Eric DiStefano


Executive Chef/Partner of Geronimo

Eric DiStefano was born and raised in Hershey, Pennsylvania. He developed a passion for food at his mother's table from his mother's prodigious garden came heaps of tomatoes, fresh basil, onions, a multitude of zucchinis. Sunday evening's friends and family gathered around sumptuous groaning boards of pasta, meatballs, Braciola, crusty loaves of bread from memmi's bakery slathered with butter and fresh garlic and of course plenty of red table wine to quench those thirsts.

Eric began the natural evolution of his stellar career with a 5- year apprenticeship at the Hotel Hershey, Doing under mentors of Heinz Hautie and Rory Reno, and went on to work at the breaker's hotel in palm beach, Florida and the registry resort in Scottsdale. He had returned to become chef de night during dinner service. He was told, "Hey chef 's a French guy on the phone." That apocryphal call was in fact from chef Daniel Boulud, calling to ask Eric to come to New York to discuss and opportunity he had for him in Santa Fe.

The owner of Hacienda del Cerezo, an extremely high-end inn, had put in a call to Boulud to ask, "Who is the best up and coming young chef on the scene?" The answer Boulud gave, was Eric DiStefano.

Eric arrived for the interview, having never seen Santa Fe, was amazed and intrigued by the architecture and landscape. He debuted and was immediately offered the job, which he accepted. After a year and a half, having developed a loyal following Eric was ready to head back east, when friends, photographer Peter Vitale and Santa Fe gallery owner Ron Messick, mentioned that the Cliff Skoglund of Geronimo was looking for a chef and the rest is what began Eric's legacy in Santa Fe.

DiStefano worked as Executive Chef at Geronimo for the next twelve years. Among the Geronimo restaurants, Eric also opened Swig, The Palace, Senor Lucky's, The Spotted Donkey and Luc's in Scottsdale Arizona.

When Celebrity chef and friend, Mark Miller decided to sell the world-renowned Coyote Café, DiStefano knew that it was time to control his own destiny. With Partners, Sara Chapman, Tori Mendes and Quinn Stephenson, the Coyote Café continues.

In May of 2009, Eric returned to Geronimo with Quinn Stephenson to join Chris Harvey in reshaping the restaurant.

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