Chef Joe Wittenbrook

Certified Executive Chef

Joe Wittenbrook was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, surrounded by the rich culinary influences of his maternal Italian ancestry. He attributes his early experiences with food and cooking to the festive social gatherings at his home where food was always a focal point.  As a teenager, he apprenticed under Ivan Simes, a French-Russian Cordon Bleu chef. From there he honed his craft in a variety of restaurants featuring Classic French, Regional Italian, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Californian and Nouvelle cuisine. He moved to San Francisco in the 1970s and attended the California Culinary Academy, graduating with honors in the spring of 1979.

Since then, Chef Joe has served in numerous high profile culinary positions in San Francisco’s renowned culinary scene including Chef de partie at the exclusive Huntington Hotel; private Chef for the Swiss Consulate; Chef de cuisine at the Mansion on Sutter Street; and Executive Chef at the San Francisco War Memorial Performing Arts Center. He returned to the California Culinary Academy in 2002 as a Chef Instructor where he taught Basic Skills, Garde Manger and European Cuisine.

In 2008 Chef Joe launched The Culinary Salon, designed for hands on, culinary arts education and immersion in the flavors of various cultures.  The courses have been hailed as “the best little cooking classes in San Francisco.”