Every year the Nantucket Wine 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.
Brian Alberg, Executive Chef and Director of Food & Beverage at The Red Lion Inn, is a staunch supporter of the local food movement in the Berkshires and Hudson Valley. He is President of Berkshire Grown, an organization dedicated to promoting the support of local farming and strengthening the relationships between local farmers and restaurants. In the past eight years at the Red Lion Inn, Alberg has established strong relationships with regional farmers and food producers and purchased more than $500K in local foods annually, a compelling contribution to the Berkshire-Hudson economy.
Chef Damon Baehrel runs a one-man show in his restaurant and on the 12 acre property/native farm from which he sources all of the ingredients for his original, completely self-derived Native Harvest Cuisine. Damon has no suppliers other than an occasional east coast seafood delivery and even creates his own flours, pressed oils, sap brine, vinegars and seasonings from the native and cultivated landscape on the property. The tiny 18 seat restaurant, now known as DAMON BAEHREL in honor of its sole employee, opened in 1989 in the basement of Damon & his wife Elizabeth's home in Earlton, NY. About 2 1/2 hours north of NYC, DAMON BAEHREL has become a destination for food enthusiasts from around the world and currently has a 5+ year waiting list.
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.
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.Chef David loved cooking from his earliest years. He started his professional career in Boston over 25 years ago. He began at the Four Seasons Hotel, holding multiple positions over his 13 years there including: Sous Chef, Chef de Cuisine and Executive Chef (2003-06) of the nationally acclaimed Au Jourd Hui restaurant. In 2001 Chef David opened the new Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco as Executive Sous Chef. Chef Dave was also the Executive Chef of the Four Diamond Stonehedge Inn, Tyngsboro, Massachusetts. He then ventured on to Whole Foods Market as a Regional Prepared Foods Coordinator, directing the Prepared Foods Program for 27 Whole Foods Market locations. While there he acquired a heightened appreciation for sustainability and product integrity and got to personally know local purveyors, farmers, fishermen and artisanal food producers.
When Chef/Owner Jason Bond describes the vision for his Bondir restaurants in Concord and Cambridge, MA, he uses the term Gesamtkunstwerk, or “total work of art,” which is often used to describe the music of German opera composer Richard Wagner. Having spent nearly two decades in the culinary world, the former student of music has long considered the ideal dining environment to be one in which all sensory details are carefully considered and executed: the atmosphere guests experience upon entering the restaurant, the weight of the silverware, the beauty of ingredients coming together on the plate, and ultimately the harmonious flavors of the sustainable modern American cuisine. “Over time, I learned that we can guide the guest’s experience from the very beginning,” he explains. “We work hard on the technical aspects behind the scenes so it seems effortless in the dining room.” It is this motivation that enables him to provide a well-rounded and unrivaled level of service to his guests.
Bond, who grew up in Wyoming and Kansas with a family of ranchers, forged an early link to farming and harvest. He discovered his true calling in culinary arts when he took a cooking job while studying music in college. “I would have a cookbook under my arm wherever I went,” he recalls. “I just got so into cooking that I wouldn’t do anything else.” After studying charcuterie in Paris, he took a more experiential approach to building his food-industry career with roles at various restaurants throughout the East Coast, including Chef de Cuisine at No. 9 Park and Executive Chef at Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro. Renowned Pastry Chef Jim Dodge served as a mentor during this time, influencing a large part of Bond’s current hospitality vision for Bondir.
Bond’s vision is to craft contemporary dishes with the highest quality ingredients from land and sea, sourced from an extensive network of local farmers, fisherman, and vendors, as well as his own one-acre plot of land, Bondir Gardens, at Sweet Autumn Farm. This network of connections has spawned close friendships, allowing Bond to take advantage of such perks as receiving morning texts with local fishermen’s catch of the day and access to the area’s finest wild foraged edibles. His specialties include charcuterie, whole animal and plant usage, heirloom varieties of vegetables, and sustainable agriculture.
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.
Laura Brennan’s culinary career began with a B.S. in Food and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Rhode Island, followed by a diploma from Madeleine Kamman’s Modern Gourmet Cooking School in Newton Centre, MA.Her diverse background includes the roles of Executive Chef for more than five years at Boston’s famous Mercury Bar, three years with culinary luminaries Michela Larson and Jody Adams at Michela’s in Cambridge, an apprenticeship with Madeleine Kamman at her eponymous Chez La Mere Madeleine Restaurant and stints with Moncef Meddeb, the founder of L’Espalier and Steve Johnson of The Blue Room & Rendezvous, both in Cambridge.After many years of experience, Brennan opened her own restaurant in Boston’s South End; Caffe Umbra, which lay in the shadow (“umbra”) of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Boston Magazine’s food critic, Corby Kummer was..…. ” startled by the revitalization of classic, gently stylish French Bourgeois cooking underlined by technique & thought. “ Stuff at Night food writer, Louisa Kasdon wrote: “Caffe Umbra offers the kind of food that diners wish their mothers could and would make; if their mothers happened to be French bourgeois countrywomen with gardens, root cellars and rabbits in the back yard.”When Brennan sold Caffe Umbra she became a Chef Instructor at Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School in Cambridge, MA. There she spent 5 + years de-constructing her wealth of cooking expertise in order to create a daily feast of knowledge for her students. Last fall she joined the staff of the New England Aquarium as the Executive Chef following Bill Bradley. Teaching was the perfect prerequisite to her new role; as the Aquarium is a vibrant and fluid institution of discovery & learning. Chef Brennan will focus her efforts on guiding the gustatory, sustainable & nutritional experiences of the Aquarium’s visitors.
Eric Brennan serves as the Executive Chef of Post 390, an urban tavern featuring seasonally-inspired menus in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood.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.
In 2000, Brennan returned to New England to work at several prestigious Boston restaurants including The Federalist and Himmel Hospitality Group’s Harvest, where he was able to exercise his creativity through seasonally-driven dishes.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. His dedication and enthusiasm for local ingredients is brought to life through the restaurant’s “Farm to Post” series, which Brennan started in 2012. Each month, Brennan and his team highlight a particular New England farm or purveyor and create weekly “Farm to Post” menus utilizing those
Daniel Bruce had a dream to create a signature restaurant with an innovative concept all his own. That dream became a reality with the October 2002 opening of Meritage, a bold restaurant featuring the pairing of culinary flavors to wine flavors, rather than the traditional pairings of grape varietals and cuisine. Lovingly created by Bruce, the restaurant is a true manifestation of his personal passion, housed in the beauty and elegance of the city's architectural treasures. His passion for food and wine led him to be the driving force of the Boston Wine Festival which is now in its 26th year Over the years, Bruce has worked with the finest winemakers from around the world and created more than three thousand original dishes, each one designed to perfectly complement the special wine with which it was served. Chef Bruce currently keeps himself busy creating new menus at Meritage and bringing the Wine Festival to new cities.
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 and 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.During the summer of 2012, Justin completed a 30-day internship in New York at Fleisher’s, a sustainable butcher shop under master butcher Josh Applestone where Justin furthered his knowledge and skills with sustainable meats and butchery. In 2013, Justin launched the Denver Bacon Company, a locally produced, dry cured, peachwood smoked, and thick cut and sweetened with maple sugar bacon.
