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Ruby Lopez

Ruby Lopez, a renowned regional chef, grew up on the vibrant East side of Lodi, CA, surrounded by hardworking families and the challenges of gang and drug influences. Her family's connection to the United Farm Workers exposed her to the abundant fresh produce of the San Joaquin Valley, while their backyard garden nurtured her appreciation for quality ingredients. Starting as a dishwasher at Wine and Roses in 2000, Ruby's culinary journey began with determination and hard work.

Ruby Lopez's time at Wine and Roses proved transformative when she worked alongside Chef Steve Putman, a remarkable culinary talent from the East Coast. When faced with staffing shortages, Ruby stepped up and assisted Chef Putman, impressing him with her culinary prowess. Recognizing her potential, he promoted Ruby to line cook, where he mentored her and helped refine her natural talent.


Building on her success at Wine and Roses, Ruby ventured to Paraguay's in Stockton, CA, seeking further growth under the guidance of influential Chef Kurt Spataro. This opportunity allowed her to expand her culinary techniques, solidifying her reputation as a talented chef.

Ruby's relentless pursuit of improvement led her to Central on the Miracle Mile, where she dedicated six years to perfecting her craft. During this time, she reunited with culinary enthusiast Buddy Odale, marking a turning point in her career. Joining forces with Buddy at Mezzo, Ruby quickly rose to become the executive chef, showcasing her culinary creativity through an Italian-influenced menu that celebrated "farm to table" principles. Her mastery of crafting fresh pastas, delectable sauces, and highlighting locally sourced ingredients created unforgettable dining experiences. Ruby's unwavering dedication earned her an impressive ten year tenure at Mezzo.

In 2022, Ruby's culinary talents were recognized by San Joaquin Magazine, honoring her as one of the region's best chefs. This accolade testified to her unwavering commitment to excellence and consistent delivery of outstanding culinary creations.

In 2023, Ruby embarked on a new chapter as Executive Chef at The Exchange 1874, a restaurant devoted to transparency, quality ingredients, and farm-to-fork practices. Surrounded by the fresh produce of her upbringing, Ruby seized the opportunity to create innovative and tantalizing dishes that showcased the flavors she cherished.

Ruby Lopez's remarkable journey has established her as a culinary powerhouse. Her relentless pursuit of excellence, combined with a passion for her craft, continues to shape her extraordinary culinary career.

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