Chef Mario Medina grew up cooking for his siblings, favoring recipes his mother shared at a young age. After growing up in Southern California, Medina enlisted in the US Navy. Pursuing culinary interests, he graduated top of the class in the Navy Culinary School in San Antonio, Texas and was later stationed in San Diego, California to become Sous Chef of his ship’s kitchen.
After returning home from a tour to Iraq, Medina enrolled in the Art Institute of California in Orange County and graduated with honors.
Upon graduation, he spent time in several award-winning restaurants in Orange County, as well as, the Hilton, Roy’s, and Wolfgang Puck Bistro. Medina also spent time working for celebrity Chef Charlie Palmer.
In 2010, he joined Michelin Star Chef Jose Andres in Los Angeles, California at The Bazaar. Focused and determined he climbed the ranks to Sous Chef which moved him to Las Vegas to open Jaleo Tapas Restaurant, in the Cosmopolitan Hotel, completing three years for the Jose Andres restaurant group.
Additional stints included Fleur by Hubert Keller in Mandalay Bay Hotel, Gordon Ramsay Steak in Paris Hotel and Michael Mina in the Bellagio.
In 2012, Medina moved to Austin, Texas to be closer to his family. His talent continues to shine now in a locally owned restaurant. Today is he considered to be one of the most talented chefs in Austin.