Luminaries

Every year the Nantucket Wine & Food Festival plays host to some of the most acclaimed leaders in the food and wine world. We pay tribute to these Luminaries for their commitment to tradition, passion for their trade, and continuous pursuit of perfection.

Jody Adams
Porto

Jody Adams

Chef and Owner

Porto
Boston, MA

A James Beard award-winner, the chef/owner of Rialto in Cambridge and the Chef and Co-Owner of TRADE, Jody Adams has been praised for her creativity, support of local farmers, continuous charitable work, and business acumen by local and national publications from The Boston Globe and Boston Business Journal to Gourmet, Food & Wine and The New York Times. She was a recent contestant on the second season of Top Chef Masters, BRAVO TV’s popular culinary competition, where she prevailed through cooking challenges like off-site wedding wars, preparing a meal for a Lisa Simpson, and feeding the cast and crew of the television show Modern Family, before finally meeting her nemesis in the form of a frozen goat leg. On November 22, Jody was inducted into the Massachusetts Hospitality Hall of Fame.

Jody and her partners at TRADE are about to open their second dining establishment together, Porto in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood. Porto will focus on modern Mediterranean cuisine with a strong focus on seafood.Jody is actively involved in organizations that support child’s advocacy and hunger relief both domestically and internationally. She is committed to supporting The Greater Boston Food Bank, Share Our Strength and Partners In Health. In October 2010 Jody was presented with the Humanitarian of the Year award by Share Our Strength.

Jody’s culinary career began after graduating with a degree in Anthropology from Brown University. She began as a line cook at Seasons restaurant in the famed Bostonian Hotel under chef Lydia Shire in 1983. Three years later, she helped open Hamersley’s Bistro with Gordon Hamersley as his sous chef.  In 1990, she took the executive chef position at Michela’s in Cambridge. While at Michela’s, Jody developed her reputation for carefully-researched regional menus that combined New England ingredients with Italian culinary traditions. And, in 1993, Food & Wine Magazine named Jody “one of America’s ten best new chefs.” In September 1994, Jody opened Rialto. Four months after the new restaurant’s opening, The Boston Globe awarded Rialto four stars, the newspaper’s highest rating, proclaiming that, “eating Jody Adams’ food at the stunning new Rialto is like stepping into a winter greenhouse just at the moment a spectacular hothouse orchid bursts into bloom, filling the senses.” The public quickly took notice, with awards and press accolades streaming in over the years. In 1997, Jody received the James Beard Foundation award for The Perrier-Jouet Best Chef Award: Northeast.

 

In addition to running Rialto, Adams published a cookbook, In the Hands of a Chef: Cooking with Jody Adams of Rialto Restaurant (Harper Collins Publishers; January 2002). She co-wrote the book with her husband, Ken Rivard.  In 2004 Gourmet named Rialto one of “world’s best hotel restaurants.”In January of 2007, Jody bought out her partners and became the sole owner of Rialto. With the help of famed architect Maryann Thompson, she renovated the restaurant, introducing a new design aesthetic with diaphanous curtains, s-shaped banquettes and a color palate of sage, wheat and white. The new décor was paired with a new menu, now focused on regional Italian cuisine. The changes were met with praise from the public and the press. The Boston Globe awarded the renovated Rialto four stars once again and Esquire Magazine named Rialto one of the best restaurants in the country in 2007.

 

Brian Alberg
The Red Lion Inn & Eat on North

Brian Alberg

Executive Chef and Vice President of Culinary Development

The Red Lion Inn & Eat on North
Stockbridge, MA

A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Brian is the Executive Chef at The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA a 125-room historic hotel with one seasonal and three year round restaurants and Eat on North Restaurant at the newly opened boutique Hotel on North in Pittsfield, MA.

In addition to his position as Executive Chef he is Vice President of Culinary Development for Main Street Hospitality Group, a privately held hotel management company originally founded at The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA.Brian oversees all aspects of food and beverage operations at Main Street Hospitality a portfolio, that in addition to The Red Lion Inn and Hotel on North, includes The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA, The Williams Inn, a 125-room hotel at Williams College in Williamstown, MA the Elm Street Market, a neighborhood café and grocery store in Stockbridge, MA, several off site cafés at cultural venues, and Main Street Hospitality Catering.  

Brian is the founding chair of Berkshire Farm & Table, a board member and mentor for the Railroad Street Youth Project,a board member of the Norman Rockwell museum, and past board president and member of Berkshire Grown. He is actively involved in the Chef’s Collaborative, Boston Chefs and James Beard Foundation.

Jason Alley
Pasture Restaurant

Jason Alley

Executive Chef

Pasture Restaurant
Richmond, VA

If you start cooking at 4, chances are you’re going to keep going. Jason Alley got his start whipping up Southern comfort food for his family in Pulaski, Virginia. And when Alley realized college wasn’t for him, he headed for a Quaker-owned orchard near Harrisonburg. Fate brought Alley to a group of dishwasher friends at Harrisonburg Country Club, where he quickly moved on to food prep and eventually lead cook.

With a move to Champaign, Illinois, Alley found both his wife and his first chef job at a bar and grill. Alley polished his skills at Atlanta’s 1848 House, Blue Ridge Grill, and ENO, before returning home to Europa Café and Tapas Bar in Richmond, Virginia, where he met future partner Chris Chandler. The duo opened the aptly named Southern-twangedComfort in 2002, following that up with small plates, sustainable-focused Pasture in 2013. Most recently, Alley teamed up with Chef Harrison Keevil, investing in sustainability with a small farm of his own.

Julian Baker
The Summer House Restaurant

Julian Baker

Executive Chef

The Summer House Restaurant
Nantucket, Ma

Born in Sheffield, Northern England, Julian Baker, gained his initial apprenticeship with Chef Adrian Machin. He studied Culinary Arts at the Castle Culinary School where he graduated with honors of Distinctions. Upon completion, Julian moved to London to work under Chef Anton Edelman at the world renowned Savoy Hotel. 

In 1997, Julian traveled to Kennebunkport, Maine to cook at the Relais & Chateaux Hotel, The White Barn Inn, working under Chef Jonathan Cartwright. Upon completion of his experience, Julian returned to Europe where he discovered his enthusiasm for the Italian kitchen working in Milan, Trentino, and Tuscany. 

In joining Bice restaurant group, Chef Julian departed for New York City to cook at the renowned Bice in Manhattan. Julian then journeyed back to Europe once more to open Bice restaurants in Barcelona, Monte Carlo, Madrid, and Luxembourg. In 2001, an opportunity arose and Julian made a permanent relocation to the United States and opened Bice in Pasadena, California, Orlando, Florida and Houston, Texas.

Returning to Tuscany, Florence, for the summer of 2011 Julian started the process of menu planning for Toscana divino.

Julian has now taken a new role on the island of Nantucket as the Executive Chef at the Summer House Restaurant. With his broad knowledge and worldly experiences, Chef Julian relays to others the significance of attention to detail, quality and high standards. Along with his noteworthy values Chef Julian continuous to progress and enrich his experiences.

 

Stephen Barber
Farmstead

Stephen Barber

Director of Culinary Operations

Farmstead
Saint Helena, CA

Award-winning chef Stephen Barber is the executive chef of Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena. Building on his Southern roots, Barber brings his own ingredient-driven approach to Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch’s American farmhouse cooking, incorporating the organic produce, grass-fed beef and lamb, eggs, and olive oils from Long Meadow Ranch and other local artisanal producers. 

Barber was most recently chef of Fish Story restaurant in Napa, which is owned by Chef Bradley Ogden's Lark Creek Restaurant Group. Previously, he was executive chef of MECCA in San Francisco where he received three stars from Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle and was named a 2004 “Rising Star Chef.” In 2007, Barber opened BarbersQ in Napa, which also received three stars from the San Francisco Chronicle, was featured on the “Top 10 Best New Restaurants 2007” and “Top 100 Restaurants” lists by Mr. Bauer, and was named a Michelin Guide “Bib Gourmand.” Barber has cooked at the celebrated James Beard House twice.

 

Andres Barrera
City Winery

Andres Barrera

Executive Chef/National Director of Kitchen & Brand Development

City Winery
Chicago, IL

Chef Barrera was first inspired to cook watching the early greats on television; greats such as Jeff Smith, Martin Yan, Julia Childs, Jack Tripper and the Swedish Chef.  At the age of 10 he turned to the matriarchs in his family for his first culinary lessons. These women taught him the comforting properties of a meal. They showed him food should feed the mind and soul as well as satiate the appetite. These early influences led him to The Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago to study classical French and Italian cuisine.

He spent 13 years in NYC honing his skills at some of NYC’s finest establishments.  From slinging pizzas at Franny's in Brooklyn to winning Time Out New York’s  “Best Burger in the City” award at Rare Bar & Grill to precise cooking and perfect plating techniques at the famed Capital in NYC – no restaurant was off limits in his pursuit of knowledge and experience. Chef Barrera brings all these experiences and influences to his menus at City Winery Chicago - a menu inspired by wine, influenced by global comfort foods and sourced locally.

 

Tom Berry
Yvonne's

Tom Berry

Culinary Director

Yvonne's
Boston, MA

Tom started working in kitchens at the tender age of 13, as a steward at the University of New Hampshire.  After earning both a Bachelors and Masters degree in teaching from Johnson and Wales University, Tom joined the opening team of Blue Ginger in Wellesley, where he spent five years ultimately achieving the position of Executive Sous Chef.  Since then he has helmed the stove as Executive Chef at Bambara and Temple Bar, both in Cambridge MA, as well as the Great Harbor Yacht Club in Nantucket, MA.  In 2013 Tom Opened the Proprietors bar & table as Chef/Partner in Nantucket MA. The siren call of Boston brought him back to the city in Late 2015, where he accepted the position of Culinary Director for Yvonne’s and COJE management group, earning a 4 star review in Boston Magazine.  

 

Fred Bisaillon
B-ACK Yard BBQ

Fred Bisaillon

Executive Chef

B-ACK Yard BBQ
Nantucket, MA

Fred Bisaillon’s first job on Nantucket was the position of Sauté Cook at the former Regatta restaurant at the White Elephant.  For three years Bisaillon spent his summers on Nantucket at the Regatta while working seasonally in Martha’s Vineyard and Colorado.  Bisaillon was part of the original team during the opening of the Brant Point Grill in 1997 under chefs Michel Nischan and Pat Trama.

Since his return to the island in 2009, Chef Fred, the Brant Point Grill, and the White Elephant have enjoyed accolades from N Magazine, Yesterdays Island, the Nantucket Inquirer and Mirror, and USA Today.

Chef Fred’s newest venture is B-ACK Yard BBQ, featuring authentic barbecue with a Nantucket twist, which is set to open in mid-April in the former Cap’n Tobey’s building on Straight Wharf.

David Blessing
Longwood Venues and Destinations

David Blessing

Vice President Culinary Arts and Development

Longwood Venues and Destinations
Boston, Newport and Cape Cod

Chef David Blessing joined Longwood in 2010, bringing with him unmatched experience, passion, and a unique perspective on private event dining. His cooking style focuses on pristine, seasonal ingredients that highlight the local bounty of New England.  His preparation of restaurant style cuisine paired with his personal and creative twist sets Longwood apart from any other event company.

Be it a dinner for 500 or party of 5, Chef David puts same attention and love into every menu he creates. During the summer months, Chef David enjoys getting back to the restaurant setting, where he creates beautiful and incredibly flavorful (and healthy) dishes at Coastal, a private summer restaurant at Wychmere Beach Club on Cape Cod, just a short boat ride from Nantucket.

 

Robert Boslow
Lola 41

Robert Boslow

Executive Chef

Lola 41
Nantucket, MA

Chef Robert Boslow attended Johnson & Wales in Rhode Island, graduating with an Associates in Culinary Arts in 1988, and a BA in Foodservice Managment in 1990. He's worked at Orient Express Hotels in Vail, Colorado and in Eleuthera, Bahamas; Carefree Resorts in Arizona and California; and various Nantucket Island restaurants including The White Elephant, The West Creek Cafe, Dough Hook Artisan Breads, and Pazzo, Lola, and Lola Burger.

Eric Brennan
Himmel Hospitality Group

Eric Brennan

Corporate Chef

Himmel Hospitality Group
Boston, MA

Long before “farm to table” dining was a trend, Brennan had a deep appreciation for evoking the purest flavors from fresh, local ingredients. After graduating the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York in 1982, Brennan landed in Boston as Chef de Cuisine of Aujourd’hui in the Four Seasons Hotel. This led to a 12 year career with the luxury hotel group, during which he served as Executive Chef at the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort in Santa Barbara, as well as the Toronto flagship where he ran the hotel’s three restaurants, Truffles, Studio Café, and The Lounge, as well as private dining experiences, banquets and in-room service.

When Post 390 opened in 2009, Brennan joined the opening team as Executive Chef. Here, Brennan puts a contemporary twist on the traditional tavern experience by offering refined yet approachable seasonal dishes that reflect his passion for quality products and providing guests with memorable experiences. Currently, Eric is working for the Himmel Hospitality Group, which includes Grill 23 & Bar, Post 390, & Harvest Restaurants. 

 

Justin Brunson
Old Major

Justin Brunson

Owner and Executive Chef

Old Major
Denver, CO

As the Owner and Executive Chef of Old Major, Justin brings close to two decade of culinary experience to his latest eatery.  He focuses on heritage-raised meats, sustainable seafood and ingredients sourced from local farms.  Born and raised to an Iowan farming family, Justin’s childhood was spend gardening, hunting and fishing.  These activities along with his agricultural roots begin to describe his passion for food and its’ preparation.

Justin attended Scottsdale’s Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and obtained an internship in 2001 with renowned Chef Michael DeMaria at Michael’s at the Citadel.  Michael hired and extensively trained Justin for the next several years, which helped ignite his true passion for food and cooking.  In 2001, Justin moved to Denver and helped open Zengo with Chef-owner Richard Sandoval.  Two years later he joined award-winning Chef Frank Bonano as his Sous Chef at Luca D’Italia and filled in at Mizuna when help was needed.  Justin worked with Frank until 2007 before he joined forces with Alex Seidel, Owner and Executive Chef of Fruition.  In 2008, Justin helped open Fruition all while he was in the process of opening up his own business, Masterpiece Delicatessen, which opened its second location in late 2013.

Edwin Claflin
Oran Mor Bistro

Edwin Claflin

Chef and Owner

Oran Mor Bistro
Nantucket, MA

Chef Edwin Claflin brings experience from New York, New Orleans and his native Nantucket to the helm of Òran Mór.  He has spent the last decade working with some of the nation's finest chefs, including John Besh (Restaurant August), Daniel Boulud (Daniel, Feast and Fetes Catering) and Wylie Dufresne (wd50).  He holds degrees from The Culinary Institute of America in both Culinary and Baking & Pastry Arts.

David Daniels
MET Restaurant Group

David Daniels

Culinary Director

MET Restaurant Group
Nantucket, MA

MET Restaurant Group Culinary Director David Daniels rose from humble beginnings as a dishwasher at age 13, gaining valuable restaurant experience at a young age. Daniels is now an accomplished chef with over 20 years of experience in the hotel restaurant business and recently started his own culinary consulting company. 

In 2006, Daniels became Executive Chef of modern fine dining restaurant TOPPER’S at The Wauwinet in Nantucket. As chef he completely revolutionized the experience at TOPPER’S by restructuring the menu to include unique combinations with an emphasis on seafood. Afterward Daniels moved back to Boston to become the executive chef of the OAK Long Bar + Kitchen at Fairmont Copley Plaza and ARAGOSTA at The Fairmont Battery Wharf where he managed a $7 million food & beverage operation and executed each restaurant’s business model. 

 

Matt Drummond
Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

Matt Drummond

Executive Chef

Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar
Boston, MA

Growing up in Williamstown, Massachusetts, chef Matt Drummond fell in love with the culinary arts at an early age. Throughout middle and high school, he immersed himself in the kitchen culture at restaurants ranging from a Greek-Italian pizzeria to a French-style B&B and a classic American bistro. From the ages of 13 to 17, he worked his way from dishwasher to food prep to busser to line cook and finally Junior Sous Chef before taking his passion for cooking to the hallowed kitchens of Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island.

Not content with simply hitting the books, Drummond started working in catering and restaurant service at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center in Providence. From high-volume to fine dining, Drummond also spent two summers in Williamstown as the first American-born chef allowed in the kitchen of German Master Chef Swen Boehm at Yasmin’s Restaurant in The Orchards Hotel. Upon graduating with degrees in Culinary Arts and Food Service Management, Drummond decided to follow his childhood dream of living in Boston. He moved to the city in 2008 to become the Sous Chef and eventually Chef de Cuisine at The Colonnade Hotel.

In the summer of 2013, Drummond joined the talented team at the Grafton Group as Executive Chef of Temple Bar, where he gave the menu at the beloved Porter Square institution his own classic-New-England-meets-contemporary-Europe twist. In the spring of 2015 Drummond headed to Southie to head up the kitchen at Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar.

 

Mary Dumont
Cultivar

Mary Dumont

Chef/Owner

Cultivar
Boston, MA

Mary has worked under the tutelage of culinary talents including Traci Des Jardins (Jardiniere), Laurent Manrique (Campton Place), and Daniel Patterson (Elizabeth Daniel) in San Francisco, and Paul Kahn (Blackbird) in Chicago. In 2005, Mary returned to her native New Hampshire to open The Dunaway in Portsmouth where she was honored by Food & Wine magazine as a “Best New Chef” in 2006 – the first chef from New Hampshire to ever win this distinction. Dumont is the chef/owner of the forthcoming restaurant Cultivar, set to open in 2016.

 

Tiffani Faison
Sweet Cheeks

Tiffani Faison

Chef and Owner

Sweet Cheeks
Boston, MA

Chef Tiffani Faison began as a line cook for celebrity chef Todd English. She soon was given the opportunity to travel and cook side-by-side with Chef Todd English, and was then hand-selected by Chef Daniel Boulud to open his first West Coast venture, the Wynn Hotel.

In 2006 Tiffani was cast on the first season of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and placed as the runner-up. After the frenzy of “Top Chef”, Tiffani went to work for Gabriel Frasca and Amanda Lydon on Nantucket to get back to the roots of cooking. She was then tapped by former mentor Todd English to become the Executive Chef of a 400-room boutique hotel and restaurant in post-Katrina New Orleans.  Following New Orleans, Tiffani was asked to work privately for two known actors, earning her praise and recognition from Hollywood’s A-List. 

