am currently the Co-Owner/Executive Chef at The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza. In a short amount of time, I have helped build a strong partnership and culinary team with my son, Sous Chef Stephen Reyna, and two partners Charlie Anderson and Jamey Stone.
I grew up surfing and working at restaurants in Oceanside and eventually took on a life in the action sports industry helping start Dragon Optical and eventually working for TransWorld Media for the last 17 years.
During that time, my wife and I started a small coffee cart business at Buccaneer Beach and a second location at the Captain's Helm. Eventually, we bought The Buccaneer Café, which was our first break into the restaurant business.
My childhood best friend, Jamey and I had always dreamed of opening our own restaurant. Fortunately, another Buccaneer local Hector Reyna, approached me with an idea to create a place in South Oceanside where we could live out our dream. This has become... The Privateer Coal Fire Pizza!
I also called South Oceanside home and eventually graduated from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and previously worked around high-end restaurants in NYC for a few years.
In 2009, I moved to San Francisco and worked at a couple of high-volume restaurants before finally joining forces with my father Hector in 2012 to hold a Sous Chef role and further develop The Privateer's eclectic menu.
In my spare time (away from work), I enjoy long walks on the beach, succulents, jazz music and Vietnamese food.
Growing up in Oceanside, I developed my surf skills as an aspiring pro surfer, which is where the restaurant culture came into my life.
While I started as a bus boy at a local restaurant, the owner Jay took me under his wing where I spent 3 years of my life immersed in the restaurant culture thanks to Jay. From that point on, I knew that I wanted to start a place of my own some day.
Charlie, my childhood best friend from the Buccaneer crew, worked in the action sports media industry along with me for 11 years. He shared the same outlook as I did and we would often think about starting our own restaurant together. Fast-forward to 2013, and the dream has become a reality! Charlie and I linked up with Hector Reyna and The Privateer was born.