Chef Daragh Matheson BS, CEC, CCE is a seasoned industry professional with over 30 years of intensive from scratch culinary experience. Chef Matheson began his journey in 1985 at 15 with an apprenticeship in Dublin, Ireland and is contagiously passionate about his craft. He first attended Sallynoggin Community College completing a Vocational Degree in Hospitality before moving on to the Dublin Institute of Technology Graduating with the London City and Guilds 706/1 & 706/2. Whilst Chef Matheson attended College he was constantly working throughout his studies in various Hotels and restaurants in the Irish Capital to gain additional experience. His first full-time position was Chef de Partie in the Stillorgan Park Hotel before being promoted to Pastry Chef, a position he maintained before heading southbound to Sydney, Australia. Daragh further honed his culinary skill set working in several noted eateries including the Wharf in Hickson Bay for famed Sydney Chef and Restaurateur Anders Ousback and The Eastside Bar & Grill for Chef Russ Gluyas constantly moving between the worlds of Savory and Pastry equally relishing both aspects of the business. After two intensive years in Australia Daragh returned to his homeland to take up a post in Dublin to working in some of the City’s best-known restaurants including Michelin nominated Whites on the Green and Irish Legendary Restauranteur Roly Saul at Roly’s Bistro in South Dublin. Daragh went on to open his own establishment Aubergine, an upscale Delicatessen, and Full Service Catering company.
In 2003 Daragh arrived in Temecula beginning at The Great Oak in local Casino Pechanga before moving to the High Limit Lounge where Matheson catered to the resorts High Roller clientele with a no holds barred Menu. In 2010 Daragh accepted a teaching position at The Art Institutes in San Bernadino before accepting the position of Executive Chef at Leoness Cellars in 2011. During his time at the Art Institute Daragh received several American Culinary Federation (ACF) Certifications including Certified Executive Chef (CEC) and Certified Culinary Educator (CCE) and also completed a Bachelors in Science majoring in Culinary Management during his tenure at the School and also teaching at Chaffey College in Chino. In 2011 Chef Matheson was part of a team of five Chefs featured from the Art Institutes to cook at the James Beard House. During his time at Leoness Chef Matheson has seen the restaurant grow from an initial team of three to its current lineup of ten line cooks. As passionate as Chef is about his food he is equally passionate about cultivating talented Cooks in his Kitchens which has been a hugely rewarding part of his tenure at Leoness and our sister properties. Chef Matheson says “Watching our Cooks coming directly from Culinary School and seeing them grow and spread their wings in our kitchens is one of the greatest rewards in our business”.
The Restaurant at Leoness is proud to offer a full-service menu featuring items wholly made in our kitchen from scratch. All of our stocks, soups, sauces, and desserts are 100% made on property not to mention our by now famous French Fries utilizing Chef’s three-day process. The restaurant features many unique dishes all cooked in the French Traditional style with each dish prepared to order or “Ala minute”.
Daragh maintains dual positions of Director of Culinary Operations and Executive Chef in our sister properties Crush & Brew in Old Town Temecula and Avensole Winery on Rancho California Road. Chef is currently working on an MBA which he hopes to complete in 2016.