In 2010 Tiffani became Executive Chef at Rocca Kitchen & Bar in Boston, and then in fall 2011, she opened the much-anticipated Sweet Cheeks, a Southern-Style Barbecue restaurant in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood.  The restaurant is the first restaurant that Tiffani has had full creative vision for and draws inspiration from her love of barbecue and extensive travels in the South. 

Brad Farmerie
Saxon + Parole

Brad Farmerie

Executive Chef

Saxon + Parole
New York, NY

Brad Farmerie grew up in Pittsburgh in a food-loving family. His mother, an avid home cook, exposed him to a variety of cuisines, a staple being Middle Eastern cooking, and insisted on home baked bread and vegetables straight from the family garden.  

Farmerie found himself in London, during England’s food revolution, studying among a respected group of chef-instructors at one of the most highly-regarded culinary schools in the world. Outside the classroom, the opportunities for further learning were unique: London presented the chance to work in Michelin-starred restaurants; plus its proximity to Europe, the Middle East, and Northern Africa, made it relatively easy to sample some of the world’s most interesting cuisines. 

He further rounded out his education and technique at acclaimed restaurants including Coast, Chez Nico and Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. Most influential to his own style was his experience working with famed New Zealand chef Peter Gordon at the Sugar Club in 1996, and he went on to assist Gordon and Anna Hansen in opening the criticallyacclaimed The Providores and Tapa Room in 2001.   

In 2003, Farmerie moved back to the States to head up the kitchen of the first AvroKO-designed, owned and operated restaurant, PUBLIC, where his culinary magpie method takes cues from broad source material, looking to Asia, the Antipodes, and Europe for inspiration.  The New York Times described this global approach as one that "swings for the fences with each and every dish,” and Michelin has awarded the restaurant a coveted star every year since 2009. In 2008, AvroKO Hospitality Group opened a gin den, Madam Geneva, which quickly became one of New York City’s most compelling drinking destinations.   

In Fall of 2011, Farmerie focused his lens on traditional American grill fare to open Saxon + Parole, showcasing domestic meat and seafood, as well as seasonal and sustainable produce, marked with Farmerie’s signature global twist in flavors and cooking methods. Just short of two years later, Saxon + Parole was awarded “Best Restaurant Bar in the World” at the Tales of the Cocktail. In March of 2012 they continued their growth with The Daily, a bar in the space adjacent to PUBLIC that offers a rotating menu of small plates and cocktails which changes daily.   

 

Neil Ferguson
American Seasons

Neil Ferguson

Chef/Owner

American Seasons
Nantucket, MA

Originally from southern England, Neil spent  14 years cooking at many of the top restaurants in London. This was followed with two years in France at 3 Michelin starred restaurants in Burgundy and in Paris.

Next Ferguson was appointed Executive Chef of Gordon Ramsay at the London Hotel and moved to New York in 2006 to oversee the opening there. This was followed by his roles at Allen and Delancey where he earned a Michelin star, was awarded Best New Restaurant by Time Out New York and named Rising Star Chef 2008 by Starchefs.com.

Terence Feury
Forty 1° North

Terence Feury

Executive Chef

Forty 1° North
Newport, RI
Gabriel Frasca
Straight Wharf Restaurant & Ventuno

Gabriel Frasca

Chef/Owner

Straight Wharf Restaurant & Ventuno
Nantucket, MA

Gabriel Frasca, a veteran of haunts such as Hamersley's Bistro, Danube, Radius and Spire, and Lydon, formerly of Truc, Upstairs on the Square, and Ten Tables, has taken over Nantucket's own Straight Wharf Restaurant. The menu at Straight Wharf focuses on seasonal, sustainable ingredients, with an emphasis on New England seafood, island-grown produce and herbs from the restaurant's own waterfront garden.

Michael Getter
Dune

Michael Getter

Chef/Owner

Dune
Nantucket, MA

Michael Getter is chef/owner of Dune. At the age of 24 he became executive chef of the acclaimed 21 Federal on Nantucket. He then moved into the chef/owner position of Nantucket's famed American Seasons Restaurant. His work has been published in Bon Appetite, Gourmet Magazine, New York Times, and the Boston Globe.

Will Gilson
Puritan & Co.

Will Gilson

Chef/Owner

Puritan & Co.
Cambridge, MA

Will Gilson’s farm-to-table cooking is rooted in his work at The Herb Lyceum at Gilson’s, the restaurant on his family’s farm in Groton, MA. Gilson was 17 when he began cooking there, and the experience served as inspiration for his current restaurant, Puritan & Company–a refined yet rustic neighborhood eatery in Cambridge’s Inman Square featuring farmers’ market fare. Gilson began making a name for himself in the Boston area in 2007, when he opened the Garden at the Cellar in Cambridge. He left in 2011 to launch a series of successful restaurant ventures, including Eat at Adrian’s, Cape Cod.

Brandt Gould
ATLAS

Brandt Gould

Co-Owner & Chef

ATLAS
Nantucket, MA

Brandt Gould, co-owner and chef, brings more than twenty-five years of restaurant experience in both culinary and management roles to ATLAS. Brandt was the founder, designer and operator of Cambridge Street Victuals, an urban-themed bar and grill on Nantucket. Over the years he has had the benefit of knowing and working with celebrated chefs from Boston, New York and California. An artist at heart, Brandt's experience outside of restaurants has been as a sculptor and painter. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst School of Fine Arts.

E.J. Harvey
SeaGrille

E.J. Harvey

Chef/Owner

SeaGrille
Nantucket, MA

E.J. Harvey has been a chef on Nantucket for over 25 years. He is an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America (class of '75) and has had continental and traditional training. In 1992, E.J. and his wife Robin opened the SeaGrille. Over the past 15 years, the SeaGrille has earned a reputation as one of the island's finest restaurants, consistently offering outstanding cuisine and warm hospitality.

Neil Hudson
Bartlett's Farm

Neil Hudson

Executive Chef

Bartlett's Farm
Nantucket, MA

Executive Chef at Bartlett’s Farm, Neil Patrick Hudson has excelled as a local farm to table chef, nurturing a chef’s need for fresh and local ingredients and applying his techniques to the organic culinary direction of Bartlett’s farm.

Chef Hudson has made his mark on the Nantucket culinary world over the past decade, earning top accolades from the Zagat Survey, Nantucket Today, In Style Magazine, N Magazine, and Cape Cod Life.

Carolyn Johnson
80 Thoreau

Carolyn Johnson

Chef

80 Thoreau
Concord, MA

After growing up in Northern California, Carolyn headed east to attend Wellesley College where she graduated with a degree in Economics and Studio Art.  From there it was a leap into her true passion of food, cooking and restaurants.She has cooked at many top restaurants in the Boston area.  Carolyn rocked the wood grills cooking Stan Frankenthaler’s Asian-inspired cuisine at Salamander in Cambridge.  She then spent time in the kitchen at Icarus, Chris Douglass’ New American restaurant in the South End.  There was even a stint as sauté cook at the famed Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine known for its on premise herb and vegetable garden.

Before opening 80 Thoreau in the spring of 2011 Carolyn held the position of Chef-de-Cuisine at Rialto Restaurant in Harvard Square.  Carolyn worked her way up through the ranks at Rialto over the course of a seven year tenure under Jody Adams.  Working closely with Chef Adams on the 2007 re-concepting of the restaurant was a highlight of her time there, and gave Carolyn a deeper appreciation and understanding of regional Italian cuisine.

 

Robin King
Restaurant Oro and Tesoro Latin Kitchen

Robin King

Chef and Owner

Restaurant Oro and Tesoro Latin Kitchen
Scituate, MA

Robin earned his degree in Culinary Arts at Southern New Hampshire University. After earning his degree he moved to Colorado and began working at Copper Mountain Resort.  After working at Pesce Fresco for about 2 ski seasons he moved on to Café Alpine in Breckenridge. After a few more years in ski country Robin decided it was time to head back East. He had the opportunity to work with Jamie Mammano of Mistral for 3 years. Mistral is a blend of both French and Mediterranean cuisine.  Chef Mammano is one of the most acclaimed Chefs in Boston. It was at Mistral where Robin learned the true art of French Cooking.

Afterward, Robin spent over five years at Stella as Executive Chef working under Chef/Owner Evan Deluty. Robin worked closely with Deluty until he felt he was ready to take on a project of his own. It was September of 2009 when Robin signed a lease for Restaurant Oro in Scituate, Massachusetts. Oro is a 65 seat restaurant located in the Scituate Harbor. Chef Robin serves Seasonal New England Cuisine 6 nights a week. He sources the majority of his product from all local vendors. His concept is to serve whatever is in season and available locally. 

In the early spring of 2013 Robin and Jill began their hunt for their next project. Oro had been open three successful years and they were itching for a new challenge. After a busy night at Oro they walked over to the Inn at Scituate Harbor. The cozy space located just down the street from Oro was a hidden gem in the harbor. The space was full of potential! The King’s reached out to the owners of the Inn about simply taking over the kitchen and ended up taking over the whole space. In February of 2014 Tesoro Latin Kitchen opened its doors. Tesoro may be just a short walk down the street from Oro but it has its own identity. The patio offers a perfect view of Scituate harbor and the dining room is casual and comfortable with a working fireplace and cozy couches. Tesoro features authentic Latin cuisine and craft tequila based cocktails Wednesday through Sunday evenings.

 

Tyler Kinnett
Harvest

Tyler Kinnett

Executive Chef

Harvest
Cambridge, MA

Tyler Kinnett currently helms the kitchen at Harvest Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts as Executive Chef.  At 19, he moved to Vermont, working part-time at various restaurants while attending the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier.

Upon graduating from culinary school in 2009, Kinnett began his career in Boston under the tutelage of Gordon Hamersley, where he served as garde manger intern at the city’s famed Hamersley’s Bistro. Following that, he worked at Fenway Park for the 2010 season as a cook in the EMC Club. Next, under Chef Geoff Gardner at Sel de la Terre, Kinnett learned to never stop pursuing greatness through high standards and hard work, as well as the skillset of running a kitchen and restaurant. In spring 2012, he returned to Fenway Park to help run the catering department for the season, where he was able to work with a number of talented Boston chefs.

Kinnett joined the team at Harvest in 2012 as a sous chef, where he was able to showcase his producedriven cooking and fresh, regional ingredients to develop vibrant flavors in a seasonally rotating menu, and he quickly moved up the ranks. Throughout his time at Harvest, Kinnett took a short sabbatical to work at Paul Kahan’s Publican (Chicago) and also spent time in the kitchen of Thomas Keller’s Michelinstarred Per Se (New York City). In May 2015, Kinnett was appointed to the position of Executive Chef at Harvest, taking the reins of the New England culinary institution as it prepares to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

 

All Kovalencik
The Company of the Cauldron

All Kovalencik

Chef/Owner

The Company of the Cauldron
Nantucket, MA

Many who dine at Chef All Kovalencik’s restaurant, The Company of the Cauldron, contend Chef All and his team have perfected the recipe for classic, elegant fare and maintaining a high standard of food, service, and quality. The restaurant has always been committed to local purveyors, ensuring the freshest ingredients, and often herbs and foods are grown or gathered by hand before being transformed to plate.

As chef-owner of The Company of the Cauldron, guided with the help of his wife, the pair have been able to create one of the not-to-be-missed experiences of refined dining on Nantucket.

Geoff Lazlo
Mill Street Bar & Table

Geoff Lazlo

Managing Partner & Executive Chef

Mill Street Bar & Table
Greenwich, CT

Geoff’s approach as a chef is heavily influenced by his close relationships with farmers and community-minded spirit. A third generation backyard farmer, Geoff began cultivating a garden in his own sandbox as a child, then as a student at the Culinary Institute of America - establishing its first organic garden - and currently at Mill Street, as Chef caring for his multiple plots of herbs and vegetables in the nearby Greenwich Community Gardens.

Moving back to Connecticut allowed Geoff to pursue the second half of his culinary career – building his own community and establishing his own restaurant. As Executive Chef of LeFarm and The Whelk in Westport, he began laying the groundwork to open his own restaurant in Connecticut. Geoff met Bill King, owner of Back 40 Farm Group at the perfect time; Bill was searching for a great chef and Geoff was looking for a partner. Their shared values of seasonality and community quickly led to the vision that became Mill Street. 

 

Michael Lombardi
SRV

Michael Lombardi

Chef & Partner

SRV
Boston, MA

SRV Chef/Partner Michael Lombardi is one of Boston’s most talented rising star chefs whose background is compelling enough to play out on the big screen.  Michael was just named one of Zagat’s “30 Under 30” for 2015.  

Michael was born on Long Island and then shortly after moved to CT with his big, Italian family where Sunday suppers still consisted of enormous antipasto plates with meats, cheeses, pickled eggplants and mushrooms followed by pasta and gravy and homemade pizza.   Christmas Eve was a celebration of the Feast of Seven Fishes and his grandparents grew a garden of vegetables to pickle and can. Though food was around him and he took interest in it, there was not a driving force for him to work in a restaurant. Why work in a restaurant when you have the real thing at home? This was just a way life to him; routines and traditions that he enjoyed.  As a result, he went to Boston University for business because his passion was to own his own business one day. While at BU, Michael got a front-of-the-house position in a casual Italian restaurant in Fenway where he found himself spending more time in the kitchen asking questions. This is where he realized how much he enjoyed being around food- it felt comfortable and right, and it reminded him of home.  Once he graduated, he followed his food passion to the Culinary Institute of America where he took his classes very seriously and soaked up everything he could learn about techniques while there.  He pursued an opportunity for an externship in Italy at a restaurant called Zeppelin in Umbria that was owned by Lorenzo Polegri who is known for taking in American culinary students and teaching them the authentic Italian way of cooking as well as how to farm and butcher animals for the restaurant. Lorenzo let all the chefs live in a house by the restaurant on the farm where the chefs would be integrated into every aspect of the restaurant.  They would learn how to break down animals in broken Italian, make sausages, make sauces, pickle vegetables, make olive oil and cure meats.   Zeppelin is where Michael met his SRV Partner, Kevin O’Donnell.  

Upon returning to New York, Michael staged at del Posto and then accepted a position there in 2009 as a Garde Manger.  He worked every station in the kitchen except fish, which is the station where his future wife oversaw. They started dating and are now married.  Michael learned refinement in the del Posto kitchen and he learned how to make humble yet flavorful food balanced with respect and humility and presenting it in a clean and elevated way.  The restaurant was re-reviewed while he was there and it got a coveted 4 stars from the New York Times.  Michael and his SRV partner, Kevin, were contact by a Parisian who said he was opening a bistro in Paris in three weeks and asked them to be the opening chefs.   Both Americans, who didn’t know a lick French and had never been to the country before, went on their next journey together to open a new restaurant  with only three weeks to prepare, in the Gastronomy capitol of the world.  The bistro, called L’Office, was a huge success and these young American chefs were able to win the hearts and the stomachs of the Parisians who frequented their restaurant.  It became so popular that they had to stop answering the phone because they couldn’t take anymore reservations.  The staff they hired all had to speak a little English so that they could communicate with the kitchen. The bistro got 3 out of 4 stars in the daily papers in Paris and Bon Appetit, Vogue and Elle all raved about it. The duo had to leave Paris and come back to America due to work permits and Kevin went to RI while Michael went to work at Gwynnet Street in Brooklyn which was named one of Esquire Magazine’s “Best New Restaurants”.   

Michael joined Kevin at the Salty Pig in Boston in 2013 to be part of the team. The duo worked with the Salty Pig owners to find a new location for their Venetian restaurant concept, SRV. The restaurant, slated to open in November 2015, is short for the Serene Republic of Venice and will feature a wine bar with standing room for guests to enjoy cicchetti and a dining room where guests can order perfect composed dishes such as risotto made to order,  hand milled pastas, and polenta with braised meats.  Michael lives in Boston with his wife whom is also a chef in the area.

 

Liam Mackey
The Nautilus

Liam Mackey

Chef/Owner

The Nautilus
Nantucket, MA

Chef/Owner Liam Mackey opened The Nautilus with Stephen Bowler and Clinton Terry in May of 2014 to much island fanfare. The menu is focused around unique and vibrant small plate offerings as well as large multi-person “feast” selections. It is very much a New England restaurant with a coastal/seafood base, paired with inspiration rooted in Asian flavors and ingredients of the haute street food variety. His innovative menu reflects his skills and style in the sleek new restaurant with an extensive wine and cocktail program. Boston Magazine named it "Best Bar on Nantucket"  Liam has earned rave reviews both on and off the island and will continue to do so with The Nautilus being one of the island's year-round restaurants. 

Liam has over ten years of experience on Nantucket, having previously worked at The Pearl, Boarding House and Corazon del Mar including five years as Chef de Cuisine at the Pearl from 2009 to 2014. He also  worked in Boston under Chef Ken Oringer at three of his establishments before making Nantucket his official home. 

Linkie Marais

Linkie Marais

Lifestyle Expert and Chef

Boston, MA

Beauty queen, award-winning baker and grill master are all extensions to her title, making Linkie Marais more than your average chef. With a love for exploring, cooking and the outdoors, her ‘will to grill’ stems all the way back to her unique blend of South African and Southern roots. Born in Evander, a town in northeastern South Africa, Linkie was raised in the kitchen, helping her mother prepare meals on a daily basis. With a lack of abundant fresh ingredients, she inherited her mother’s creativity, utilizing whatever they had available to create fresh and original meals. Immigrating to the U.S. in 1999, Linkie and her family settled in Tupelo, Mississippi where she began her culinary career piping cakes for a local catering company.

Upon obtaining a degree in Culinary Arts and a minor in Food Arts from Mississippi University for Women, Linkie's career took off as she held various pastry and executive chef positions in Oxford, Mississippi before making the move to Massachusetts’ acclaimed Montilio’s Bakery. After discovering her love for grilling during a Big Green Egg® competition, Linkie’s passion for grilling began to take her career in a new and exciting direction. It’s clear that her meat-filled and resourceful South African culinary upbringing has had a tremendous impact on her cooking flair, as Linkie is considered the best among the few females who have mastered the art of grilling. 

