Photo Credit Aaron Texeira
Rodney Worth grew up with a love of food. Although never in his wildest dreams did he think this love would translate into becoming the executive chef and owner of seven restaurants. One of his earliest memories of cooking was baking an apple pie while his mom was out grocery shopping. And his very first job, besides mowing lawn for the neighbors, was at Taco Bell. Following high school he followed the footsteps of his dad and older siblings and got a job with Safeway. After a series of jobs, he ended up in the semi-conductor industry but then suffered a major back injury and coincidentally lost his job in the “dot com” crash. Now married to his wife Natalie, he decided it was time for a new career path altogether and enrolled in the culinary program at Diablo Valley College.
While in school, Rod found part-time work at Wente Vineyards where he was exposed to a whole new world of cooking. Fresh ingredients and flavors excited him. And while he studied during the day, he honed his culinary skills at night. Once he had some real- world experience under his belt he began to work at Bizou (now Coco 500) under the tutelage of world-renowned chef Loretta Keller. It was at Bizou that Chef Rodney truly found his niche and began to refine his craft. Slow-cooked dishes and old-world recipes inspired him and he began jotting down recipes nightly on any scrap of paper he could find. As his last semester of school began to wind down, and his wife Natalie grew closer to the due date of their first child, Rod’s entrepreneurial spirit began to take flight.
He purchased his first restaurant, a small sandwich shop in a non-descript strip mall in San Ramon, less than two months after graduation. With just $58 is his pocket, Rod placed the “Open” sign in the window and much to his relief, lines stretched out the door from day one. Customers were delighted with the delicious sandwiches and returned time and again. Worth soon added dinner items to the menu and within less than two years, purchased a beautiful, full-service restaurant in charming downtown Danville, CA.
Soon after the 2006 opening, Chef Rodney received the honor of the “Best New Restaurant of 2006” award from Diablo Magazine. Rodney Worth has since been a six- time winner of Diablo’s “Best Chef” award, enjoying more wins of that coveted award than any other chef in the East Bay. Worth has also been recognized by, and received media coverage from many other magazines including Michelin, Zagat and Bon Appetít magazine that once featured Rodney’s signature lamb shank recipe. Rodney’s charm and smile are what put him on the map of culinary greats in the Bay Area, but his unique menu and commitment to sustainability and local and organic products are what have kept him there. He is a member of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Sustainable Seafood program, and always buys local and organic when possible.
Worth Group, led by Chef Rodney Worth and his wife Natalie, is proud to own and operate six restaurants in the San Francisco East Bay and one in beautiful downtown Napa. He and his wife, along with their three children, reside in Danville, CA where they play most every sport imaginable, attend their local church, volunteer at school and enjoy lots of good food!
Chef Rodney Worth and his wife, Natalie, understand that it is the support of the community in which they live that has led to their success. With that thought always in the forefront of their mind, they truly believe that it is of utmost importance that they in turn support this community that they hold so near and dear to their hearts. The Worth Group supports numerous organizations including their local school district and church, as well as a variety of other worthy causes including the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Cycle For Survival and Have a Ball, both non-profits raising money for cancer research, and Pepperdine University and Diablo Valley College, the Worths’ alma maters. Rodney and Natalie also support the local athletic clubs that their children participate in and love to speak to middle and high school students to encourage young people to pursue a career in the culinary arts.
For more information about these philanthropic efforts, or to be considered for a donation, please contact Jennifer Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org or send your inquiry to our corporate office at 281 Hartz Avenue, Danville, CA 94526.