The philosophy that Chef Denise St. Onge brings to Contrada is simple -- to provide her guests with a delightful and gracious experience. She believes in flavor over flair, and showcases the beauty of the products that her purveyors have dedicated their lives to perfecting.
Born and raised in Oakland, California, St. Onge spent her childhood traveling around the world. Her mother was Chef and Proprietor of a small café in an Oakland artist's collective, and St. Onge can remember afternoons when her mother would prepare noodle soup for her in the blink of an eye. In Northern California, she felt immersed in a climate and terroir that conjured memories of time spent with her family in the hills of Lazio, just outside of Rome. From living in Bangkok as a child, to visiting family in Italy, her multicultural background informs her unique and honest sensibilities as a chef.
Working her way through some of the best kitchens in the Bay Area, she spent years at Michael Mina, Gary Danko, SPQR, Prospect and others, all while refining her technique and developing an appreciation for the true nature of hospitality. Chef St. Onge and her team aspire to be part of the future of the restaurant industry in San Francisco. Building upon the principles she has engrained in herself, she hopes to help foster an environment where her guests enjoy countless delicious memories, and where her staff flourishes.