Luminaries

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.

Last year we honored Paul Draper from Ridge Vineyards as the 2014 Luminary of the Year. As one of the foremost winemakers in the world, Draper represents the best of what California has to offer. 

The 2015 Luminary of the Year will be announced before the festival. 

Tom Berry
The Proprietors

Tom Berry

Chef/Partner

The Proprietors
Nantucket, MA

Tom Berry is the Chef/Partner of The Proprietors.

Tom began his professional career as Chef Ming Tsai's right hand with the opening of Blue Ginger.  After five years he left Blue Ginger for his first Executive Chef position at Bambara in Cambridge.  It was there that he was named “Best Up & Coming Chef” by the Improper Bostonian. In 2005 Tom spent a season on Nantucket as Executive Chef at Straight Wharf, before returning to Boston as Executive Chef at Temple Bar.

Most recently Executive Chef at The Great Harbor Yacht Club, Tom has had an impressive career with stints in both BOS and ACK.

Fred Bisaillon
B-ACK Yard BBQ

Fred Bisaillon

Executive Chef

B-ACK Yard BBQ
Nantucket, MA

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

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

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

David Blessing
Longwood Venues and Destinations

David Blessing

Vice President Culinary Arts and Development

Longwood Venues and Destinations
Boston, Newport and Cape Cod

Chef David Blessing joined Longwood in 2010, bringing with him unmatched experience, passion, and a unique perspective on private event dining. His cooking style focuses on pristine, seasonal ingredients that highlight the local bounty of New England.  His preparation of restaurant style cuisine paired with his personal and creative twist sets Longwood apart from any other event company. Be it a dinner for 500 or party of 5, Chef David puts same attention and love into every menu he creates. During the summer months, Chef David enjoys getting back to the restaurant setting, where he creates beautiful and incredibly flavorful (and healthy) dishes at Coastal, a private summer restaurant at Wychmere Beach Club on Cape Cod, just a short boat ride from Nantucket.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. 

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Jason Bond
Bondir

Jason Bond

Chef and Owner

Bondir
Concord and Cambridge, MA

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. 

Robert Boslow
Lola 41

Robert Boslow

Executive Chef

Lola 41
Nantucket, MA

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

Daniel Bruce
Meritage-Boston Harbor Hotel

Daniel Bruce

Executive Chef

Meritage-Boston Harbor Hotel
Boston, MA

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.

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Justin Brunson
Old Major

Justin Brunson

Owner and Executive Chef

Old Major
Denver, CO

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

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Aaron Chambers
Bar Boulud Boston

Aaron Chambers

Executive Chef

Bar Boulud Boston
Boston, MA

Aaron Chambers has worked in kitchens around the world and mastered the world’s cuisines along the way. His first job in a professional kitchen was at age 14, in his hometown at The Beverley Arms Hotel. Moving to  Birmingham in 2002, Chambers landed at The Edgbaston Golf Club, working with chef-owner Julian Tolbert, who noted the young cook’s potential and soon promoted him to sous-chef. His next career move was to Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons, the renowned Chef Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin-star Relais & Châteaux establishment in Oxford, England. It provided his first exposure to a disciplined, formally organized kitchen, where he started as a commis and later moved on to garde manger.

In 2004 he became chef de partie at the Five-Star Deluxe Dubai Burl Al Arab Hotel’s renowned seafood restaurant Al Mahara, rated among Restaurant Magazine’s World’s 50 Best.  In 2005 he went to  Washington DC’s French-Indian fusion restaurant, Indebleu, followed two years later by a stint at Chef Antoine Westerman’s Café du Parc at DC’s Willard Intercontinental Hotel. 

In 2009 Chambers headed to New York City to be sous chef at Café Boulud, Chef Daniel Boulud’s Michelin-starred restaurant.  Two years later, Boulud opened Boulud Sud – his Mediterranean restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  Chambers was selected to be Executive Chef of the new restaurant.  They received two stars from The New York Times, which said, “To the list of terrific Daniel Boulud restaurants in Manhattan, add this gesture toward the sea that laps at the South of France and Spain to its west, then stretches across to Africa and east to the Levant. Boulud Sud is the Manhattan equivalent of a private yacht anchored off Monaco, and you are invited along.”  In Fall 2014 Chambers brought Chef Daniel Boulud’s Bar Boulud concept to Boston at The Mandarin Oriental, Boston

 

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Stephen Coe
Henri-Marie at Mirbeau Inn & Spa

Stephen Coe

Executive Chef

Henri-Marie at Mirbeau Inn & Spa
Plymouth, MA

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.