Tony Maws
Craigie on Main & The Kirkland Tap and Trotter

Tony Maws

Chef and Proprietor

Craigie on Main & The Kirkland Tap and Trotter
Cambridge and Somerville, MA

Since opening his first restaurant, Craigie Street Bistrot, in 2002, Chef Tony Maws has risen to international acclaim for his innovative and creative work in the kitchen, dedication to showcasing locally grown produce and locally caught seafood on the menu, as well as the high expectations he sets for himself and his staff. Maws continually earns recognition as one of the country’s best chefs, including a James Beard Award for Best Chef Northeast 2011; “Boston’s Best Chef” 2010, 2008, 2006, and 2003 by Boston magazine; and Food & Wine magazine’s 2005 “Best New Chefs.” Today he operates two of greater Boston’s culinary gems: Craigie on Main in Cambridge and The Kirkland Tap & Trotter in Somerville.

Craigie on Main, which he opened when he outgrew Craigie Street Bistrot in 2008, gives Maws the opportunity to create a menu that epitomizes these passions. Working on the line, writing a menu that changes daily, directing the wine program, and still making time for afternoon visits from his wife, Karolyn, and his son, Charlie, Maws ensures Craigie on Main is a family-run business at which guests feel welcome, as if they were at the chef’s own home. He opened The Kirkland Tap & Trotter in fall 2013 to further this idea, offering a heartier, more casual menu in a neighborhood pub setting.

 

Brian Mercury
Harvest

Brian Mercury

Executive Pastry Chef

Harvest
Cambridge, MA

A native of Rochester, New York and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Brian Mercury, moved to Boston in 2004 to work at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge. There, Mercury trained under Executive Chef Peter Davis and Executive Pastry Chef Dan Angelopolus, who he credits with helping him learn the art of creating contemporary, refined desserts with the freshest, local ingredients available.

Since 2011, Mercury has served as the Executive Pastry Chef of Himmel Hospitality Group’s iconic Harvest restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a resident of Somerville, Massachusetts, Mercury has always been familiar with Harvest’s contemporary New England cuisine and feels it aligns perfectly with his culinary philosophy. In 2013, Mercury was named “The People’s Best New Pastry Chef – East” by Food & Wine and received a “Best Dessert” award for his confections by Improper Bostonian. In 2014, he was named “Best Pastry Chef” by Boston Magazine. 

Tony Nastus
Le Languedoc Bistro

Tony Nastus

Executive Chef

Le Languedoc Bistro
Nantucket, MA

In November of 1997 Anthony took a position at the Park Avenue Cafe in Manhattan, New York, and quickly made Sous Chef. During that time, Anthony worked with Executive Chef David Burke and Chef de Cuisine Neil Murphy.

In April of 2003, Anthony made his way to the island of Nantucket and since then has worked in the kitchens of Oran Mor, The Westmoor Club, and now as the Executive Chef at Le Languedoc Bistro.

Scott Osif
Galley Beach

Scott Osif

Executive Chef

Galley Beach
Nantucket, MA

Raised in Central Pennsylvania, Scott began his culinary career in 1996 in the nearby Hummingbird Room at the impressionable age of nineteen.  Here, Scott fostered a passion for fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients, by utilizing the restaurant’s own organic garden as well as other regional products. Moving to Philadelphia’s Le Bec Fin, allowed Scott to further his culinary pursuits and broaden his fine dinning horizons. After, deciding to test the hypothesis “if you can make it here you can make it anywhere,” Scott moved to New York City to take his first Sous Chef position at The Cub Room, and by the age of twenty five Scott was running the busy kitchen as a newly minted Executive Chef. This was also the time he chose to embark on his first culinary exploration of Europe, upon his return Chef Osif took a Sous Chef position at Galley Beach on Nantucket Island.

In 2005, Scott’s hard work and passion for fresh, local and sustainable provisions culminated in Chef W. Scott Osif being named the Executive Chef at Galley Beach from 2005-2012, Chef Osif was hands on as Executive Chef through the multi-million dollar renovation at Galley Beach. In 2013, Chef Osif explored culinary opportunities off island , and opened as Executive Chef , Fairstead Kithcen in Brookline, Ma, where the Boston Globe gave him 3 out of 4 stars. In 2014 Chef Osif  helped consult with industry friends at Glasserie, Café Cluny both in New York City. Chef Osif rejoins Galley Beach refreshed and inspired bringing back Galley Beach classics while instituting the Osif flair for independent dishes and well tested flavors.

Kevin O’Donnell
SRV

Kevin O’Donnell

Co-Executive Chef and Partner

SRV
Boston, MA

SRV Co-Executive Chef/Partner Kevin O’Donnell is one of Boston’s most talented rising star chefs whose background is compelling enough to play out on the big screen.   Kevin grew up in North Kingston, RI near Newport into a half Irish, half Italian household. His grandparents also had a garden and he was always the last one at the table savoring every flavor that was put in front of him. When his mom went back to school, he learned how to cook and be creative in the kitchen and his siblings and dad loved everything he made for them. The more creative he got, the more they praised him.  He worked in a quick service Italian restaurant when he was 16 and found himself in the kitchen learning how to make pizzas. He loved working in restaurants and while there, the chef who owned the pizzeria encouraged him to go to Johnson & Wales. He went to Johnson & Wales and while there, staged at a restaurant called Zeppelin in Umbria that was owned by Lorenzo Polegri who is known for taking in American culinary students and teaching them the authentic Italian way of cooking as well as how to farm and butcher animals for the restaurant. Lorenzo let all the chefs live in a house by the restaurant on the farm where the chefs would be integrated into every aspect of the restaurant.  They would learn how to break down animals in broken Italian, make sausages, make sauces, pickle vegetables, make olive oil and cure meats.   After his externship ended, he came back to RI where he became Chef de Cuisine at Trattoria del Corso and learned how to make homemade pasta and embraced the simplicity of Italian cooking.  While there, the owner of Zeppelin called and asked him to come back and be a sous chef for him which he gladly accepted.  The timing worked for him to finally cross paths with a talented CIA extern named Michael Lombardi who is now his business partner and Co-Executive Chef at SRV. They hit it off right away and their similarities and passion for cooking helped spark a friendship and mutual respect for one another.  

A Sicilian chef named Carlo took the time to teach Kevin and Michael the traditional, formal methods of cooking Italian food and would not let them deviate from them.  Kevin stayed there for two years and Michael was there for six months. Kevin then left Italy to return to the states where he worked at Castle Hill Inn in Newport upon returning to the states but always kept in touch with Michael. When del Posto was short-handed, Kevin went to stage there and the tables were turned as Michael was now Kevin’s boss. Kevin was hired on to work the pasta station and he slept on Michael’s floor in his NYC apartment until the two got a place together.  The restaurant was re-reviewed while they were there and it got a coveted 4 stars from the New York Times.  After leaving Del Posto, Kevin was contact by a Parisian whom he met at the Beard House who said he was opening a bistro in Paris in three weeks and asked him to be the Executive Chef.  Kevin said yes with the stipulation that Michael comes with him. The bistro, called L’Office, was a huge success and these young American chefs were able to win the hearts and the stomachs of the Parisians who frequented their restaurant.  It became so popular that they had to stop answering the phone because they couldn’t take anymore reservations.  The staff they hired all had to speak a little English so that they could communicate with the kitchen. The duo wowed the French guests with some beautiful alliterations of French and Italian cuisine mixed in with some very basic American foods. They got 3 out of 4 stars in the daily papers in Paris and Bon Appetit, Vogue and Elle all named L’Office “Best Bistro in Paris”. The duo had to leave Paris and come back to America due to work permits.   Kevin then met with the CODA Group owners Michael Moxley and Jim Cochener in late 2012 and told him that he would like to work with them, but his goal is to open a restaurant in Boston with his buddy, Michael Lombardi.  They hired Kevin to run the Salty Pig and then Michael joined him in 2013 to be part of the team. Kevin’s brother, Brian O’Donnell, runs the charcuterie program while Kevin and Michael run the kitchen. The duo have been working with Michael and Jim to find the perfect space to open their dream restaurant which is called SRV and is a tip to Venetian small plates called cicchetti, homemade pasta, Italian Seafood and a serious wine program.  The restaurant, slated to open in November 2015, is short for the Serene Republic of Venice and will feature a wine bar with standing room for guests to enjoy cicchetti and a dining room where guests can order perfect composed dishes such as risotto made to order,  hand milled pastas, and polenta with braised meats.  Kevin was recently married and he and his wife live in Boston. 

 

Thomas Pearson
Brant Point Grill

Thomas Pearson

Executive Chef

Brant Point Grill
Nantucket, MA

Chef Thomas William Pearson is Executive Chef at the Brant Point Grill, located within the iconic White Elephant hotel on Nantucket, Massachusetts.

With more than 10 years of culinary experience, Pearson has also held chef positions at The Fearrington House Restaurant, a Relais & Châteux property in North Carolina, as well as the Pipe and Glass Inn and The Star Inn, both Michelin-starred restaurants in the UK.

Pearson relocated to Nantucket from the UK after falling in love with the island’s natural beauty – the vast open spaces, hidden forests, salt marshes, barrier beaches and dirt trails.

Ryan Pike
The Langham, Boston

Ryan Pike

Executive Pastry Chef

The Langham, Boston
Boston, MA

After working at The Langham, Boston for five years, Ryan Pike was named executive pastry chef in September 2013. As executive pastry chef, Ryan oversees the pastry program at the luxury downtown hotel, including the acclaimed Chocolate Bar. He is also responsible for the dessert menus at BOND restaurant | lounge, The Reserve, in room dining and all hotel function spaces. Chef Ryan began working in kitchens as a line cook at the age of 14. While attending South Eastern Regional Vocational Technology School, he developed a fondness for cooking and art. After graduating, he attended Newbury College, where he combined his two passions, focusing on baking and pastry.

While in college, Chef Ryan began part-time work at Whites Bakery in Brockton, Massachusetts and upon graduation in 2003 he accepted a position as full-time production baker. Honing his skills for four years, Chef Ryan accepted a position as assistant pastry chef at Boston’s popular Top of the Hub restaurant, where he worked under pastry chef Tommy Choi.

Looking to advance his career, Chef Ryan set his sights on the hotel industry and when a position as a cook’s assistant at The Langham, Boston opened, he jumped at the opportunity. In 2011, after gaining close to three years of experience at the hotel Chef Ryan was named assistant pastry chef.

 

Keith Pooler
Bergamot

Keith Pooler

Chef and Owner

Bergamot
Somerville, MA

Chef Keith Pooler believes that hard work and dedication pays off.  As a result of more than 20 years of his hard work and dedication to the culinary field, Chef Pooler was able to fulfill his lifelong dream of opening his own restaurants- the award-winning Bergamot in Somerville and BISq in Cambridge. 

In 2002, Pooler returned to Boston, taking on the role of Executive Sous Chef at Harvest, in Cambridge. When planning for their next endeavor, Excelsior, Managing General Partner Ken Himmel called upon Pooler to work alongside Lydia Shire in the kitchen of Boston's most anticipated restaurants. He then returned to the kitchen at Harvest where he was the Executive Chef from 2004-2007. In 2007, with plans to open his own place percolating, Pooler left Harvest, taking a position at Lydia Shire's venture in the newly opened Liberty Hotel, Scampo.

In 2010, Pooler opened Bergamot in Somerville, where he serves an ingredient-driven, progressive American menu in a warm neighborhood setting. Bergamot has won a number of awards and accolades through the years. In late 2014, Chef Pooler is opened his second restaurant, BISq, in Cambridge. BISq is short for “Bergamot Inman Square” and will feature shared plates, an innovative chacuterie program and a compelling beer and wine menu. Chef Pooler lives in Somerville with two cats named Lulu and Maximus and spends his time outside of the kitchen playing squash, biking and snorkeling.  

Seth & Angela Raynor
The Boarding House & The Pearl

Seth & Angela Raynor

Executive Chef/Owner

The Boarding House & The Pearl
Nantucket, MA

The Boarding House, & The Pearl proprietors Angela Raynor and her husband, executive-chef Seth Carter Raynor, have cultivated an impressive national following and collection of awards including New England Travel & Life Best Seafood Restaurant in New England, Conde Nast Traveler Best of the World Awards, Boston Magazine Best Restaurant General Excellence, and the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence over 15 times. This Nantucket couple and their team showcase the harvest from local farms and fishermen paired with craft beers, small production wines and unique cocktails.

Lou Rossi
Castle Hill Inn

Lou Rossi

Executive Chef

Castle Hill Inn
Newport, RI

Growing up in a predominately Italian household, Executive Chef Lou Rossi learned at an early age to appreciate food as a centerpiece of daily life. Lou began his culinary career at eight years old ¬ standing on milk crates, peeling carrots and onions at his parent's restaurant. Coming from two generations of restaurateurs, Lou had no doubts about his future when he applied to the New England Culinary Institute.

During his schooling, Lou worked as a culinary intern at Castle Hill. After graduating with his degree in Culinary Arts, Lou moved to Manhattan to work at Thomas Keller's 3 Michelin Star restaurant, Per Se. Although it was an incredible and humbling experience, Lou missed his time in Newport and he eventually returned to Castle Hill in 2009 to work with Chef Hart where he plays an integral part of the property's culinary ethos, and can usually be found in Castle Hill's own gardens, gathering items for that evening's meal.

Bruce Sacino
The Westmoor Club

Bruce Sacino

Executive Chef

The Westmoor Club
Nantucket, MA

Executive Chef Bruce Sacino is the most recent addition to the management team at The Westmoor Club, and comes to Nantucket after several years as the director of culinary operations at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. Previously, Chef Sacino served the administrations of three governors as the executive chef and food and beverage manager of the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion in Columbia, S.C. He is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University; a one-time ACF Chapter “Chef of the Year”; and a Hospitality Assoc. of South Carolina’s “Chef of the Year.” Chef Bruce comes to Nantucket with his wife, Joanne, and he looks forward to an exciting season ahead.

Mark Sapienza
The Langham, Boston

Mark Sapienza

Executive Chef

The Langham, Boston
Boston, MA

Executive Chef Mark Sapienza has been with The Langham, Boston since 1998.  When Mark was hired, the appointment of the Massachusetts native marked the first time in the hotel's history that an American chef was selected to guide The Langham, Boston’s award-winning culinary endeavors. Chef Mark oversees Café Fleuri, BOND restaurant|lounge, The Reserve lobby lounge, Saturday Chocolate Bar, Sunday City Brunch, banquets, and in-room dining. With a passion for using the freshest, highest-quality ingredients, Chef Mark’s dishes marry seasonal New England ingredients and modern cooking techniques.

Chef Mark began his culinary career while attending Johnson and Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island, where he worked as a chef at a small Italian trattoria, applying practical experience to his education.  He graduated with honors in 1984 with an Associates degree in Culinary Arts and a Bachelors degree in Food Service Management.

As Executive Chef of The Langham, Boston, Chef Sapienza hones his skills and wealth of knowledge directing three dining venues and numerous banquet events. His culinary creations, primarily made with in-season New England ingredients, span a number of cuisines such as New American, Italian and French. In BOND Restaurant | Lounge Chef Sapienza’s menu pairs with a chic, metropolitan atmosphere while the menu in the recently opened Reserve features fare that pairs with champagne, wine and good conversation. Café Fleuri features The Langham’s famous Saturday Chocolate Bar and Sunday City Brunch. 

Adam Sappington
The Country Cat

Adam Sappington

Chef and Owner

The Country Cat
Portland, Oregon

Three-time Beard nominee Adam Sappington moved to Portland to attend the Western Culinary Institute and soon landed at Wildwood Restaurant, where he worked his way up from pantry cook to Executive Chef over the course of 11 years. A self-taught expert in whole animal butchery, Adam is now lauded as one of the pre-eminent butchering chefs in America. He works hard to preserve his beloved craft by teaching classes on sustainable cooking and whole animal butchery at the Portland Meat Collective, Culinary Institute of America and the French Culinary Institute. He opened The Country Cat with his wife Jackie in 2007.

Michael Scelfo
Alden & Harlow

Michael Scelfo

Chef/Owner

Alden & Harlow
Cambridge, MA

Chef Michael Scelfo has been drawn to the kitchen for as long as he can remember. In 2009, Scelfo took the helm at Temple Bar in Cambridge, where his savvy use of whimsical, seasonal ingredients landed him critical praise. He then served as the first executive chef of Russell House Tavern, a restaurant that was named the 2012 Best Restaurant – Harvard Square by Boston Magazine and The Improper Bostonian. At Alden & Harlow, the Harvard Square restaurant he owns, Scelfo pays homage to his roots by making each ingredient shine, and ultimately, cooking from his heart.

Josh Schoen
Breeze Bar & Café

Josh Schoen

Executive Chef

Breeze Bar & Café
Nantucket, MA

Chef Josh has been cooking professionally for 6 years. After attending The University of Colorado for Business Administration, started working for Chef Henri Chaperont at Le Petite Maison in Colorado Springs, where he instantly fell in love with the commercial kitchen and the idea of lovingly prepared and meticulously plated fine dining cuisine. This prompted Josh to attend culinary school at Pikes Peak Culinary College in order to hone the skills he had learned working in a classical French kitchen.

After Culinary School, Josh moved to the Blue Star Restaurant under Chefs Andrew Sherril and William Merwin and Pastry Chef Alicia Prescott. Here, his love for fine cuisine and attentiveness to minutiae blossomed, as well as his passion for sourcing food from local purveyors during their peak harvest season. This passion prompted Josh towards employment at The Winnetu Hotel and Resort on Martha’s Vineyard, as Sous Chef under Chef Matthew Passalacqua until he made the leap to Executive Chef of The Nantucket Hotel.

 

Justin Shoults
Brine & Oak + Rowan

Justin Shoults

Executive Chef

Brine & Oak + Rowan
Newburyport, MA & Boston, MA

When Chef Justin Shoults made the decision to depart Nantucket’s famous Oran Mor Bistro for Newburyport, the restaurant for which he was being hired did not exist. His instincts were to trade the sure bet of a popular coastal restaurant at which he was well-established, for the adventure of being in on the ground floor for Caswell Restaurant Group’s highly anticipated follow-up restaurant, BRINE. Happily for all concerned, he has never looked back.

As BRINE’s Executive Chef, the affable and innovative Chef Shoults challenges his kitchen team by example to best themselves daily with creatively presented fish delicacies, sophisticated chowders, sumptuous dessert finales and hearty meats crowned with beautiful local harvests and brined components. His goal: to make you hungry at first glance. His colorful Instagram posts chronicle his immaculate attention to presentation and well-considered flavor pairings: a Pork Loin and Braised Shank Duo with Celeriac, Cabbage and Apple should be a New England calling card. 

