Chef Dustin Valette began his restaurant career at the age of thirteen washing dishes at Catelli’s
in his hometown of Geyserville, California. Two years later he took an apprenticeship at Chateau
Souverain, a Francis Ford Coppola Estate, where he worked under Executive Chef Martin
Courtman, – beginning the culinary journey toward his dream of opening a restaurant dedicated
to showcasing the rich bounty and beautiful ingredients of his Sonoma County roots. After
culinary school and exploring kitchens in San Francisco, Chef Valette landed at Thomas Keller’s
one-Michelin-star Bouchon in the Napa Valley. He continued to expand his palette at Hokus at
the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Honolulu. When Chef Valette came back to the Bay Area, he
returned to Michelin-starred Aqua in San Francisco as executive sous chef under Laurent
Chef Valette helmed his first kitchen as Executive Chef at VOX Restaurant & Wine Lounge in
Henderson, Nevada. After a year and a half, he yearned to return to the wine country and start
his family. Naturally, he came back Healdsburg, where his great grandfather Honoré settled
some 100 years ago.
Here he began his six-years as Executive Chef at Dry Creek Kitchen. At Dry Creek Kitchen, Chef
Valette developed an admiration for growers and artisans into practices and relationships that
continue today. Working with winemakers to create inspired pairings quickly became a hallmark
of his tenure.
In 2015, Chef Valette and his brother Aaron Garzini opened Valette in downtown Healdsburg, a
locals’ favorite born from a long time dream of the brothers. From the beginning, Chef Valette
was able to develop a business model, in which giving is part of profiting, and he strongly
believes that supporting community is essential to success.
In September 2021, the doors of The Matheson opened, deepening Chef Valette’s commitment
and connection to Sonoma County and its tremendous community and already earning
accolades across the board.
Fun Fact: During the summer months Chef Valette travels to the Healdsburg Farmer’s market
and carries back the bounty of local produce in a classic Red Flyer wagon. Valette was also an
avid home winemaker of classic Bordeaux varietals, which led him to creating his own brand –
Valette Wines – where he partners with Sonoma County’s best wine makers to produce instant