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From Kitchen Apprentice to Culinary Maestro: The Journey of Gabriel Argüelles

In the heart of Oaxaca, Mexico, a young boy named Gabriel Argüelles, affectionately known as Gabby, found his first love – the kitchen. Raised amidst the tantalizing aromas and bustling activity, Gabby's passion for cooking ignited from an early age, setting the stage for a remarkable culinary journey.


At just 16 years old, Gabby embarked on a life-changing adventure, immigrating to California in pursuit of his dreams. Little did he know, this journey would lead him to become a culinary maestro, shaping the gastronomic landscape of the Bay Area.



Gabby's culinary odyssey began in 1994 when he stepped into the kitchen of Tarpy's Roadhouse, a humble beginning that would lay the foundation for his illustrious career. Under the guidance of esteemed chefs like Michael Kimel, Bryan Witmer, Tony Baker, and Chef Todd Fisher, Gabby honed his skills and cultivated his craft, soaking in the wisdom of culinary masters.


Transitioning to Montrio Restaurant in 1995, Gabby embraced a new culinary realm, navigating the intricate world of fine dining with finesse and grace. Balancing the contrasting styles of Tarpy's rustic roadhouse cuisine and Montrio's elegant dishes, Gabby showcased his versatility and dedication to culinary excellence.


As the years passed, Gabby's star continued to rise. By the age of 21, he ascended to the role of Sous Chef at Tarpy's, demonstrating his leadership and culinary prowess. In 2001, he assumed the position of kitchen leader at Montrio, a testament to his unwavering commitment and exceptional talent.


For over two decades, Gabby dedicated himself to mastering his craft, immersing himself in the intricacies of the culinary world. In 2016, he reached new heights, appointed as the Executive Chef of Tarpy's, a position he held with pride and distinction.


However, after 27 years of culinary stewardship at Tarpy's, Gabby felt a stirring within his soul – a yearning for new horizons and fresh challenges. Venturing into uncharted territory, he embarked on a journey of exploration, lending his expertise to Crema Catering and Point Pinos Grill.


Yet, fate had other plans in store for Gabby. A chance encounter with two young entrepreneurs Veronica Camp & Charlie Lippert  in Pacific Grove, CA would change the course of his journey forever. Little did he know, this serendipitous meeting would lead him to California Seltzer Co., a vibrant culinary haven where he would find fulfillment and joy.


Today, as an integral part of California Seltzer Co., Gabby infuses every dish with his wealth of experience and passion for culinary excellence. With each plate he crafts, he strives to elevate the restaurant to new heights, envisioning a future where it stands as a beacon of culinary innovation and excellence in Pacific Grove.


Gabby's journey from kitchen apprentice to culinary maestro is a testament to the power of passion, perseverance, and unwavering dedication. As he continues to write the next chapter of his culinary saga, one thing remains certain – his indelible mark on the culinary world will endure for generations to come.


To book an event at California Setlzer Co. Please visit us here!

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