Early Beginnings

Orlando, Florida, is where Chino’s story starts, as an inquisitive only child who was often found watching, but never touching, the culinary magic in his mother’s kitchen. This restriction ironically fueled his later passion for cooking. His journey took a transformative turn when he joined the Marines, inspired by the ethos of being among “the few, the proud.” Serving as a cook, Chino traversed the globe, tasting the world’s flavors from Italy to Spain, and learning that simplicity in food can often yield the richest flavors. This experience planted the seeds for his culinary philosophy: embracing the beauty in simplicity and the power of humble ingredients.

Culinary Pathway

Post-Marines, Chino returned to Orlando, initially stepping away from the culinary world into retail. However, the call to cook was too strong to ignore. Culinary school reignited his passion, leading him through various roles in hotels and restaurants before finding his place in the eatertainment industry. Here, he connected with the future leaders of AMP Up1 Hospitality and Your 3rd Spot, unknowingly setting the stage for a decade of continued growth and success.

Rising Through the Ranks

Chino’s career at the eatertainment brand began humbly as a prep cook. His dedication and skill propelled him through the ranks, from line cook to Assistant Culinary Manager, Senior Culinary Manager to Regional Culinary Manager, across several states from Raleigh to Nashville to his new home base in Miami Florida. Each location served as a new chapter in his journey of growth, leadership, and cultural development.

Leadership Philosophy

Chino’s military background is evident in his leadership style: he embodies the principle of working towards the rank you aspire to achieve, not just the one you hold. He fosters a culture of growth and mentorship, believing in the potential of every individual to excel if given the right guidance and opportunities. He never allows those he leads to fall below the potential he sees in them. As such he’s been instrumental in growing and developing so many culinary leaders over the years.  

New Horizons

Now, as the Director of Culinary Operations at Y3S Atlanta, Chino reunites with the AMP Up1 Hospitality team that he’s now worked with for over 12 years, bringing his wealth of experience and visionary leadership to further the brand’s legacy of excellence. Alongside Managing Partner and Director of Culinary Innovation Stuart Rogers, Chino is poised to elevate the Y3S Culinary program to unprecedented heights as he’s tasked with helping the team grow leaders that will help grow the brand.  

Life Beyond the Kitchen

Away from the heat of the kitchen, Chino cherishes family time with his amazing wife Simona, daughter Mei, and son Jae. He’s an avid enthusiast of fishing, shooting, 80’s rock, and culinary exploration. Riding his Harley Davidson Low Rider S, Chino dreams of one day exploring South America with his family.

Join us in celebrating Chef Chino’s ongoing journey with Y3S, as he continues to inspire and innovate within our culinary community.  

His journey continues…