Meet Chef David - Kissing Tree
Feb 07th, 2024

Meet Chef David

Fans of Tarbox & Brown are likely familiar with our dear Chef Chanel, who helped launch Kissing Tree’s signature restaurant, but do you know Chef David? David Rhoads has been here from the start, serving as Chanel’s Sous Chef and keeping the kitchen running smoothly. Now, as Chef Chanel leaves us to be closer to family in Arizona, we welcome Chef David as he steps up as Executive Chef here at Tarbox & Brown. We sat down with him to find out more about his background and what he plans for the restaurant moving forward!

An un-common education

After a childhood in Delaware, Chef David went to college at Johnson and Wales University, in Providence, Rhode Island, where he studied Food Service Management. After school he worked at the Commonwealth Club in Richmond, Virginia, where he worked under many European chefs, learning a wide variety of classic and advanced techniques. “I learned everything from how to make aspic trays and galatines to how to make chocolate truffles from scratch,” David says. “That’s where I really learned to make bread! We did a lot of catering for the richest people in the world.”

Hello, San Antonio

When Chef David’s wife, Melissa, took a job transfer to San Antonio, Texas, Chef David took a position at the Alamo City’s Sunterra Country Club and later Castle Avalon. “It was a 40-seat dining room, and I did a lot of menu building,” David says. “I felt lucky to land in a place where I could do my own thing and not make the same food for every day of my life.” Later, Chef David served as the Executive Sous Chef at the San Antonio Country Club before working at Nordstrom Bistro and Rio Terra, where he was the Executive Chef for 10 years. “I knew so many of the residents, and you really get attached!” David says. “Several of them have come out here with their kids to see me at Tarbox.” 

The founding of Tarbox & Brown 

When Tarbox & Brown opened in 2023, Chef David was here as Sous Chef. “I really enjoyed being part of a new place,” David says. “When we were getting started, Chanel needed me as much as I needed her.” Together, they ordered supplies, tried new recipes, and put menus together. 

Leading the kitchen

Now, as he transitions to his new role as Executive Chef and plans for a seasonal menu change in March, Chef David reflects on what Tarbox & Brown will do next. “We came up with good ideas that haven’t even made it to the first two menus,” David says. “There are a lot of great things in store that we’re excited to share with the community. And everyone has been so welcoming and so supportive.”

Love from the kitchen

The staff at Tarbox & Brown is also on board with Chef David’s promotion. “He’s wonderful,” says Brooke Roseland, Director of Food & Beverage. “Since he’s been the Sous Chef, it just makes sense – it’s been an easy transition.” Line Chef Michael Benson, known affectionately around the kitchen as Big Mike, has worked with Chef David for close to 12 years and came with him to help start Tarbox & Brown. “He’s great. He lets us put in input, and we work really well as a team.” Esteban Rincon has only worked with Chef David for a few months, but says, “He’s amazing. I’ve learned so much from him in the time we’ve worked together, and I look forward to learning more!” Even the waitstaff appreciates Chef David’s warm spirit. “He makes it easy to come to work, says Peyton Burgess. “And he gives us great cooking tips!” Server Libby Niblett is also a Chef David fan, adding, “He never fails to put a smile on my face. And his work ethic is inspiring!”

To experience Tarbox & Brown for yourself, you can make a dinner reservation online or stop in for breakfast or lunch. The new Prime Rib Night each Wednesday has already attracted a loyal following, so be sure to reserve a spot if you want to attend! And give Chef David and the team a high five when you see them. 

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