The heart and soul of Diego is our team. They are not only skilled in the kitchen but they are also artists who value hospitality, presentation, & culinary innovation. From all walks of life, they contribute to the vibrant atmosphere and charm of Diego- where art, laughter, and flavors intertwine.
Chef Stephen Sandoval is the visionary behind the vibrant and rebellious flavors of Diego. Raised in San Diego, California, his upbringing in a melting pot of Mexican, New Orleans, and Spanish influences sparked a lifelong love affair with robust and diverse cuisines. Eager to explore his ancestral roots and push culinary boundaries, Chef Sandoval embarked on a culinary pilgrimage across Mexico, Argentina, New Orleans, and Spain. From cooking amongst the fires of Francis Mallman's Siete Fuegos to honing his skills under influential chefs like Rick Bayless and Donald Link, his journey shaped his visionary approach to cuisine. In 2022 he opened a year long residency pop up, Sueños x SoHo HouseNow in Chicago. From that venture birthed a permanent residency for his restaurant Entre Sueños, which will be opening fall 2023. Now at Diego, he invites guests to join him on a thrilling gastronomic adventure, where vibrant flavors, creative twists, and a celebration of cultural influences come together in an unforgettable dining experience.
Oscar Sotelo, the heartbeat of hospitality, infusing every interaction with warmth and passion to every aspect of his role as managing partner of both Diego and Entre Sueños. With a background spanning upscale restaurants, team management, and beverage programs, he is a seasoned expert in his field. His deep roots in Chicago's hip hop culture and Mexican street food scene make Diego a personal and meaningful endeavor for him. His journey with Chef Sandoval began at Leña Brava in 2016, evolving into a dynamic partnership that led to the creation of the acclaimed Sueños x Soho experience, earning national recognition. Together, Oscar and Chef Stephen form a dynamic duo, passionately dedicated to crafting extraordinary experiences at Diego.
Danielle is Chicago's best kept secret. She is Diego's beverage director and sipping on one of her cocktails will transport you to another time and place. She and Oscar first joined forces while working together at Boka Group's GT Fish & Oyster years ago; Lewis has overseen cocktail programs for several of the James Beard Award-winning venues, and originally hails from Kentucky. You can find her chilln' with her handsome pup Ernie when she's not working.
Gavin, the talented sous chef of Diego, hails from Singapore and has devoted the past six years to honing his skills in Baja-Mediterranean cuisine. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Singapore, Gavin's journey with Chef Stephen began at Leña Brava, where they first crossed paths. Together, they collaborated on notable projects like the original Entre Sueños dinner and the acclaimed Sueños X Soho Friends venture. Gavin's fascination with Mexican food stems from its striking similarities to the diverse culinary landscape of his hometown. When he's not in the kitchen, Gavin indulges his love for music, anime, and maintaining an active lifestyle at the gym.