2019 San Francisco Rising Star Hotel Chef Banks White of Hat Trick Hospitality

2019 San Francisco Rising Star Hotel Chef Banks White of Hat Trick Hospitality

At 15, Banks White was working at Gucci's pizzeria in Marshall, Texas. In college, he was into sports photojournalism, editing the school newspaper and working on the yearbook. But he always held jobs cooking. By sophomore year, with his parents reluctant but supportive blessing, he transferred to the New England Culinary Institute. 

Due to financial constraints, he left after year one, but already had a foot in the door at David Bull’s The Driskill back home. There, Chef de Cuisine Josh Watkins motivated him to go to San Francisco where he trailed at Traci Des Jardins’ Jardinière, Campton Place during Daniel Humm’s tenor, and prepped at Chez Panisse alongside Chef David Tanis, who suggested he seek a position at Auberge du Soleil in Napa, where he started as lead saucier. Next, he was sous chef at Domaine Chandon before going to work at Left Bank and later FIVE in Berkeley as executive chef, where he was awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand.

In 2013, White left for New York to work for mentor Alexander Smalls at Minton’s, where he was chef de cuisine. By 2015, he was back in San Francisco as executive chef of The Keystone before taking over the food and beverage program at Hotel Zeppelin including Rambler, a Hat Trick Hospitality property. In 2019, White was promoted to culinary director of the group’s three venues: Rambler and two locations of The Brixton.    

White is inspired by the comfort food of his childhood, his travels throughout Southeast Asia, and his vegan-leaning diet. He is working on his first cookbook.