Chef Mario’s inspiring culinary career path with Hilton Chicago started on May 13, 1996, where he served as a Food Runner/Pot Washer. A short time later he was promoted to a cook, and then in August of 2001 was promoted to Junior Sous Chef and then to Senior Restaurant Chef in one of Hilton’s Restaurants. In May of 2005, Chef Mario was then promoted to Executive Sous Chef, and a few years later, in October 2010, was promoted to his current position, Executive Chef.
“Food is one of life’s greatest joys. My philosophy always has been about balancing seasonal food ingredients, locally-sourced food, farm-to-table, and nutritive food ingredients. I am a big believer and promoter of enjoying your meals. I always try to ensure that my food inspires everyone to sit down with their family, eat slowly, and enjoy the company. This same philosophy applies to banquets, just on a larger scale. Producing massive food functions can have additional perks such as buying out a farmer for the week because we use all the vegetables they can produce for a single event which is very satisfying for me. We have such a great relationship with several farmers, we can even ask them to grow a special item just for us that we can use in specialized banquet functions.”
As an active member of the Chicago food scene, Chef Mario is always willing to lend his talents to a worthy cause, whether it be a speaking engagement at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, a gourmet Chocolate Gala to benefit pastry-arts scholarships, Make-a-Wish Soiree or working alongside the team at Windy City Harvest.
- 2018 Cochonn555
- 2017 Cover and Star of Corporate Incentive Travel Magazine
- 2016 American Culinary Federation Chefs and Culinary Professional
- 2016 Negocios Now’s “Latinos 40 under 40”
Passion fuels my appetite for creating simple dishes of high taste ingredients reflective of the Kitchen’s hard work