Chef Mario Beabraut joins the MINA Group as Executive Chef for both Bourbon Steak and Bourbon Pub locations at Levi’s Stadium® in Santa Clara, California as well as the popular, seasonal Michael Mina’s Tailgate. With an impressively diverse culinary background, Mario has worked with many notable chefs in the industry including Gordon Ramsay, Thomas Keller, Stephen Asprinio of Top Chef, Daniel Boulud and Jeff Cerciello. He credits each chef with influencing him culinary and personally, and seeks to do the same for the team of 100 talented cooks within the Mina kitchen.
It was Mario’s mother who ultimately led him along his culinary journey. He’d been exposed to the process of cooking and the kitchen throughout high school while working for a few small mom and pop pizza shops, but never quite made the connection to dining and the overall restaurant experience. At that time, joining the military was his main goal. His mother sent him to Italy to visit a friend in the service, and within two days, Mario was in love – with food and with fine dining.
He returned home and enrolled in the Culinary Academy of Florida. Upon graduation, he was exposed to fine dining first hand in the catering and banquets department the Breakers Palm Beach. He went on to serve as a prep cook with Lyon & Lyon in the Norton Museum of Art, and soon made his way through South Florida’s most popular restaurants. He worked with Forte di Asprinio and Gordon Ramsay’s Cielo in Boca Raton, under the tutelage of Angella Hartnett (one of the top five BBC Chefs) from whom he really learned the art of fine dining. He then joined the Thomas Keller team at Bouchon at the Venetian working his way way up to Sous Chef for half a decade. Mario then returned to Florida to take the helm at Lyon & Lyon at before moving to Café Boulud. California called his name again as Jeff Cerciello opened Farm Shop in Larkspur and needed an executive sous chef to manage the open kitchen for the farm to table concept.
Having served on the MINA Group task force for Bourbon Steak Santa Clara along with other restaurants in the collection since early 2017, Mario is impressed at the depth and breadth of the Mina operation – the largest he’s personally been a part of – and looks forward to assuming the new leadership role of Executive Chef. Being surrounded by a strong corporate team is key for him as he seeks to create culture, inspiration and mentorship while overseeing the vast operations of Michael Mina Bourbon Steak and Pub and Michael Mina Tailgate in Levi’s Stadium®.
Of the new opportunity, Mario says “It is as if I am finding my entire career in one place: fine dining, casual, catering, and now the ability to collaborate with so many great chefs during Tailgate. I couldn’t have dreamed of a more exciting opportunity.”