David brought his hands-on experience in Italian cooking back to New York and focused his energy on finding an entry-level kitchen job. Rather than go to culinary school, he wanted to learn by working his way up from the bottom. He was offered a position in the pantry station at Jardinière in San Francisco, the famed fine-dining restaurant of James Beard award-winning chef, Traci Des Jardins. Packing his things up in a storage unit, David went west and the rest, he says, is history. Today, David’s meals continue to reflect a rustic Italian simplicity. His menus are primarily ingredient-driven, focused on classic, “older” recipes with straightforward techniques rather than trends. As David puts it, ingredients should be fresh, few, and seasonal, and make the food shine. A true advocate of the good life, David’s off-time activities reflect the same simple, pared-down approach. There’s morning yoga, spending time at Stinson Beach, good conversations while cooking with friends, and, of course, taking care of Bacon: his Chihuahua terrier mix. Simple ingredients and a love for dogs? We dig.