MADERA. CELEBRATING THE CULINARY TRADITIONS OF THE BAY AREA.
American food, contrary to popular opinion, has a history – and it’s food is a reflection of the naturally occurring flora and fauna, the long-held habits of its immigrants and the ability of the land to support transplanted produce and livestock. The Western Slope of the United States, when first encountered, presented culinary riches beyond comprehension. The vast array of wild ingredients were plenty and diverse, the soil rich and supportive to cultivate herbs, fruit and vegetables, and the land borderless – hence supportive of a multitude of immigrant influences from China to Mexico.
Madera literally means "wood" in the Spanish language – the concept of the restaurant is built around the wood-burning kitchen reminiscent of the California Ranch House and early Spanish missionary heritage. The intent of Madera is to pay homage to the abundant history of this local region - and present cohesive cuisine based on this.
Madera is the signature restaurant at Menlo Park's luxurious Rosewood Sand Hill.
REYLON AGUSTIN | THE CHEF
Reylon Agustin is the Executive Chef of Madera, the signature restaurant at Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park,
A California native, Executive Chef Reylon Agustin has been instrumental in establishing Madera as one of the leading culinary destinations in the Bay Area. Agustin draws inspiration from the region’s bountiful fresh produce and artisanal products and previously served as Rosewood Sand Hill’s Executive Sous Chef.
With a career spanned across the U.S and U.K, Chef Agustin has held leadership positions as several acclaimed restaurants including Executive Chef of Presidio Foods in San Francisco with Traci Des Jardins, Executive Sous Chef at The Ritz Carlton, Fort Lauderdale and Chef de Partie at Restaurant Gordon Ramsay in London. Agustin is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy.
IL HOON KANG | CHEF DE CUISINE
Il Hoon Kang is the Chef de Cuisine of Madera, the signature restaurant located at Rosewood Sand Hill.
Since joining Madera as a sous chef in 2014, Chef Kang’s culinary prowess has strengthened Madera’s position as a foremost destination in California’s restaurant scene. Currently appointed Chef de Cuisine, he continues to celebrate the region’s food culture, utilizing his vast experience and classic techniques to enhance the subtle flavors of seasonal, local ingredients.
Chef Kang’s varied work experience has made him an invaluable member of the team. Prior to joining Rosewood Sand Hill, he held positions in numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, including The Restaurant at Meadowood in Napa and Commis Restaurant in Oakland.
LANCE NITTA | EXECUTIVE PASTRY CHEF
Lance Nitta is the Executive Pastry Chef of Madera, the Michelin-starred signature restaurant at Rosewood Sand Hill.
Chef Nitta first entered the culinary world by way of a local Japanese restaurant where he worked as assistant manager while studying electrical engineering at San Jose State University. After the position ignited his passion for the culinary arts, Chef Nitta decided to combine his understanding of science with the precision of crafting pastries. He soon enrolled in International Culinary Center and completed an externship at a local pastry shop, where he became kitchen manager.
Chef Nitta arrived at Rosewood Sand Hill in 2010 and has since worked under four talented pastry chefs. Now at the helm of Madera’s revered pastry program, he continues the heritage of creative vision and gastronomic excellence for which the restaurant is known.
PAUL MEKIS | THE SOMMELIER
One of Paul Mekis' earliest recollections is helping his grandfather and father, who regularly made their own wine, as they siphoned wine from barrels into gallon jugs. Today Mekis is a credentialed advanced sommelier – one of only a few in the world – and the restaurant wine director at Madera, the signature restaurant at Rosewood Sand Hill® in Menlo Park.
Mekis joined Madera following ten years at the celebrated Plumed Horse (Saratoga, California), where he oversaw the wine cellar and a wine list of more than 2,000 selections. While at the Plumed Horse, Mekis earned Wine Spectator's Grand Award, the highest honor in the magazine's annual dining guide, for nine consecutive years.
Mekis began as a wine steward in 1986, and honed his tasting and service skills under the tutelage of Master Sommelier Ronn Wiegand and Nunzio Alioto. Mekis' impressive resume includes some of the best-known and revered restaurants in San Francisco and the Bay Area, including The Lark Creek Inn, Cypress Club, Aqua and the Plumed Horse.
Over the course of his career, Mekis has served as a wine judge, educator and representative for America at wine tastings throughout Europe, South America, and South Africa. He has also authored a monthly wine column for the Santa Cruz Sentinel's Santa Cruz Magazine.