At Oak + Rowan, Chef Justin will bring the heart and soul of Caswell Restaurant Group to Boston diners through small plates and heartier options that showcase land and sea in a new light—composed seafood and heartier large options like prime steak, and array of crudos, and an elevated domestic and international caviar program served by sample or by the ounce in classic and untraditional sets

Robert Sisca
Garde de la Mer – G Hospitality

Robert Sisca

Corporate Executive Chef

Garde de la Mer – G Hospitality
Providence, RI

Corporate Executive Chef Robert Sisca is one of New England’s true culinary talents. Sisca’s Rhode Island roots run deep as he is not only a resident of the Ocean State; he also graduated from Johnson & Wales University and previously worked at the acclaimed Gracie’s in Providence. At The ProvidenceG, a new multifaceted experience located in one of the city’s most iconic historic buildings, Chef Sisca creates an inimitable guest experience by elevating culinary operations and entrepreneurial aspects of the unique restaurant venues: Garde de la Mer, GPub and Rooftop at the ProvidenceG.   

Chef Sisca has a profound appreciation and passion for combining ingredient-driven cuisine with the refined and classic techniques that he has honed at some of the country’s most exclusive culinary destinations. Chef Sisca worked at the historic One if by Land, Two if by Sea in New York City prior to becoming Sous Chef at the renowned Le Bernardin. During his tenure, Le Bernardin earned the coveted Michelin Three Star award and four stars from the New York Times. Prior to joining ProvidenceG, Robert was Executive Chef & Partner of MARC’s highly successful Bistro du Midi in Boston where he earned local and national praise for his epicurean excellence. 

Each venue at ProvidenceG utilizes the New England bounty and caters to the seasonal flavors culinary expression that is sought by guests both near and far. Chef Robert Sisca lives in Cranston, Rhode Island with his wife Bree and their two twin sons Hunter and Jameson. Chef Robert is also an avid hunter, carrying on the tradition that he started with his father when he was a young boy. When he is not in the kitchen at ProvidenceG, Chef Robert also enjoys golfing and rooting for his favorite native New York sports teams.  

 

Antonio Vidal
Ranch 616

Antonio Vidal

Chef & Co Owner

Ranch 616
Austin, TX

Antonio Vidal, Chef and Co-Owner of Ranch 616, began cooking at a young age.  In time, Antonio’s love of cooking eclipsed his love of football. At sixteen, Antonio began his career as a cook at Po’ Folks, an American family restaurant chain. Following high school graduation, he worked as a chef in San Antonio, Texas at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk, followed by the Hyatt Regency, Sheraton Posada, and the American Orient Express—a train that went from D.C. to San Francisco. Antonio also did consulting work for the Gage Hotel in West Texas, the 8.0 in Fort Worth, Texas and the Flying Fish group in Dallas, Texas. Antonio eventually moved to Austin, Texas to open Central Market and then moved to Fort Worth, Texas to become executive chef at Michaels, a restaurant specializing incontemporary ranch cuisine. In 1998, Antonio became co-owner with Kevin Williamson and chef at Ranch 616 in Austin, Texas.

Ranch 616 offers innovative cuisine that encompasses flavors from the Gulf of Mexico to the border towns of Texas. Along with prime cuts of Texas beef and chicken, the restaurant serves whole fish and other fresh seafood daily. Antonio’s culinary influences include the chefs he has worked with, such as Chef Julia Child, Chef Susan Spicer, and Chef Paul Prudhomme. He has traveled all over the country to food and wine festivals cooking for and representing organizations such as the National Pork Board and the Texas Department of Agriculture. Antonio has also visited El Salvador and Guatemala representing the U.S. Meat Export Federation on numerous trips and is a Texas Beef Council Chef. When Antonio is not in the kitchen, he enjoys playing sports and cooking for his friends and family. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Brooke Vosika

Brooke Vosika

Consulting Chef

Boston, MA

Brooke Vosika, Former Executive Chef of the Four Seasons Hotel Boston, was the most tenured chef spending a record 32 years with The Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Chef Vosika started his career at their property in Washington D.C. He then went on to Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, and then New York all before Boston.  Vosika oversaw the Boston hotel’s food and beverage outlets including the bustling Bristol Lounge, heralded as “Boston’s living room,” as well as banquet functions and In-Room Dining. Collectively, these outlets were serving well over half a million guests annually. Vosika’s career has brought him around the world and delivered awards from the Improper Bostonian Magazine and Boston Magazine, in addition to the prestigious Bocuse d’Or and James Beard Foundation. He is now a consulting chef in the greater Boston area, and an avid art and wine collector. 

Kevin Williamson
Ranch 616

Kevin Williamson

Chef/Owner

Ranch 616
Austin, TX

In 1998 Kevin Williamson opened Ranch 616, a South Texas-style icehouse reminiscent of his many years hunting and fishing in South Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. It was at these ice houses where Williamson was served his finest meals, inspiring him to create a spot similar for local Austinites. At Ranch 616, Williamson combines the flavors of the Gulf Coast with the spices of the border towns of Texas.

Ranch 616 and Chef Williamson have won numerous awards, from his sugar cure rub to his legendary fried oysters voted Southern Living Magazine’s “Best in the South” for three consecutive years.

Kyle Zachary
TOPPER's

Kyle Zachary

Executive Chef

TOPPER's
Nantucket, MA

Kyle Zachary is the executive chef of TOPPER'S.  

A graduate of the Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College, Zachary honed his skills in restaurants including Alinea in Chicago, Wheatleigh in Lenox, the Winnetu Inn on Martha's Vineyard, and TOPPER’s as sous chef in 2005.  Most recently Kyle was the sous chef at the Intercontinental in Dusseldorf, Germany. Zachary returned to take the reign at TOPPER’S in 2010. 

Zachary’s seasonally inspired cuisine at TOPPER's has recently won critical acclaim from Forbes Travel Guide, Zagat, Travel & Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler and Saveur Magazine.

Erin Zircher
Cru

Erin Zircher

Executive Chef

Cru
Nantucket, MA

Erin Zircher is the executive chef and a partner at Cru, a premier waterfront oyster bar located on the visually stunning setting of Nantucket Harbor.  Erin’s cuisine is simple and innovative, influenced by her classical French training and Mediterranean sensibilities, presenting a fresh interpretation of New England seafood classics.

Eric Asimov
The New York Times

Eric Asimov

Chief Wine Critic

The New York Times
New York, NY

Eric Asimov is the chief wine critic of The New York Times and the author of “How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto.” His weekly column appears in the Dining section of The Times, and he contributes to the Diner’s Journal blog on The Times’s web site.

Before he started writing full-time about wine in 2004, Asimov wrote primarily about restaurants and food. He is a co-author of five editions of "The New York Times Guide to Restaurants", and published four editions of “$25 and Under: A Guide to the Best Inexpensive Restaurants in New York.’’

Remi Cohen
Lede Family Wines

Remi Cohen

Vice President & General Manager

Lede Family Wines
Napa Valley, CA

Remi Cohen is the Vice President and General Manager of Lede Family Wines, encompassing Cliff Lede Vineyards in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley and FEL Wines in the Anderson Valley. In her role, Cohen directs the Cliff Lede Vineyards winemaking process from vineyard to bottle and is responsible for top quality, small-lot winemaking that is expressive of appellation and terroir.

Upon receiving a degree in molecular and cellular biology from U.C. Berkeley, Cohen realized that she preferred plant science and enrolled in the Viticulture and Enology program at U.C. Davis, where she received her Master’s Degree. Cohen subsequently completed her M.B.A. at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.  

Cohen is an advocate of sustainable farming practices and is on the board of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and the Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association. She was former President of the Napa Valley Vineyard Technical Group, and is on the scientific review board of the American Vineyard Foundation. Cohen is also a California licensed Pest Control Adviser and a Court of Master Sommelier Certified Sommelier. Cohen resides in Napa. When she’s not in the vineyard, she enjoys traveling to various wine regions throughout the world, listening to live music, and studying world music and dance. 

Stephen Gerike
National Pork Board

Stephen Gerike

Director of Food Service Marketing

National Pork Board
Des Moines, Iowa

Stephen Gerike, Director of Food Service Marketing at the National Pork Board, oversees pork marketing and promotion activities for targeted foodservice distribution, commercial restaurant chains and non-commercial foodservice accounts. In addition to foodservice public relations efforts and channel advertising, he also manages the Pork Summit and Pork Crawl events hosted each year.

Gerike developed the Pork Culinary Innovation Workshop Program and is responsible for pork quality and culinary education for the American Culinary Federation, the Research Chef's Association, the International Corporate Chefs Association and targeted chain restaurant accounts.

Gerike previously held the position of national food service marketing manager with the National Pork Board and held the same position with the National Pork Producers Council, before joining the National Pork Board in 2001. He previously held the position of senior manager, Sysco Brand Marketing for Sysco Corporation in Houston. He also has sales and marketing experience with Compass Marketing and Sysco Foodservices of Baltimore. In addition he has culinary experience as the executive chef at the historic Mohonk Mountain House, chef de cuisine at the Annapolis Hotel and The Treaty of Paris Restaurant within The Maryland Inn, part of the Historic Inns of Annapolis. He gained his culinary training through a formal apprenticeship in the Philadelphia area.

John Greeley
Gourmet Foods International

John Greeley

Vice President of Northeast Sales

Gourmet Foods International

John Greeley was born on the Isle of Jersey (home of the Jersey cow breed) and came to America when very young. He was educated at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and says that his career choice of professional radio announcer ended when he first tasted real, hand-made cheese. John changed course and obtained degrees in cheese grading from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and in cheese making from Washington State University at Pullman. For ten years, he operated the Cheese Division of John Dewar Meat Company,and in 1990 became the founder and president of an import company.

During this time, John created programs for retailers, solicited products from cheese makers, tutored and spoke to wine and gourmet food groups about New England and American specialty cheeses. Gourmet Foods International purchased John's company in 2007. John now serves Vice President of Northeast Sales for Gourmet Foods International.  John continues to champion American Specialty cheese and participates in many educational events to share his vast knowledge of this industry.

Kerry Hallam

Kerry Hallam

Artist

Nantucket, MA

Born in England, Hallam showed early artistic talent when he won a scholarship to London University's Central College of Art. After a formal art education under British master painters Leslie Cole, Patrick Heron, and Hans Tinsdale, he completed his military service in the prestigious Gurkha brigade in Hong Kong and Malaya. Hallam's talent was further acknowledged when he was selected for inclusion in Britain's Royal Society of Artists in Watercolour.  We are honored each year - to have Kerry Hallam create our Nantucket Wine Festival image - used for our annual poster and all festival graphics.

David Hamburger
Acker Merrall & Condit

David Hamburger

Director of Special Events

Acker Merrall & Condit
New York, NY

David is the director of special events at the prestigious wine purveyor, Acker Merrall & Condit Company as well as the senior wine buyer. David is also the director of the Wine Workshop, America's leading series of fine and rare wine tastings and dinners and hosts at least fifty wine events a year for corporate and private clients. David has developed tasting events for many great winemakers including: Christian Moueix, Jean-Guillaume Prats, Paul Pontallier, Olivier Krug, Michel Chapoutier, Jacques Lardière, Veronique Drouhin, Erwan Faiveley, Olivier Humbrecht and Jean-Louis Chave.

Jenny Johnson
NESN

Jenny Johnson

Executive Producer

NESN

Two time Emmy Award Winning Producer and Co-host of NESN’s Dining Playbook

John Kapon
Acker Merrall & Condit

John Kapon

CEO

Acker Merrall & Condit
New York, NY

John Kapon is CEO of Acker Merrall & Condit. Through his visionary leadership and ceaseless energy, Mr. Kapon spearheaded the Company’s transformation from a single New York City storefront to the largest fine and rare wine auction house in the world.

Since joining the Company in 1994, Mr. Kapon has elevated Acker Merrall & Condit to the forefront of the auction world. Recognizing a growing thirst for fine and rare wine overseas, Mr. Kapon pioneered the market for wine auctions in Hong Kong, now the world’s leading fine wine center. Today, Acker Merrall sits atop the global wine market.

Philippe Newlin
Duclot La Vinicole NY

Philippe Newlin

Director

Duclot La Vinicole NY
New York, NY

Philippe Newlin runs Duclot La Vinicole USA, a top Bordeaux wine-importing house owned by the Moueix family of Petrus fame. He is a long-time wine educator with wine-course teaching responsibilities at Columbia Business School, Yale’s School of Management, The Wharton School, and HBS. Philippe started in the wine trade as the Tasting Director of Wine & Spirits Magazine before moving into wine importing. He holds the Diploma degree of the Wine and Spirits Education Trust of London, the highest professional accreditation of this trade-oriented body. This is Philippe’s fourth year conducting tastings and seminars on island with the NWF.

Dan O'Brien
Larkmead Vineyards

Dan O'Brien

Director of Sales & Marketing

Larkmead Vineyards
Calistoga, CA

A native of Rhode Island, Dan got his start managing wine programs at local Providence restaurants. Dan eventually moved north to Boston where he became a sommelier overseeing some of the deepest wine lists in the city, including Grill 23 & Bar and Excelsior. An opportunity to build a wine program from scratch moved Dan’s career to Northern California where he was the opening Wine Director for Cavallo Point in Sausalito. It was not long after that he began making wine and created his own label.

Dan ultimately moved on to manage wineries for some of Napa Valley’s most well-respected producers. Today you can find Dan at Larkmead Vineyards in Calistoga, one of the oldest grape-growing estates in the Napa Valley. In his spare time Dan moonlights as the owner and winemaker for his own label, Gail.

Robin Kelley O'Connor
RKO Vine Global Wine Consultants

Robin Kelley O'Connor

Wine Specialist

RKO Vine Global Wine Consultants
New York, NY

Robin Kelley O’Connor enjoys 30 years of experience in the wine trade and a stellar reputation as a leading wine educator, international wine judge, wine writer, and sommelier. Mr. O’Connor most recently was ‘Lead Business Specialist’ and Director of Wine & Beverage Education at Italian Wine Merchants (IWM). IWM is a leading purveyor of fine Italian wines in the country, as well as a specialist in providing great, rare and collectable wines of Burgundy, Bordeaux, Champagne, California, Italy and Rioja. 

He was Head of Wine & Lead Specialist, Americas, for Christie’s Auction House. Prior to Christie’s, he was Director of Sales and Education for Manhattan wine and spirits retailer Sherry-Lehmann, winner of Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s 2010 Wine Retailer of the Year Award.  

A native of Maryland, Mr. O’Connor began studying wine while still a student at the University of Maryland. He started his wine career in London as head sommelier at Le Chateaubriand Restaurant in the prestigious May Fair Hotel and went on to earn a diploma from the Wine & Spirits Education Trust (DWS). He holds Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) and Certified Wine Educator (CWE) certifications from the Society of Wine Educators and passed the Court of Master Sommeliers’ Certified Sommelier exam. 

Louis Risoli
L'Espalier

Louis Risoli

Mâitre d' hotel and Fromager

L'Espalier
Boston, MA

Mâitre d' hotel and Fromager Louis Risoli instills the philosophy of “chasing perfection” into the front of the house by way of his diligent and meticulous orchestration of L’Espalier’s three dining rooms. In doing so, Risoli ensures a dining experience that far surpasses guests’ expectations night after night. He has also defined the role of Grand Fromager across the east coast, having been one of the first in the nation to add this distinctive culinary expertise to a restaurant setting.

Risoli's arrival to L'Espalier even predates the restaurant's thirty-year plus owner, Chef Frank McClelland. He is the restaurant's most reliable historian, to include first hand stories of famous guests. As Mâitre d’ hotel for the past three decades, he has been integral in creating and maintaining the standard of excellence that has become synonymous with L’Espalier. Over the thirty years they have worked together, Risoli and Chef McClelland have developed a symbiotic relationship that is unparalleled. Risoli’s ability to anticipate the needs of the dining rooms and communicate with the kitchen is incomparable, some might even say psychic. 

In addition to maintaining harmony throughout the dining rooms and with the kitchen, Risoli’s intense passion for cheese has been the driving force behind the Grand Fromage, at L’Espalier since 1988, and the Cheese Tuesday program, which he and Chef McClelland initiated in 2002. He is nationally known, a perennial guest and speaker at national cheese conferences and a veritable encyclopedia about worldwide cheese varietals and culinary cheese trends.

Ieva Aldins
Straight Wharf Restaurant

Ieva Aldins

Sommelier

Straight Wharf Restaurant
Nantucket, MA

Ieva Aldins fell in love with wine while working in some of San Francisco's most impassioned restaurants such as Delfina, Jardiniere and Boulevard. Since her first staff trip to Napa she was hooked. In 2009 Nantucket called her back to its shores. She first became a sommelier at American Seasons and thrived working with their award winning, domestic wine list. She is a certified sommelier, a member of the Boston Sommelier Society and is currently the sommelier at Straight Wharf Restaurant. Her service style is approachable, elegant and knowledgable with a knack for figuring out people's palates. She believes a good bottle of wine is full of stories, landscapes and poetry that are meant to be pondered, but mostly enjoyed and taste best when shared.

John Blazon M.S.
Spire Collection, Jackson Family Fine Wines

John Blazon M.S.

VP Sales

Spire Collection, Jackson Family Fine Wines
California

John Blazon is the former wine director for Walt Disney World. During his tenure, John was responsible for the development of wine concepts and standards, including product selection, service and training for 55 restaurants, 20 lounges, 18 resorts, 3 theme parks and Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival. 

Following a 13 year career at Disney, John joined the Jackson Family Enterprises to work within their premium wine division, The Spire Collection. As VP of Sales, John works with a talented team of sommeliers selling luxury wines from the esteemed portfolio to AAA accounts throughout the country.

Brahm Callahan MS
Himmel Hospitality Group

Brahm Callahan MS

Beverage Director

Himmel Hospitality Group
Boston, MA

Brahm Callahan, 31, serves as Beverage Director of Himmel Hospitality Group and its three restaurants - Grill 23 & Bar, Post 390 and Harvest restaurant. Brahm is a Master Sommelier, one of only 147 professionals in North America who hold the title Master Sommelier – the highest distinction available in the beverage service industry.

Raised in Western Massachusetts, Brahm had an early introduction to the wine world at the age of 17 when he learned the business side of the industry at The Shelburne Falls Wine Merchant, in (Shelburne Falls, MA) under the direction of mentor Paul-Thiery de la Blotier. A short year later, Brahm was put in charge of running wine tastings, managing the cellar and working on dinners with winemakers and local restaurants.

