About Us Our Chefs
Owner and Founder Michael Ghilarducci was born in the Italian-speaking area of North Beach known as "Little Italy." At the age of eleven he began working in the kitchens of his father's restaurant. With his wife Gia, he later owned three restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area, before purchasing the historic Depot Hotel building in 1985, opening the DEPOT HOTEL RESTAURANT.
In 1987, Chef Ghilarducci and his wife Gia founded their cooking school and have taught in Sonoma, Provence, Argentina, and Italy. In 2001, the Ghilarduccis began a series of week-long cooking classes in Europe—in Provence, Umbria, and Paris, as well as on Crystal Cruise Lines. In 2002, Chef Ghilarducci joined Jacques Pepin for a week of joint cooking classes at Chateau Villette outside of Paris.
In 2008, Chef Antonio Ghilarducci, son of Gia and Michael, joined the professional team at the DEPOT HOTEL RESTAURANT as Executive Chef. Chef Antonio honed his skills at some of Northern California’s best restaurants including: La Folie, The French Laundry, Redd and El Dorado Kitchen. Chef Antonio took over the reins as Head Chef in 2014, the year the family will celebrate its 30th year of continuous operation.
The family also enjoys yearly trips to Tuscany to visit their family home near Lucca. The Ghilarduccis also have a vineyard in Lake County where they bottle their own Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Fumé Blanc.
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