Chef Jason Tuley’s rustic, yet refined cuisine is defined by seasonality, market sourcing, and inspiration achieved from decades of cooking locally and in Italy. His culinary education began in the kitchen of his grandmother Luella’s restaurant, Mom’s Drive-In, where he gained an early introduction to southern-inspired comfort food. He went on to complete the culinary program at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, then at the CIA Greystone in 1996. His early career was spent working throughout California’s central coast at San Ysidro Ranch and Citronelle in Santa Barbara and Sea Cloud in Santa Cruz.
Tuley opened and operated his first restaurant, Square One, in Santa Barbara, as chef and partner, in 2005. After five years with Square One, Tuley partnered with his good friend Charlie Fredericks to open Anchor Woodfire Kitchen in 2012, bringing his commitment to locally sourced rustic Italian cookery to his home community. Here he specialized in Italian salumi, wood-fired pizzas, homemade pastas, and rustic sauces, which he grew to love during the many months he spent traveling and working in Italy. Whenever possible, Tuley continues his education with routine travel to Italy, specifically to Tuscany, to apprentice with various chefs and butchers, to hone his craft and develop his particular rustic style.
In 2014, Tuley made the strategic transition back up to the Bay Area to place himself at the center of California’s culinary scene in San Francisco. Over the past two years in the Bay Area, he has made his mark at such celebrated restaurants as TBD in San Francisco, Parlour in Oakland, and most recently, Picco Restaurant and Pizzeria in Larkspur.
At Contrada, Tuley will utilize his extensive experience to showcase wood-fired cookery, handmade elements and extensive relationships with local farms and producers. An avid hunter, forager and fisherman, Jason exhibits a firm commitment to using quality ingredients and presenting them simply and elegantly in his signature Cal-Ital style.