Born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts, David Faro’s interest in cooking was fostered from an early age through visits to his grandparents. He spent hours in his grandmother’s kitchen, helping her make traditional Italian dishes using produce grown in the terraced backyard garden his grandfather built and tended throughout the year.
At the age of 15, Faro took his grandmother’s lessons into the world of food service, helming a roasted corn stand at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts. In 1997, just two years later, he landed a job as chef de tournant at the now-closed Mark’s Las Olas, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Faro returned to Boston in 1999, where he worked in several restaurants, including Clio, Grill 23 and local favorite, The Franklin Cafe. Four years later, he relocated to Florida to become the sous chef at Wish Restaurant, a AAA Four Diamond restaurant at The Hotel of South Beach. In 2003, Faro moved to San Francisco, where he worked his way from a line cook position at Aqua to the role of chef de cuisine at Frisson before becoming executive sous chef at Campton Place.
As his family grew, Faro looked to work beyond restaurants, taking a position as executive chef at the Google campus in San Francisco in 2009. Eventually finding himself less suited to corporate culture, he returned to restaurants in 2014 by assuming the role of sous chef at Verbena. Under the guidance of executive chef Sean Baker, Faro expanded his skill set to include mastery of both modern and traditional methods of preservation. When Verbena shuttered in 2015, he came on board as The Alembic’s sous chef under then executive chef Ted Fleury.
Faro now heads the kitchen as executive chef, where his years of experience and enthusiasm for seasonal and innovative cooking continue the delicious traditions of The Alembic.
Jacob Racusin’s bartending journey began at the age of 19, when he left his home in Fortuna, California and sold his car for a one-way ticket to Europe. He had no plan and no money but after weeks of exploring Jacob found his way to a job waiting tables in Lisbon, Portugal’s popular nightlife district, Bairro Alto. One day he was asked to fill in for an absent bartender and when the bartender never returned to work, Jacob took the reigns as the head barman. From this point on, he continued to hone his skills at popular bars and restaurants throughout Europe. Jacob refined his talent through reading every bartending book he could get his hands on and experimenting with different techniques and flavors, thus developing a fluid bartending style that set him apart. When Jacob was ready to return to California, he decided to move to San Francisco. Before finding his home at The Alembic, Jacob had stints at Cafe Flore in the Castro, Amber Dhara in the Mission, and Wayfare Tavern in the Financial District. Jacob joined the The Alembic team, which feels more like a tight-knit family to him, in 2014.
Jacob’s experience has allowed him become adaptable which is what differentiates a vending machine from a true bartender. Jacob says, “I love seeing people think about drinks as a dish…For instance using a Thai ingredient such as a Thai Curry and building off that with spirits and liqueurs that circle back and compliment the original base.” He does just that with his bar program that collaborates with the seasonal food menu. The Alembic cocktail menu features a two-part menu, “New School” – where every drink incorporates ingredients made in-house, and “The Canon” – featuring timeless drinks that fit the season.
Jacob enjoys bringing the whole bar together, whether it is a busy night and he gets the whole bar to start cheering (sometimes for no reason) or a slow night when the whole bar comes together to figure out one of his infamous but unsolvable riddles.
Stanford “Stan” Gee is a third generation San Franciscan. His love for great food came at an early age as he spent his formative years with his grandparents in San Francisco’s North Beach while his parents worked. Stan’s appreciation for food was born from the love and care that his grandmother took to shop for the day’s meals from Little Italy and Chinatown.
Stan grew up surrounded by cuisine and was never short on culinary influences. His grandparents insisted that he help in the preparation of meals and his parents would take him to venerable spots in San Francisco like, Little Joes, Julius Castle, U.S. Café, Ping Yuen, Jacksons, Tadich Grill, and Empress of China. A family celebration at Paoli’s offered a happy hour antipasti buffet, where every Italian antipasti was on display, things a young boy could never imagine seeing let alone eating. That experience left an indelible mark that sparked his love of restaurants.
Stan studied International Finance at San Francisco State University and immediately jumped into the high-tech industry. For the next 14 years, Stan led in-house tech support teams at Fortune 500 companies. In 2002 Stan retired from high tech to finally pursue his true love — restaurants.
After crossing paths with Doug Biederbeck of BIX, Biederbeck gave Stan his first break as host. Within six months, he worked his way up to Assistant Manager and for the next 5 years managed at all three of Biederbeck’s properties Florio and MarketBar.
After leaving Biederbeck, Stan managed at Trademark and Rose’s Café before opening Martin Yan’s M.Y. China in San Francisco’s Westfield Centre as General Manager in 2012. In 2013, Stan returned to MarketBar. When the opportunity arose to join The Alembic in 2016, Stan leapt at the chance to contribute to this renowned craft cocktail bar and modern cuisine restaurant.