Rising Star Chef David Reynoso of Al Forno - Biography

Providence, RI

November 2011

David Reynoso's career began when he left his family farm outside of Mexico City at the age of 15 and took a job as a dishwasher at the popular Spiaggia restaurant in Chicago. He quickly moved up to prep work, peeling potatoes and dicing onions. Encouraged by the restaurant's chef, who recognized Reynoso's talent, he embarked on an eighteen month restaurant program at the Washburne Trade School in Chicago while working full-time at the restaurant and taking classes in English and Italian.

After graduating from Washburne in 1990, Reynoso headed to Italy to stage in several restaurants in exchange for room and board. The experience opened the door to a period of intense traveling and learning.

A year later and much more seasoned in his craft, Reynoso made his way back to the United States where he worked in a variety of restaurant positions. He eventually became head chef at the well-known Italian Trattoria Mangia in Kenosha, Wisconsin and then at Tuttaposto Mediterranean Tavern back in Chicago. He also worked for a year in Verden, Germany to assist in opening Pades Restaurant, an intimate Italian eatery with a reputation for its tasty homemade pastries, breads, and pasta.

Returning to the United States, Reynoso began the next phase of his career. Hired as the first head chef of Spoodles at the Walt Disney World Boardwalk Resort in Orlando, Florida, he was involved in all aspects of opening the restaurant and developing the diverse Mediterranean menu.

In 1998, Reynoso moved from Florida to Boston to assume the position of chef at the brand new Café Louis which received local, regional, and national accolades under his direction. After a one-year sabbatical in Mexico, Reynoso returned to Boston and became the chef of kitchen operations for Chef Barbara Lynch's two South End Restaurants: The Butcher Shop and B&G Oysters. He spent the majority of his time at The Butcher Shop in the kitchen, (where he won a 2006 StarChefs.com Rising Stars Award), leading cooking classes, and overseeing the menu and retail development. He left Boston to head to Providence, Rhode Island and continue his pursuit of traditional Italian cuisine, at chef-owners Johanne Killeen and George Germon's Al Forno.