Chriss Montalbano

Chriss Montalbano

For 35 years, Chriss Montalbano has excelled both as a sales professional and passionate chef. Her culinary training began at home at age seven, with her grandparents and great grandparents, New York City restaurateurs, specializing in Southern Italian cuisine. Her formal culinary training and education started at Andronico’s in Berkeley, CA, where she started as a butcher and was quickly promoted to executive sous chef. She furthered her culinary training by apprenticing for Max Schacher of Kenwood Restaurant in Sonoma, CA, and Dominique Serra - both of whom were formally trained by Master Chef Freddie Girardet at his self-named restaurant in Crissier, Switzerland.Her classic culinary training opened opportunities including her position as an executive chef at Sony Studios and then, at the County Seat in Prescott, AZ, where she was named Fourth Best Chef and Restaurant in that state. Although she will always be a chef at heart, she found her sales voice when she went to work for her restaurant-designer step-father and owner of Surfas Restaurant Supply in Los Angeles. From there she developed relationships with prestigious culinary schools, high-status restaurants and restaurant groups, and major hotels both nationally and internationally, including The Culinary Institute of America, the Institute of Culinary Education, the James Beard Foundation, Patina Restaurant Group, Hilton Hotels, Cipriani USA and Hong Kong, Daniel Boulud, Paul Kahan, Four Seasons Canada and Bahrain, Google, and SLS Hotels.In 2000, Chriss opted for a plant-based lifestyle and is now able to combine lifestyle and experience in her role as foodservice director for Daiya Foods. She has created a true culinary aspect to the plant-based realm where under her guidance her team focuses on all aspects of foodservice sales with a focus on helping chefs incorporate plant-based onto their menus. (Vancouver, Canada) @daiya