Christopher Coombs
Deuxave

Christopher Coombs

Chef/Owner

Deuxave
Boston, MA

In 2006, the young and talented chef Christopher Coombs came in contact with Brian Piccini, owner of dbar. The duo joined forces to start Boston Urban Hospitality Inc., with a focus on fresh, local, seasonally inspired menus.

In 2010, Coombs opened his first restaurant with Piccini, Deuxave, located in Boston’s Back Bay. Since, Coombs’ success has been grabbing the attention of both local and national media, including an appearance on Food Network’s Chopped. Today, Coombs continues to awe his guests at dbar and Deuxave, and at his newest project, Boston Chops.

David Daniels
MET Restaurant Group

David Daniels

Culinary Director

MET Restaurant Group
Nantucket, MA

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

Louis Dibiccari
Tavern Road

Louis Dibiccari

Chef and Owner

Tavern Road
Boston, MA

Louis DiBiccari began his career 15 years ago at, of all places, Fitchburg State College. Coming from a big Italian family and growing accustomed to his mom’s scratch cooking, Louis abandoned the school’s dining program and taught himself how to cook in his off campus apartment. Realizing this was his calling, he decided to enroll at Scottsdale Culinary Institute. With no professional training under his belt, he knocked on the door of James Beard Award-winning chef, Christopher Gross. After paying his dues at Christopher’s Bistro and graduating from school Louis returned back home to Boston. Louis spent his internship at Season’s at the Bostonian Hotel.  Louis’ next step would lead him to Frank McClellend, at the most talented kitchen in the city of Boston – L’espalier. At L’Espalier, Louis worked alongside Geoff Gardner until the inception of Sel de la Terre. Louis joined Geoff and his team in what would turn out to be 12 years of assisting in leading and growing the brand.

In 2008, Louis was named chef de cuisine of SDLT in the Back Bay at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. It was in this role that Louis began accumulating local and national recognition for his abilities in the field, particularly in his culinary styling of “nose to tail” cooking, his relationship with local farmers and dedication to working within the organic seasons of the New England harvest. In 2009, Louis and eight of his piers were named “Rising Star Chefs” by Starchefs.com. The restaurant was recognized in several categories for Boston Magazine’s “Best of Boston” awards, including “Best Bar Menu” and “Best Upscale Burger.” Louis left the SDLT team in 2011 and spent six months traveling and working as a chef in Groton at Dave Gilson’s Groton farm, The Herb Lyceum. In 2003, and sort of by accident, Louis started Boston’s first ever underground dining experience. Out of his Brookline apartment, Louis started what is now known as “Chef Louie Nights”, an interactive dining experience where the guests go to his website and vote for themes and ingredients. The voting results are not revealed to Chef Louis and his team until the morning of the event. The chefs then run around the city like deranged zoo animals trying to organize, conceptualize and execute a five-course meal. What started out as a house party has grown to a semi-annual event that showcases some of Boston’s rich young culinary talent and has partnered with several local sponsors and charities. Most recently, Louis launched a second event project called CREATE: Six Artists, Six Chefs, One Canvas. This mission of this concept is to bridge the gap between visual and culinary arts in the city of Boston and to help foster the artists’ community back to a multi-cultural city severely lacking in artistic depth. 

Nicholas Dixon
Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar

Nicholas Dixon

Executive Chef

Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar
Boston, MA

As a child, Chef Nicholas Dixon could always be found doing one of two things — getting into trouble or hanging out in his dad’s kitchen. Not surprisingly, his time spent doing both has made him the extremely talented chef he is today. Starting at the ripe old age of seven, Nick gained his first actual kitchen experience prepping food (while avoiding trouble) at one of his dad’s local restaurants. Realizing early on he had inherited his family’s love of food, Nick enrolled at Newbury College in Brookline, MA where he was able to apply years of experience to a classic culinary education — quickly earning him his degree and a job working for the successful Boston-based hospitality company, the Lyons Group. 

