Rising Star Chef Maximilian DiMare of Wood Tavern - Biography

Oakland, CA

June 2010

Chef Maximilian DiMare has come a long way from breading chicken cutlets in his grandmother's kitchen. But he's never forgotten the lessons he learned from his granny about preparing a meal: take care in what you are doing, make each dish as though it is for you, and pay attention to flavor.

Born and raised in Boston, DiMare’s career started in a fish market in 1993, and he has worked in the restaurant industry ever since. Although he has no formal training, his schooling has never been an obstacle for DiMare. He trained with a French Master early in his career and spent time honing his skills alongside classically trained chefs in the hotel industry—getting paid to learn all the way. DiMare moved to the Bay Area in 1997 and made a name for himself working in several San Francisco kitchens. In 2004, DiMare was named executive chef of Frascati on Russian Hill. When owners Rich and Rebekah Wood decided to sell Frascati and open Wood Tavern in Berkeley, they asked DiMare to come with them. Soon after opening, Wood Tavern was named one of the Top 10 New Restaurants in 2007 by the San Francisco Chronicle. In 2010, DiMare was named a StarChefs.com Rising Star for his clean flavors and unassuming approach.

DiMare’s curiosity for fresh, local ingredients, balance, contrast, and pairing of flavor continuously expands. His current focus is salumi-making and he recently traveled to Italy to learn traditional curing techniques. Rumor has it that this will be the focus of his next venture with the Woods.