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    Training the Next Generation of Great Chefs

    Castaway Restaurant and Banquet Center General Manager Robert Solgan, Sous Chef Chris Renno, Executive Chef Francisco Roman and Sous Chef Keith Gomez enjoy one of the chefs’ culinary masterpieces in the elegant atmosphere of the restaurant’s dining room.
    Castaway Restaurant and Banquet Center Executive Chef Francisco Roman, center with sous chefs Chris Renno and Keith Gomez, add fine dining to the spectacular mountaintop view diners experience at the restaurant.

    Castaway Restaurant and Banquet Center Executive Chef Francisco Roman plates a fine meal as Sous Chef Keith Gomez watches.

    (SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) – A famous chef once said, “One can become a cook but one can only be born a chef.” Many believe this to be true, and chefs do require intense training to become great. But who is training the next generation of great chefs?

    The Castaway Restaurant and Banquet Center in San Bernardino is training two of these up-and-coming chefs, under the expert guidance of Executive Chef Francisco Roman.

    Chef Roman is known for his imaginative quest in pairing fresh food, seasoning, and cultural influences. He has been head chef at Castaway Restaurant and Banquet Center for four years, and has 17 years experience as a chef since his intense training at Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley.  The premier culinary training institute in the country and one of the tops in the world.

    Chef Roman has a lifelong enthusiasm for cooking. He began cooking as the oldest of nine brothers and sisters.

    “My culinary career started as a passion for cooking great food, which my family loved,” said Chef Roman. “With my training, and that of my team, we have learned how to bring together unique flavors to create unforgettable sensory experiences. At Castaway, our culinary team is committed to providing our dining guests with delightful experiences, using the freshest ingredients and food prepared daily.”

    Chef Roman heads up a team of some of the finest and most creative young chefs in southern California. He has searched the best culinary schools to find the next generation of passionate tastemakers to share his kitchen, master skills and expertise.

    The selected culinary assistants are Sous Chef Chris Renno, a recent graduate of the renowned International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California – Inland Empire, and Sous Chef Keith Gomez, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena.

    “It’s been fantastic working under Chef Roman,” said Sous Chef Renno. “He is so experienced and a superb chef. I’ve been fortunate to bring what I’ve learned from the institute and meld it with his extraordinary culinary skills to help create amazing food. Thanks to his guidance, I feel like I’m well on my way to being a great chef.”

    Through hands-on instruction and training, Executive Chef Roman works closely with his emerging top chefs, infusing his refined techniques with modern innovation and global culinary perspectives.  

    “You must acquire the skills and knowledge needed to be competitive in the industry,” said Sous Chef Gomez. “Chef Roman is a master of the culinary arts and classic cooking. He has taught me new ways to navigate the kitchen, and to take what I learned in culinary school and apply it in unexpectedly delicious ways. Working with him has taken the foundation of my culinary training to a much higher level while guiding my passion for cooking into a satisfying career.”

    Castaway Restaurant and Banquet Center General Manager Robert Solgan said, “We are proud of our culinary team, and the results of its fine cuisine are evident in our guest satisfaction and return visits. Chef Roman is the one of the best chefs in the country and also happens to be one of the best trainers for our next generation of great chefs.”

    “We invite you to the Castaway Restaurant for a holiday meal that will be an extra-special dining experience” Solgan continued. “Our chefs will present an incredible array of delicious food served in a festive setting. There is no other place like Castaway to celebrate the holidays with loved ones.

    “Holiday selections include appetizers, fresh fruits and salads, traditional and unique main courses featuring prime rib, salmon and other choice meats and seafood, and tasty desserts – all at incredibly affordable prices. We invite everyone to join us for the true essence of the season.”

    Join the Castaway Restaurant for its holiday buffet luncheons from now through Dec. 30, Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  “It’s the affordable way to make merry with friends for lunch and exchange gifts, or gather up your company employees for a holiday celebration at lunchtime.” Solgan said.  Prices are $14.95 for adults, and $5.95 for children ages 3-10 years.

    Don’t have the budget for big holiday party? The Castaway Restaurant hosts a “Shared Christmas Party” at 7 p.m. on Dec. 22 at $24.95 per person.

    “Join your friends, or meet new ones at our shared holiday celebration,” said Solgan.  “Reserve a table for two or more and enjoy a festive holiday party with out the expense in a beautifully decorated private room with a spectacular view of the twinkling lights of the valley below. It’s the ideal solution for a holiday party that includes dancing to the sounds of a live DJ,” said Solgan.

    Castaway Restaurant and Banquet Center has a few dates still available for private holiday parties for offices, organizations and other groups.

    “Guests may also bring there families for dinner any night, Christmas Day Dinner, or a New Year’s Day Dinner, making it possible for intimate celebrations without the hassle of cooking them yourself,” said Solgan.

    “For those in the mood for a big party, don’t miss the Castaway’s New Year’s Eve Celebration. Ring in 2010 and enjoy a delicious and elegant dinner bu
    ffet, dancing to a live band, and toasting friends and family with endless champagne while overlooking the twinkling lights of the valley below.”

    This celebration begins 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31.  The prices are $150 per couples for a group table or $170 per couple for a private table,” said Solgan.

    For more information or to make a holiday reservation, please call (909) 881-1502, or visit www.CastawayRestaurant.com.

    About the Castaway Restaurant and Banquet Center
    The Castaway Restaurant and Banquet Center has an endless selection of fine cuisine from prime rib and filet mignon to salmon, scallops and fine seafood creations to delectable desserts. It’s the perfect place for enchanting moments for everyone from couples, families and friends, to large business gatherings and weddings.

    Ideally situated in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, with spectacular scenic views the Castaway Restaurant is distinctively heralded as a popular tradition for its ambiance, mouth-watering menus, superb service, and breathtaking views overlooking the valley. Guests enjoy comfortable seating, oversized booths, complimentary valet parking, and a full-service bar.


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