Tony Starr

Juan Rivera is chef de cuisine of Kapnos Taverna and Pepita in Arlington, Va.

Prior to joining the MIC team, Rivera served as executive chef at Bandolero in Washington, D.C. Prior to Bandolero, Rivera served as head sous chef of Jose Andres’ acclaimed restaurant, Zaytinya. During his eight-year tenure at Zaytinya, he gained invaluable experience and earned a number of promotions under Chef Mike Isabella and his predecessor, Chef Jorge Chicas. Before following Chef Chicas to Zaytinya, Rivera served as part of the opening team for Neyla in Georgetown.

Prior to Neyla, Rivera worked as a cook at the iconic Low-Country restaurant, Georgia Brown’s, as well as a number of other high-volume D.C. favorites. He began his career at the now-closed Chow Baby at just 15 years old.

Originally from Puerto el Truinfo, El Salvador, Rivera currently resides in Washington, D.C.