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Oliveto's Top Chef

Meet Jonah Rhodehamel, the new man in charge of one of Rockridge's top restaurants.


Joe Budd

When Oliveto and executive chef Paul Canales parted ways last December, the owners asked Jonah Rhodehamel to take over. After cooking at S.F. greats Zinnia and Quince, the Alameda resident is happy to be working on this side of the Bay—if a bit awed to be taking charge at Rockridge’s revered Italian mainstay. “It was definitely an intimidating experience, stepping in where so many high-profile chefs have been,” he says. “But a dream come true, with everything going on here.” So, what’s in the works at Oliveto? Rhodehamel gave us the scoop.

The Cure
• Rhodehamel wants to create a charcuterie “cave” to cure items like culatello ham. “It’s salted, put in a casing, tied, then dried for a year, then soaked in wine.”

• Rhodehamel introduced new suppliers, including one who breeds tomatoes specifically for Oliveto. “We want one that’s big on flavor, with a lot of acid that can hold up to cooking.”

Eat Your Wheaties
• Oliveto is testing nutritional whole-wheat pasta and pizza dough. “It also tastes great: It doesn’t taste like health food.”

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