Stephen Coe has joined Mirbeau Inn & Spa at The Pinehills as Executive Chef. The Massachusetts native takes the helm of the elegant Henri-Marie restaurant and Wine Bar & Bistro, which will make their debut with the inn’s opening in June 2014. He will also oversee in-room dining and what is expected to be a robust catering operation. Coe brings to Mirbeau more than 20 years of culinary experience. Most recently, he was executive chef at Bokx 109 American Prime at Hotel Indigo, an upscale steak house in Newton, Mass. He has also led the kitchens at Alba Restaurant in Quincy and Patrizia’s Trattoria in Plymouth. He spent three seasons as Pastry Chef at Topper’s at the Wauwinet in Nantucket. Coe’s culinary experience also includes The Martini House in Napa, Calif., The Chef’s Table in Pembroke, Mass., and The Country Club in Brookline, Mass.In addition to his executive chef post, Coe, a strong advocate of sustainable agriculture, will source his own honey and seasonal vegetation from local farms in Plymouth. He is active in Boston and Rhode Island food banks, Share Our Strength, and Meals on Wheels.A natural competitor, Coe has cooked on more than 100 stages worldwide, winning, among other awards, the Grand Prize in Food Network’s Tyler Florence Recipe Contest and the American Culinary Foundation’s Boston 2002 Junior Chef of the Year. He recently placed in the top three of 450 chefs in the World Food Competitions in Las Vegas, which will be showcased on A&E on July 7, 2014.Coe is a graduate of the prestigious culinary arts program at Johnson & Wales University. He completed his certificate in French food and language at Institute Francais des Alpes in Annecy, France. For more information on Coe’s culinary philosophy and background, visit kitchensurfing.com/stephencoe.
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. As culinary director of the MET Restaurant Group, founded by Kathy Sidell in 2004, Daniels oversees all culinary operations for the group’s five restaurants including: MET Back Bay in Boston, MA; MET Bar & Grill in Dedham, MA and Natick, MA; MET on Main in Nantucket, MA and MET Bethesda in Bethesda, MA. The Boston native began his career by road tripping across the country with his family to work as Executive Chef of the Ventana Country Inn in Big Sur, CA, developing his fine dining skill and experience in California-Mediterranean cuisine. He continued to hone his abilities in Californian fare at Pinot Blanc in St. Helena until he moved back to Boston in 1996 where he worked at successful Boston restaurants including Stephanie’s on Newbury, Ambrosia on Huntington and The Federalist at XV Beacon Hotel. He mastered cuisine categories such as French-Asian Fusion, American-Bistro and French-American. As Executive Chef, Daniels deepened his understanding of operations and menu crafting. He also educated himself in the 24-hour effort of hotel restaurant management. 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. The quirky menu demonstrates a vast knowledge of ingredients and flavor profiles including Hudson Valley foie gras with Peruvian fava beans and a coconut lychee glaze. 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. In 2010, he founded his own consulting group under his name to provide expertise in F&B, business plan and menu development for other restaurants. In 2014 Daniels became the culinary directory for the MET Restaurant Group where he uses his skills and vast expertise to contribute to Kathy Sidell’s vision and enhance the elegant, varied dining experience of MET’s 5 locations. Daniels received Zagat’s top rating for a hotel restaurant in Massachusetts and the Grand Award from Wine Spectator while at TOPPER’S in Nantucket. He did not enroll in formal culinary training before entering the work force. He lives in Charlestown, MA with his wife and children.
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. This in-the-field training (as Sous Chef and eventually Executive Chef) afforded him the opportunity to learn about managing a staff, controlling inventory, managing food costs and creating menus for both the restaurant within the center and even the likes of Elton John, Toby Keith and Steven Tyler when they came to Providence to perform. 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.Looking to get back into a smaller scale kitchen, Drummond spent his final year in Providence at Restaurant Oak, an Italian-American neighborhood restaurant where he had heavy influence in the kitchen and was given the freedom to experiment with dish creation. It was at Restaurant Oak where he was able to truly hone his craft, preparing beautifully composed dishes with special attention paid to how the flavors and technique complement even the simplest preparation.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 where he oversaw a staff of over 40 and managed the culinary programs of the hotel’s room service, on-site restaurant,Brasserie Jo, and catering services. During his three years at The Colonnade, he sharpened his skills in the kitchen, focusing on classical French techniques with a global flair.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.When he’s not in the kitchen, he can be found cheering on his hometown sports teams (Go Pats!), on the local basketball court joining a pick-up game, or sampling food and drink around town searching for inspiration for his next great dish idea.
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. She has also competed on Iron Chef America (2006) and was a contestant on the third season of The Next Iron Chef (2010). In 2014 she competed and won the Boston Cochon 555.In 2007, Mary was the former the executive chef/partner of Harvest in Cambridge, Massachusetts—a restaurant in the heart of Harvard Square. Mary is known for having a keen respect for local farmers and fishermen, plus a passion for food preservation, and creating intricate dishes with a skilled hand.
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. Her direct approach and obvious talent earned her respect and praise from industry insiders and viewers alike.
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.
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.
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.
Chef Matthew Gaudet was drawn to his first restaurant job at the early age of 15; he washed dishes part time in order to save money for his first car. After spending a summer at the Grouse Mountain Grill in the scenic Beaver Creek, Colorado, he was officially hooked. “It was the first time I had seen, experienced and worked in anything related to fine dining. I was in way over my head, but the game changed me and I’m better for it,” explains Gaudet.
While training at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, Gaudet worked in the Cambridge, MA mainstay Chez Henri. Soon thereafter, New York came calling and he took one of his first positions at the prestigious Eleven Madison Park in the heart of Manhattan during its opening year. From there, he continued to hone his craft moving to Jean-Georges before returning to Eleven Madison to become sous chef within Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group. A few years later, he was tapped to be a sous chef at the esteemed Aquavit under award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson. Following this unforgettable experience, he became a sous chef for 71 Clinton under Jason Neroni for one year where Frank Bruni gave the restaurant a glowing two-star review in the New York Times. He then worked as the sous chef for Tocqueville for one year, perfecting European cuisine with an American sensibility. After nine years in the Big Apple, Gaudet returned to Boston to take on the position of Chef de Cuisine at Brasserie Jo in Back Bay, working directly with Jean Joho to help captain the 200-seat institution. In 2009, he moved over to join the team at the Aquitaine Group where he served as Chef de Cuisine of the original Aquitaine in the South End. In 2012 , Gaudet opened West Bridge with partner Alexis Gelburd-Kimler where he showcases his talents for French bistro cuisine, continuing the tradition of utilizing local products and a refined, contemporary style. In 2013, he was honored as one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs.
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.
