Our Team

Steve Fortunato

Steve Fortunato is a California native, born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA. He has spent his entire professional career in the food service industry. His first restaurant job was at age 14, in an upscale Mandarin Restaurant in Northern California, as a busboy. After 19 years in the hospitality business, a wave of encouragement from his friends and family, and a six-year stint with Los Angeles’ Patina Group—Fortunato set out on his own, launching roomforty. His vision has been to build a memorable, inspiring service for catering clients that makes a mark on the California dining landscape, while also building an enduring, inspiring workplace for industry professionals. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Pepperdine University in Public Relations. He was voted Pasadena Magazine’s Top Forty under 40 in 2009. Again in 2009, he was voted Entrepreneur of the Year for the city of South Pasadena, where he resides with his wife and two children. His comfort food is pasta, which is awesome, because he recently discovered he has a sensitivity to gluten. He therefore lives in a constant state of digestive denial and moderate discomfort as he just can’t bring himself to give up the almighty noodle.

Libry Darusman

Chef Libry joined the roomforty team in the summer of 2010. Like most chefs, Darusman truly loves food—like few chefs, Darusman truly loves people. This combination coupled with his experience, innovation, and passion for constantly expanding his culinary repertoire has made him what Fortunato describes as “the best Chef I have ever worked with”. Born and raised in Bavaria, Germany, Darusman came to the states and spent his formative culinary years working with renowned chefs Theo Schoenegger of Sinatra and Patina, and Mark Gold of EVA. Overseeing the pasta program at Wynn’s Encore Restaurant—Sinatra, Darusman has truly mastered the art of homemade pastas. Blending his European background, with his experience at some of the West’s best restaurants, Darusman brings classic french technique, refined presentation, and an orientation toward detail, to his eclectic “global” cuisine. Once Libry has finished plating a culinary masterpiece, he can be found gnawing on candy—whether it be nerds, pop rocks, twizzlers, sour patch kids, ding dongs… yes, we could go on. His saddest day in the last year was on hearing that hostess had declared chapter 11.

Max Rapley

With a background in arts and event management Max joined the team in 2014 as an event coordinator. Born in Sydney, Australia, Max brings with him 10 years of experience in the service industry having worked in some of Sydney’s best restaurants and most prestigious events. Having produced a number of successful arts festivals Max is no stranger to juggling the logistical elements that go into successful events. Max brings that unassuming confidence that is the trademark of his countrymen. Don’t be fooled though, he’s not your typical man from the land down under- no, he doesn’t ride a kangaroo to work; no, he doesn’t greet you with “G’day mate!”; he’s too refined for cliches–a little bit like roomforty. He does however have a penchant for that mysterious black paste they call vegemite, and if you catch him at a busy moment you might hear him say, “Sorry man, I’m flat out right now.” (Your guess is as good as ours).