 A few years later, Dixon accepted an opportunity to work under Chef Michael Mina at Nobhill in the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas. While there, he sharpened his basic skills, expanded his pallet, and learned exactly what it takes to run a high volume, high-profile, high-end kitchen.

 Upon Dixon's return to Boston, he accepted the position of executive chef at Lucky’s Lounge. On display each night was his unique ability to elevate simple comfort food from common family fare to critically acclaimed chow. He transitioned from Lucky's to be the opening Executive Chef at Lincoln Tavern in South Boston. 

Dixon's latest post is serving as both the Executive Chef at Lincoln Tavern and the recently opened Loco Taqueria & Oyster Bar, also in Southie.     

Mary Dumont
Harvest

Mary Dumont

Executive Chef

Harvest
Cambridge, MA

Mary Dumont is Chef/Partner of Harvest in Cambridge, Massachusetts. True to Mary’s signature style, Harvest celebrates contemporary New England cuisine focused on fresh, regional ingredients. 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 became the executive chef of Harvest in Cambridge, Massachusetts—a restaurant in the heart of Harvard Square, near Harvard University celebrating farm-to-fork New England cuisine long before it became the trend. Mary has brought the food to a new level of creativity and innovation. Her secret ingredient in the Harvest kitchen is not only all the local produce but all the herbs she grows in her own kitchen garden. 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.

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Tiffani Faison
Sweet Cheeks

Tiffani Faison

Chef and Owner

Sweet Cheeks
Boston, MA

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

In 2006 Tiffani was cast on the first season of Bravo’s “Top Chef” and placed as the runner-up. 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. 

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Neil Ferguson
American Seasons

Neil Ferguson

Chef/Owner

American Seasons
Nantucket, MA

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

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

Gabriel Frasca
Straight Wharf Restaurant & Ventuno

Gabriel Frasca

Chef/Owner

Straight Wharf Restaurant & Ventuno
Nantucket, MA

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

Christopher Freeman
Oran Mor Bistro

Christopher Freeman

Chef/Owner

Oran Mor Bistro
Nantucket, MA

Chef Freeman brings to Oran Mor years of culinary expertise cultivated at the world's top rated resort inns. Chef Freeman has been repeatedly honored as Nantucket’s highest rated chef for food by ZAGAT Survey and has earned accolades from food critics nationwide and abroad. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Chris has been featured numerous times at the James Beard House in New York City and has received critical praise from Zagat, Bon Appetit, Coastal Living, Town & Country, Gourmet, National Geographic Traveler and Travel & Leisure.

Matthew Gaudet
West Bridge

Matthew Gaudet

Chef and Owner

West Bridge
Cambridge, MA

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.

 

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Michael Getter
Dune

Michael Getter

Chef/Owner

Dune
Nantucket, MA

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

Will Gilson
Puritan & Co.

Will Gilson

Chef/Owner

Puritan & Co.
Cambridge, MA

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

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Bernard Guillas
The Marine Room

Bernard Guillas

MaÎtres Cuisiniers de France, Cookbook Author, Executive Chef

The Marine Room
La Jolla, CA

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. 

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E.J. Harvey
SeaGrille

E.J. Harvey

Chef/Owner

SeaGrille
Nantucket, MA

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

Seth High
The Summer House

Seth High

Chef

The Summer House
Nantucket, MA

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.

Neil Hudson
Bartlett's Farm

Neil Hudson

Executive Chef

Bartlett's Farm
Nantucket, MA

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

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

Andy Husbands
Tremont 647

Andy Husbands

Executive Chef/Owner

Tremont 647
Boston, MA

Andy Husbands is the Chef/Owner of Tremont 647. Chef Husbands has been praised both locally and nationally for his bold flavors, commitment to using the best ingredients and seasonality, receiving nods from countless publications, from the Boston Globe and Boston Magazine to Wine Spectator and Star Chefs. Chef Husbands competed in the 6th season of Fox Television Network's "Hell's Kitchen" hosted by Gordon Ramsay.

He has published three books: The Fearless Chef, Wicked Good Barbeque, and Wicked Good Burgers with co-authors Chris Hart of the IQUE BBQ team and Andrea Pyenson of the Boston Globe.