Guillas’ affinity for the coastal lifestyle reminded him of his home in Brittany. Guillas, no stranger to classic tradition, insists, “a good cook is a sorcerer who dispenses happiness on a plate.” For this chef, it is the magic of adding unusual seasonings to titillate the palate. He learned his alchemy early. Born into a family of butchers, bakers, and restaurateurs, Guillas’ Britannic upbringing was influenced by his daily exposure to fine cuisine. He began his formal training at Le Bretagne Restaurant in Questembert, France, where he apprenticed with the legendary Georges Paineau. Jumping continents, Guillas moved on to become chef de cuisine at Le Dolmen in French Guyana and to the Maison Blanche restaurant in Washington DC as chef tournant, chef saucier, and sous chef under Pierre Chambrin, former White House executive chef. Guillas relocated to San Diego and spent five years as chef de cuisine at the Grant Grill, located in the US Grant Hotel. He became the Executive Chef of La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club in 1994.
Guillas added and self-published his first cookbook, Flying Pans with co-author and chef de cuisine of the Marine Room, Ron Oliver. He added his second cookbook Two Chefs One Catch, “A Culinary Exploration of Seafood” in 2014. He promotes sustainability and plays an active role in supporting his local community while infusing the local culinary scene with his unique talent and engaging personality. Guillas is also the chef spokesman for the Macy’s School of Cooking.
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.
Working his way up through various kitchens in Detroit, Flint, and Syracuse, Seth moved to New York city and joined the Todd English group as a sous chef. When opportunities to travel arose, Seth jumped at the chance, helping to launch and helm projects in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and South Florida. In 2010 Todd tapped Seth to lead the kitchens of The Summer House of Nantucket for the season.
After two years in Philadelphia, Seth returned to The Summer House to cook his Mediterranean informed New England coastal cuisine, emphasizing the bounty of the island and the region’s fishing industry.
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.
Chef-owner Matt Jennings of the highly acclaimed Townsman which opened this year in Boston is happy to be back on home turf. Growing up in a New England family that embraced the culture of food, Jennings cooking style has been greatly affected by his youth and his surroundings. Tending his parent’s elaborate gardens, fishing for Bluefish and Striped Bass on the Cape and Islands, cooking in the family’s coal fired oven or making pot pie from scratch on Sunday nights – all left a strong imprint on Chef Matt’s style and cuisine. Matt has received multiple nominations from The James Beard Foundation for Best Chef Northeast – as well as other significant awards. Matt has authored and been featured in national and international publications and has been on the Food Network and PBS Television Programming. He currently lives in Belmont with his Pastry Chef wife, Kate, and two sons Sawyer and Coleman.
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.After an extended vacation in Napa Valley, Robin decided to take his culinary career West. He was the Executive Chef at Epiphany in Santa Barbara. He ran the kitchen and his wife Jill ran the front of the house. Santa Barbara had everything that a Chef could dream about. The whole county was full of farms and fish markets. Every Tuesday and Thursday Robin would hit the local farmers markets to see what was fresh. After a little over a year Robin and Jill decided it was time to go back East, permanently.At this time Robin heard about a new Italian restaurant opening in Boston called Stella. Robin signed on as the Sous Chef for the opening. A few months later he was promoted to Executive Chef. Robin spent over five years at Stella 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. Oro opened its doors on Friday April 9, 2010.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.
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.
Michael LaScola began as a prep cook at American Seasons two days after graduating from high school. He continued his education at New York’s famed Culinary Institute of America, yet returned to Nantucket every summer to work at American Seasons. Upon graduation, he became the restaurant’s sous chef.
In 2004, Michael and his wife, Orla Murphy-LaScola, bought the restaurant. Under Michael’s direction, the American Season’s menu of seasonal food from four distinct culinary regions of the United States continues to delight guests with specialty dishes infused with versatility and whimsy.
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.
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. Years later, Linkie decided to venture out on her own and accepted the opportunity of a lifetime to compete on Food Network’s hit series, “Next Food Network Star” in 2012.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-filledand 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.
Chef André trained at The French Culinary Institute in New York and went on to work in some of New York’s leading kitchens with some of the best chefs in the world. Among them: Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Perry Street Restaurant and spent 3 years at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in the Four Seasons Hotel. Most recently he was the first Executive Chef of 54 Below in NYC which he opened in 2012 to critical acclaim. André was honored to be selected as Guest Chef for the prestigious James Beard House for New Year’s Eve, and won The Food Network’s cooking competition, “CHOPPED.”
Executive Chef and Owner Tim Maslow and his kitchen team at Ribelle devote each day to an entirely new menu. Printed daily, each menu pulls flavors, techniques, and ingredients from any number of cultures and cuisines.
Maslow’s well-rounded culinary chops and continuously inventive mind were recognized by Food & Wine, securing him the title of “Best New Chef” 2015. Maslow earned a 2013 James Beard Rising Star Award, the same year he opened Ribelle to almost instant critical acclaim, punctuated by a rare four-star review from The Boston Globe. Served in a dynamic venue, Maslow’s food keeps his diners on their toes with bold, unconventional flavor pairings and unique ingredients.
Maslow was born into the restaurant industry to the creators of Strip-T’s in Watertown, which Maslow now also helms as executive chef. That restaurant, opened in 1986, kicked off a culinary career that took Maslow across New England before returning to his roots.
Maslow graduated from The Restaurant School at Walnut Hill College in Philadelphia and went on to acquire a certificate from the French Culinary Institute in 2004. The original Momofuku Noodle Bar attracted the young chef with an internship alongside Chef David Chang, which propelled Maslow into the sous chef position within eight months. Two years later, he went on to serve as the opening sous chef for Momofuku Ssäm Bar, at which he spent another two and a half years and also had the opportunity to connect with Theresa Paopao, who would later become Ribelle’s general manager and beverage director.
In 2011, Maslow took on another internship, this time at Katjisu in New York, where he was schooled in Shojin cuisine. Later that year, Maslow returned to Watertown to take on Strip-T’s, redeveloping a menu that brought the restaurant into the modern age.
Maslow resides in the nearby Boston suburb of Waltham.
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.
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.
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.
As one of Boston’s most notable chefs and restaurateurs, chef Ken Oringer’s career began under Chef David Burke at River Café in New York City before moving to New England to work as the Pastry Chef at Al Forno in Rhode Island and Jean Georges Vongerichten’s Le Marquis de Lafayette in Boston.
After spending time as the Chef de Cuisine at acclaimed San Francisco dining destination Silks in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Oringer returned to Boston in 1997 to open Clio. Clio was named “Best Newcomer of the Year” by Gourmet magazine. The early success of Clio earned Oringer a James Beard Award nomination for Best Chef Northeast four years in a row, ultimately being honored with Best Chef Northeast in 2001. That same year Clio was named one of Gourmet magazine’s “Top 50 Restaurants in America.”
In 2002, Oringer opened Uni in the lounge of Clio; a sashimi bar offering the freshest seafood. Uni earned four stars from The Boston Herald and in 2008 was selected “Best Sushi Bar” by Boston Magazine. In 2005, Oringer opened Toro in Boston’s South End, a Barcelona-inspired tapas restaurant influenced from his travels throughout Spain. In April 2008, Oringer stepped into Kitchen Stadium on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America where he faced Iron Chef Cat Cora in a coffee battle, ultimately winning by four points.
