Born in Fortuna California, Executive Chef Todd Thompson brings his passion for fresh, local, and artisan food to The Red Grape.
After excelling in his classes at The California Culinary Academy, Todd then went on to further develop his passion for food as an apprentice for Evelyn Cheatnam, working predominantly to pioneer and develop dynamic and healthy school lunches for Sonoma county while moonlighting as a farm hand for Tierra Vegetables in Santa Rosa CA. This helped to instill a strong sense of local “farm to table” cuisine and heightened his sense of community while serving in the food industry in this way. Involvement in slow food organizations and travels to Italy as well as being in attendance of Terra Madre and Salone Del Gusto proved to be great influences on his career.
Todd then went on to develop his dynamic “approachable with a twist” style of cooking, focusing heavily on contemporary American and artisanal Italian cuisine within prestigious kitchens of such luminaries as Celebrity Chef Micheal Chiarello of Bottega, rising star award winner Matt Spector of Jole, and other inspired kitchens such as Taste, Cook, Ubuntu, The Farm and several others that eventually landed him leading the community of cooks at The Red Grape.
“I find The Red Grape to be an exciting and unique place to be a part of. We serve people in an environment that typically has its guard down…the atmosphere is comfortable, the pricing is very reasonable, so I have the opportunity to easily expose people to how I elementarily think as a chef…that food is fun, exciting, and the community it fuels is even more so.”