While attending the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Brahm continued to work at the Wine Merchant, in addition to working part time as a Wine Steward in many of the top restaurants of Western Massachusetts. After moving to Boston to attend graduate school at Boston College to receive his Master’s Degree in Classics and Ancient History, Brahm embraced Boston’s wine community and began working as a sommelier while finishing his graduate work. Through his time at top Boston restaurants, including Excelsior and Rialto, Brahm developed an interest for small producers who make terroir-driven wines.

In 2009, Brahm joined Himmel Hospitality Group as part of the opening team of Post 390, an urban tavern in Boston featuring seasonally-inspired menus. There, Brahm created a beverage program that included an expansive list of approachable and accessible wines, 40+ selection craft beer and competitive cocktail program.

In 2010, Brahm joined the team at Grill 23 & Bar as Wine Director, where he developed an award-winning list of over 1,700 selections, focusing specifically on new cult producers as well as maintaining a balanced list that offers selections for both wine connoisseurs and novices alike.

In August 2015, Himmel Hospitality Group appointed Brahm as Beverage Director. In his role, Brahm is responsible for the developing a training program for all Sommelier and Bar Managers to ensure excellence for guests’ experience and employee growth at all three restaurants.

Brahm lives in Beacon Hill with his wife, Sally.

André Compeyre
The Regency Bar & Grill

André Compeyre

Wine & Beverage Director

The Regency Bar & Grill
New York, NY

André Compeyre is a native from Toulouse, France. André began his career almost thirty years ago in France and joined the Santambroeus team late 2013 to prepare the new Loew's Regency opening .

Mr. Compeyre built his experience working in Michelin Star Restaurants such as; "Le Gavroche" in London, "Les Jardins de l'Opera" in Toulouse,  and "Le Chateau Eza" near Monaco.

Over the last twenty years, André has gained national recognition, as a Sommelier creating the wine program at Restaurant Thomas Henkelmann, The Homestead Inn in Greenwich, Connecticut, then as Chef Sommelier for Alain Ducasse at the Essex House from the opening in June 2000 thru 2006. He ran the wine program for the Brasserie Les Halles for four years before he come back to the "Fine dining scene" with David Bouley in Tribeca and Adour at the St Regis New York. Andre spent the last few years in a more cajole setting, having fun at the Bistrot Benoit, completing over nine years of loyal service with Alain Ducasse Entreprise.

 

 

Nick Daddona
Boston Harbor Hotel

Nick Daddona

Wine Director

Boston Harbor Hotel
Boston, MA

Recently named “Boston’s Best Sommelier” by Improper Bostonian, Nick is the Wine Director of the Forbes 5-star Boston Harbor Hotel and its notable fine dining establishment Meritage. He holds an Advanced Certification through the Court of Mast Sommeliers and through his passion for wine education contributes as a board member of the Boston Sommelier Society.

At Meritage, Nick is known for his inventive multi-course pairings. He is a contributor to various media including Steven Tanzer’s Winophilia website, and participation in the Boston Wine Festival.

Lauren Daddona
L'Espalier

Lauren Daddona

Wine Director

L'Espalier
Boston, MA

Lauren Daddona is the Wine Director at L'Espalier in Boston and holds her Advanced certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers. She joined the L'Espalier sommelier team in 2012 after spending six years at Lower Falls Wine Company, a fine wine shop in Newton, MA.  Prior to finding wine, Lauren studied Romance Languages and Art History at Bowdoin College, concentrations that led to her studies in France, as well as work at Christie's auction house in New York.  Her travels since have sent her to vineyards throughout Europe and the US with additional time spent in South America and Asia. 

As one of just six Advanced Sommeliers in New England, Lauren is at the forefront of wine education in Boston. She is a Director Emeritus of the Boston Sommelier Society and was a regional finalist in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 TopSomm competitions. She was named a StarChefs Rising Star in 2015 and has been cited in a range of publications, including Food & Wine, SOMM Journal, and Robb Report, as well as our very own Nantucket Magazine.  

Tali Dalbaha
Jean-Georges

Tali Dalbaha

Sommelier

Jean-Georges
New York, NY

Tali Dalhaba’s career in the hospitality industry began at age 15 in Tel Aviv, Israel, where she began amassing decades of experience working for internationally renowned clubs, restaurants and hotels. After completing Israel’s mandatory military service, rising to management in nearly every professional setting she encountered, and mastering the ability to draw hundreds of people to the city’s best clubs and restaurants, she moved to New York City in 2011. Two months later, she began studying to become a Master Sommelier and officially became a candidate after passing Part 1 on her first attempt. Tali intends to sit Part 2 of the exam in May 2016. 

Tali currently works as Sommelier for Jean-Georges, a restaurant offering New French style cuisine, while overlooking Central Park. 

 

 

TJ Douglas
The Urban Grape

TJ Douglas

Owner

The Urban Grape
Boston, MA

As a child growing up in Vermont, TJ Douglas would often add one very important accessory to his t-shirts before running out the door to school – a clip-on tie.  While other kids were working to save money for a spring break trip, TJ was saving every dollar for a dream that was just beginning to form. 

Upon his arrival in Boston,he assisted in the opening of wine bar Rustic Kitchen in Faneuil Hall, TJ worked his way up at Armani Café until he became General Manager.  Along the way, no wine list was safe from TJ’s scrutiny and fine-tuning. 

Trips to Italy, France, South Africa, Napa and Sonoma ignited TJ’s passion for wine.  Slowly, his dreams turned from owning a restaurant to owning a wine store, where he could share his love for wine with other people.  After four years as a top wine salesman for Ruby Wines, the time was right for TJ to realize his dreams.  The Urban Grape is the culmination of this journey.  

TJ leads The Urban Grape’s wine buying team, as well as being the lead wine educator for the company. In addition to flocking to TJ because of his passion for wine, The Urban Grape’s clients appreciate TJ’s ability to make the confusing world of wine so accessible and easy to understand. He frequently teaches classes on wine at The Urban Grape, as well as at the Boston Center for Adult Education, The Boston Wine Expo, and coming in 2015, via an on-line Urban Grape classroom. TJ also runs Urban Cellars - a personalized consultation service that helps clients fill their wine cellars with everything from approachable every day wine, to birth year vintages, to cases that can age and appreciate in value for decades to come.

 

Olivier Flosse
A Voce

Olivier Flosse

Wine Director

A Voce
New York, NY

As the Wine Director for MARC US, Olivier Flosse oversees A Voce’s award-winning wine cellar. He brings both passion and expertise to the restaurants’ beloved and highly regarded wine program. Olivier educates A Voce’s team about the wine selections, enabling his team to guide guests toward a choice that will pair beautifully for memorable meal. Olivier most enjoys his time spent in A Voce’s dining room, interacting with guests to learn more about their palates in order to enrich their wine experience.

Born and raised in Marseille, Olivier started his training at a young age, earning the coveted DUAD, Diploma-Universitaire d’Aptitude a la Degustation, Bordeaux, the most prestigious wine diploma in Europe. Olivier’s first position upon arriving in New York in 1999 was assistant to the talented Jean-Luc Le Du at Daniel Restaurant. Prior to joining MARC, Olivier was the wine director and sommelier at Cafe Boulud in New York City.

Tom Gannon
Spire Collection, Jackson Family Fine Wines

Tom Gannon

New England Region Manager

Spire Collection, Jackson Family Fine Wines
New England

Wine classes through the American Sommelier Association led to Gannon’s first sommelier job at Rothmann’s Steakhouse in midtown Manhattan.  In 2011 he left Rothmann’s and now splits time between Nashville and New York, as well as traveling extensively throughout New England working for the Spire Collection of fine wines representing Jackson Family Estates.  He writes a wine column for the Nashville paper -The Tennessean and holds the Advanced Certificate from the Court of Master Sommeliers. On occasion he is the special event sommelier for private Italian gun club, Tiro a Segno.

Austin Heidt
Frasca Food and Wine

Austin Heidt

Assistant Sommelier

Frasca Food and Wine
Boulder, CO

Austin Heidt is a Assistant Sommelier and Back Waiter at Frasca Food and Wine in Boulder, Colorado. Having been in the industry since he was 13 years old he brings a lot of experience and passion to the table including the Everest Restaurant and Tenzing Wine and Spirits in Chicago.  In the educational realm, Austin attended the University of Denver School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management, followed by receiving his Masters degree from the Cornell Hotel School and finally completing the ACAP program at the Culinary Institute of America. He holds a Advanced Sommelier certificate with the Court of Master Sommeliers and sat for the Master Sommelier exam the first time this year.

Jamie Jamison
The Golf Club of Georgia

Jamie Jamison

Clubhouse Manager and Club Sommelier

The Golf Club of Georgia
Alpharetta, GA

A new breed of sommelier, Jamie Jamison is Food and Beverage Director of The Commerce Club Altanta, a Club Corp property. Approachable, affable, creative he ready to take patrons of The Commerce Club, Atlanta on a heady adventure. Jamison’s well-traveled, evolved and educated palate for sniffing out the best of the best from vineyards across the globe—including emerging wineries and unheralded bottles from marquee producers—complements sublime dishes from the verdant imagination of Executive Chef Tim Kotula, a diminutive powerhouse of culinary magic.Jamison arrived at the Commerce Club in May 2015 from the James Beard award winning American Restaurant in Kansas City Missouri. He was general manager and wine director of the prestigious Midwest fine dining oasis. During his tenure The American added one more James Beard Award winning chef to bring the total to three; named by The Robb Report and WineSpectator, in addition to Kansas City Magazines, “Best Restaurant.”He arrived to the plains from an idyllic ocean side setting, La Jolla’s George’s at the Cove. He was assistant general manager and wine director at the fine-dining restaurants multi-outlet wine program. Prior to his California experience, Jamison spent two years in the Rockies at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen where he was director of restaurant operations and hotel sommelier for a massive restaurant program, including a 500 label WineSpector-lauded list. In 1997, Jamison launched a three-year stint as director of beverage at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. It was there that Jamison’s talent and passion for beer, wine and spirits caught the attention of wine professionals, connoisseurs and newcomers. 

Brent Jones
Bird Dog

Brent Jones

Sommelier

Bird Dog
Palo Alto, CA

Brent Jones found his love for wine at age 19 while working at The Waterfront in Cincinnati, OH.  In 2001 his professional wine career took shape in Aspen, CO while working with Master Sommelier Jay Fletcher at the award-winning restaurant Syzygy.  Other restaurants on his résumé include Galley Beach in Nantucket, restaurant Latour in New Jersey, Fifth Floor in San Francisco, Alinea in Chicago, Frasca in Boulder, and both the Caribou Club and Hotel Jerome of Aspen.  One of his favorite moments of his wine career occurred while working the 2012 harvest with Domaine Comte Senard in Burgundy.

Guillem Kerambrun
Benoit

Guillem Kerambrun

Chef Sommelier

Benoit
New York, NY

 Appointed  Beverage  Director  Guillem  Kerambrun  has  worked  with   Alain  Ducasse  Entreprise  since  2003.  Making  the  move  to  New  York,  was  a  tremendous  opportunity   for   Kerambrun   to   enter   new   territory   and   grow   the   beverage   program   for   Alain   Ducasse   Restaurants  Stateside.    Under   Kerambrun’s   direction,   Benoit   will   continue   to   offer   a   dynamic   and   approachable   wine   program  that  is  complementary  to  Executive  Chef  Philippe  Bertineau’s  seasonal  cooking.  The  focus   will  continue  to  be  on  French  wine;  however,  guests  can  also  expect  a  greater  selection  of  American   wines  including  those  from  French  winemakers  in  the  U.S  and  find  Guillem’s  style  of  wine  service  both  convivial  and  personal.  Kerambrun  lives  in  Brooklyn  with  his  wife  and  two  kids.    Over  the  past  decade,  Kerambrun  has  been  responsible  for  conceptualizing  and  managing  wine   programs  for  all  27  of  Alain  Ducasse’s  restaurants  –  spanning  nine  countries  –  including  Le  Jules   Verne  on  the  Eiffel  Tower  in  Paris,  Alain  Ducasse’s  contemporary  restaurant  Rivea  at  the  Bulgari   Hotel  in  London,  and  Alain  Ducasse’s  cooking  (and  wine)  school  for  amateurs  in  Paris.    He  began  his  career  within  ADE  as  chef  sommelier  at  Aux  Lyonnais  in  Paris.  Six  months  later  he   opened  Benoit  in  Paris  as  deputy  wine  director  alongside  Alain  Ducasse’s  Executive  Wine  Director  Gérard  Margeon.  

Todd Lipman
Bistro du Midi

Todd Lipman

Head Sommelier

Bistro du Midi
Boston, MA

 Todd Lipman has served as Head Sommelier at Boston’s Bistro du Midi for the past four years.  During that time, he was twice named ‘Boston’s Best Sommelier’ in 2011 (Improper Bostonian) and 2014 (Boston Magazine) and his wine program has been dubbed “…one of the City’s most formidable” (Bon Appetite Magazine).  Todd is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers and is currently an Advanced Certified Candidate.  He has worked with the likes of Ken Oringer, Jamie Bissonnette, Marissa Iocco, Frank DePasquale, Babak & Azita Bina, and Daniel Bruce at K.O. Prime, South End Galleria, Bricco, Bin 26 Enoteca and the 5-star/4-diamond Boston Harbor Hotel respectively, as well as for the Aquataine Group at the former Armani Café.  Todd is originally from Fairfax, Virginia, but has lived in Boston for nearly 20 years.  

Sur Lucero MS
Jackson Family Wines

Sur Lucero MS

National Director for Wine Education

Jackson Family Wines
Santa Rosa, CA

Sur Lucero MS, has dedicated his life to food and wine. Lucero was raised in the Napa Valley and spent over two decades in Restaurant Hospitality.  In the early years of his career, he developed his palate on the dining room floor of The French Laundry. It is here where he spent over one third of his restaurant career, immersed in the culture, and inspired to attend culinary school. After cooking professionally for a couple years and being certified in Culinary Arts by the Napa Valley Cooking School, he returned to The French Laundry, this time to begin his career in wine.  

Lucero is also thankful for the years he spent in Michelin stared restaurant’s that include The Little Nell in Aspen, Meadowood Resort in Napa, Daniel Boulud in Las Vegas and Terra in Napa, among others. Wine and Spirits named him the Best New Sommelier in the United States in 2011. In 2012, Lucero was honored by the Court of Master Sommelier’s as a recipient of the Remi Krug Cup. This distinction means that Lucero was the highest scoring person, who passed all three sections of the exam, on his first attempt. Since the establishment of the Court of Master Sommeliers in 1969, this honor has only been earned fourteen times in history. 

Lucero still lives in the Napa Valley and now enjoys working in the field of education with Jackson Family Fine Wines. In addition to his ambassadorship of the portfolio’s 51 world class brands, he covers the nation doing what he loves, speaking, teaching and advancing the awareness of Food and Wine culture. 

In his spare time, he enjoys growing, cooking, sharing food from his garden, cycling, hiking, kayaking and anything else that makes him hungry and thirsty, for food and wine!

 

Michael Meagher M.S.
Sommelier On-Demand Hospitality Services, LLC

Michael Meagher M.S.

Principal and Owner

Sommelier On-Demand Hospitality Services, LLC
Groton, MA

Born and raised in New England, Michael had long envisioned a career as a lawyer, but it was while he was a student at Harvard University that his future aspirations became less conventional. During summers he worked for an upscale catering company, which often found him prepping in the kitchen, bartending or waiting tables. It was the energy and satisfaction in executing elaborate events with finesse and skill that led Michael to enroll in the Culinary Institute of America.

While at the CIA, Michael earned his degree in Culinary Arts and spent many formative hours in some of Boston’s best kitchens, learning from Boston culinary legends Gordon Hamersley, Frank McClelland and Geoff Gardner. However, sensing that professional cooking was not his long-term career path, Michael set off for Australia to pursue a Master’s degree in Gastronomy at the University of Adelaide.

It was between classroom sessions, touring some of Australia’s great vineyards, tasting rooms and restaurants that Michael realized that the world of wine was luring him closer. Upon returning to Boston, Michael returned to restaurant life in the front of the house as a sommelier, working in the award winning wine programs at Sel de la Terre, L’Espalier, BOKX109 and Café Escadrille. He spent time working for Vineyard Road, a boutique wine distributor in Massachusetts, and was most recently employed at two international wine suppliers, most notably as Education Manager and Prestige Portfolio Manager with Treasury Wine Estates and as an Educator and Regional Sales Manager with Jackson Family Wines. 

Michael finished Third at both the 2010 and 2011 Top|Somm Championships, and won the Best Young Sommelier Competition in 2010. As the representative for the United States at the International Best Young Sommelier Finals in Santander, Spain in October 2010, he placed second in the world. Additionally, Michael founded the Boston Sommelier Society in 2009 and currently serves as Chairman Emeritus.   

Throughout his journeys, Michael kept himself immersed in continuing his education, and in 2015, Michael’s experience and studies paid off, as he became one of only 230 people in the world to achieve the title of Master Sommelier.  He is currently the Principal/Owner of Sommelier On-Demand Hospitality Services, LLC and currently resides in Groton, MA with his wife, Carolyn, and son, William.  

Katharine Niebling
Ventuno Restaurant

Katharine Niebling

Sommelier

Ventuno Restaurant
Nantucket, MA

Katie is a child of the vines. Hailing from Napa, California she has always been surrounded by the magical culture that is wine. Ironically, she didn’t learn just how much she loved vino until she began working on Nantucket at Ventuno Restaurant with a mostly Italian wine selection. The adventurous yet classical side to wines of Italy then piqued her interest for the traditional wines of France and all of the old world. She is an avid student of wine, always looking to learn more and educate those interested in learning.

Over her years at Ventuno she has worked her way up from server to sommelier because of her enduring passion for the palate and talents in the service industry. Katie is a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers, as well as a student of the French Wine Society. She is happiest assisting others in the enjoyment of life through well selected wine and cocktails. She is also an avid gardener and enthusiastic mixologist when wearing one of her various other hats in this world. 

Dan O'Brien
Larkmead Vineyards

Dan O'Brien

Director of Sales & Marketing

Larkmead Vineyards
Calistoga, CA

A native of Rhode Island, Dan got his start managing wine programs at local Providence restaurants. Dan eventually moved north to Boston where he became a sommelier overseeing some of the deepest wine lists in the city, including Grill 23 & Bar and Excelsior. An opportunity to build a wine program from scratch moved Dan’s career to Northern California where he was the opening Wine Director for Cavallo Point in Sausalito. It was not long after that he began making wine and created his own label. Dan ultimately moved on to manage wineries for some of Napa Valley’s most well-respected producers. Today you can find Dan at Larkmead Vineyards in Calistoga, one of the oldest grape-growing estates in the Napa Valley. In his spare time Dan moonlights as the owner and winemaker for his own label, Gail.

