713 South Alamo, San Antonio, TX 78205

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Chef Rene Fernandez

Chef Rene Fernandez discovered he had an exceptional passion for food and the culinary arts as early on as eight years old, when he remembers becoming enamored with the “beautiful and abundant” paella he first sampled in a Spanish restaurant in Mexico City.

He did some studies at the Culinary Institute of America, as well as took specialty courses in food and beverage at Cornell University. He is also a proud member of Chaine Des Rotisseurs.

Though born and raised in Mexico, Chef Fernandez began his career working as a cook at a country club in Houston. He then joined the Sheraton in Mexico City as their chef Garde Manger, and then on to Manaus, Brazil at the Tropicana Hotel, and again on to the Hyatt Hotel in Acapulco, a 700-room resort where he worked as Sous Chef for three (3) years. Eventually he moved on to Guatemala at the Westin Comino Real where he had finally earned the honorable title and responsibility of executive chef. From there he continued his career as an executive chef working at various exotic locals, from Mexico City and Cancun to Aruba and Puerto Rico. Collectively, Chef Fernandez worked a total of 17 years at Hyatt Hotels alone. In fact, it was circa 1993 at the Hyatt Regency in Merida, what they call the white city in the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, where Chef first met Pierre Kranzle, his current business partner. It was during his tenure at the Hyatt Hill Country in San Antonio when Chef Rene and Kranzle chose to partner up their individual expertise and creative energies to form their first endeavor – the Nuevo Latino restaurant, Azuca.

Azuca, having quickly proven itself to be a success, enabled these two visionary entrepreneurs to open up Zucchero, a restaurant dedicated to contemporary Italian cuisine. Chef Rene is supported and inspired by his wife, Norma and his two sons, Diego and Daniel. A little known interest of his is ice sculpture, but his true love will always and forever be esculent art for the palate.

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