In November 2009 Oringer, with partner Chef Jamie Bissonnette opened the highly anticipated Coppa, an Italian-style enoteca. Coppa was awarded 3 stars by The Boston Globe and has earned both local and national attention since its debut honorable mention in John Mariani’s 2010 list of “Best New Restaurants” in Esquire magazine. In 2010, Oringer garnered the Star Chefs Rising Stars Mentor Award for his dedication to teaching and inspiring the next generation of chefs. In 2011, he opened Earth at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine, which was met with critical acclaim. In the fall of 2013, he opened Toro in New York City’s South Chelsea neighborhood and it was met with critical acclaim from The New York Times, New York Magazine and others.
When he is not working, Oringer spends his time at home with his wife Celine, daughter Verveine and son, Luca.
In Winter 2016, Oringer will open Toro Dubai, a third outpost of their Barcelona-inspired tapas bar alongside Jamie Bissonnette. The duo will also debut their first project in Cambridge, MA—The Little Donkey—in late Spring 2016.
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.
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.
Chef Brendan Pelley's culinary career began at the age of 15 with an after school job as a busboy and dishwasher in a busy neighborhood restaurant in his hometown of Chelmsford. While studying fine arts at UMASS Lowell, his passion for the visual arts gave way to an obsession with the culinary arts as he explored Lowell’s Southeast Asian restaurants and Boston’s fine dining.
He moved to the North Shore and became sous chef at Tryst Bistro in Beverly. Growing ambition led him to Clio to work under Ken Oringer, and then to Summer Winter Restaurant to work under Marc Gaier and Clark Frasier. After stints at the Franklin Cape Ann and Alchemy, Pelley perfected his skills of pairing food and wine as chef de cuisine of the Stonehedge Inn & Spa, home of New England’s largest wine cellar. Pelley now brings his own style of modern American Cuisine to Zebra's Bistro in Medfield.
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, which in its 27th year, brings more than 100 chocolate desserts to diners in Café Fleuri every Saturday afternoon September through June. 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.
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 restaurant- the award-winning Bergamot in Somerville and he is about to expand that dream by opening his second restaurant, BISq in Cambridge. He has worked in some of the country’s finest restaurants and it shows on his menus which are ingredient driven, progressive American menus that are set in warm, neighborhood settings. Chef Pooler has an impressive culinary background that includes working in some of the country’s most impressive kitchens including the River Café, Lespinasse, and Ilo in NYC as well as locally at Harvest in Cambridge and the Boston Harbor Hotel. While at the Boston Harbor Hotel, he learned to forage the region's woodlands with noted Chef Daniel Bruce.Growing up, Chef Pooler’s family garden grew everything needed for their impressive daily dinners that were cooked by his Italian and Portuguese grandparents. It was at home where he fell in love with food. He grew up loving the surf, sand, and seafood that surrounded him in the historic fishing town of Gloucester. He was also a standout athlete who loved basketball, baseball, football and tennis.Graduating top of his class at the Culinary Institute of America, Pooler's culinary resume is expansive and he has garnered numerous awards and accolades. To garner hands-on experience in some of New York’s best kitchens, Chef Pooler has staged in more than 20 restaurants including Gotham Bar and Grill and Union Square. After his stages, Keith took a position to become part of The River Café staff where he learned to sharpen his technique under the expert guidance of Rick Laakonen. He then went on to Lespinasse at the St. Regis in Manhattan to work under Chef Gray Kunz. Following Lespinasse, he moved onto the position that he felt developed him the most during his time in NYC which was at Ilo inside the Bryant Park Hotel in New York. This was Chef Pooler’s first experience managing and actually opening a 3 star restaurant. He worked with a “who’s who” of people in the industry and he considers this the gold standard and he uses his experience there to develop Bergamot into what it is today. To this day, the Ilo review is kept next to Keith’s bed as his proudest accomplishment.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. He found the restaurant's long-standing tradition of working closely with local farmers, fishermen, foragers and purveyors was a perfect match for his culinary sensibilities. 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 opening 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. He is planning a trip to France later this year to explore the wine and food scene across the region.
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.
Gates Rickard brings years of experience in notable local, national, and international kitchens to his role as Executive Chef and Owner of Bear in Boots Gastropub located in the heart of Falmouth, Mass. Rickard combines his passion for scratch-made, traditional comfort food and elaborate travels to bring a truly unforgettable dining experience to Cape Codders and tourists alike.
A Boston native, Rickard attended Boston University where he pursued a degree in philosophy and psychology. Rickard’s concentration soon shifted when he took on a job at a local bakery and transferred to Johnson & Wales University to chase his dream of becoming a chef. He went on to graduate valedictorian and was hired as a pastry chef for Boston’s Maison Robert shortly after.
A curious traveler, Gates found himself leaving the United States to travel across Europe to destinations like Brussels, Belgium where he worked at Michelin Star rated Hotel Metropole and met his lovely wife and now business partner Kate Rickard. Kate and Gate’s continued to sip, sample, and socialize through Europe learning the ins and outs of a diverse variety of kitchens and restaurants.
The Rickards returned to Boston after their long stint of travels across Europe and opened Rickard’s Bakery in Vineyard Haven
Rickard currently resides in Falmouth with his wife and three children Bear, Squirrel, and xx. He enjoys the intimacy of cooking for people and creating fun items that spark interest of customers. “The food should excite people”, says Gates.
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.
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.
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.
Following graduation, Chef Mark began his career at the nationally-recognized Apley's restaurant as chef tournant. He later joined Horizon Hotels as an executive sous chef. While with Horizon, he worked at various luxury properties along the East Coast, including the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida; the Montauk Yacht Club and Inn in Montauk, New York; and Arrowood of Westchester in Rye Brook, New York. His time with Horizon Hotels also afforded Chef Mark the opportunity to work at the world-renowned Claridge’s hotel in London, England. Upon his return from London, Chef Mark settled in Boston and began working at the Boston Harbor Hotel, a five-star property. He spent eight years working as executive sous chef for the hotel before joining the team at The Langham, Boston. Chef Mark has received numerous accolades from colleagues and food critics, including the Northeast Family Farms Award of Appreciation (2010) and the Massachusetts Oyster Project Award of Recognition (2014), and was honored with an invitation to present a dinner at The James Beard House in New York as part of the Best Hotels Chefs in America dinner.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chef Lydia Shire was born in 1948 in Brookline, Massachusetts. She married and had three children with her former husband Tom Shire. She started waiting tables at the famous Pall Mall jazz club, but cooking and baking were her passion. In 1971, Lydia baked a butter cream cake and took it on an interview at Maison Robert, the great French restaurant in Boston, and got a job as “kitchen grunt”. But Lydia wanted a spot on the hot line with the boys, so she took a leave of absence, hocked her wedding ring, and went to London to register at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school. During the day was school, and at night she partied at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club.When she returned to Boston and Maison Robert, she worked her way up to head chef, and from 1975, worked in the kitchens of Harvest, Copley Plaza Cafe and Parker House. In 1982 to 1985, Chef Lydia moved over to the Seasons at the Bostonian Hotel to work under Great ChefJasper White, as executive sous chef, and eventually became the Executive Chef. In 1986 she moved out to Los Angeles to become the first female chef of the Four Seasons Beverly Hills hotel. That’s where Great Chefs Television first caught up with her to tape a Chicken Thigh entrée for their Great Chefs of the West series.In 1987, she returned to Boston to open her famous restaurant “BIBA”. After September 11, 2001, Biba’s was closed only to reopen the next year as Excelsior Restaurant, and whose owners hired Chef Lydia Shire as their Executive Chef. She left in 2005 to open and run Scampo’s, one of Boston’s fine Italian restaurants, and in 2013, Restaurant News bestowed another award upon her, by inducting her into their Fine Dining Hall of Fame.