Kristin Olszewski
Straight Wharf Restaurant

Kristin Olszewski

Sommelier

Straight Wharf Restaurant
Nantucket, MA

Kristin got her start in hospitality working at Saison in San Francisco.  She then went on to open and manage Sweet Woodruff for the Sons and Daughters’ group before taking a brief hiatus from restaurants to pursue medical school.  After working at Spoke Wine Bar in Somerville, MA, she could not ignore the call back to the vine. Kristin bounces back and forth between Palm Springs, CA where she is company sommelier for f10 creative and Nantucket, MA where she is a part of the team at Straight Wharf Resturant. 

Theresa Paopao
Ribelle

Theresa Paopao

General Manage and Beverage Director

Ribelle
Brookline, MA

Showcasing a talent developed over years of devoted work and study, Theresa Paopao brings a vivacious yet relaxed energy to the operations and wine program at Brookline, MA’s Ribelle. Paopao elevates service standards to what she dubs “ergonomic service,” allowing staff to function comfortably in an effort to extend that comfort to the guests. “The service is friendly and informed, but not over the top, “she says. Paopao thrives on the energy at the pass, as food is ushered from the kitchen to the server, an essential transition—“it’s the heart of the restaurant.”Additionally, Paopao’s wine list sheds pretention and embraces its place as a complement to Co-Chefs Tim Maslow and Brandon Baltzley’s imaginative and globally inspired cuisine. “Knowing the kitchen’s style and what’s in the food allows me to find wines that flatter each dish. It’s like making a mix tape for your crush: You have to pick the right songs for the person like you have to pick the right wines for each dish.” Paopao also requests the trust of her diners, and on her menu, she describes wines solely by taste, not by label, to remove any preconceptions and let the wine speak for itself.Born and raised as the oldest of eight, Paopao moved from Hawaii to the East Coast to pursue a graduate degree from the Yale School of Drama, drawing on her passion for the arts with a technical theater design degree. After spending two years in the prestigious program, however, Paopao found that her career aspirations lay elsewhere. A move to Boston spurred her to pick up a position as a server, beginning her restaurant industry career. As she gained an interest in wine and beverage programs—teaching herself and seeking lessons from those around her—as well as management, the connection between orchestrating stage operations and helming a dining service became opportunistically evident. After a stint at Sweet Life Café in Martha’s Vineyard, Paopao returned to Boston with a freshly honed wine palate and joined The Federalist as a cocktail server. She later left to pursue a management role at Beacon Hill Hotel and Bistro.

Paopao’s next rung on the ladder was found in 2004 at Oleana Restaurant in Cambridge. For almost seven years, Paopao polished up the service and beverage programs, earning a Boston Rising Stars Award from StarChefs.com, as well as receiving her BarSmarts Advance Certification and becoming a Certified Sommelier by the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2009. Paopao’s reputation in Boston soon spread to the Big Apple, and the sommelier found herself scouted by David Chang’s Momofuku to take on the role of wine director. Paopao spent more than two years at Momofuku Ssäm Bar before taking on a four-concept Momofuku outpost in Toronto. Paopao not only developed four distinct beverage programs, but involved herself in international importing, inventory management, and staff education. She also concurrently worked with New York City’s Astor Wine Center, teaching a recurring class on wine fundamentals.Eight months later, with the Toronto operation up and running, Paopao was drawn back to the States with an opportunity to open Toro NYC alongside chefs Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer as beverage consultant for multiple East Coast venues. Gearing up for the launch in Boston as wine andbeverage director for Coppa and Toro Boston, Paopao’s connection to the city deepened. When she was approached by fellow Momofuku alum Tim Maslow to run the operations and beverage program for Ribelle and Strip T’s, she couldn’t resist returning to Boston’s charm.

With all eyes on Ribelle’s August 2013 opening, the city’s diners and critics were impressed; Ribelle earned a four-star review from the Boston Globe and recognition by Boston Magazine as Best Wine Program in Boston 2015. 

Devin Perras
The Pearl & Boarding House Restaurants

Devin Perras

Wine Director

The Pearl & Boarding House Restaurants
Nantucket, MA

Before being the Wine Director for the Pearl & Boarding House, Devin first started falling in love with wine while working at Toppers for 5 years. He became friends with the somm's there, including Craig Hanna the Cellar Master, and was able to taste many of the incredible wines that are on the list. Devin's tipping point was Nicolas Joly's 'Clos de la Coulee de Serrant', which still leaves him more obsessed with Chenin Blanc than any other wine. He was lucky to be there and learned invaluable knowledge regarding all the different aspects of not only tasting and evaluating wines, but also how to go about it in his own way, which had a tremendous effect on his ability to help build a list and also how to present them to people with a personal touch.

This past summer, The Pearl & The Boarding House earned the Best of Award of Excellence for the first time in the 25 year history of the restaurants, which is a great accomplishment not only for Devin and also for the team, but for everyone else that has been involved in the list during the history of the restaurants.

Besides being in love with Chenin Blanc, Devin also have a very strong affinity for Portuguese wines and anything off the beaten track, the funkier the better.

Dominick Purnomo
Yono's Restaurant

Dominick Purnomo

Chef Sommelier & Owner

Yono's Restaurant
Albany, NY

Dominick Purnomo, Wine Director & Co Owner of Yono’s & dp An American Brasserie, grew up in his family’s restaurant working alongside his parents at an early age before going on to State University of New York at Morrisville to pursue a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management. Upon finishing Morrisville in 2000, Purnomo came back to Albany to work in the family business and took over the day to day operations. It was then that he discovered a true passion for wine. After having dined in some of the worlds finest restaurants such as Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, Aureole in Las Vegas, and Lespinasse in New York, Purnomo wanted to bring a world class wine program to Albany, more specifically to Yono’s.

In 2005 Purnomo was elected to his first of two, two year terms as the President of the Greater Capital District of the New York State Restaurant Association, the youngest President in the history of the state organization. Dominick was a national finalist for the Best Young Sommelier Competition, has been nominated for a James Beard Award for his wine program on 3 occassions. His wine list has been praised by Wine Spectator since 2004 and has recently been named one of the 300 greatest wine lists in the world, receiving the 3 star award from The World of Fine Wine. Under his direction, Yono’s was named one of the Top 100 restaurants in America by OpenTable.

He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District, is a member of the Society of Fellows at the Culinary Institute of America, the American Sommelier Association, the Chevalier du Tastevin, a founding board member of the Albany Food & Wine Festival, the founder of the Sommelier Society of Albany. Dominick and his wife Carolyn, a Licensed Realtor, reside in Loudonville, New York with their daughters Gemma & Halle.  

Matt Reiser
Acker Merrall & Condit

Matt Reiser

Retail Sales

Acker Merrall & Condit
New York, NY

Matt  began his career in Boston where he achieved national recognition as wine director at one of Boston’s most beloved restaurants—UpStairs on the Square.

Reiser has twice presented wine at the James Beard Foundation, interned in Burgundy with Clive Coates, MW and was a panelist for the NYU American Association of Wine Economists. He has also served as a judge for wine competitions and has been citied in numerous publications.

Rob Renteria
La Folie Restaurant

Rob Renteria

Sommelier

La Folie Restaurant
San Francisco, CA

Rob Renteria has been a sommelier in the Bay Area restaurant industry for 20 years. He first worked with the wine list at Rubicon before contributing to the lists at Bacar and EOS, all in San Francisco.  Upon moving to Napa Valley, he was the Wine Director at Martini House in St. Helena; at Redd in Yountvile, in which Wine Enthusiast Magazine ranked his list as one of the Top 100 in America. In 2009, he founded Analog Wine Company, a negociant wine label Napa Valley. In 2012, he returned to San Francisco. He is currently the sommelier at La Folie.  He has also been a regular tasting panelist for the San Francisco Chronicle and Wine and Spirits Magazine. Follow his rants about wine and culture on Twitter @angrysomm.

Kelly Robinson
Craigie on Main

Kelly Robinson

Sommelier

Craigie on Main
Cambridge, MA

28-year-old sommelier Kelly Robinson grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She moved to Boston to pursue a degree in painting from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. While studying she worked as a barista, and upon graduation found herself seamlessly transitioning into a front-of-house position at Craigie on Main. 4 years, a stint behind the Craigie bar, and years of study through the Court of Master Sommeliers led to her position at the front of Craigie's distinct, Old-World focused wine program. She is currently pursuing the CMS Advanced Sommelier certificate.

Matt Ryan
Harborside Wine Company

Matt Ryan

Harborside Account Executive

Harborside Wine Company
Boston, MA

Matt Ryan began his career in wine as a food-runner for a fine-dining restaurant in Boston. From there, he made the transition to server at fast-paced restaurants, refining his knowledge of the world of wines. Matt became a Certified Sommelier in 2011 while working in a large retail store, where he was a manager in the wine department until 2013. He credits the exposure to such a wide variety of wines as an exceptional learning tool. Matt worked as the General Manager for Beaver Brook Bottles in Waltham, MA, focusing on small-production fine wine and a wide selection of craft beer and is now working for Harborside Wine Compnay based out of Boston. 

Brooke Sabel
Ninety Acres

Brooke Sabel

Wine Director

Ninety Acres
Peapack, New Jersey

Brooke Sabel has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Hospitality & Tourism Management. She also has certificates in Wine & Food Pairing from Universitat de les Illes Balears, Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia.

While working in New York City for one of the premier retail wine merchants, Morrell & Company as a Wine Consultant, her engaging personality & down-to-earth approach to wine earned the respect of some New York top oenophiles. She further developed her knowledge while working under Master of Wine, Christopher Cree at 56 Degree Wine in Bernardsville, NJ. Brooke then went on to hold the position of Lead Sommelier at the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, NJ. While at Borgata, Brooke assisted with the planning, organizing & executing of events such as Wine Spectator’s Grand Tour and Borgata’s numerous elite food & wine events. She has helped to develop wine lists for such culinary masters as Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, and Michael Mina. Her talents and reputation brought her back to central New Jersey to develop the wine program at Natirar and its award-winning restaurant Ninety Acres, where she has held the position of Wine Director since opening.  Her focus on sustainable, organic, biodynamic, small-production wines has garnered high accolades amongst her peers and the press.    

Brooke has been featured on Martha Stewart Radio, Wisconsin Public Radio, New Jersey Monthly, Inside Jersey, New Jersey Weddings, The Knot, Park Place Magazine, Above Magazine, Princeton Magazine, James Beard Foundation, New Jersey Wine & Food Festival, Terroirist.com, SOMM Journal and participated in 2011 Star Chefs Somm Slam.  

Brooke holds titles of Certified Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers and the Sommelier Society of America. She also holds the title of Certified Specialist of Wine from the Society of Wine Educators. A member of several trade organizations such as Sommelier Society of America and the Guild of Sommeliers; Ms. Sabel is also a tasting panelist for several industry publications. She is currently studying for Advanced Sommelier exam from the Court of Master Sommeliers and is enrolled in the Diploma Program from the Wine & Spirits Educational Trust.

Jarad Slipp, MS
RdV Vineyards

Jarad Slipp, MS

Estate Director RdV Vineyards

RdV Vineyards
Delaplane, VA

Jarad Slipp, MS is the Estate Director at RdV Vineyards in Delaplane, VA. Prior to joining the RdV team in 2013 he was the Restaurant Director at several notable Washington DC and NYC restaurants, including CityZen, Fiamma, Nectar, and Tahoga. Jarad earned his Master Sommelier Diploma in May 2014 making him one of 227 individuals worldwide to have passed the rigorous exam. A former graduate of the Culinary Institute of America as well as ICIF in Italy he's a decent cook too. When not working, he can typically be found endeavoring in activities to shorten his life like cave diving, heli-skiing and skydiving. His favorite beer is Miller Lite, yes it's not the best, but it is his favorite, please don't judge.

Colin Thoreen
Ai Fiori

Colin Thoreen

Advanced Sommelier

Ai Fiori
New York, NY

An unlikely confluence of an interest in ornithology and an innate desire to connect with people led Colin to discover his passion for wine.  Those seemingly unrelated areas of his life converged at Cornell University, where Colin realized that studying and connecting people through wine simultaneously satisfied both his thirst for making lasting connections and his drive to explore the natural world.

One of Colins first forays into the world of wine was made early on with fellow Seattle local and now mentor and friend, Greg Harrington, MS. He pointed Colin in the direction of the Court of Master Sommeliers. He immediately began studying their curriculum and, in fact, passed the first two exams while a senior in college.

During the summers, Colin alternated between hospitality jobs and commercial fishing in the Bearing Sea. However, he had his first true wine-focused position as a vintern at Canlis Restaurant and then as food and beverage manager at a small retreat in Costa Rica. Upon graduation, Colin joined the team at Eleven Madison Park where he honed his skills as a wine professional before moving onto Ai Fiori where he has have helped guide the wine program for the past four years. 

Marika Vida-Arnold
The Ritz Carlton-Central Park

Marika Vida-Arnold

Wine Director

The Ritz Carlton-Central Park
New York, NY

For the past decade, Marika Vida has been one of the most in-demand, highly respected wine professionals in the business. She has served as Wine Director of the Ritz-Carlton Central Park New York; Sommelier of the top-rated Laurent Tourondel Bistro BLT Market; Sommelier for the Philadelphia Ritz-Carlton with ‘Top Chef’ Winner Kevin Sbraga.  She also developed the opening wine program at 10Arts with Chef Eric Ripert and Chef de Cuisine Jennifer Carroll. Under the auspices of her new consulting firm Vida et Fils, she currently works as the Wine Director of the Ritz-Carlton Central Park.  Her most recent project there is the critically acclaimed Phenomenal Femmes Program, which features female winemakers from around the globe, including a popular dinner series.   Marika has served as Wine Director for the James Beard Foundation Book Broadcast and Journalism Awards. She is a member of the Full Circle Sommelier Network, working with Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein on projects for Wines of Argentina, Brazil, Portugal and Monterey programs.  Additionally Marika consults for the Architectural Digest and has served on Eric Asimov’s Tasting Panel for the New York Times.

Valentina Abbona
Marchesi di Barolo

Valentina Abbona

Proprietor

Marchesi di Barolo
Piedmont, Italy

Valentina Abbona, who represents Marchesi di Barolo’s 6th generation together with her brother Davide, was born on February 27th 1988. After attending high school in Alba, a small city near Barolo where she lives with her family, she moved in Milan where she studied economics and business in Bocconi University.

During her college years, she travelled abroad extensivley: after an exchange program in Manchester, UK and two internships (the first one in Hyderabad, India and the second one in New York) she lived in Shanghai, China for almost one year. Meanwhile while she was attending university, she always helped her parents running their family company and she often joined her mother Anna during her business trips all around the world. 

She graduated in 2012 and is now working full time in the family winery taking care of hospitality at the winery and representing Marchesi di Barolo abroad.

Dimitri Augenblick
Château Cos D'Estournel

Dimitri Augenblick

Business Development Manager

Château Cos D'Estournel
Bordeaux, France

Almost 25 years ago in a Jazz Club in Paris, Dimitri Augenblick had his first glass of wine...It was a love at first sight!  As the business development manager, and member of the family owner, Dimitri is working with the team of Cos on making great wines.  This is not only a part of his job but also his passion.  Today Cos is one of the greatest wines of the Médoc which had often been known to surpass The Premier Crus. 

Through all the wines of Michel Reybier's Estate such as Les Pagodes de Cos, Château Marbuzet, Goulée by Cos, Cos Blanc and more recently Hetszolo, a Tokaj from Hungary, Dimitri's purpose is to place them in all the best regions of the world.

Craig Becker
Somerston Estate Vineyard & Winery

Craig Becker

Winemaker

Somerston Estate Vineyard & Winery
Napa Valley, CA

Craig Becker, a Southern California native, is a founding member of Somerston Wine Company. 

Becker oversees all of Somerston’s winemaking and vineyard operations.  He has a tremendous thirst for knowledge about each element of winery and vineyard operations and is constantly developing new ideas for improvement.  Becker’s management style encourages innovation and entrepreneurship by allowing employees to take ownership of, and improve, their positions, the vineyards, and the winery.  He maintains strong relationships with vineyard workers, many of whom live on-site, having worked the property for decades before Becker knew it existed.  

Bartholomew Broadbent
Château Musar

Bartholomew Broadbent

Owner

Château Musar
Richmond, VA

Raised in the English wine trade in a formal apprenticeship to his famous father, Michael Broadbent MW, Bartholomew has also worked in London for Harrod’s Wine Department, Harvey’s Fine Wine Merchants in Pall Mall and Christie’s. He worked in Australia for Rothbury Estate and for Yalumba Winery. In France, he worked in Cognac for Hennessy and in Paris for L’Academie du Vin. He moved to Montreal to work for Schenley Canada Inc, later moving to Toronto as their Wine Consultant,and wine sales in Ottawa.

Known as one of the world’s foremost authorities on Port and Madeira, Bartholomew is credited with being responsible for the growth of Port consumption in North America during the mid 1980’s and was responsible for the re-introduction of Madeira to America in 1989. In 1996, Broadbent Selections was founded with a  focus family-owned wineries-on places with personality and stories, and on wines that come from the heart.

Bartholomew Broadbent was named one of the “fiffty most influential people in the wine world.” by Decanter Magazine (June 1997). Broadbent Selections, Inc. was nominated Importer of the Year 2005 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and was named one of the 100 fastest growing companies in 1998 by Entrepreneur Magazine and Dun & Bradstreet. 

Laura Catena
Catena Zapata

Laura Catena

Vintner

Catena Zapata
Argentina

Laura Catena is a fourth generation Argentine vintner, physician and author.  Catena's great grandfather founded the Catena winery in Mendoza in 1902 after emigrating from Italy. Her father, Nicolas Catena Zapata, often referred to as “the Robert Mondavi of Argentina,” helped facilitate the ascent of Argentine wine onto the world stage.

Laura graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1988 and has a Medical Doctor degree from Stanford University.  She is currently managing director of Bodega Catena Zapata and her own Luca Winery in Mendoza, Argentina, as well as a practicing Emergency Medicine physician in San Francisco.

