2023 Chefs

Jeff Tunks



Saturday, May 7, 2022 at Grand Tasting & Auction

Luminary chef and restaurateur Jeff Tunks is amongst the best and brightest in the nation’s epicurean constellation. His visionary taste and business acumen are internationally renowned as is the passion, perfectionism, and devotion the Texas native devotes to running some of the country’s top kitchens.

Chef Tunks attended The Culinary Institute of America where he graduated with honors, had perfect attendance, and was the recipient of the Frances L Roth award for outstanding performance by a student. His school externship was at Nikolai’s Roof atop the Atlanta Hilton Hotel.

Post-graduation, he served as the Opening Chef Tournant at the Verandah Club under Chef Dean Fearing at the Loews Anatole Hotel in Dallas, followed by the Opening Sous Chef at Mistral Restaurant under French Trained Japanese chef Takashi Shiramizu at the Loews Anatole in Dallas, and then onto the Opening Executive Sous Chef at the Crescent Hotel (Rosewood Hotel Group) under Chef Jean Marie Josselin in Dallas.

Following Dallas, he went to Washington, DC as the Opening Executive Chef at The River Club Restaurant in Georgetown, which received Best New Restaurants award from Esquire Magazine, and a Bocuse d’Or finalist 1988. Also, during this time, he was the Opening Executive Chef for the company’s sister restaurant, Notte Luna. Later he served as the Opening Executive Chef for the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in Coronado California and oversaw the award-winning restaurant Azzura Point, named best restaurant in San Diego by San Diego Magazine two years in a row He then serves as Executive Chef at the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans, and during his tenure, the Hotel was named number one hotel in the world by Conde Nast Traveler and number one in America four years in a row. The Grill Room Restaurant there was awarded the Times Picayune Five bean award, AAA Five Diamond Award, and the Mobil five-star rating, at the time one of only 14 restaurants in the U.S. to receive this designation.

He then returned to Washington, D.C. and opened DC Coast with his Passion Food Hospitality partners David Wizenberg and Gus DiMillo. The seafood eatery on K Street was a resounding success and garnered spectacular reviews.  Passion Food went on to contribute many more culinary stars in the DC dining scene, including Ceiba, TenPenh, Acadiana, District Commons, and Burger, Tap and Shake.

Tunks has brought his culinary talents to the Boca Raton neighborhood of Florida, as Operating Partner and Managing Chef for a new concept, Corvina Seafood Grill. Corvina is a seafood lovers’ dream, featuring locally sourced, daily catch, briny oysters on the half shell, sushi rolls, and vertically spectacular seafood towers, as well as an array of fine steaks, poultry and health-conscious menu items.

Family is why