At age 15, Joe discovered cooking in professional kitchen and after his first kitchen management position at age 16, he yielded to his calling and resolved he would not be taking over his father’s business as a mechanical engineer working on Porsches. Joe moved to San Francisco to attend The California Culinary Academy a year after high school which offered him an externship at Domaine Chandon. Following graduation, he moved to the Napa Valley to further submerse himself in the world of wine and food while working at Silverado Country Club.
After four years in Wine Country, Joe returned to Santa Barbara to enjoy time with his younger siblings. He found a culinary home at a French Italian Bistro, called Brigettas, where he was challenged to develop unique nightly menus. His personal culinary studies continued and he found himself gravitating towards Caribbean spices and introduced them to the bistro menu. Then owner, a German master chef, was initially concerned about the introduction of the spicy, tropical flavors to the classic menu, but quickly agreed Joe should continue after sampling his dinner creations.
The yearning to learn more about Caribbean cuisine drew Joe to Key West, FL to work at Louie’s Backyard where he delved even deeper into fresh Caribbean flavors. He stayed in the Keys for two years before missing the mountains, so brought the tropics back with him and opened a Caribbean Restaurant and Rum Bar in Boulder, Colorado. His restaurant, Rhumba, boasted the largest patio at the Pearl Street Mall and offered rum and food pairings along with wine and food pairings. “Special” night menus featured culturally-influenced foods from Brazil and Puerto Rico that alternated as themes with various musical talents. 60% of his restaurant’s menu changed seasonally.
After 10 successful years, Joe sold his restaurant to entertain various interests including yoga, travel, and scuba diving during which he also managed a Whole Foods and a Bakery. His culinary calling soon found him returning to the culinary mecca of the Napa Valley and the lure of V. Sattui Winery. Joe now oversees the Winery’s Wine & Food programs, develops pairings and elevated experiences, and works closely with Sattui’s Special Events and Marketplace chefs.
What does Joe love most about V. Sattui Winery?
The breadth of opportunity within the vast wine and food programs along with the close-knit family atmosphere.
What does V. Sattui love most about Joe Schneider?
His refreshingly clear and creative perspective on how to enhance the guest experience and his fun-loving nature.