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. Or his playful twist on the traditional Italian Wedding Soup – a Seared Tuna Loin and Tuna Polpetti in a Foraged Mushroom Consommé – that marries tradition and contemporary cuisine in one bowl.
Robert Sisca is the executive chef of Bistro du Midi, in Boston’s Back Bay. Sisca was most recently a sous chef at Le Bernardin, where he helped the restaurant earn a coveted three stars from Michelin and four stars from the New York Times. A graduate of Johnson & Wales, Sisca worked his way through New England, including Gracie’s in Providence and Bosun’s in Nantucket.
At Bistro du Midi Sisca celebrates the food of Provence, also known as the Midi Region. The menu reflects authentic Provençal style cuisine, ingredient-driven and complemented by tradition and technique.
Antonio Vidal, Chef and Co-Owner of Ranch 616, began cooking at a young age. Born inBellflower, California and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Antonio loved playing football. His grandmother’s house rule was that he had to help her make dinner before he could play. 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, 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.
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.
Tim loved the concept of the Summer Shack, where “Food Is Love” and all the food was prepared simply, from scratch, using the best quality of fresh seafood and local produce. He flourished in this environment and after starting as a grill cook, he worked his way to sous chef of the shack at Mohegan Sun. Today, after moving to the Boston area a couple years ago, Tim is the Executive Chef of the original Summer Shack in Cambridge, MA., where he oversees the food operations for both the restaurant and their growing catering division.
Jeff Worster is the executive chef of The Chanticleer and Black Eyed Susan's restaurants. Having trained in classical French and Italian cuisine, he has successfully created a unique dining experience at Black Eyed Susan’s. Now, with the highly anticipated re-opening of The Chanticleer with his partner, Susan Handy, Jeff returns to French cuisine, infused with his creative interpretation of the classics.
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 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 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.’’
Robert and his wife Jayne own the Dane Gallery on Nantucket. Robert has been blowing glass for over 35 years, and his work is in the permanent collections of numerous museums. Robert has been part of the Nantucket Wine Festival since its inception, and has collaborated with founder Denis Toner on the design of Robert's wine decanters.
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 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.
Ihsan and Valerie Gurdal own and manage the Formaggio Kitchen family of stores, located in Cambridge, Boston and New York. Taking over ownership of the shop in 1992, Ihsan Gurdal has presided over the shop’s development into one of the leading retailers of gourmet foods in the country. He has worked extensively with celebrated cheese makers and affineurs throughout the United States and Europe, including Neal’s Yard Dairy of London, Pascal Jacquin of France’s Loire Valley, and Paris’ Fromagerie Barthélémy. His travels around the world have yielded an unparalleled selection of rare and unique cheeses and fine foods.
In 2006, Ihsan was inducted into the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers by Roland Barthélémy and was given the honor of the title of Chevalier by the French Government in 2008 for his tireless dedication to the promotion of artisan foods from France. Other similarly recognized include Thomas Keller, Alice Waters and Julia Child, who was a long time customer of Formaggio Kitchen.
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 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.
Robert “Bobby” Kacher began his relationship with France’s fine wine producers in 1985. His goal was to seek out small, independent, artisanal growers and producers who shared his philosophy and sought to make wines expressive of their region, full of personality and terroir driven.
Today, Bobby Kacher’s portfolio is a benchmark portfolio. Each wine is a pure expression of its appellation. For the wine lover, these wines offer a tutorial of some of the most sought-after appellations in France. The growers are true to their own personal vision and expression of their regions.
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.
Julianna’s love and passion for cheese began over 20 years ago. She has owned a cheese and wine shop, managed a café, was a volunteer firefighter and EMT, and now is the Director of Cheese and Dairy Operations for Dole & Bailey, Inc. Her first hand experience in sourcing products from the European larder, game meats, charcuterie, and cheese has allowed her to become intimately knowledgeable with the descriptions of hundreds of cheeses and thousands of gourmet specialty foods from all over the World.
Max McCalman is a highly visible advocate for artisanal cheese production, and is renowned as one of the cheese world's living legends for his expertise, insight and passion. Max is a dedicated scholar of cheese, where he acts as consultant to the trade, judges at cheese competitions and is a frequent guest lecturer.
He was America's first restaurant-based Maître Fromager. Max's work takes him across North America and Europe, speaking at conferences and festivals, and most passionately, to explore the dairies and farms that contribute to artisanal cheese making. Max has been conferred the title of Maître Fromager as designated by France's Guilde des Fromagers.
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.
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.
Perry Rossi has been opening for such giants as Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Count Basie and Cab Calloway since childhood. At age 5, the seed of Sonny Rossi and his Orchestra of New York City, Perry performed multiple instruments on television, theatre and nightclubs around the country and by the age of 10, Perry was the leader and Pianist of his own band billed as the “youngest jazz trio in the world,” and was featured often on national television. Honing his vocal talents he showcased eight-piece dance band, ‘The Perry Rossi Orchestra’. Now "Perry Rossi en Fuego”, A Unique International Musical Experience focuses on eclectic, fiery Latin, Eastern European and contemporary grooves with a Salsa flavor. Now a Boston native, Perry is ‘dedicated to exceptional live music’.
Nicolette Anctil developed a passion for food and wine at an early age. Having grown up in the Hudson Valley region of Upstate New York, Anctil developed an appreciation for local farms andwineries. This passion led Anctil to enroll in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, where she learned the culinary and hospitality techniques that heavily influence her today.Anctil’s culinary background, much of which derives from time spent working in the kitchen,instilled in her a well-rounded knowledge of food and wine. Upon her acceptance into CIA in 2009, Anctil was even further immersed into culinary arts. While pursuing her degree, she servedas a line cook at the Twisted Soul in Poughkeepsie, NY. It was there that she learned the discipline and kitchen fundamentals that still govern her.With a culinary education underway and kitchen experience under her belt, Anctil moved on tofollow her passion for wine. In 2011, she became the tasting room associate of Whitecliff Winery in Gardnier, NY, where she honed in on her passion by learning about the life cycle of the grapein addition to the craftsmanship involved in bringing it from the vineyard to the bottle.Upon graduating from CIA in 2011, Anctil moved on to become the Junior Sommelier for Wit and Wisdom, a Tavern by Michael Mina. There, she was mentored by master sommeliers whoheavily influenced her to continue her education. In February of 2012, Anctil became a Certified Sommelier and subsequently became a Certified Specialist of Wine the following September. In 2014, Anctil progressed further south and seized the opportunity to become the beverage director at The Catbird Seat, a Strategic Hospitality venture in Nashville, Tennessee. As beverage director, Anctil uses her vast culinary knowledge to select the pairings for the continually-evolving tasting menu developed by Chef Trevor Moran.
Gillian Ballance MS, DWS has spent 20 years working in the best restaurants and resorts in the United States.
