Salt Creek Grille, a bi-coastal, premium casual dining concept with five iconic restaurants in California and New Jersey, has appointed David Fuñe as corporate executive chef. An 18-year industry veteran, Fuñe has served in culinary leadership roles at several of Southern California’s most outstanding restaurants, including Splashes at the Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach, Temecula Creek Inn in Temecula, and The Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach. Fuñe was also at the forefront of the gourmet food truck trend when he owned and operated Vizzi, which was featured on The Cooking Channel’s “Food Truck Revolution.”

“David possesses a consummate passion for culinary and hospitality excellence, a rare quality that will surely enhance and propel the dining experience at Salt Creek Grille,” says Tim McCune, co-founder of Salt Creek Grille. “We are already fast at work, collaborating on fabulously innovative and delicious menu items for the summer season at our restaurants on both coasts.” 

In addition to Salt Creek Grille, Fuñe will also lead the culinary efforts at The Pickled Monk, a new concept created by the founders of Salt Creek Grille, which is on track to open in Fullerton early this fall. 

“Throughout my career, I have been incredibly fortunate to work in culinary environments that were a magical combination of learning and fun,” says Fuñe. “Starting as a young apprentice to working in amazing, state-of-the art kitchens with truly talented culinary teams, I was able to learn and enjoy my work simultaneously. I am thrilled to join the team at Salt Creek Grille with its inclusive and welcoming culture, which translates directly into how each and every guest is treated like family.”

A Southern California native, Fuñe has also served in leadership roles at Sycuan Golf Resort & Casino in San Diego, Pechanga Golf Resort & Casino in Temecula, The Hotel Hanford in Costa Mesa, and the Monarch Bay Club in Dana Point. He has been featured in several broadcast cooking demonstrations, food documentaries, instructional videos, and shows, including “Chopped” on The Food Network. Fuñe is a graduate of Western Culinary Institute and holds several professional certifications to complement his various food and beverage and hospitality skills and disciplines.


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