CHEF SANTANA DIAZ
SEASONAL. LOCAL. CREATIVE. These descriptions fully define the passion and characteristics that guide Executive Chef Santana Diaz at UC Davis Health. Chef Diaz’ vision has always been to bring a true Farm-to-Fork, restaurant-style culinary experience to all facets of all food venues that he has had the privilege to lead. Most recently joining the UC Davis Health team after setting up the Golden 1 Center food program with the most successful farm-to-fork production in sports as their Executive Chef, his drive to create an impactful program via healthcare intrigued him and offered him more opportunity to impact our local community. Working with the dieticians and nutritionists of UC
Davis Health will continue his path of food education that will be expressed
via new food offerings in not only the medical center cafe's, but also the new
in room dining program, catering, and all specialty/sponsored off-site events.
He is vital in finalizing menus and working with local purveyors to execute the
new UC Davis Health farm-to-fork food vision. The need to fulfill the request
of better and healthier food options versus the “processed staples” is the
direction that he is proud to support and provide.
Most recently, Chef joins our UC
Davis Health family from not only the Golden 1 Center here in Sacramento, but
also Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. He was the Head Chef for Super Bowl 50 in
2016 and executed the most farm-to-fork Super Bowl in history while there, but
he was eager to get back to one of his favorite cities in the US. Chef Diaz
returned to the local Sacramento food scene armed with plenty of enthusiasm!
Moving back to the area with his wife Christi and family now completes his
recipe for success in his culinary world. Chef Diaz, a regional local from Yuba
City, originally worked in the recognized Farm-to-Fork capital of California
where he honed his skills at the James Beard acknowledged Taste Restaurant in
Plymouth, The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento, and as the personal sous
chef for the NBA Sacramento Kings years ago. He moved on to the East and South
Bays developing the culinary teams at Neiman Marcus and Hyatt Regency hotels
before making his move back to sports and assisting with the opening of Levi’s
Stadium. His love of sports and food proved to be the inspiration he needed to
become the Executive Chef at the most innovative facility in the country which
he now plans to bring to our UC Davis Health community.
in the Sacramento region, Chef and his new team have the opportunity work with
the best vendors, artisans and restaurateurs in the marketplace. Ultimately the
new direction of UC Davis Health will enhance the visitor and staff experience
of the facility and bring the quality of the food to another level. The unique
relationships Chef Diaz has established with the local chefs in Sacramento
ensures the strive that UC Davis Health will be the culinary blueprint for
healthcare facilities in the future. Every effort is made to incorporate
quality, local ingredients, seasonality, and sustainable products whenever
PASTRY CHEF ROD CUADRA
Pastry Chef Rodrigo “Rod” Cuadra, born and raised in south Florida, went on to pursue his interest in cooking at Johnson and Wales Culinary University in Miami. While in Florida, Cuadra had the opportunity to work for various reputable pastry kitchens in five-star, fivediamond hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Four Seasons Hotel, and the Biltmore Hotel amongst others. He relocated to Northern California to work for Chef Thomas Keller as the Assistant Pastry Chef at Bouchon Bakery. He later joined the opening culinary team at the Golden 1 Center with Chef Santana Diaz.