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Acclaimed Chef Series Kicks Off at Hotel Van Zandt’s Geraldine’s

The restaurant’s recently appointed executive chef Sergio Ledesma invites four prominent culinary figures for one-night only dinner series

Geraldine’s, the contemporary restaurant, bar and music venue inside Hotel Van Zandt, will host four internationally acclaimed chefs for one-night-only dinner experiences every month through September.

Chefs Atzin Santos, Rafael Covarrubias, Sammy DeMarco and Vaidas Imsha will each present an eight-course tasting menu with an optional beverage pairing.

Geraldine’s newly appointed Executive Chef Sergio Ledesma invited each chef to participate in this exciting experience for food lovers. This spring, Chef Ledesma joined Hotel Van Zandt as the property’s executive chef. The culinary pro oversees menu design and culinary operations for Geraldine’s and Café 605, as well as special events and banquets.

Geraldine’s Executive Chef Sergio Ledesma.

Chef Ledesma, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, started his career in Mexico before working in kitchens and serving as a consultant in Houston, Calgary, Palm Beach, Monterrey, Cabo San Lucas and more. The chef also owned and operated La Central San Pedro restaurant in Monterrey and Xocolat Posh Mexican Cuisine in Calgary.

“It is with great excitement and honor that I have invited these four chefs to take over Geraldine’s kitchen for one night each to create collaborative menus and provide Austin with exclusive culinary experiences,” said Chef Ledesma.

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Chef Atzin Santos from Mexico City’s Limosneros.

The first participating chef is Chef Atzin Santos, the chef at Mexico City’s Limosneros, where he specializes in Mexican cuisine. On June 21, the rising star will present an epic meal at Geraldine’s, in collaboration with the Rainey Street restaurant’s culinary team.

Chef Rafael Covarrubias is the 2019 winner of the North America San Pellegrino Young Chef Competition. Now running his Toronto restaurant Hexagon, Covarrubias will bring his cuisine to Austin on July 19.

Chef Sammy DeMarco, an accomplished New York chef who was born in Brooklyn and raised by an immigrant Italian family, will serve his eight courses on Aug. 16. DeMarco previously worked as a co-star of The Travel Channel’s “Chow Masters,” and has worked in kitchens around the world.

Chef Vaidas Imsha will soon oversee the opening of Uchibā Austin as Chef de Cuisine.

To wrap up this exciting series, Austin’s own Chef Vaidaas Imsha will visit Geraldine’s on Sept. 20. The Uchi team member will soon oversee the opening of Uchibā Austin as the eatery’s Chef de Cuisine when it opens later this year. 

“Austin is one of the most exciting food cities in the country,” said Chef Ledesma. “We have incredible diversity and diners here have very experimental palates, which chefs appreciate.”

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Photo by Whit Preston

Geraldine’s recently unveiled a new dinner menu from Executive Chef Ledesma and Chef de Cuisine Garrett Werley. The collaborative offerings celebrate the Texas palate, while reflecting the chefs’ interests in culinary exploration. The menus boast a number of local, Latin and Asian ingredients. Highlights include Wagyu Short Ribs, served with hoisin stout glaze, popcorn grits, pickled corn and chives, and Forbidden Arroz Con Leche, a forbidden rice pudding made with chai, chocolate ganache, grilled strawberries, a churro rice crisp and tableside strawberry tea.

Tickets for each dinner are $125 per person, with an optional beverage pairing available to add for $75 per person. For more information or to make reservations, click here.

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