Curtis Di Fede joins our team at The Charter Oak as a long-time colleague and industry friend. When asked about his new role, Chef Curtis shares, “I look forward to becoming a part of, and growing with The Charter Oak family. My goal is to see us return to a busy restaurant, when we are able to safely reopen our doors for in-person dining.”
Curtis is a local of the Napa Valley, but garnered his culinary skills from a global education. His first introduction into the food world took place during a summer visit to Palermo, Italy, experiencing the flavors of Sicily. Upon graduating from St. Helena High, Curtis traveled across the pond to attend culinary school in London. Post education, he worked in various kitchens, including Heston Blumenthal’s famed The Fat Duck, to several Napa Valley favorites- Bouchon and Terra.
In 2010, Curtis opened a southern Italian restaurant, Oenotri, in downtown Napa. The restaurant was quick to gain recognition, earning him three stars from the San Francisco Chronicle and the honor of “Rising Star Chef.” He departed from Oenotri in 2014 with the opportunity to experience more travel, working in conjunction with Bon Appetit magazine on their cruise destinations. Two years later, Di Fede found himself drawn back home. He opened Miminashi, bringing Japanese izakaya-style cuisine to Napa Valley, and quickly earned praise from industry professionals and the local community alike.
“I’ve enjoyed Chef Curtis’s food for many years, and the opportunity to collaborate with him at The Charter Oak is very exciting for our entire team. I look forward to working with him as we enter this next, most ambitious, phase of this storied restaurant,” said Chef/Owner Christopher Kostow.
No stranger to the restaurant and our team, Curtis has participated in past events including our Wildfire Relief Dinner in 2017 and Sunday Brunch Series in 2019. He will bring a continued sense of team leadership and innovation.
When not at the restaurant, Chef Curtis can be found spending time with his wife Jessica and their two rescue dogs, Giuseppe and Mailly.