General Manager, since 1981
Luis Patino went to work at Carmelo’s in Houston in 1981 without any experience and without speaking a word of English. He worked hard to gain proficiency in the language and, in succeeding years, graduated to waiter, head waiter and captain. He has worked at Carmelo’s in Austin since the doors opened and was appointed general manager in August of 1991 in what can be called a classic case of realizing the American dream. Luis is very sensitive to the needs of his clients and can always be counted on to come through in a pinch. He enjoys serving the Austin politicos, lobbyists, university professors and businessmen and women as well as the young school children that come through the restaurant for mentoring. He is married and the father of three young girls. His favorite item on the menu is Salmone Fresco or the spaghetti.
Manager, since 1998
Eddie Mondragon went to work at Carmelo’s in Austin ten years ago on New Year’s Eve cleaning the silverware. He has been a manager now for three years, after serving stints as bus boy, kitchen waiter and assistant manager. Carmelo’s is the only job he has known, and while he admits he feels stress at times, he enjoys seeing how happy people are at the end of their meal. He was particularly thrilled to meet Keanu Reeves, as well as sprinter Michael Johnson. He enjoys watching basketball and football and attending alternative rock concerts. His favorite recommendation on the menu is the Red Snapper Mango.
Chef, since 1982
Margarito Machado went to work at Carmelo’s in Houston twenty-six years ago as a prep cook. At the time, he had no restaurant experience. He is happy working at Carmelo’s and says he doesn’t like to job hop. Familiar surroundings allow him to get better all the time. His favorite item on the menu is the bone-in Rib Eye, a recent addition. He is married with two girls and one boy. Thanks in part to his efforts; Carmelo’s Ristorante won the “Best of Beef” Challenge contest conducted by the Texas Beef Council benefiting the Capitol Area Food Bank of Texas. He and Carmelo’s general manager were awarded a culinary trip to Bermuda. Carmelo’s won the contest with Filetto Fidel, a beef filet accompanied by roasted vegetables and béarnaise sauce.
Director of Catering and Events, since 2010
Christy Agness joined Carmelo’s in March 2010 as the Director of Catering and Events. Christy holds a BA in Communications from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. She has nine years of marketing and event planning experience in both hospitality and high-tech industries. Prior to joining Carmelo’s, Christy worked as the Marketing Programs Manager at NetSimplicity where she planned tradeshow logistics, managed budgets, created marketing materials, and developed marketing strategy. At Carmelo’s, she especially enjoys working with brides and local companies to personally plan and individualize their events. In her spare time, Christy enjoys playing tennis and soccer, as well as travelling. Christy’s favorite dish is the Fettuccine Carbonara at Carmelo’s…Try it! It’s dangerously delicious!
Captain, since 1985
Froilan Perez went to work at Carmelo’s in Houston as a dishwasher in 1985. He moved to Austin where he started as a bus boy, graduated to kitchen staff prepping salads and then became a waiter. Two years later he became a head waiter and now he is a captain. He is a great favorite with Carmelo’s regulars and they often ask for him by name and write complimentary letters about his service afterwards. Never seen without a big smile on his face, he says he is always in a good mood and everyone works together like a family. He closely inspects everything in the dining room, however, from the glasses to the tables to the staff’s shoes. Froilan and his wife Celaya have four boys and one girl. He enjoys playing soccer and his favorite dish is the Gamberi Ripieni with the Italian Mixed Grill running a close second.
Cashier, since 1989
Armando Sanchez joined Carmelo’s in Austin in 1989 as a teenager working as a bus boy. He grew into the role of waiter and then captain before becoming the cashier several years ago. Being the cashier is the most stressful job in the restaurant because so many things have to be done at the same time – including answering the phone. It takes a special person with a special talent to multi-task like this and Armando is very special. He is married with three children and his favorite hobby is soccer. His favorite dish is Spaghetti Parmadoro and he particularly enjoys meeting so many people from out of town. He would estimate that fully one third for Carmelo’s guests are visitors from afar.
Parking Valet, since 1984
Angel Patino began working at Carmelo’s in Houston as a dishwasher in 1984. In 1986, he moved to Austin where he has been the parking valet for 22 years. The best part about his job is being his own boss. He is proud of the parking lot, which has space for 55 cars and is securely fully fenced in. It even has murals on the walls that offer a hint of what to expect once you enter the restaurant. His favorite pastime is soccer and his favorite item on the menu is any seafood. Angel and his wife have three children, a boy and two girls. His wife is a caterer for wedding parties.
Accordionist, since 2005
Herschel Moody is a professional accordionist who holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Music and German from the University of Houston, where he studied accordion under Willard Palmer, co-author of the Palmer-Hughes Accordion Method. He began financing his education as a private accordion teacher in various music studios and has continued to teach individual students ever since. His first professional venture into music was in a polka band while still in college. From there he transitioned into European and Latin music and American standards. Herschel’s great grandfather came over to the United States with a red accordion from Naples and today Herschel adds his musical touch to the romantic ambiance of Carmelo’s Ristorante in the heart of Austin’s entertainment district.