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Chef David Slay

Chef David Slay enjoys a well-earned reputation as one of the most professional and hardworking chefs in the hospitality business. A third-generation American restaurateur, David started his training at the age of 11 in his father’s kitchen.  He apprenticed with two-star chef Gerard Vie at Tros Marches in Versailles and A. Beauvillier Restaurant in Paris with famed chef Marc Angel when he was 17.  At 20 he opened his first restaurant, a 26 seat French café with no liquor license, due to the fact he was not old enough to get one.

Afterward, he was the owner and chef of several popular fine dining restaurants in his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, before tackling the competitive California restaurant scene, where he opened David Slay’s La Veranda in Beverly Hills, the renowned California/European-style bistro he founded in 1989. Under Slay’s direction, La Veranda was recognized as one of the “Best Gold Medal Restaurants in the United States”.

David is the proud owner and operator of six thriving establishments, spanning from the picturesque Orange County, CA, to his beloved hometown of Manhattan Beach, CA. These restaurants stand as shining examples of his unwavering commitment to culinary excellence and top-notch hospitality. This culinary journey showcases his dedication across multiple locations, bringing his passion for food and hospitality to life in each venue.

In 2017, David expanded his successful ventures into the world of winemaking.  Slay Estate and Vineyard is nestled in the breathtaking Santa Barbara wine county, specifically within the prestigious Sta. Rita Hills AVA. Drawing from his experience as a thriving restaurateur, David brings his unwavering commitment to excellence and meticulous attention to detail to the art of vineyard management.  

In his restaurants, you'll often find Slay overseeing a bustling kitchen filled with sous chefs, bakers, and pastry chefs, as well as taking the time to personally connect with diners at their tables.  This same unwavering dedication serves as the cornerstone of both Slay Estate and Vineyard and the close-knit relationships, he nurtures with his vineyard team.