Meet the Chef

Go behind the counter and get to know our Executive Chef Rafael Mayoral.

Rafael Mayoral, Executive Chef

Rafael Mayoral emigrated from Mexico City, Mexico 23 years ago, where he embarked on his culinary career and became a professional chef at Star’s Restaurant under Chef Mark Franz. Rafael eventually moved to work in different restaurants around San Francisco including Harry’s Restaurant, Spuntino’s, Milano’s Italian Kitchen, and Prego Restaurant. In 1992, he returned to Mexico to assist at the Centro Universitario de Artes Culinarias.

Raffa, as he is fondly called by his staff, found himself back in the city by the bay in 1993 and joined Pescatore under the supervision of Chef Chris Shepherd. Raffa shaped and improved his skills and became Sous Chef at Pescatore in 1999. After a year of showcasing his passion and dedication he was again promoted, this time to Executive Chef.

Questions & Answers

I’m lucky enough to consider two exemplary chefs as my mentors: Chef Mark Franz, of Farrallon fame, and Chef Daniel Scherotter, who was at Palio d’Asti from 1990 to 2012, when he changed tracks to teach the ProStart curriculum at a high school in the Mission district of San Francisco.

My favorite thing to make for myself is food redolent with the flavors of my native Mexico. For breakfast, I love fried beans with chorizo, fried eggs, green tomatillo salsa and a handmade tortilla.

While there are many things that I love to cook with, there is one ingredient I can’t live without: garlic.

Jeremiah Tower. He is one of the founders of California cuisine, with a creativity and vision that put Stars restaurant at the top of the San Francisco culinary scene in the late 1980s and 1990s. His innovation influenced many chefs.

I still prefer the actual creation of the food. When I cook on the line I love to be surrounded by flames and great food; the line is the heart of the kitchen.

No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach, by Anthony Bourdain. Have you read it? Great photos, insights into his old show No Reservations and interesting, witty, well-written anecdotes about traveling around the world to eat good food.

I think having a family is the foundation of stability in this business, and I’m happy to have a family of three beautiful women – my wife and two daughters.
Chef Serving Dinner.
Pasta dinner from Pescatore.