Felipe Sanchez is proud of the fact that he worked his way up the ranks in the kitchen.
As the Kitchen Manager at Spaghetti Eddie’s Cucina Italiana, Felipe says he learned everything he knows today through the experience and mentorship he was given at Spaghetti Eddie’s.
He started his career with the restaurant as a dishwasher 26 years ago and worked through the various stations in the kitchen to his current position.
Working in the kitchen since he was a child in his home country while watching and helping his mom cook, Felipe was passionate to learn the whole business from the ground up. His mom would show him how to prepare certain dishes with fresh ingredients, and credits those moments for his love of cooking.
He had a few short stints with a couple of restaurants, but his career began in the kitchen at Spaghetti Eddie’s. After washing dishes, he moved up to kitchen prep, and eventually started working on food orders until he was at the helm of one of the San Gabriel Valley’s most beloved restaurants.
Spaghetti Eddie’s owner, Ed Inglese, made it clear to Felipe that he had a clear path for his future at the restaurant. “I can’t believe 26 years have gone by,” Felipe said. “When you’re happy, comfortable and love what you do, it goes by fast.”
After nearly 30 years in the same restaurant, Sanchez is as committed as ever to what he does.
“I still love all aspects of my job,” he says. “I love our menu and how we prepare everything, and I take pride in happy customers and providing them a great and clean experience.”
The restaurant focuses on fresh ingredients, sourced locally, paired with the best protein and seafood and Felipe enjoys his role in maintaining that standard.
His day-to-day includes many things such as overseeing food orders, maintaining inventory and placing product orders. He also stresses his need for cleanliness, keeping things organized and pristine in the kitchen, coolers, and storage.
Felipe leads with his heart in the kitchen, pushing his staff to give customers nothing but the best. “Sometimes I walk through the restaurant floor and customers stop me to compliment the food and it makes me feel so good,” he said.
That doesn’t mean everything is always rosy. Despite his longevity, he still faces stress when the restaurant gets slammed on a busy night. He has endured and overcome other challenges as so many have in this industry.
Felipe still gets excited to cook Italian cuisine at home. He says his wife and two kids love when he prepares Italian specialties and seafood for them, particularly salmon, chicken mediterraneo and pizza.
“I never get tired of cooking,” he said.