Executive Chef Luis Rodriguez walks everywhere on Google’s sprawling Northern California campus. He’ll even take the eight flights of stairs up to JIATING, Bon Appétit’s full-service Chinese concept. “I’ll challenge my chefs to take stairs with me,” laughs the 34-year-old, who’s obviously quite fit. Luis’s career to date has been one of scaling higher heights, always seeking out greater responsibility and furthering both his knowledge and his impact.
When Luis was a teen, his father, Jose Luis Rodriguez, was a line cook. Inspired by his father’s work — and the free pizza he was given — Luis was drawn to cooking. The years that followed included an impressive number of jobs in sous chef, executive sous chef, and executive chef roles.
In 2005, Jose Luis joined the Bon Appétit team at Google as a cook. Father told son how great it was, and soon Luis joined the Bon Appétit family, too. He’s now in his 12th year.
Luis’s responsibilities at Google have swelled. He began as a line cook at American Table; was promoted to lead cook for Pure Ingredient Café (now called Beta C); then became sous chef at Café Alley (now Baadal) and chef de cuisine for Beta C. He soon began supporting other openings on Google’s expanding campus, and in 2015, he was named executive chef of the opening support team, where he has helped open more than 30 cafés and works with the Operational Excellence Certification Program.
“One of my favorite things is to build successful teams every day and to see the growth in chefs and hourly staff. I play coach a lot, but I get to be a player as well,” Luis says. “Bon Appétit offered me the chance to dream of building a new career. I wanted to oversee a café. I reached that goal, and now I oversee all the cafés. With this opportunity I’ve built not just a new career but a new me.”
—Submitted by Cheryl Sternman Rule, National Marketing Manager