Meet Our Chefs
Tony Sansalone, Executive Pastry Chef
Born in Italy, trained in Florida and Texan by choice, Chef Tony Sansalone takes The Driskill's longtime tradition of producing exquisite pastries and desserts to new culinary summits. Named "Austin's Premier Pastry Chef" by the Austin American-Statesman, Chef Sansalone brings his award-winning credentials and talents to the hotel's nationally-recognized 1886 Café & Bakery.
Baking his first cookies in the family kitchen in Italy, he received formal training at the American Culinary Federation in Palm Beach, FL. Chef Sansalone then spent the next five years working at several of the most prestigious resorts in South Florida before launching his career with Four Seasons Resorts. His career led him to Austin, where he quickly attracted a devoted following as pastry chef for the Four Seasons Austin Hotel. The gracious and talented chef is a fixture in the Austin community, having participated in countless culinary and fundraising events. He has also been featured on the Food Network's "Top 5 Summer Sensations" program.
Chef Sansalone joined The Driskill's culinary team in late 2007, just in time for the hotel's busy holiday season and to bake hundreds of cakes, pies and cookies in addition to his custom wedding cakes that truly qualify as personalized works of art. The distinctive dessert traditions of the Driskill combined with Chef Sansalone's innovative artistry make for a legendary duo.
Brian Contreras, Chef de Cuisine
Chef de Cuisine Brian Contreras' passion for food was instilled by his parents and grandparents, who were strong advocates of cooking from scratch. Throughout his career, Chef Contreras has partnered with local farmers markets to help introduce and reinforce the food philosophy of "Thoughtfully Sourced, Carefully Served." His cooking style reflects a wide range of cuisines with a common focus on seasonal, natural ingredients.
An Arizona native, Chef Contreras developed his skills and embraced his passion for the kitchen in multiple free-standing restaurants in Arizona. He worked his way up from a dishwasher at a bar and grill in Tucson to becoming the Chef de Cuisine for Eddie's House Restaurant in Scottsdale. At Eddie's House, Chef Contreras worked directly with Arizona Celebrity Chef Eddie Matney, honing his culinary skills. In 2010 he started with the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa, working his way up from Lead Line Cook to Supervisor of the hotel's multiple dining establishments.
During his time at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa, Chef Contreras assisted in all kitchen aspects of SWB - Southwest Bistro as well as the In Room Dining operations of the resort. In addition, Chef Contreras was responsible for helping introduce the Omakase -chef's choice- style menu at the Japanese sushi bar, as well as a locally sourced and inspired happy hour menu.
In 2013 he joined The Driskill as the Chef de Cuisine of 1886 Café and Bakery. As Chef De Cuisine, Chef Contreras has reinvigorated the menu, integrating locally sourced products and responsibly raised and grown ingredients into the legendary recipes of the 1886 Café.