Tene Shake, Chef and Restaurateur
President of the Les Toques Blanches, Monterey Chapter
Tene Shake is the seafood chef of the Central Coast. Born and raised in the “Sardine Capital of the World,” Tene grew up exploring commercial fishing boats, seafood processing plants and great restaurants on the Monterey Peninsula. Restaurateurs and fishermen from historic Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey, California taught him the secrets to creating unbelievable seafood dishes and the importance of supporting sustainable seafood practices.
The Shake family has been in Monterey for generations and has played an integral role in the rich history and success of Fisherman’s Wharf. Their legacy lives on today, operating several restaurants, fish markets, and commercial boats. Tene is the youngest of five brothers, thus earning him the nickname “Tene.”
He was fascinated by seafood from a young age and learned as much as he could from his brothers and the family restaurant, the iconic “Old Fisherman’s Grotto” and his father, legendary chef/restaurateur, Sabu Shake. At age eleven, Tene, continued his training, working as a cook at the Cove Restaurant for the Crivello Family. As a teenager, Tene, managed the family fish market business and delivered seafood to the local restaurants.
Co-owner of the Sardine Factory, Certified Executive Chef, Bert Cutino, inspired Tene on the importance of fine food and service at a young age and still continues to support and inspire and mentor him. Tene, graduated from Bethany University with a Bachelors of Arts degree in 1988. Following college, he attended Courses at the California Culinary Academy/Le Cordon Bleu and the International Culinary Center/French Culinary Institute.
A passion for cooking, hard work, and exquisite culinary imagination led to early success for Tene. In 1994, he was awarded one of “America’s Top Chefs” by the American Academy of Restaurants and Hospitality Sciences. Tene continued to perfect his seafood mastery for the next six years and was finally able to open his first signature restaurant in 2000, Isabella’s (named after his Mom) Italian Seafood & Steaks, located on Fisherman’s Wharf. Having the honor of being featured on the television series, “Celebrated Chefs”, in 2005, he became host and chef of “Coastal Cuisine” a nationally aired cooking show which received a TELLY Award. Tene, is also currently the Vice-President of Les Toques Blanches, and a member of Chaine des Rotisseurs, the oldest and largest food and wine society, and newly elected President of American Culinary Federation of Chefs Central Coast.
Tene lives in Monterey with his wife, Tracy. 2016 marks the celebration of their 34st wedding anniversary.