Our Chef

Executive Chef David Vilchez

With a diverse culinary background and nearly 20 years of professional experience, Executive Chef David Vilchez drives Cafe del Rey’s coastal-inspired cuisine. Vilchez brings a commitment to quality, imagination, and passion to his role as executive chef.

Vilchez began his culinary career at age 17 when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. During his time in service, he learned basic cooking techniques and was inspired by the cuisines he experienced while traveling throughout Europe. Following his time in the Navy, he enrolled in culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu where he was classically trained in French cuisine. Vilchez began working as a lead line cook at the Los Angeles Country Club where he worked for five years before advancing to executive sous chef at one of Los Angeles’ top steakhouses, BOA Steakhouse in West Hollywood.

In 2014, Vilchez joined Cafe del Rey’s sister restaurant, Napa Valley Grille, as executive sous chef. He was instrumental in developing new menus, kitchen planning, and managing the culinary staff. He was promoted to executive chef of Cafe del Rey in 2016 thanks to his talent and natural leadership skills.

Vilchez’s cooking style serves as a reflection of his professional and personal upbringing blending California cuisine and traditional European fare to develop unique flavors and a refined plate design.