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Robin King
Restaurant Oro and Tesoro Latin Kitchen

Robin King

Chef and Owner

Restaurant Oro and Tesoro Latin Kitchen
Scituate, MA

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

 

All Kovalencik
The Company of the Cauldron

All Kovalencik

Chef/Owner

The Company of the Cauldron
Nantucket, MA

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

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

William Kovel
Catalyst

William Kovel

Chef/Owner

Catalyst
Cambridge, MA

Catalyst Restaurant’s Chef/Owner William Kovel’s interest in food “sparked” at an early age.  A native of West Hartford, Connecticut, William Kovel cooked in a variety of cities and countries before settling back down in New England. Kovel received his degree in Culinary and Hospitality Studies at Southern New Hampshire University prior to moving out West to San Francisco where he was able to broaden his knowledge of cuisine and technique beyond the East Coast.  Kovel’s culinary career has brought him overseas to London and across the United States before he decided to settle in Boston. 

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Michael LaScola
American Seasons

Michael LaScola

Chef

American Seasons
Nantucket, MA

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.

Liam Mackey
The Nautilus

Liam Mackey

Chef/Owner

The Nautilus
Nantucket, MA

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

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

Nimesh Maharjan
29 Fair

Nimesh Maharjan

Executive Chef and Owner

29 Fair
Nantucket, MA

Nimesh Maharjan, Executive Chef and owner of 29 Fair on Nantucket, began his culinary career not at school, but rather in the kitchen, under the tutelage of Chef Charles F. Salliou in 2006. Within three years, he’d been named Chef de Cuisine for renowned Chef Todd English at Figs at 29 Fair. He then took his talents to Easthampton, New York, where, as Executive Chef at Race Lane, he elevated that restaurant to one of the best in the area.

Subscribing to the belief that great food should speak for itself, he strives to produce dishes that are both beautiful and delicious, using recipes that allow the natural flavors of the food to come out, with a focus on locally-sourced ingredients.

Linkie Marais

Linkie Marais

Lifestyle Expert and Chef

Boston, MA

Beauty queen, award-winning baker and grill master are all extensions to her title, making Linkie Marais more than your average chef. With a love for exploring, cooking and the outdoors, her ‘will to grill’ stems all the way back to her unique blend of South African and Southern roots. Born in Evander, a town in northeastern South Africa, Linkie was raised in the kitchen, helping her mother prepare meals on a daily basis. With a lack of abundant fresh ingredients, she inherited her mother’s creativity, utilizing whatever they had available to create fresh and original meals. Immigrating to the U.S. in 1999, Linkie and her family settled in Tupelo, Mississippi where she began her culinary career piping cakes for a local catering company. Upon obtaining a degree in Culinary Arts and a minor in Food Arts from Mississippi University for Women, Linkie's career took off as she held various pastry and executive chef positions in Oxford, Mississippi before making the move to Massachusetts’ acclaimed Montilio’s Bakery. 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. 

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André J. Marrero
Great Harbor Yacht Club

André J. Marrero

Executive Chef

Great Harbor Yacht Club
Nantucket, MA

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.”

Tony Maws
Craigie on Main and The Kirkland Tap and Trotter

Tony Maws

Chef and Proprietor

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

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

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

 

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Brent Menke
The Farm Table at Kringle Candle

Brent Menke

Executive Chef

The Farm Table at Kringle Candle
Bernardston, MA

Brent Menke is Executive Chef at The Farm Table at Kringle Candle in Bernardston, Massachusetts. The restaurant burst onto the local scene in late 2011, earning the Valley Advocate’s distinction of “Best New Restaurant” for 2012 after being open barely 100 days.

Chef Menke’s career has taken him around the globe, studying different ethnic cuisines and working in the rarefied world of international yachting, cooking for many heads of state, billionaires, and international celebrities. While drawing upon global techniques, chef Menke takes inspiration in the rich farming heritage of the Pioneer Valley utilizing local ingredients to create his distinctive New American fare at The Farm Table.

Chef Menke’s philosophy: “Our noble goals, as we reach out to the community, are to educate the mind, nourish the body, and entertain the soul.”

