BIOS

Bios

 

Sean Yontz Chef/Partner

Sean Yontz’s name is synonymous with Denver’s restaurant scene.  A local fixture for nearly two decades, Yontz’s commitment to extraordinary Mexican cuisine continues with the opening of El Diablo Cocina and Tequileria located in the heart of the quickly-growing Broaday entertainment district.  El Diablo’s feel is a combination of rustic traditional, old-world Mexico and the myths of El Diablo meet the Chicano / Latino / Lowrider culture of the modern U.S.  Deemed as one of Denver’s top chef’s with a passion for Latin influenced cuisine, Yontz opened Vega Restaurant as executive chef and partner.  Launched in October of 2002, Vega featured Yontz’s signature Latin-influenced contemporary American cuisine.

A meeting with famed chef Richard Sandoval led to the opportunity for Yontz to fulfill his passion of preparing the cuisine of his Mexican heritage.  In 2000, he was chosen to participate in a six-week apprenticeship in the kitchen of Maya Restaurant, one of Richard Sandoval’s eateries in
New York.  The training paid off and Yontz was selected as executive chef of Tamayo, which opened in Larimer Square in 2001.In 1991, Yontz joined Denver-based Helicon Restaurant Group, serving as executive chef and managing partner for Kevin Taylor’s four-star restaurant Zenith.  In addition, Yontz served as director of operations for four Helicon establishments: Café Iguana, Brasserie Z, Dandelion, Palettes, Jou Jou and Restaurant Kevin Taylor.
 
 Yontz began his culinary career over eighteen years ago at the Rattlesnake Club in Denver.  Under the supervision of Jimmy Schmidt, Dean of southwestern cuisine, Yontz was promoted to sous chef after working every station in the kitchen.  The early training encouraged him to creatively interpret traditional Mexican dishes in an upscale setting.  Yontz then served as sous chef at Cliff Young’s, which was one of Denver’s premier restaurants at the time. 

Yontz was named Top Chef in Colorado and Chef of the Year 2002 by 5280 Magazine.  He has been invited to cook for the late Julia Child and has been a featured chef of five events at New York’s James Beard House.
Born in East Los Angeles and raised in Denver
, Yontz credits his parents and Hispanic heritage for his passion for traditional Mexican fare.  

Jesse Morreale  Founder & President, M Inc and related ventures 

Morreale has lived in Denver for 22 years and is a product of the Auraria Campus, graduating from UCD in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Music.  Prior to his current business enterprise, he promoted concerts for 15 years as owner and operator of Nobody In Particular Presents, which promoted over 1,800 concert events nationwide annually under his leadership, locally promoted events at Red Rocks and other public venues, and solely promoted the Denver Botanic Gardens Summer Concert Series as well as the Ogden, Bluebird, and Gothic Theatres. During his career in the music business he was also a senior operating executive for Fey Concert Company and Universal Concerts.

Jesse has been described as a mainstay in the hospitality industry, owning a collection of bars, restaurants, night clubs, hotels and other real estate in Denver. He is the Founder and President of M, Inc., and opened and currently operates Sketch Wine Bar, El Diablo Cocina y Tequileria, La Rumba Nightclub, Rockbar, and the All Inn Hotel and First Avenue Hotel.

Morreale was named one of Denver’s “150 Unsung Heroes” by the City & County of Denver when, in celebration of its 150th birthday on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2008, the City and County of Denver selected 150 of its citizens to honor as “unsung heroes” – ordinary people who have done extraordinary things to help make the city a better one for this and future generations.  Over the course of all of his endeavors, Morreale has made it a paramount cause to enrich the Denver community, its residents and cultural community, create jobs, and help people.

Morreale employs hundreds people full time and was twice consecutively named one of 5280 Magazine’s Most Influential People in Denver.