Meet Our Head Chefs
from The Vineyard Rose Restaurant
Executive Chef José Esparza
Meet José Esparza, Executive Chef at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa's signature all-day restaurant The Vineyard Rose Restaurant. Chef Esparza oversees all culinary operations and develops the menus at both South Coast Winery Resort & Spa and Carter Estate Winery and Resort. The resorts’ contemporary American cuisines feature California ingredients, promoting healthy lifestyle menu selections. In addition to The Vineyard Rose Restaurant, Esparza oversees in-room dining, all banquets, weddings and other special events with fellow Chef, Peter Garcia.
Chef Esparza has risen through the high-end culinary and hospitality ranks over the last decade, starting as a cook at the former Las Campanas restaurant in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. Most recently, he served as Executive Sous Chef at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, highlighting sustainable farm-to-table resources. He continues to collaborate with award-winning South Coast Winery Master Winemaker Jon McPherson to offer guests wine-friendly pairings to enjoy with their meals.
Before joining the team at South Coast Winery, he was Chef de Cuisine at the renowned Mission Inn Hotel & Spa in Riverside, Calif., serving four years in that position and before that serving five years as Sous Chef at that same resort. He graduated from Kitchen Academy in Hollywood, Calif., with a professional culinary arts degree. Executive Chef Esparza is constantly striving to improve the way the kitchen operates and leading his team to help create the perfect wine country experience.
When Chef Esparza isn't working he enjoys spending quality time with his family.
Executive Sous Chef
Chef Brandon was born and raised in the Temecula Valley. Starting his culinary career at Embassy Suites by Hilton nearly 14 years ago. He has run some of the popular local Old Town Temecula restaurants including; The Bank & Thirdstreet Smokehouse. Also he was a Chef at Pechanga Resort & Casino where he truly blossomed into the Chef he is today. He oversaw the American Sports bar/Smokehouse Kelsey’s and then the overall production for the entire casino.
While the world shut down due to the pandemic, Chef Brandon worked as a government contracted Chef for the United States Marine Corps. where he managed a culinary team to assure that the men and women fighting for our country were fed and cared for. While feeding many military officials he was able to develop a pattern of management that added to his ability to manage and lead a team.
“I am proud to bring my knowledge of hospitality and my version of the ultimate culinary experience to the table here at Southcoast and Carter Estate. I know with the already glowing reputation Chef José and the culinary management team has set that we can give our guests the 4-diamond culinary experience that the Carter’s strive for.”
Sous Chef Peter Garcia
Sous Chef Peter Garcia began his career at 16 years old in San Diego at a small restaurant called The Big Kitchen. Through some connections he made in his early years he moved to the banquet department at the Pan Pacific Hotel where he first experienced larger production events that the hotel would host and cater. This experience would lead him to work at other large hotel chains in San Diego such as The Omni and the Manchester Grand Hyatt. This added many more years to his experience of working to create food for large banquets which often included events for several thousand people.
It was at this point in his career that Chef Garcia decided to pursue his formal culinary education at The Art Institute of San Diego Culinary Arts. Following the completion of his education he moved to Riverside County after meeting the love of his life and he soon began working at South Coast Winery after getting married in 2014.
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