In 2010 Laura Catena released her book Vino Argentino, An Insider’s Guide to the Wines and Wine Country of Argentina (Chronicle Books), the first book about Argentine wine by a U.S. publisher. Dave McIntyre of The Washington Post writes: "Vino Argentino is a mouthwatering introduction to the wines and culture of Argentina." 

Florence & Daniel Cathiard
Château Smith Haut Lafitte

Florence & Daniel Cathiard

Owner

Château Smith Haut Lafitte
Bordeaux, France

Daniel and Florence Cathiard were members of the famous French National ski team. After the death of his father in 1970, Daniel and Florence found themselves running the family's small supermarkets chain. Within 20 years, they had transformed it into the tenth largest mass distribution group in France, with 15 hypermarkets and 300 supermarkets.

At the same time, they launched and developed a chain of sporting goods shops – Go Sport – in France, Belgium, and California. Florence worked with Daniel managing Genty and Go Sport for ten years before launching her own advertising firm, later becoming Vice President of McCann Europe in 1985. In 1990, Daniel and Florence sold all their business interests to buy Château Smith Haut Lafitte. Over a two year period, they invested massively in renovating both the winery buildings and the 18th century manor house built by George Smith, where they decided to live and to devote their energy to their newfound passion: making outstanding white and red wines.

The reasons we chose Château Smith Haut Lafitte is quite simple: it was love at first sight when we visited the château's magnificent underground cellar, which fits in perfectly with our desire to make one of the world's best wines. The other reason was the unique terroir of semi precious stones and gravels dating back to the quaternary era.

Florence has written a book entitled Art de Vigne (“Art of the Vine”) published by Editions de la Martinière-Aubanel and Autour d’une bouteille. The couple's two daughters have created their own businesses with their respective husbands.

Florence is president of the Conseil Superieur de l’Oenotourisme and has succeeded this year in launching with the Minister of Tourism a multilingual and hexagonal Gate - visitfrenchwine.com - giving access for the first time to all the wine regions of France, including also unsung heroes.

Federico Ceretto
Ceretto

Federico Ceretto

Winemaker

Ceretto
Piedmont, Italy

Federico, the son of Bruno Ceretto, was born in 1977 and is the youngest in the family. After graduating from high school specializing in classical studies, he chose to pursue a university diploma in Business Administration. While studying, he found a passion for what was to be his lifelong profession, the management of his family’s winery. Federico also oversee their sales network in Italy, supporting agents on visits to customers and clients.

He is the export manager for Ceretto and President of Relanghe, the new activity of the family that promotes Piemonte hazelnuts."Considering the fact that we four young Cerettos can count on the solid foundations laid by our parents, I’m expecting a dynamic, intense future" says Federico.

If he was not born into the Ceretto family, he would probably have done what he is doing now: working aboard in the hospitality industry to promote the culture of Piemonte. Federico is married and the father of a daughter, Alma Sofia, born in 2010 and a son, Tommaso, born in 2015.

Cyril Chappellet
Chappellet Vineyard

Cyril Chappellet

Chairman of the Board

Chappellet Vineyard
Napa, CA

Moving to Pritchard Hill when he was 10 years old, Cyril Chappellet has witnessed the transformation of the Napa Valley into one of the world’s great winegrowing regions. The eldest son of Molly and Donn Chappellet, Cyril grew up working in the vineyard and winery. At 18, Donn and Molly encouraged Cyril to make his own career choices and to explore life away from the family business. 

Prior to being named chairman of the board, Cyril spent many years as the winery’s managing director. In this role, he was instrumental in guiding the day-to-day workings of the winery, overseeing sales and marketing efforts and working with his family to ensure the ongoing vitality of the business. During his tenure as managing director, Chappellet was recognized for making some of the finest wines in its storied history. Pritchard Hill catapulted to center stage as California’s premier location for mountain-grown Bordeaux varietals, most notably, Cabernet Sauvignon. Cyril was elected chairman of the winery’s family-run board of directors in 2012. Today, Cyril is actively involved in every aspect of the winery’s operations and works closely with his family to ensure the continued success of Chappellet. 

 

Paul Chevalier
Château D'Esclans

Paul Chevalier

Wine Director

Château D'Esclans
Provence, France

Paul was educated in winemaking and viticulture at the University of Reims and the University of Bordeaux.  He then went on to acquire his practical knowledge of wine at Château Margaux, making wine at the side of one of the great masters in œnology, Emile Peynaud, and later with Louis Latour in Burgundy.

After acquiring a wealth of experience working for some of the greatest names in the wine world, Paul is now the National Fine Wine Director at Shaw-Ross International Importers. He works with Sacha Lichine and Patrick Léon in the development of the 4 unique rosés from the Château D'Esclans estate.

Daniel Daou
DAOU Vineyards

Daniel Daou

Winemaker / Owner

DAOU Vineyards
Paso Robles, CA

Daniel Daou’s prime motivation is passion, and his background as an engineer informs his every decision as a winemaker. Daniel goes to extraordinary lengths, such as employing methods only used in producing first-growth Bordeaux, to ensure that his wines are balanced with nonintrusive tannins to provide structure for the full bodied fruit while the wine matures, first in the barrel and later in the bottle. In the vineyard, he walks a fine line by letting the grapes struggle, yet never crossing over to the point where the vines would shut down.

Often, friends and fans of his wines describe Daniel as a man both charismatic and passionate, yet always ready to listen to others. He is seen as a committed member of the community whose drive and resources will take Paso Robles to a whole new level. For Daniel, putting his cherished family name on the bottle means everything. What’s inside the bottle must warrant that privilege, so every day he thinks about how to ensure the level of excellence he expects from his wines.

Joe Donelan
Donelan Family Wines

Joe Donelan

Founder

Donelan Family Wines
Sonoma, CA

Joe Donelan, founder of Donelan Family Wines, began his journey of wine discovery in the 1980s, led by an inspired sommelier at Toppers Restaurant on Nantucket. With a vision for creating superior-quality, terroir-driven Syrah and Rhone-varietals, Joe established relationships with unique Sonoma County vineyards and brought together a production team to found Donelan Family Wines. With his family’s name stamped on each bottle and two sons involved in the day-to-day operations of the business, Donelan Family Wines is a true family venture for Joe.

Laurent Drouhin
Maison Joseph Drouhin

Laurent Drouhin

Ambassador to the U.S. and Caribbean

Maison Joseph Drouhin
Burgundy, France

Laurent Drouhin followed his father to the vineyards at a tender age, roller-skating in the cellars and playing in the cuverie. His fondest memory (a la Marcel Proust) is the smell of the macerating must.

Today, Laurent is the Maison Joseph Drouhin ambassador to the United States and the Caribbean. Besides his commercial responsibilities, he is also involved in communication and other public relation activities such as tastings and wine dinners. He has lived in New York since 2005.

Tom Eddy
Tom Eddy Winery

Tom Eddy

Owner/Winemaker

Tom Eddy Winery
Napa Valley, CA

Tom Eddy completed his oenology degree at UC Davis, Class of ’74, which is known as a group of winemakers often credited for the meteoric rise in the quality of wine in California. Before starting the family wine company in 1989, Tom had been winemaker for some of the largest and smallest wineries in California. A published author and recognized winery expert, Tom’s personal stamp of winemaking and winery construction has influenced much of the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. 

Laurence Féraud
Domaine du Pégau

Laurence Féraud

Owner/Winemaker

Domaine du Pégau
Rhone, France

Domaine du Pégau was created in 1987 when Laurence was back from her first step of Oenology School and second step of Trading Wine and Spirits School in Paris. Laurence and her father, Paul Féraud, decided it was time to leave Paul’s parent’s winery to build one of their own, and to develop their brand Pégau. Together they were able to produce the same traditional Châteauneuf du Pape style of the Féraud family.

Eric Flanagan
Flanagan

Eric Flanagan

Owner/Winemaker

Flanagan
Sonoma, CA

Flanagan wines started in 1999. Planting began in 2001 and included Cabernet, Merlot,  and Syrah. In 2011, Flanagan acquired the 29 acre 3 Starrs Vineyard in the heart of the Russian River Valley, producing ripe, balanced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.  Flanagan is becoming known for stunning Syrah and elegant, site-driven expressions of Bordeaux varietals.  

Eric, Kit and their 3 daughters (Riley, Lola, and Ruby) make their home at the 3 Starrs Vineyard along with 3 dogs, 4 ducks, 6 Dwarf Nigerian goats, 2 geese, and 1 mule (also named Ruby).

Claude Giraud
Champagne Henri Giraud

Claude Giraud

Winemaker

Champagne Henri Giraud
France

Claude Giraud was born in 1952 in the historical heart of Champagne in France. Claude is the 12th generation of the Giraud-Hémart family, and was elevated to the pace of work of the vine and wine by his father Henri Giraud and his grandmother Madeleine Hémart. After short studies in Burgundy, Claude joined the family estate. In 10 years, with the help of his father, he completely reorganized the vineyard, and by 1982 took over management completely. His project was twofold: to create a high-class wine, and affirm instead the family estate to become known as a champagne house. Combining the most modern techniques and working in small oak barrels, pressing and winemaking cation are now  completely redesigned. In 1990, Claude designed the first vintage of the wine Barrel Oak AY Grand Cru. In December, under his leadership, Champagne Henri Giraud became a Trader champagne and to this day, belongs  to the Champagne Houses Union.

In 1992, Claude was appointed CEO of Champagne Henri Giraud. They offer 6 beautiful cellar vintages: 1993, 95., 96, 98, 99, and 2000. The Henri Giraud House, which had previously only provided wine for its private clients, then launched the 1990 vintage of the wine oak barrel in the international market. François Claude Giraud consolidated Hémart brands and Henri Giraud under the banner of Champagne Henri Giraud. Giraud designed the packaging for all Champagne Henri Giraud wines, including the Espirit de Giraud and CODE NOIR lines.

 

Greg Harrington
Gramercy Cellars

Greg Harrington

Founder & Winemaker

Gramercy Cellars
Walla Walla, Washington

Greg Harrington is the founder of and winemaker for Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington. His winemaking focuses on great Washington vineyards, minimalist intervention, and balanced, earthy wines. At Gramercy, he focuses primarily on Rhone and Bordeaux varietals.

In 2008, Seattle Magazine named Greg “Best New Winemaker in Washington” and Gramercy “Best New Winery.” Food & Wine Magazine awarded Gramercy the “Best New Winery in America” in 2010. Wine & Spirits Magazine has named Gramercy to its “Top 100 Wineries in the World” list in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

In 1996 at the age of 26, Greg Harrington passed the Master Sommelier Exam, a title held by fewer than 130 people in the U.S. He previously served as Chairman of the Court of Master Sommeliers Americas.

A 1992 graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, Greg began his career in wine as a sommelier at Joyce Goldstein’s Square One restaurant in San Francisco. From San Francisco, Greg travelled to New Orleans to serve as wine director for Emeril Lagasse’s restaurants in New Orleans and Las Vegas. While with Emeril, Greg developed a wine program that earned Wine Spectator’s Grand Award, which has been awarded to fewer than 100 restaurants in the U.S. He then moved to Las Vegas to join the Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group, which includes the Spago, Postrio, and Chinois restaurants, as an associate partner and wine director. Greg’s last foray in the restaurant business was in New York City with Steve Hanson and BR Guest Restaurants and James Hotels. There he oversaw the wine and alcohol programs for 15 restaurants and hotels in New York City, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, and Chicago.

Jasmine Hirsch
Hirsch Vineyards

Jasmine Hirsch

Sales and Marketing

Hirsch Vineyards
Sonoma, CA

Jasmine Hirsch was born and raised in Northern California. She and her sister Jessica were baptized in champagne by their wine-loving parents David and Rebecca Hirsch, and they spent their childhoods at Hirsch Vineyards.  After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001, Jasmine spent five years living in Europe followed by two years in New York at JP Morgan Private Bank. She escaped from corporate life to take over sales and marketing at Hirsch Vineyards in 2008. She is involved in all aspects of the wine production.   

Matt Hobbs
Paul Hobbs Wines

Matt Hobbs

Partner & National Sales Manager

Paul Hobbs Wines
Sonoma, CA

Matt Hobbs is National Sales Manager and a partner in Paul Hobbs Wines, which is located in Sebastopol, California and produces the “Paul Hobbs” and “CrossBarn by Paul Hobbs” wines. One of Paul Hobbs’s ten siblings, Matt has worked with Paul for most of the last twelve years. For six of those years, he was general manager of the winery. He is currently responsible for managing the winery’s sales in the United States and the Caribbean.

From 2007-2009 Matt lived in Mendoza, Argentina where he worked as the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for The Vines of Mendoza, a premier vineyard development and hospitality company. Upon returning to the U.S. and before rejoining Paul Hobbs Wines in 2011, Matt was General Manager of Epoch Estate Wines in Paso Robles, California which is a producer of ultra-premium Rhone-variety wines.

Christopher Howell
Cain Vineyard & Winery

Christopher Howell

Winemaker

Cain Vineyard & Winery
Napa Valley, CA

Christopher Howell has dedicated more than twenty years to Cain Vineyard & Winery. His commitment to Cain stems from a realization that one can only learn from one vintage to the next, and that depth of knowledge of a single vineyard takes years to acquire. His focus is on fine winegrowing—following the process from vineyard into the winery and finally into the glass. There are just two essential prerequisites for doing this—knowing wine and loving wine. In both of these, he remains a perpetual student.

Markus Huber
Weingut Markus Huber

Markus Huber

Owner & Winemaker

Weingut Markus Huber
Traisen, Austria

As a young man, Markus dreamed of  becoming a  professional football (soccer) player. Markus was brought up in Reichersdorf, Austria -  where his parents ran their vineyard and studied at the HBLA in Klosterneuburg, graduating as a Viticultural engineer. In the end, Markus decided to follow on with the family tradition of winemaking in Austria with roots dating back over 220 years.

To gain international winemaking knowledge, he interned in Austrialia at wineries including Mittelback, Jurtschitsch and Bründlmayer. Austrialia was followed by a stint in South Africa where he spent time working at some of the best wineries in the country, including Kaapzicht, Spiceroute & Lammershoek. He has been described as a winemaker to watch and a ‘Wunderkind’ (British Decanter Magazine) by the press. Together with his close-knit team the winery has already achieved huge success and numerous awards on the international stage.

Fredrik Johansson
Staglin Family Vineyard

Fredrik Johansson

Winemaker

Staglin Family Vineyard
Rutherford, CA

Fredrik Johansson is a transplanted Connecticut Yankee born to Swedish parents who moved to California 24 years ago to study engineering at the University of California, Berkeley. A change in his field of study to developmental economics and literature lead him to an initial career in law and investment management in Silicon Valley where he had the good fortune of working with several serious wine collectors who fueled his burgeoning passion for wine and ultimately altered the trajectory of his life.

Serendipity allowed him to meet consulting winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown with whom he apprenticed for four years to acquire the core of his winemaking knowledge and from whom he learned the singular importance of vineyards and terroir. He has worked at Nicholson Ranch in Sonoma, Two Hands Wines in Australia and Outpost Wines on Howell Mountain in Napa Valley where he oversaw several of Thomas' consulting projects, including Schrader Cellars and Maybach Family Vineyards.

Since 2007 he has been the winemaker at Staglin Family Vineyard where he has had the fortune of collaborating with two legends in the industry, Michel Rolland and David Abreu. 

Dan Kosta
Kosta Browne

Dan Kosta

Founder

Kosta Browne
Sebastopol, CA

Dan Kosta, a native of Sonoma County, credits his father for his love of wine. At home, wine was served at nearly every dinner and at his dad's wine shop in Santa Rosa, he learned about labels, varietals and style. Following his passion for food, Dan spent more than 15 years in fine dining, working his way up through almost every position imaginable, and finally to Wine Director at John Ash Restaurant in Santa Rosa. Dan now spends much of his time attending charitable events on behalf of the winery. “I love how wine and food bring people together and feel very fortunate that we can play a role in helping many worthy causes.”

Geoff Labitzke
Kistler Vineyards

Geoff Labitzke

Director of Sales and Marketing

Kistler Vineyards
Sonoma, CA

Geoff  Labitzke is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Kistler Vineyards.

Geoff began his career as a retailer in Southern California in 1978; he was a guest speaker conducting wine classes at Saddleback College and Orange Coast College. In 1989, he achieved the Certified Wine Educator credential from the Society of Wine Educators. Geoff later served on the Society’s board of directors and was chairman of the annual conference held in Sonoma. In 2006, Geoff was one of two Americans to pass the rigorous Master of Wine examination. Currently there are only 32 Masters of Wine in the United States.

Sean Larkin
Larkin Wines

Sean Larkin

Owner/Winemaker

Larkin Wines
Napa Valley, CA

Sean Larkin is the owner/winemaker of Larkin Wines. Since the first vintage in 1999, Larkin has been on a roll. Crafting serious wines culled from a short list of Napa Valley vineyards, he has managed to quickly capture the eye of critics and connoisseurs alike for his lusty brand of brawny reds. Sean produces about 500 cases annually focusing on his much sought-after Cabernet Franc. 

Sacha Lichine
Château D'Esclans

Sacha Lichine

Winemaker

Château D'Esclans
Provence, France

Born in Bordeaux and educated in America, Sacha Lichine began working at his family’s former property, Château Prieure Lichine, during his youth. Sacha’s first enterprise was organizing luxury wine tours in France which helped facilitate the establishment of Sacha Lichine Estate Selections for wines from the Rhone.

A pivotal moment for Sacha was his 2006 acquisition of Château D’Esclans in Provence. In keeping with his uncanny sense of innovation, Sacha felt that Rosé had strong developmental opportunities to become more serious from a production standpoint in addition to being served and consumed more broadly. Working with Patrick Léon, they created 4 unique rosés from the Château D'Esclans estate.

Dave Miner
Miner Family Winery

Dave Miner

Owner/Winemaker

Miner Family Winery
Napa Valley, CA

Born and raised in Chicago, Dave Miner lived for a number of years in southern California before staking his claim in Napa Valley.

Miner began his journey in the wine business in 1993 as President of Oakville Ranch Vineyards, following a number of years spent working in the software industry. He launched his own label beginning with the 1996 vintage to critical acclaim that quickly solidified his position as a serious vintner in Oakville.

