While attending California Culinary Academy, John began his apprenticeship at the Lipizzaner, a tiny French-Viennese restaurant on Union Street. The chef-owner, Joseph Roettig, according to John the "best cook I'll ever know," taught him classical French technique and shared his love for the restaurant business and his devotion to cooking that comes from the heart.
When the owners of the Lipizzaner split up, John moved on to the Clift Four Seasons Hotel. His first stint as an executive chef was at Michael's Restaurant in Sunnyvale. He then become the opening chef at the Los Altos Bar and Grill.
In 1995, while working to put together a large project with investors, John
happened by the small, old firehouse in Woodside. Seeing the "For Rent"
sign in the window, John remembered that he hadn't fallen in love with cooking
by managing the staff of a large, high-volume venue; he'd done it while manning
the stoves himself at the tiny Lipizzaner. Recreating that restaurant's intimacy
between kitchen and customer became John's dream.
The commitment of the culinary and floor staff of John's Woodside location gave him the opportunity to open a second location in June of 2004. In his Redwood City restaurant, John serves seasonal American cuisine in a sophisticated and elegant yet comfortable setting perfect for both special occasions and everyday dining.