Ms Ballance began her career at Windows on the World Restaurant, working under Kevin Zraly and Andrea Robinson. Exposed to a cellar with over 100,000 bottles was the best education a passionate wine enthusiast could have and Ballance’s career soared. Her career includes opening up Cello in NYC, Wine and Beverage Director at Bacara Resort in Santa Barbara, Plumpjack Group’s Wine Director, Wine Consultant and Sommelier for Bottega Restaurant , Wine Director at Cavallo Point. Currently Ballance is the Luxury Prestige Manager and Educator at Treasury Wine Estates.
Ballance has been featured in numerous publications like Wine Spectator, Food and Wine Magazine and an abundance of Trade publications. She has also judged at several wine competitions and conducts wine seminars across the United States.
In 2012 Ballance passed the esteemed Master Sommelier Diploma Exam, representing one of 21 women in the world. She is also the recipient of the Diploma in Wines & Spirits from the British Wine and Spirits Education Trust. Ms. Ballance has a BFA from New York University.
Beccy has twenty years’ experience working in the wine business. She has worked in direct sales, wholesale, education, hospitality, as a cellar master, sommelier, and wine director. She has worked with restaurant wine programs as diverse as wine bars to Michelin starred Wine Spectator Award Winners including Sierra Mar, Murray Circle, RN74, Aziza and Casanova. She currently works as a sommelier at Aubergine, at L’Auberge Carmel, a Relais & Châteaux property that recently received Forbes Travel Guide’s highest rating of five stars. She is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. Beccy is a veteran of the wine event circuit having worked Relais and Chateau GourmetFest, Pebble Beach Food and Wine, Los Angeles Food and Wine, Central Coast Wine Classic, Big Sur Food and Wine and Eat Drink SF.
Rebecca Chapa, is a Certified Wine Educator, Certified Sommelier and holds the Diploma Wine and Spirits from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust in London. Chapa served as Beverage Manager for Eat Drink SF (formally SF Chefs) for many years and has taught wine classes for consumers with her own company, Wine by the Class since 2001. Chapa’s blog www.rebeccachapa.com explores wine, spirits, travel and culture. Chapa launched Tannin Management in 1999 in San Francisco. Now in its 15th year of business Tannin Management spans both coasts with headquarters in San Francisco and Nantucket Island. Clients include Nantucket Wine Festival, Nantucket Book Festival, Bureau National Interprofessionel de l’Armagnac, and Wines of Alsace. Chapa is also a singer songwriter.
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.
His insatiable curiosity for wines from around the world, along with his remarkable palate and sense of smell allows Mr. Compeyre to devise his wine lists in perfect harmony with the savory and sweet dishes on the menu created by executive Chef Dan Silverman and Pastry Chef Jeff Sytsma.
Lauren Daddona, Wine Director at L’Espalier, is a certified Advanced Sommelier through the Court of Master Sommeliers. She began studying with the Court of Master Sommeliers in 2009 and passed the Level 2 Certified Sommelier exam in 2010. Lauren also has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Boston Sommelier Society.
Lauren’s undying passion for wine goes hand in hand with her interest in culture, languages, history and gastronomy. The wine list at L’Espalier is celebrated for offering high quality, distinctive varietals and Lauren maintains this status by continuously searching the globe for new treasures to add to list.
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.
William Davis started his career in restaurants, managing high-profile accounts in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area and in Denver, Colorado. He realized that wine and spirits was his passion, and when he sat for his Introductory Exam and Course with the Court of Master Sommeliers over a decade ago, his 'wine bug' was set in stone. In 2004, he decided that a full-time career with Charmer-Sunbelt in Colorado was necessary to pursue a greater understanding of the grape, and received the Certified Specialist of Wine, the Certified Specialist of Spirits, and the highest certification from the Society of Wine Educators, the Certified Wine Educator title (CWE). Restaurants were still 'in his blood', and the dedication that sommeliers give to their craft is a vital part of bringing wine to the consumer, so he passed the Certified and Advanced Sommelier exams in 2007 and 2008, on his first try, and is working to achieve his MS with the Court of Master Sommeliers. The academic approach to wine and spirits also interests him, and he is passed the Advanced Certification with the Wine and Spirits Education Trust in 2010, and is studying for the WSET Diploma. If that isn't enough, he is a member of the Guild of Sommeliers, and was the 2 time Regional Champion (2012 and 2013) Central and Great Lakes Regional Winner of TopSomm, a competition to find the best wine professional talent in the United States. As a co-host of WineGuyRadio and TV from 2008 to 2012 decided to focus on the consumer in late 2012 by introducing Terroir Radio, to teach, educate, mentor industry folk including retail buyers and sommeliers, and share the love of wine to all. Currently, he is the State Manager for Colorado and New Mexico for Wilson Daniels, one of the leading importer and marketer of wines in the United State Sitting with winemakers, and traveling the wine world is essential to his continued growth...and, well, having a glass of vino with the most interesting people on earth doesn't hurt!
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, TJ’s journey began to take shape as he combined his love of restaurant management with a newfound passion for wine. After helping to open the 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.
“I love wine. Not just the taste, but the experience. The Urban Grape is the culmination of half my life’s work. Each of my experiences with wine (and the people who love wine) has led me to this moment. I believe I have opened a business that can create community, memories and joy through the experience of wine.”
Bergamot wine director Kai Gagnon has worked in restaurants from the age of 16. He has an abiding passion for all things service and hospitality. As a teenager he was introduced to fine wine by a relative. He developed an early appreciation for the wines of Beaujolais and Burgundy. By the age of 18 Kai was making regular forays into Quebec to purchase wine, beckoned by the large selections of French wine not readily available in the states at that time.
It wasn’t until later, living in San Francisco, that Kai discovered his passion for hospitality and wine at Firefly in San Francisco. He learned to properly taste and talk about wine in a professional setting. The proximity to Sonoma and Napa to the city and and all its great restaurants and wine shops made San Francisco an ideal classroom.
In 2005, back on the East Coast, Kai joined Craigie Street Bistrot in Cambridge, MA and managed Tony Maws’ all-French wine list. In 2006 he became manager and wine director at Pigalle in Boston. There he developed a Franco-centric list with a focus on carefully chosen Burgundy, Loire and Alsace selections.
After a brief stint in New York City Kai returned to Cambridge to help open Craigie on Main and direct the wine program with Tony Maws.
At the beginning of 2010 Kai joined Servio Garcia and Chef Keith Pooler to open Bergamot. He endeavored to create a unique and exciting list that represents the best from all over Europe and the West Coast of the U.S. He drew inspiration from the sunny and warm redolence of the restaurant’s eponymous citrus fruit.
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.
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.
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. This jump was a testament to Kerambrun’s knowledge and passion, ability to train international sommelier teams and orchestrate special events. Prior to joining ADE, Kerambrun worked at a five-‐star resort in Seychelles as well as La Tour d’Argent in Paris. He graduated in 2001 from respected French culinary school Lycée Hôtelier de Dinard, where he studied restaurant management with a specialization in wine.