Brian Mercury
Harvest

Brian Mercury

Executive Pastry Chef

Harvest
Cambridge, MA

A native of Rochester, New York and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, Brian Mercury, moved to Boston in 2004 to work at The Charles Hotel in Cambridge. There, Mercury trained under Executive Chef Peter Davis and Executive Pastry Chef Dan Angelopolus, who he credits with helping him learn the art of creating contemporary, refined desserts with the freshest, local ingredients available. Since 2011, Mercury has served as the Executive Pastry Chef of Himmel Hospitality Group’s iconic Harvest restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As a resident of Somerville, Massachusetts, Mercury has always been familiar with Harvest’s contemporary New England cuisine and feels it aligns perfectly with his culinary philosophy. In 2013, Mercury was named “The People’s Best New Pastry Chef – East” by Food & Wine and received a “Best Dessert” award for his confections by Improper Bostonian. In 2014, he was named “Best Pastry Chef” by Boston Magazine. 

Tony Nastus
Le Languedoc Bistro

Tony Nastus

Executive Chef

Le Languedoc Bistro
Nantucket, MA

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

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

Scott Osif
Galley Beach

Scott Osif

Executive Chef

Galley Beach
Nantucket, MA

Raised in Central Pennsylvania, Scott began his culinary career in 1996 in the nearby Hummingbird Room at the impressionable age of nineteen.  Here, Scott fostered a passion for fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients, by utilizing the restaurant’s own organic garden as well as other regional products. Moving to Philadelphia’s Le Bec Fin, allowed Scott to further his culinary pursuits and broaden his fine dinning horizons. After, deciding to test the hypothesis “if you can make it here you can make it anywhere,” Scott moved to New York City to take his first Sous Chef position at The Cub Room, and by the age of twenty five Scott was running the busy kitchen as a newly minted Executive Chef. This was also the time he chose to embark on his first culinary exploration of Europe, upon his return Chef Osif took a Sous Chef position at Galley Beach on Nantucket Island. In 2005, Scott’s hard work and passion for fresh, local and sustainable provisions culminated in Chef W. Scott Osif being named the Executive Chef at Galley Beach from 2005-2012, Chef Osif was hands on as Executive Chef through the multi-million dollar renovation at Galley Beach. In 2013, Chef Osif explored culinary opportunities off island , and opened as Executive Chef , Fairstead Kithcen in Brookline, Ma, where the Boston Globe gave him 3 out of 4 stars. In 2014 Chef Osif  helped consult with industry friends at Glasserie, Café Cluny both in New York City. Chef Osif rejoins Galley Beach refreshed and inspired bringing back Galley Beach classics while instituting the Osif flair for independent dishes and well tested flavors.

François Payard
FP Patisserie

François Payard

Pastry Chef and Partner

FP Patisserie
New York City, NY

François Payard is a third generation French Pastry Chef born in Nice on July 16th, 1966. François cultivated his passion for the art of Pastry as a child in his grandfather’s acclaimed shop, Au Nid des Friandises on the Riviera. He grew up surrounded by delicious, classic French pastries, a tradition carried on by his parents and grandparents for over fifty years.

After honing his skills in classic pastry by his family’s side, François moved to Paris where he learned the artistry and refinement of transforming traditional desserts into exquisite plated presentations. These new tastes, textures and originality opened new horizons in his career. His dedication and passion earned him positions in several of France’s finest kitchens. In 1988, François held his first position as Pastry Chef in Paris at La Tour d’Argent, (***Michelin). The following year he went on to become Pastry Chef in the kitchen of Alain Senderens at Lucas Carton (***Michelin). In these renowned restaurants he met the challenge of creating dessert menus worthy of a three star Michelin rating.

François’ desire to travel and discover a new culture brought him to New York in 1990 where he was eager to experiment with new ideas, flavors and techniques.  His first position in New York as Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin, challenged him to create a new dessert repertoire. Francois became known for his beautifully presented creations, bursting with unique flavors and balanced taste. In 1993, François joined Chef Daniel Boulud for the opening of Restaurant Daniel where he delighted guests with his chocolate and seasonal fruit menus. In 1995, The James Beard Foundation named François “Pastry Chef of the Year” in recognition of his accent on flavor combined with a unique sense of pastry design.

