Chef Gary Penir has worked in kitchens in Napa and Sonoma counties for the last nine years. During this time he has refined the skills and techniques required to deliver exceptional foods from all over the world to his guests.
In 2003, Gary attended San Diego State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Food Science and Nutrition. He then went on to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY to earn an Associate of Occupational Studies Degree in Culinary Arts. Being born and raised in the Napa Valley, Gary returned to the wine country to hone his skills in the culinary field. He began work at Wine Spectator Restaurant at Greystone in St. Helena, CA under a wide array of chefs, which include Chef Robert Curry (Executive Chef of Auberge de Soleil), Chef James Corwell (ACF Certified Master Chef), followed by Chef Polly Lapetitto (Executive Chef of the Wine Spectator Restaurant). In 2006, Gary became Sous Chef of Wine Spectator Restaurant where he coordinated all aspects of the kitchen. Meanwhile, he completed the CIA Greystone’s Wines Program, granting him the Level 1 Certified Wine Professional as well as Level 1 Sommelier. He is currently a Level 2 Chef de Cuisine through the American Culinary Federation. In 2008, Gary moved to Sonoma County to work at 2 Michelin starred Cyrus Restaurant in Healdsburg, California under Executive Chef Douglas Keene. After much consideration, Gary has moved back to the Napa Valley to launch his business, Cuisine GP. Gary has also traveled all over the world refining his skill set and exposing himself to the cuisines of Spain, Germany, Italy, France, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. During his most recent trip Gary was able to work at 3 Michelin Star Vendome Restaurant in Germany which was named the #10 restaurant in the world on San Pellegrino’s Top 50 Restaurants List in 2013. In 2014 Gary helped open La Taberna Restaurant in Napa as the consulting Menu Development chef.
Gary has had the pleasure of executing and participating in many renowned events over the past years. The Aspen Food and Wine Classic, Celebrity Chefs Dinners at the Ahwanee Hotel and Resort in Yosemite, California are just two of his favorites. Presently Gary works with Caldwell Vineyards, Schramsberg, Failla, Opus One, Joseph Phelps, Duckhorn, Round Pond Estate, Tenbrink, Whetstone, Jessup Cellars, Castillo de Amarosa, Saviez Vineyards, G Wine Cellars and various other businesses throughout the North Bay. He has also lectured at The Culinary Institute of America in the Hyde Park campus as well as the Singapore campus. He was also a guest culinary instructor at Mendocino Community College.
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