General Manager Travis Vergara

Each guest will find an amazing ‘Z’ moment at our Arboretum location, thanks to Travis Vergara, General Manager. With over 24 years of restaurant industry under his belt, Travis has been a part of the Z’Tejas family since May 2015. Due to previous experience as an Executive Chef and Service and Bar Manager, Travis understands each employee’s role in the restaurant.

Travis’ main duties include overseeing operations, staff and manager development and building sales. His goal is to provide guests with a memorable experience. In his free time, Travis enjoys wine sampling, discovering new local craft beers and working on projects around the house. As a Texas native, Travis now resides in Round Rock.

 

Executive Chef Dino Lopez

Dino Lopez, Executive Chef, is a rare find. From a young age, Dino followed his passion for cooking, which is shown today in every plate that leaves this self-made Chef’s kitchen. Dino has been steadily working at Z’Tejas since 2010, creating culinary masterpieces throughout our Texas locations.

Born and raised in Austin, Dino studied culinary arts at Austin Community College. This education served as a launchpad for his career, allowing him to work for years as a leader in the kitchen before finding his culinary calling at Z’Tejas. Dino is married and has 4 kids of his own, 5 adopted children and 3 pets. When he isn’t cooking something delicious, Dino can be found carpentering or playing with his children.

Sous Chef Rafael Maradiaga

Rafael Maradiaga, our engineer-turned-Sous-Chef, is a man of many talents. An interest in analytics prompted him to study engineering at the University of Texas in Austin before deciding to change career paths and pursue the restaurant industry.

Rafael worked at Dolce Vita and PF Changs before settling down at Z’Tejas in March 2016. As Sous Chef, Rafael is responsible for food production, kitchen organization and maintaining cleanliness. Rafael is the reason our food is fresh and loved by all! Originally from Honduras, Rafael has been living in Austin for the past 21 years. He has two kids, aged 10 and 12. Come taste one of Rafael’s exceptional dishes at our Arboretum location!

Hospitality Manager Andy Thai

Having worked in the restaurant industry since he was 15, Andy Thai has developed a passion for excellent guest experience. He was raised in San Francisco before joining the U.S. Army after high school, where he served his country for 8 years. After service, Andy graduated from Palomar College in San Diego before moving out to Austin, Texas in 2003.

Andy has consistently worked in restaurant management since the move. He began working at Z’Tejas 6th Street location before moving to the Arboretum location in 2016. Andy’s duties as Hospitality Manager revolve around scheduling and increasing guest satisfaction. Outside of work, Andy’s favorite hobby is watching sports, specifically: basketball, baseball, football, soccer and tennis. Make sure to wave to Andy the next time you’re dining at our Arboretum location!

Manager Shane Barnett

Shane Barnett, a proud native Houstonian, has worked in the restaurant business for over 30 years. Shane began his Z’Tejas career in Chandler, Arizona in January 2001. Throughout his 17 years of employment at Z’Tejas, Shane has spent time working in locations around Phoenix, Las Vegas, Bellevue and Austin before arriving at his current job at our Arboretum location.

As Manager, Shane’s job includes keeping bar operations running smoothly, providing leadership training to service staff to ensure excellent guest experience and managing kitchen operations to ensure the highest food quality, efficient cook times and beautiful plate presentation. Shane’s hard work is shown in his Z’Tejas Manager of the Year awards 2008-2010. Outside the restaurant, Shane enjoys cycling, fishing and traveling with his daughter.