In August of 1997, François’ childhood dream of opening his own restaurant, Payard Patisserie, became a reality. There, François strived to innovate, perfect, educate and contribute his ideas and passion to the field of pastry. Considered one of Manhattan’s finest culinary destinations for 12 years, Payard Patisserie closed its doors in July 2009.

Branches of Payard opened at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Japan and Korea. In November 2009, the François Chocolate Bar opened in New York City.  Described as “a chocolate jewelry shop,” this shop was devoted to Chef Payard’s chocolate creations. In September 2010, François opened FPB, a casual bakery on West Houston Street in downtown New York City. FPB is the first of several collaborative projects from François and restaurateur Marlon Abela of Marlon Abela Restaurant Corporation (MARC), whose portfolio also includes the A Voce restaurants in New York City, as well as other restaurants in the U.S. and London.  A second location of FPB opened in Battery Park City in October 2012 and a third location opened in May 2012 at Columbus Circle. Francois opened his first FP Patisserie at the Plaza Hotel in the Todd English Food Hall in the spring of 2012. In October 2012, he opened his flagship location of FP Patisserie on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  FP Patisserie features an elegant bar, pastry shop and salon de thé.

 

Thomas Pearson
Brant Point Grill

Thomas Pearson

Executive Chef

Brant Point Grill
Nantucket, MA

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

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

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

Brendan Pelley
Zebra's Bisto and Wine Bar

Brendan Pelley

Executive Chef

Zebra's Bisto and Wine Bar
Medfield, MA

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.

Jonathan Philips
C Salt Wine Bar & Grille

Jonathan Philips

Executive Chef and Owner

C Salt Wine Bar & Grille
Falmouth, MA

Jonathan Philips, Chef/Owner of C Salt Wine Bar and Grille and a culinary graduate of Johnson and Wales University, has fallen in love with the concept of blending American cuisine with Asian and French influences. This passion led to him fulfilling his dream of opening his own restaurant in July 2013, establishing C Salt Wine Bar & Grille located in Cape Cod’s scenic town of Falmouth.Jonathan has long been established South of Boston and on Cape Cod as he worked at Hingham’s Tosca Restaurant where he developed a passion, understanding, and respect for food and then moved on to nearby Square Café where he spent over five years as the Executive Sous Chef. In 2008 took the helm as the Executive Chef of The Golf Club of Cape Cod where he spent the next five years.  It was during this time that Jonathan fell in love with the Cape and the town of Falmouth. 

Cassie Piuma
Sarma

Cassie Piuma

Chef and Partner

Sarma
Somerville, MA

Cassandra (Cassie) Piuma is a native of Duxbury, Massachusetts. She graduated with honors from Johnson and Wales (where she met her husband and now business partner at Sarma) and completed her final semester at the Sunrice Academy in Singapore. She honed her culinary skills at the acclaimed Al Forno in Providence, RI and then moved to Boston in 2002 where she worked at the French bistro, Sel de la terre and as a sausage maker for Barbara Lynch at the Butcher Shop. She spent the next 11 years with James Beard Award winning chef Ana Sortun at Oleana learning the nuances of Middle Eastern cooking and working her way up the ranks from line cook to sous-chef and ultimately chef de cuisine for her final 7 years. In 2013, Cassie opened her dream restaurant, Sarma, in Somerville, MA (with husband Matthew Piuma and business partners Ana Sortun & Gary Griffin) where she cooks her version of modern Middle Eastern meze in a casual, upbeat, neighborhood setting 

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Keith Pooler
Bergamot

Keith Pooler

Chef and Owner

Bergamot
Somerville, MA

Chef Keith Pooler believes that hard work and dedication pays off.  As a result of more than 20 years of his hard work and dedication to the culinary field, Chef Pooler was able to fulfill his lifelong dream of opening his own 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.  