Carissa Mondavi
Continuum

Carissa Mondavi

Communications

Continuum
Napa Valley, CA

Carissa Mondavi plays a key role in the Communications and Hospitality at Continuum. She has worked in the vineyards, in the cellar, and as a Senior Wine Educator, and just prior to Continuum, in the Cultural Affairs Department at Robert Mondavi Winery.

Keen on liberating people's experience with wine, she is thrilled to be sharing her family story with others and contributing to the realization of her father's vision. In her free time Carissa enjoys music composition, yoga, hiking, cooking, and dreaming of travel yet to come.

Christian Moreau
Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils

Christian Moreau

Owner/Winemaker

Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils
Burgundy, France

After spending 11 years in Canada, Christian MOREAU came back to Chablis in 1972, with his wife Christine and their 3 children. Christian started working with his father, the 4th generation of the founder Jean-Joseph Moreau who started the wine business back in 1814.  Since that time there has always been a family member involve in the wine trade.

Christian’s son Fabien, completed a Master's Degree in wine management and commercial administration at the University of Bordeaux, and is now in charge with his father in the vineyards and vinification of Domaine Christian MOREAU Père et Fils.

Joe Nielsen
Donelan Family Wines

Joe Nielsen

Winemaker

Donelan Family Wines
Sonoma, CA

Joe completed the Michigan State winemaking program at an accelerated rate and received a Bachelor of Science in Horticulture, after which he spent a year with a Michigan winery before pursuing his winemaking dreams in California. At Donelan Family Wines, you’ll find Joe with his hands in all aspect of the winemaking process, from analyzing wine samples in the lab to managing the racking and bottling of the cellar.

Tyler Olbres
Nellcôte

Tyler Olbres

Founder/Vintner

Nellcôte
Napa Valley, CA

The resplendent Villa Nellcôte is an emblem of the gorgeously over-the-top Côte d’Azur lifestyle Vintner Tyler Olbres enjoyed for a decade. Like its namesake, Nellcôte wine is lavishly crafted to enrapture the senses.

Sourced from two of Napa Valley’s most esteemed vineyards, the twin Nellcôte Cabernet Sauvignons are coaxed by partner winemakers Phillip Corallo-Titus and Ry Richards to express the rich gifts of each site with precision and finesse. The velvet-throttled Rallye 76 is a Napa Valley Eastern Bench vedette, elegant and sexy, driven by super-premium fruit. The 500 Cheveaux is classic Napa Valley Western Bench: muscular, naturally more tannic, built to age—a long-haul performer with an expertly tuned growl.

These names recall the power and thrill of Monaco’s racing history, while the wines themselves speak with refined and unmistakable California accents.

The Nellcôte rosé, a jewel-colored wine with a South of France soul and a Napa Valley attitude, is the realization of Tyler’s ambition to introduce a world-class dry American rosé to the luxury market.

 

 

Frédéric Panaïotis
Champagne Ruinart

Frédéric Panaïotis

Chef de Caves

Champagne Ruinart
Reims, France

Frédéric Panaïotis graduated from the Institute National Agronomique Paris-Grignon in Viticulture & Oenology, and earned the Diplome National d’Oenologue of the Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique in Montpellier in 1988.

Panaïotis joined Champagne Ruinart in 2007 as Chef de Caves. In this position, he has the responsibility of creating the blends, from the non vintages Blanc de Blancs and Rosé to the prestige cuvees of Ruinart, Dom Ruinart and Dom Ruinart Rosé. He also plays a significant role in the communication efforts of Champagne Ruinart, travelling extensively to international markets.

Rajat Parr
Evening Land Vineyards

Rajat Parr

Proprietor

Evening Land Vineyards
Dundee, OR

Co-founder of Domaine de la Côte, Rajat Parr is a two-time James Beard Award winner and internationally regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on wine. Rajat Parr grew up in Calcutta, India, before journeying to the United States where he chose to pursue the cellar instead of the kitchen. He honed his wine knowledge and tasting skills, while beginning a career that would see him become one the world’s most celebrated sommeliers.

Parr not only frequently traveled abroad to European wine regions; he also became close with several of California’s top winemakers. This ultimately translated into bottling his own wines, where Parr made the transition from sommelier to producer. During this period, he became closer to Santa Barbara County winemaker Sashi Moorman, as they found mutual interest in pushing the boundaries of California wine, every vintage seeing how much earlier they could harvest to achieve more balanced alcohols, racier acidity, and purer flavors. Most recently, in early 2014, Parr took over the historic and acclaimed Seven Springs Vineyard in Oregon.

Beyond his wineries, today Parr remains partners with Michael Mina in his two RN74 restaurants. He also co-authored the James-Beard-Award winning book Secrets of the Sommeliers, and co-founded the trend-setting California non-profit wine group, In Pursuit of Balance. He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife Jessica,  though he can still be found frequently traveling the world speaking, educating, tasting, and obsessively learning.

Eric Perrin
Chateau Carbonnieux

Eric Perrin

Owner

Chateau Carbonnieux
Bordeaux, France

Since 1820 Perrin generations have successfully passed along the expertise of winemaker from father to son.  First on the side of Macon in Burgundy, then in North Africa, and finally in the largest and most prestigious area of ​​great wines in the world…Bordeaux. With this family experience, but also the one inherited from the history of the vineyard Carbonnieux and The Perrin family are working to produce great vintages year after year developing in the heart of the beautiful land in the appellation Pessac-Leognan. Today Eric, Christine and Philibert Perrin work together following the same family spirit to support their properties. 

Austin Peterson
Ovid Napa Valley

Austin Peterson

Winemaker

Ovid Napa Valley
Napa Valley, CA

Austin Peterson grew up in a winemaking family on Spring Mountain, immersed in the culture and business of wine. His interest in wine from an early age led him to study viticulture and enology at UC Davis. Following his graduation he compiled an impressive resume that included winery positions at prestigious estates in Napa, France, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina. Austin began his career at Ovid in 2006, as assistant winemaker. In 2010 he was named winemaker. He continues his passionate pursuit to make the best expression of the estate each and every year.

Dan Petroski
Larkmead Vineyards

Dan Petroski

Winemaker

Larkmead Vineyards
Calistoga, CA

An advocate of California wine culture and community, Dan Petroski is a winemaker celebrated both by the underground wine crowd and old school drinkers alike for his modern yet classical approach to California's wine. He's the head winemaker at Napa's Larkmead, where he focuses on Bordeaux varietals, and the owner and winemaker at Massican, where he makes northern Italian inspired whites and Chardonnay. 

Suzanne Pride Bryan & Stuart Bryan
Pride Mountain Vineyards

Suzanne Pride Bryan & Stuart Bryan

Co-Owner

Pride Mountain Vineyards
Napa Valley, CA

Vintners Suzanne Pride Bryan and Stuart Bryan celebrate 25 years of intensely extracted mountain grown wines from Pride Mountain Vineyards.  The Napa/Sonoma county line famously runs through the middle of this historic family estate where the first grapes were grown in 1869.  Pride Mountain Vineyards has been named one of the world’s greatest wine estates by Robert Parker, Jr., joining just 156 other wineries from around the world for this distinction.  The Wine Spectator has placed Pride’s wines on their Top 100 Wines of the World list six times and the wines have been served at the White House over 30 times for the last four Presidents.

DLynn Proctor
Penfolds

DLynn Proctor

Penfolds Ambassador, Americas and Canada

Penfolds
Australia

DLynn Proctor has been a prominent figure in the wine industry for over 10 years. He came to Penfolds with extensive experience working with the best in the fine dining business, retail/web sales, fine and rare wine brokerage, and international education. 

Drawn to Penfolds by the winery's ethos, DLynn is a passionate ambassador, instrumental to the Penfolds education programs, media relations and re-corking clinics across the United States and Canada. In addition, he travels extensively to speak publicly and represents this iconic brand to customers, consumers, journalists, and distributors in a variety of global forums. DLynn has been involved in a widespread sensory testing, winemaking and training with top winemakers in California, Washington, Texas, South Australia, Italy, and is an adjunct lecturer and wine show judge at some of the world's most famous universities and wine shows. 

 

Philippe Prost
Bouchard Père & Fils

Philippe Prost

Winemaker & Technical Director

Bouchard Père & Fils
Burgundy, France

Born in Burgundy, France in 1956, the amiable Philippe Prost joined Bouchard Père & Fils in 1978 following an extensive education in Chemistry. He began his career at the winery with a focus in laboratory analysis and in 1989  was given the responsibility of purchasing and receiving of the grapes and wines for Bouchard Père & Fils.

In 1992 Mr. Prost assumed control of all winemaking responsibilities and has held the title of technical director ever since. In that time he has mentored many young winemakers one of whom warrants special note; Mr.Didier Seguier of celebrated Chablis producer, William Fèvre. Mr. Prost is passionate about painting, drawing, photography and of course winemaking and is considered one of Burgundy's most artistic and talented winemakers.

David Ramey
Ramey Wine Cellars

David Ramey

Owner & Winemaker

Ramey Wine Cellars
Sonoma, CA

Ramey Wine Cellars was founded in 1996 by David Ramey and his wife Carla. After sixteen years making wine in Sonoma County, and firmly establishing Matanzas Creek and Chalk Hill wineries in the marketplace, David crossed the Mayacamas to spend six years in the Napa Valley--first as VP-Winemaker for Dominus Estate and project manager for the construction of their new winery; then helping Leslie Rudd reshape the Girard Winery into Rudd Oakville.

Over the years, David has helped pioneer traditional, artisan winemaking techniques in California during a period when making wine by the University book was the norm. His efforts have helped shape the way many wines in the United States are made today, including the elimination of skin contact for most white grapes; the use of oxidized juice in making white wine; sur lie aging of white wines in barrel; malolactic fermentation of Chardonnay; native yeast fermentations; harvesting fully mature fruit; eliminating acidification of red wines; and bottling without filtration.

In addition to managing Ramey Wine Cellars, David enjoys consulting for a select handful of clients in the North Coast.

 

Jean Rémy Rapeneau
Château de Bligny

Jean Rémy Rapeneau

Owner

Château de Bligny
Bligny,France

Jean Remy Rapeneau was born 1983 in Reims and grew up in the Champagne Region. He was always involved in the Family Winery in Champagne, working in the vineyards and at the facilities.  After reviewing all aspects of the Champagne making business, he decided to pursue the study of international business. He began his studies in France and completed them in London at the Westminster University. 

Throughout generations the brand has been very well established all over the domestic market and Europe, but he wanted to bring its international vision to the Family. After Graduation, he left France to the US to take care of the Northern American markets. Since 2008, the expansion has been significant due to the quality of the champagnes, which have been awarded among the top wines magazines, while also, bringing one of the best value Champagnes on the market.

 

Rui Ribeiro
Premium Port Wines Inc.

Rui Ribeiro

US Market Manager

Premium Port Wines Inc.
Portugal

Rui Ribeiro has always had a love for wine, but his interests became more serious when he received his degree in Agronomics at Vila Real University in the Douro. Once filled with knowledge Rui was ready to put his skills to work and started as a winemaker and harvest trainee in 2000.

With a passion for nature and viticulture Rui quickly fell in love with the Douro Valley. He was captivated by the impressive beauty of the terraces and the surrounding atmosphere of the Douro. This solidified his career goals to educate the world about the wines of the Douro Valley. Rui is the US Market Manager at Symington Family Estates. He is working under Rupert Symington’s leadership. He frequently visits to the US market supporting importers and distributors and developing actions for the consumer.

Christian Seely
Château Pichon Baron, Château Suduiraut, Quinta do Noval

Christian Seely

Managing Director

Château Pichon Baron, Château Suduiraut, Quinta do Noval
Pauillac, France

Born in 1960, Christian Seely was educated at Harrow School and Trinity College Cambridge where he took an M.A. in English in 1982. During the following months he accompanied his father, James Seely, wine merchant and writer, to Bordeaux, to work with him on his book “The Great Wines of Bordeaux”. Following this experience, Christian Seely created his own company, “Presents of Mind” specializing in wines and gastronomy.

After obtaining his MBA at INSEAD in 1987 Fontainebleau, he worked for Guinness Mahon Development Capital, for whom he managed the turn around of several companies in which they had investments. In October 1993 he was able to unite this work experience with his passion for wine when he was named Managing Director of Quinta do Noval, a new investment of the AXA Millésimes group in Portugal. In the year 2000, AXA invited Christian Seely to take up the position of Managing Director of AXA Millésimes.

Besides this prestigious Pauillac Grand Cru Classé, Christian Seely is responsible for looking after Châteaux Pibran in Pauillac, Petit-Village in Pomerol, Suduiraut in Sauternes, as well as Domaine de l’Arlot in Nuits-St-Georges, Disznókő in Hungary and Quinta do Noval in Portugal. He is also the President of the Compagnie Médocaine, the Bordeaux Négociant, which is wholly owned by AXA Millésimes. Apart from these AXA Millésimes companies, he is managing director and part owner of Quinta da Romaneira in the Douro, and co-founder and joint owner of Coates and Seely Ltd, producer of English Sparkling wine in Hampshire, England. 

Pierre Seillan
Château Lassègue, Vérité, Arcanum

Pierre Seillan

Vigneron

Château Lassègue, Vérité, Arcanum
Bordeaux*Sonoma*Tuscany

Born in 1950 in Gascony, Pierre Seillan is the vigneron for the Château Lassègue, Vérité, Anakota and Arcanum estates. His early education in winemaking was informed by multiple generations dating back to his great-great-grandfather, Jules Seillan, known for his work to combat phylloxera and the author of the first oenological map of Armagnac. At Domaine de Bellevue, the family’s estate in Gascony, Pierre's grandparents instilled in him a great respect for the soil, emphasizing the “message” of the terroir. It was there he fell in love with Bordeaux varieties, which the family used to make vins de pays. Pierre's career soon took him to Saumur-Champigny in the Loire Valley where he focused on the Cabernet Franc grape as vigneron of Château de Targé. He then spent two decades with Raoul and Jean Quancard as technical director and winemaker for seven châteaux in Bordeaux, honing his extraordinary blending techniques. Over the ensuing years the partnership flourished, and Pierre became an integral part of Jackson Family Wines. In 2001, Pierre crafted the inaugural vintage of Anakota from the Knights Valley in Sonoma County and a year later he began to work with Jackson’s Tuscan estate, Tenuta di Arceno, in San Gusme, which soon came include the Arcanum wines. In 2003, Jackson, Banke, along with Pierre and his wife Monique purchased the 17th-century Saint-Émilion estate, Château Lassègue in Bordeaux—an ideally situated property blessed by the sun with a multitude of soils and coastal breezes. Currently, the families produce three wines at Château Lassègue: the Estate’s flagship wine Lassègue, second label Les Cadrans de Lassègue, and Château Vignot. 

 

Michael Silacci
Opus One

Michael Silacci

Winemaker

Opus One
Napa Valley, CA

Michael joined Opus One in March 2001 as director of viticulture and enology and became winemaker in January of 2004, taking on responsibility for all aspects of viticulture and winemaking.

Prior to his appointment at Opus One, Mr. Silacci spent 6 years as winemaker at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, one year as winemaker at King Estate in Oregon, and 6 years at Beaulieu Vineyard. He also made wine in France and Chile.  Mr. Silacci holds a master’s degree in viticulture from the University of California, Davis in addition to undergraduate degrees in enology from the University of California, Davis and the Institut d’Oenologie at the Université de Bordeaux.

Advancing a holistic vision of winegrowing as the ultimate expression of terroir, Mr. Silacci ensures that the connection between viticulture and winemaking at Opus One is seamless, reflecting the philosophy of founders Baron Philippine de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi. Mr. Silacci seeks to enhance tradition and maintain innovation. His wines express time and place.

Jean Soubeyrand
Olivier Leflaive

Jean Soubeyrand

President

Olivier Leflaive
Burgundy, France

Jean Soubeyrand has been President of Olivier Leflaive since 2008.  He was formerly a stock and currency trader but had always been a lover of wine.  He began with Rhone, then Burgundy, and then visited vineyards all over the world.

Jean returned to France after much traveling and ready to start a new life.  He studied at Beaune Viti and Wine school and worked with Olivier as if he were his second father.

Jean enjoys drinking Barolo Roberto Conterno, Chevalier-Montrachet Domaine Leflaive, Champagne Erick de Sousa, Ridge Montebello, La Romanée Château de Vosne.

Kevin Tessieux
Domaine des Deux Roches

Kevin Tessieux

Owner

Domaine des Deux Roches
Burgundy, France

Before working in the family winery, Kevin Tessieux worked as a wine and food critic travelling all over Europe writing for several French publications.

Today he is the owner, along with his brother in law, of Domaine Deux Roches in the southern Burgundy region of Maconnais. They specialize in Chardonnay from Macon-Villages, Saint Veran and Pouilly Fuisse. They own 45 ha (about 100 acres) of vineyards throughout the region.

They also own and operate Chateau d’Antunac in the Languedoc region of Limoux.

Kevin is also the president of the Saint Veran Appellation as well as a business professor and a university in Lyon. 

Christopher Tynan
Lede Family Wines

Christopher Tynan

Winemaker

Lede Family Wines
Napa Valley, CA

Born in New York and raised in Texas, Christopher Tynan began his wine career working summers as a vineyard technician doing irrigation management for vineyards across Napa and Sonoma counties. Following a harvest at Cain Vineyard & Winery in 2004, he was given an opportunity to work the 2005 harvest with the legendary winemaking and viticulture team of Helen Turley and John Wetlaufer at Blankiet Estate in Yountville.

In 2006, Christopher became the assistant winemaker at the prestigious Colgin Cellars on Pritchard Hill. At Colgin, Christopher worked closely with owner Ann Colgin, Winemaker Allison Tauziet and Vineyard Manager David Abreu for the next five years. It was here where he learned and embodied the standard for excellence in all aspects of winemaking and viticulture. In 2012, Christopher was introduced to Cliff Lede by David Abreu and joined the Cliff Lede Vineyards team shortly thereafter. His exacting philosophy of only employing low-yield vines from select sites and minimal intervention in the winery ensures that each bottle expresses the distinct nuances of each site, block and vintage.  

 

François Villard
Domaine François Villard

François Villard

Winemaker

Domaine François Villard
Rhone, France

In 1988, François Villard started his professional training at the agricultural college in Davaye (Burgundy). He planted his first vines in 1989. From there he set up his own business and harvest in Chayanay Village, building his winery in Saint Michel sur Rhône.

His first production was made up of 400 bottles of Condrieu. He now makes over 225,000 bottles a year.

His next project is an extension of the HIW Winery and wine production of Crozes.