Sundried Tomato American Bistros and Catering is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Executive Chef and Partner Reymundo Pinedo. Pinedo oversees the menus for the bistros as well as the companys extensive catering division that offers corporate, social and wedding catering throughout Orange County using the freshest ingredients available from its from-scratch kitchens.
Pinedo enjoyed cooking when he was growing up and decided to pursue the profession when he came to the United States. He joined Sundried Tomato a year after the company opened its first restaurant in Whittier. He was discovered by Partner Rob Quest running a very busy kitchen at a restaurant in Laguna Beach singlehandedly at the age of 19. Quest could see right away that Pinedo was quick and calm under pressure.
Quest works closely with Pinedo on menu development and appreciates his strong talent for creating items with an outline. An idea for a new item will be discussed, perhaps three versions created and evaluated, then one deemed perfect or the versions blended. Pinedo also works closely with vendors to find the newest ingredients and the freshest sources. And he enjoys experimenting with specials that often become popular new menu items.
Pinedo trained under Quests former partner and Sundried chef. When the two partners separated, Quest considered bringing in a new chef from outside. But it quickly became clear that would not be necessary. Together Quest and Pinedo have opened the companys Talega location and grown the catering business 10-fold.
“Rey is a very genuine and wonderful person,” said Quest. “I know sometimes hed rather be in the trenches than the one in charge, but hes learned over the years how to be a great leader. Hes the one you want on your side when the restaurant fills up unexpectedly or when you have 20 catering orders going out in one day.”
Sundried Tomato specializes in New American cuisine at reasonable prices in a relaxed and comfortable setting with restaurant locations in San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. For information on menus, events and catering, visit www.sundriedtomatobistro.com or call 949.661.1299