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. As a student at Boston University, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Classical Civilizations then went on to pursue the first stage of his wine education at BU’s Elizabeth Bishop Wine Studies Program under the tutelage of Masters of Wine, Bill Nesto and Sandy Block. Having held positions from sauté cook, food runner, kitchen expeditor, server, Sommelier, Head Sommelier and General Manager, his career has developed through the ranks by way of study, hard work, dedication, and approachability, with a goal of demystifying the world of wine and making the synergy of food and beverage fun and unintimidating.
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.
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 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.
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, 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 the college period she travelled for deepen her studies: 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 she is now has working full time in the family winery taking care of home hospitality and representing Marchesi di Barolo abroad.
Tony Apostolakos comes from a family with a winemaking background, as they originally owned vineyards in Central Greece dating back to the early 1900s before emigration to Montreal in Canada. Tony himself took a degree in Economics at the University of Alberta before entering the wine trade, where he now has over 20 years of experience.
Tony first represented Masi in Canada in 1999 before he switched his attention to the United States market in 2005. He has now been appointed Director of Marketing and Sales in USA for Masi and makes regular trips to company headquarters in Valpolicella, to spend time with the Boscaini family and the Masi Technical Group and ensure he is fully up-to-date with the company’s winemaking techniques and global strategy.
When not travelling inside USA for Masi, Tony resides in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
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.
Megan Baccitich, director of winemaking at Paul Hobbs Winery and CrossBarn Winery, works alongside renowned winemaker Paul Hobbs to produce chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon from some of Napa and Sonoma’s most esteemed vineyards.
Growing up in Healdsburg in Sonoma County, Megan was surrounded by wine from a young age. A lifelong lover of science and nature, she planned to study biology in college until a part-time high school job at a wine-focused restaurant inspired her to pursue winemaking. Megan went on to earn a Bachelor’s of Science, Enology degree from Fresno State University. She interned at Ferrari-Carano where she completed her first vintage, followed by a second internship in Dry Creek Valley in 2002. After completing her internships, Megan accepted a full-time position as assistant winemaker at Taft Street.
In 2006, Megan joined Paul Hobbs Winery as assistant winemaker. Megan quickly rose from assistant winemaker to winemaker and in 2013 she was named director of winemaking for both Paul Hobbs Winery and CrossBarn Winery. Megan works alongside Paul Hobbs to ensure a seamless metamorphosis from vineyard to bottle, making wines that showcase the vineyard site and are allowed to form themselves in the winery.
“Paul’s farmer mentality has shaped my winemaking style and the entire company culture,” says Megan. “We take a back-to-the land approach and we view great sites with a genuine child-like enthusiasm and curiosity. This passion keeps my job interesting.”
Megan lives on a 100-acre vineyard estate in the Russian River Valley with her partner Ben, their dog, Rio and three barn cats. In her free time, she spends her time outdoors, snowboarding and hiking.
Gary Brookman has been at the helm of production at Miner for more than a decade. He serendipitously discovered his true calling during a post-college stint working a harvest in Australia’s McLaren Vale. After making his way to Napa Valley, Gary honed his winemaking skills during a thirteen-year tenure at Joseph Phelps Vineyards and three harvests at Franciscan. Following a chance encounter with Dave Miner, Gary was welcomed on as Miner’s winemaker in 1997. A diligent student of his craft, Gary works closely with each of the growers and alongside Dave to fine-tune and elevate the quality of Miner wines. Gary manages to find balance making twenty-five plus bottlings at Miner, including his eponymous label. Hitting the backroads for a rigorous bike ride or hiking in the Sierras with his wife Joan is reserved for downtime. Since his first crush down under, Gary remains captivated by winemaking’s unique blend of art and science.
Michael moved to Sonoma County in 1987 from Washington State with the goal of becoming an architect. While working at local fine dining establishments to pay the bills, he fell in love with the pleasures of the local wines and was intrigued by winemaking and viticulture through his many visits to local wineries and vineyards. The idea of being involved in agriculture, as well as the craft of winemaking, pushed Michael into the pursuit of producing fine wines and inspired him to co-found Kosta Browne Winery.
Kosta Browne has produced wines since 1999 with the same drive and vision coupled with the goal of working with the best growers to craft special wines. He continues to make those wines today with the same original enthusiasm and vision. In 2008, Michael came across two new vineyard sites in the heart of Russian River Valley and the idea of CIRQ was born - Bootlegger’s Hill and Treehouse were planted soon after. Cool climates and distinctive soils are what the Russian River is known for and it had always been Michael’s dream to plant a vineyard here and make wine from it. CIRQ is the realization of that dream and continues to give Michael the inspiration and motivation to create wines of the highest quality that provide a lens through which you can taste these magical sites.
When not crafting rocking Pinot Noir or walking the vineyards, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife, Sarah and their children (Logan, Lauren and Lyvia).
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’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.
Deputy Cellar Master Dominique Demarville was selected by Cellar Master Jacques Péters to joined Veuve Clicquot in July 2006. Dominique developed a true passion for champagne viniculture and viticulture after his first harvest in Champagne in 1985. He obtained a technical degree in Oenology and Viticulture at Lycée Viticole de la Champagne in Avize, followed by a specialized two-year degree in oenology at the University of Burgundy, Dijon. During his studies, he experienced winemaking in several complementary regions such as Alsace, Burgundy, Bordeaux, and Champagne in Aÿ and Rilly-la-Montagne.
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.
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.
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.
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).
The national ambassador of Long Meadow Ranch’s portfolio of family-run businesses, Chris Hall creates and executes sales programs directed at achieving the family’s goals for serving the nation's top restaurants and retailers. Chris is also responsible for the wine program at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch which features wines selected by Chris to complement the restaurant’s American farmhouse cooking.
With an entrepreneurial drive and a natural strength in leadership, the San Francisco native has served in a variety of roles across the full range of the Hall family businesses, including production manager for LMR Rutherford Gardens (now part of Rutherford Estate), on-premise sales manager and, most recently, national sales manager.
A second-generation vintner dedicated to producing elegant, food-friendly artisan wines, Chris is a founder and past president of NG: The Next Generation in Wine, a young vintners trade association that counts among its members a vibrant group of family winery and vineyard owners in the Napa Valley who are second generation or later.
Coming to light in 2002, Hecht & Bannier is a boutique winery dedicated to wines from the most unique terroirs in South of France. Our goal is to be a reliable quality benchmark for the region with a collection of signature wines across the finest Mediterranean vineyards. Our wines allow wine lovers to explore the extraordinary quality and diversity of Provence, Roussillon and Languedoc. We developed an extensive knowledge of the vineyards to select only the best grapes. Most of the time our wines come from vines located on the cooler foothills where it isn't rare to see hundred-year-old plants. Once the long and picky selection process has come to an end, we can get to the last tastings to create the final blends and decide on the elevage options.
A fourth generation resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Ted Henry was raised on a large cattle ranch that has been in his family since the 1940's. Immersed in agriculture since birth, he worked the ranch feeding horses, and maintaining the property.
Ted stayed close by and attended University of California, Davis. Upon graduation, Ted landed a job with Trinchero, where he soon became Associate Winemaker, and helped the brand grow from 3,000 to 300,000 cases. Over an eight-year period, the company purchased brands such as Folie a Deaux and Napa Cellars, and each time Ted took on those winemaking responsibilities, ultimately becoming responsible for all of the company's Napa Valley appellation brands. That regionally-focused experience led to a position with Artesa Winery. With diverse experience at mostly large wine companies, in 2008 Ted joined Jarvis Estate, where he appreciates the focused approach and enjoys the opportunity to be close to the wine every day.
