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.
Hector Valencia joined The Alembic team three years ago and has since worked his way to head barman thanks to the strong tutelage of his former bar managers and talented industry peers.
Hector moved to Southern California when he was twelve years old from Guadalajara, Mexico. As an aspiring street artist, he found his way to San Francisco shortly after. When his good friend started working at The Alembic, Hector used the connection to gain work as a bar back and soon discovered his love for mixology as a new creative outlet.
Assuming the role of bar manager has allowed Hector to create a program with influence from his artistic background and south-of-the-border heritage. One of the first cocktails Hector created for The Alembic was the Brown Wolf made with mole bitters, a flavor that reminds him of his childhood.
Hector is excited to fill the shoes of the talented men and women who have come before him, while bringing his own spin on The Alembic’s classics.
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.