Chef, Mario Tolentino was born and raised in San Francisco, his love for food, and passion for travel have brought Tolentino to all corners of the U.S. and overseas in search of new cultures and cuisines. After spending the past 5 years cooking and living in Hawaii, New York City and most recently Miami Beach, the chef has returned to be a part of the exciting culinary scene in San Francisco.
Most recently in San Francisco the Chef created a one night pop-up restaurant called 'Point of View' which was inspired by his travel to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
Point of View was multi sensory dining experience in which he incorporated stimulation for all 5 senses, food, photography from his trip, live DJ, mixoligist and decor.
Chef Tolentino worked with LDV hospitality, based out of NYC to work on a $25 million dollar hotel renovation. The chef oversaw the construction and equipment procurement of three different restaurant concepts and created the banquet and in room dining program for the hotel. After that project was complete Chef Tolentino was announced as the new Chef de Cuisine at Laurent Tourondels BLT Steak.
In New York City Chef Tolentino had the opportunity to marry his dynamic personality with his serious skills in the kitchen and was invited to participate on Food Network's popular cooking competition show, 'Chopped.' Rising to this incredibly competitive and highly stressful occasion, Tolentino not only won his show (Season 4, Episode 2), but also was invited back for Chopped Champions, which aired September 21, 2010. After, wining 'Chopped' the chef was then named Executive Chef of Juliet Supperclub, where he created a dynamic menu based on, international and ethnic style street food.
Five years ago the chef left San Francisco for the Kona Coast, of Hawaii to embark on a new industry venture. There he founded Can Cook Cuisines, a personal chef business preparing residential dinners and events for some of the most high-end clientele including the Millionaires Club of the Kona Coast. He began with a simple set of goals: to create memorable dining experiences for clients in their own homes.
After attending the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, Tolentino spent the next 12 years traveling coast to coast, working with high caliber chefs in their award-winning kitchens. Tolentino began his career in Coral Gables, Miami at the mobil four-star restaurant Norman's where he worked as garde manager under executive chef Norman Van Alken. Two years later, Tolentino returned to San Francisco to join AQUA (another Mobil Four-Star restaurant) as tournat under executive chef Michael Mina. In 2004, Tolentino went back to Florida and spent a year working as a one-man saute station at Pacific Time in Miami Beach before returning to the now Michelin Two-Star restaurant AQUA, this time as corporate sous chef with Laurent Manrique. After opening 3 restaurants with Manrique, the chef decided to make the move overseas to Barcelona, Spain, where he fully immersed himself into the culture and cuisine of the Catalan people. Taking advantage of his location in Spain, he toured many of the gastronomic centers of Europe.