Jasmine Hirsch bio 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 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 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.
Olivier Humbrecht, General Manager of Domaine ZindHumbrecht, is the second winemaker in the world to attain Master of Wine status. With degrees from the Ecole Supérieure d’Agriculture de Purpan and Université d’Oenologie de Toulouse in Agriculture and Oenology, respectively, Olivier earned his Master of Wine certification in 1989. The same year, he took over winemaking from his father, continuing an unbroken lineage that extends back to the year 1620.
Since 2002, he has served as President of the Syndicat International des Vignerons en Culure Bio Dynamique/ Biodyvin (SIVCBD). He became President of the Alsace Grand Cru Association in 2011.
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.
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.
Flowers Vineyards and Winery’s Estate Director, Greg Miller, began his career in the hospitality industry where he quickly found a passion for wine that he followed to further education, a fellowship in France, and ultimately, to the first ridgeline on the far Sonoma Coast.
A Chicago native, Greg set aside his studies in biological sciences and ventured west to attend college at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where he received a Bachelor of Arts in Hotel and Restaurant Administration. He later went on to receive his Bachelor of Science in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California, Davis.
Throughout his studies at UC Davis, Greg gained practical experience at Quintessa as a viticultural intern and educator. Upon graduation in 2011, he was one of only two students to earn a winemaking fellowship in France from the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin. In Burgundy, Greg worked alongside Véronique Drouhin and the team at Maison Joseph Drouhin, an experience he considers instrumental in his understanding of terroir and its expression through wine.
Upon returning to the United States, Greg served as Director of Wine for Jordan Vineyard and Winery in 2012, before returning to the Huneeus Family as Estate Director for Flowers.
When he’s not at the Flowers estate, Greg is traveling extensively to events in the US and abroad. Indefatigable, he’s also an accomplished athlete with 12 years of marathon training and racing, and four-years of long-course triathlon racing that include four Iron distance and nine Half-iron distance competitions. Most of all, he enjoys his time residing in the town of Sonoma with his wife, two sons, and two Rhodesian Ridgebacks.
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 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.
Founder, vintner and the creative force behind Nellcôte, Tyler Olbres appreciated fine French and American wines early on. Educated in Switzerland and the United States, Tyler and his family traveled all over the world embracing the cultures of places they visited and developed an appreciation for fine wine and cuisine.
Tyler and his wife Gennie first came to Napa Valley in 2001 and fell in love with the Wine Country Lifestyle, climate, and beautiful wines. After relocating with their young children to California in 2012, Tyler assembled a dream team to start his own winery. These partnerships include legendary grape grower W. Andrew Beckstoffer and Chappellet’s winemaker Phillip Titus, with the goal to produce the finest small production, hand-crafted wines from legendary Napa Valley vineyards. The inaugural release is an intense and dark Rosé that is close to Tyler’s heart, and his highly anticipated Cabernet Sauvignons will be released in the Fall of 2015 and Spring 2016.
Since 2008, Tyler has hosted some of the finest wineries of Napa Valley, France and Italy at his Nantucket island estate during the Nantucket Wine Festival from Chateau Palmer, Stag’s Leap Winery, and OVID to Cos d’Estornel, Sassacaia, Silver Oak, and others.
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.
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.
In 2011, Parr launched Sandhi, a partnership with Charles Banks and Sashi Moorman, to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from select vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills. In 2013, he released wines from his new estate vineyard, Domaine de la Côte. 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.
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.
Co-owner Suzanne Pride Bryan and her husband, Stuart Bryan, Pride’s National Sales Manager, work with Suzanne’s brother Steve Pride, co-owner and GM to carry-on the tradition of intense, extracted mountain grown wines at Pride Mountain Vineyards.
Celebrating nearly 20 years since its founding in 1990, Pride Mountain Vineyards has been named one of the “world’s best 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 Top100 Wines of the World list five times since the year 2000.
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.
Nowadays, Jean Remy is in Charge of the sales outside of Europe and is based in the US. The Rapeneau Family has become the largest Family owned Producer in Champagne, and wants to expand the sales on the international scale with the same success they have been focused on in the domestic market over the last four generations.
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.
Anthony was born in Cape Town, South Africa in 1962. He is married to Olive and has four teenage daughters. After schooling in Johannesburg and Cape Town, he completed a BSc in Biological Sciences at Wits University, followed by an MA in Geography at Oxford University. He then worked as a financial analyst in Corporate Finance for Morgan Stanley International in London for two years prior to completing an MBA at Wharton where he graduated.
In 1991, with the likelihood of positive political change in South Africa, Anthony returned to take over the family farm, Hamilton Russell Vineyards, which he subsequently purchased from the family in 1994. He focused this property on Pinot noir and Chardonnay alone and has devoted the last 20 years to building an international reputation for these two Estate grown wines as being among the most classically styled examples from the New World. Keen to work with South Africa’s unique red variety, Pinotage, Anthony founded Southern Right as a separate property in 1994 to specialize in the variety. In 1996, he founded Ashbourne as a Pinotage blend specialist. Properties were acquired on the eastern and western borders of Hamilton Russell Vineyards for these ventures.
Anthony is known to be a passionate advocate of expressing origin – and soil structure in particular – in wines and of aiming for more “classic” styling. He is also a strong believer in the importance of developing a clearer wine style identity for South Africa’s top appellations. Anthony has formally judged wines in South Africa, Argentina and Hong Kong. He has spoken at the MW symposium in Perth and has hosted a Cool Climate symposium for the MW’s in South Africa. He has been a wine panelist at conferences in Chile, Switzerland, Australia, the UK, USA and South Africa. Anthony is a Chevalier du Tastevin and a Commandeur de Bordeaux (South African Chapter).
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. Since that time he manages the AXA Millésimes group of vineyards, whose head office is based at Château Pichon Baron.
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.
Alex Sokol Blosser, son of Sokol Blosser’s founders, Susan Sokol Blosser and Bill Blosser, grew up working in the family vineyards and winery. Not much has changed. The strong pull of the family wine business kept pulling him back in from escapes to college in Texas, to a stint with the Air Force Reserves. The wine life had him and it just took a few years for him to realize that he really did love the business and wanted to make this his life’s work.
In typical family business fashion, Alex has played many roles at Sokol Blosser from cellar rat, to Vineyard Manager, to Vice President of Sales. All these prior positions groomed him for his current and last position with the winery; that of Winemaker. Alex is only the fourth winemaker to walk the catwalks in the winery since the first vintage in the Dundee Hills in 1977. He has worked with and under all the previous winemakers and brings forward those learnings and a winemaking desire to fashion Pinot Noir that inspires the world.
Alex is grateful to have found a life partner with his wife Ginny, and for his two sons, Nikolas and Avery, for whom he tries but fails to beat in the card game Magic. He lives on the vineyard and when time allows he is often reading science fiction, riding his bike, watching the Tour de France, and pining for the day when the LA Dodgers raise the World Series title once again.
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.
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.