Rick Lopez, Executive Chef
A native Texan, Rick began his culinary journey as an intern at Oakland House Inn in Maine. He then returned home to San Antonio, where he worked for Chef Scott Cohen in La Mansion’s Las Canarias. Rick began a stage at New York City’s Café Boulud, which led to a full-time position under future James Beard ‘Rising Star Chef’ Gavin Kaysen. Returning to Texas in 2009, he was soon given the opportunity to become Sous Chef alongside Executive Chef Rene Ortiz at La Condesa. He was promoted to Chef de Cuisine after his first year, and was named Executive Chef of the restaurant in August 2013.
Sarah Thornton, General Manager
A West Texas girl born and raised, Sarah’s first foray into the hospitality world was at Red Lobster, where she discovered her love for Cheddar Bay Biscuits and taking care of others. Staying in Texas for her education, Sarah attended McMurry University receiving a Bachelor’s in Communications followed by Texas Tech receiving her Master’s in Mass Communications with a focus on Sports Marketing. After grad school, Sarah made her way to Austin as quickly as she could, jumping headfirst into her career in hospitality. “I’d found my niche,” says Sarah. 20 years later, Sarah has worked in leadership at culinary staples in the Austin scene including Torchy’s, Austin Eastciders, Uchi, Via 313, and more! “I am especially passionate about training and developing people and have worn a lot of hats in different training departments across the industry. I worked for Torchy’s in the early days of the company and helped open 25 new locations in three different states. I love watching people grow both personally and professionally and I think it’s wildly important to be as hospitable to coworkers as we are to our guests — kindness matters!” Sarah started working with New Waterloo / La Condesa in September 2022. “I’m lucky enough to work with Chef Rick,” she boasts, “who I can only assume came with the building! I feel lucky to work with an amazing team of dedicated chefs and service professionals to deliver some bomb food and drink in a fabulous space. Who could ask for more?!”