A native of San Antonio, Texas, Valdez studied political science at the University of Texas at Arlington, but early on, found a stronger interest in cooking. After attending culinary school in Dallas, he went on to complete his externship at the prestigious Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth. He made his way up the ranks cooking at the Petroleum Club in Dallas and Ft. Worth, and Omni Hotels. He eventually earned his first Sous Chef title at the Omni Park West. Soon after, he returned to Colonial as a Sous Chef. He has spent the last 5 years as a Sous Chef for the Dallas Cowboys and Legends Hospitality at AT&T Stadium. He has successfully overseen the budgets and food preparation of 7 PGA Tournaments, an NBA All Star Game, 5 NFL Seasons, countless College Bowl Games, and Superbowl XLV. Gabe started Marcona to get back to something he loves, one-on-one client interaction. His culinary vision is using fresh ingredients and creating seasonal menus to utilize the best possible ingredients.
Katie was born in East Texas, but grew up in Colorado where she earned a Bachelors of Arts in International Affairs from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She moved to San Diego, CA and worked at Parisi Interior Design as a marketing assistant. Realizing her true love was in the kitchen; she left the interior design studio to work at Extraordinary Desserts in San Diego. She moved to Austin, TX to attend the Le Cordon Bleu Texas Culinary Academy, where she earned a Certificate of Patisserie. She returned to southern California to intern for Chris Russom at Christopher Garren’s Let Them Eat Cake in Costa Mesa, CA. After a year of learning from one of the best cake artists in the nation, she moved back to Texas to work for another one of America’s great cake artists, Bronwen Weber at Frosted Art Bakery in Dallas. As Bronwen’s Kitchen Manager she learned high volume and quality could go hand in hand. In early 2009, she became the Executive Pastry Chef for the Dallas Cowboys and Legends Hospitality at AT&T Stadium. During her career with Legends, she’s lead a team of pastry cooks in preparing over 100,000 desserts from scratch for Super Bowl XLV, consulted with the New York Yankees, and had the opportunity to cook at the James Beard House in New York.