Great Oak Steakhouse at Pechanga Elevates Dining with New Head Chef


Pechanga Resort & Casino is pleased to announce the promotion of Paisano’s head chef, Andre Pinto, to the position of head chef at Pechanga’s pinnacle restaurant, the Great Oak Steakhouse. Further advancing Pinto’s role within the Pechanga Resort & Casino culinary team, the new promotion places him at the head of the property’s leading AAA Four Diamond restaurant.

Moving to the United States at age 20 from Salvador, Bahia in Brazil, Andre Pinto began his culinary adventure at Stonefordge Grill in Easton, Mass. Originally learning from his mother while helping her in the kitchen as a teenager, Pinto applied his homegrown skills to his new position and quickly fell in love with the restaurant environment. Working his way through the ranks for nearly a decade amongst Massachusetts dining establishments, Pinto established himself as a culinary innovator with the management skills to successfully lead a kitchen team.

Leaving the cold, East Coast winters behind and heading to warmer weather in Southern California, Pinto had the opportunity to make Pechanga Resort & Casino his new home. Chef Andre began his career at Pechanga at Kelsey’s as the kitchen supervisor of the upscale American pub. Demonstrating exceptional culinary management skills and both a technical and creative passion for food, Pinto was asked to lead the team at Paisano’s inside Pechanga. Chef Andre successfully showcased his ability to create a top-notch culinary experience for guests as well as a positive and creative environment for his staff.

“I think a chef is someone who has a deep passion for their craft and can ‘cook their face off,’ while at the same time, having the ability to manage, lead and create a successful kitchen operation — restaurant or otherwise,” said Chef Andre Pinto, head chef of Great Oak Steakhouse. “One of the difficulties some run into is understanding the hands-on, technical part of the job, which many of us enjoy most, though it requires a drastically different skill set than the other essential components of the job. Having the ability to master both has taken many years in the kitchen but is something I pride myself on and credit for the honor of becoming head chef at Great Oak.”

When not in the kitchen, Chef Andre Pinto likes to stay active and enjoys activities such as playing soccer with a local Temecula group, tackling a round of golf and watching various sports on television.

The Great Oak Steakhouse is a AAA Four Diamond-awarded restaurant offering sumptuous, 100-percent-Prime Black Angus beef, outstanding seafood, and many other creatively-inspired salads and side dishes. Dining at Great Oak Steakhouse offers guests an unforgettable dining experience amid unquestionable fine-dining ambience. Located inside Pechanga Resort & Casino, Great Oak Steakhouse is open for dinner Sunday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

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