Angela Tamura is a native of New England who now calls California home. She has been cooking all her life—a requirement for a girl with an Italian mother! Angela graduated from the University of Pennsylvania before realizing in her senior year that what she really wanted to do was create good food.
As part of her education at the New England Culinary Institute in Essex, Vermont, she took two demanding internships—one at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida, and one at Rialto Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After fulfilling her school requirements, she stayed on at Rialto for another two years to continue learning from James Beard Award-winning Chef Jody Adams.
From her time at Rialto, Tamura was inspired to explore Wine Country and learn more about the ways in which food and wine come together. So she moved to Napa and took the position of Sous Chef at Bistro Don Giovanni, eventually moving up to Chef de Cuisine.
In 2001, after taking time to get married, she joined the team at ZuZu. She stayed for a year before being coaxed away to San Mateo to become Executive Chef at Central Park Bistro, then moved back to Zuzu as Executive Chef, and then made the move to Pèppoli at Pebble Beach in 2010 as Chef de Cuisine.
Angela prefers to work with local farmers, ranchers and purveyors, and to change the menu every few weeks in order to keep plates fresh and seasonal. She cooks from scratch whenever possible, making pâté, sausage and cheese, as well as desserts, pasta and bread. Angela won Chef of the Year at the Napa Valley Mustard Festival and twice was the featured chef at the James Beard House in New York.
Angela has a real love of Italian, Spanish and Latin American cuisine and is starting to explore other regions of the Mediterranean, such as Morocco and Greece, for added culinary inspiration.
Chef Federico Rusciano was born and raised in Rome, Italy. His family has a strong background in the hotel and restaurant industry. His grandparents owned and operated a very successful boutique hotel on the famous isle of Capri, and when Federico was eight years old, his father also opened up a restaurant on Capri.
This was where Federico’s love for the restaurant business and the culinary arts started. Along with his regular studies, he dedicated himself to learning the secrets of Italian cuisine. While in Italy, he had the opportunity to study with many chefs and also learned the art of baking.
After finishing high school in 1988, Federico moved to California to start college. He had the pleasure of working in the renowned Italian restaurant Café Roma in San Luis Obispo. He then opened up a very successful Italian bakery, where his artisan breads were sold all over the Central Coast. In 1998, Federico decided to pursue a change of scenery and move to Mexico.
In Mexico, Federico became acquainted with a variety of different ingredients, which stimulated his imagination and creativity. He opened a boutique restaurant and offered training to other chefs and staff from some of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta: La Palapa, Vista Grill and Tikul.
Federico was offered a position as executive chef of one of Puerto Vallarta’s best restaurants—the Hotel Grand Velas Resort & Spa—where he worked with culinary expert Chef Claudio Hotter from Austria. The combination of the freshness of Puerto Vallarta’s seafood, along with the authenticity of Italian ingredients and the sophisticated ambience, made the dining experience at Lucca Italian Restaurant unforgettable.
In 2008, Federico returned to the United States and was offered the position of executive chef at Gino Lina Bistro in San Rafael. Once the restaurant was well established, he returned to his passion of working at large resorts, and in 2011 began working for Pebble Beach Company as General Manager of Pèppoli at Pebble Beach.