Seth & Angela Raynor
The Boarding House & The Pearl

Seth & Angela Raynor

Executive Chef/Owner

The Boarding House & The Pearl
Nantucket, MA

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

Adam Sappington
The Country Cat

Adam Sappington

Chef and Owner

The Country Cat
Portland, Oregon

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

Michael Scelfo
Alden & Harlow

Michael Scelfo

Chef/Owner

Alden & Harlow
Cambridge, MA

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

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Josh Schoen
Breeze Bar & Café

Josh Schoen

Executive Chef

Breeze Bar & Café
Nantucket, MA

Chef Josh has been cooking professionally for 6 years. After attending The University of Colorado for Business Administration, started working for Chef Henri Chaperont at Le Petite Maison in Colorado Springs, where he instantly fell in love with the commercial kitchen and the idea of lovingly prepared and meticulously plated fine dining cuisine. This prompted Josh to attend culinary school at Pikes Peak Culinary College in order to hone the skills he had learned working in a classical French kitchen. After Culinary School, Josh moved to the Blue Star Restaurant under Chefs Andrew Sherril and William Merwin and Pastry Chef Alicia Prescott. Here, his love for fine cuisine and attentiveness to minutiae blossomed, as well as his passion for sourcing food from local purveyors during their peak harvest season. This passion prompted Josh towards employment at The Winnetu Hotel and Resort on Martha’s Vineyard, as Sous Chef under Chef Matthew Passalacqua until he made the leap to Executive Chef of The Nantucket Hotel. 

Lydia Shire
Scampo

Lydia Shire

Chef and Owner

Scampo
Boston, MA

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. 

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5/16/15

Justin Shoults
BRINE

Justin Shoults

Executive Chef

BRINE
Newburyport, MA

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

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

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Robert Sisca
Bistro du Midi

Robert Sisca

Executive Chef

Bistro du Midi
Boston, MA

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.

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Ming Tsai
Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon

Ming Tsai

Executive Chef

Blue Ginger and Blue Dragon
Wellesley, MA and Boston, MA

Ming Tsai is a pioneer and innovator in East-West cuisine and the chef/owner of Blue Ginger in Wellesley, MA and Blue Dragon in Boston, MA. In its first year, Blue Ginger was named "Best New Restaurant" by Boston Magazine, was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as "Best New Restaurant 1998," and Esquire Magazine named Ming Tsai as "Chef of the Year 1998." The James Beard Foundation crowned Ming "2002 Best Chef Northeast," and, since 2002, Zagat Restaurant Guide has rated Blue Ginger the "2nd Most Popular Boston Restaurant." Ming opened his Asian gastropub, Blue Dragon, in February 2013. Blue Dragon has already been awarded one of Esquire Magazine's "Best New Restaurants 2013" and listed as one of Zagat's "24 new restaurants you need to know about around the US."Ming hosts and executive produces the Emmy-nominated public television show, Simply Ming, now in its twelfth season. He began cooking for television audiences on the Food Network, where he was the 1998 Emmy Award-Winning host of East Meets West with Ming Tsai. Ming's Quest, his popular cooking adventure series, also aired on Food Network.Ming is the author of five cookbooks: Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai, Simply Ming, Ming's Master Recipes, Simply Ming One-Pot Meal, and Simply Ming In Your Kitchen.Ming serves as the President, National Advisory Board, of the Family Reach organization, a non-profit whose mission is to provide financial relief and support to families fighting cancer. He is a national spokesperson for the Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) organization, and worked with Massachusetts Legislature to help write Bill S. 2701, signed into law in January 2009.In 2012, Ming was invited by Secretary of State, The Honorable Hillary Clinton, to represent the U.S. with the Diplomatic Culinary Partnership Initiative/American Chef Corps.  The Chef Corps is a network of chefs from around the country that participate in a number of official government programs that use food as a foundation for public diplomacy efforts at home and abroad.Ming is a proud member of the Harvard School of Public Health's Nutrition Round Table. His other favorite charities include Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Cam Neely Foundation and Squashbusters.

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5/16/15

Brooke Vosika

Brooke Vosika

Consulting Chef

Boston, MA

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

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Kevin Williamson
Ranch 616

Kevin Williamson

Chef/Owner

Ranch 616
Austin, TX

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

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

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Timothy Willis
Summer Shack

Timothy Willis

Chef

Summer Shack
Cambridge, MA

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
The Chanticleer

Jeff Worster

Executive Chef

The Chanticleer
Nantucket, MA

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
TOPPER's

Kyle Zachary

Executive Chef

TOPPER's
Nantucket, MA

Kyle Zachary is the executive chef of TOPPER'S.  

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

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

Erin Zircher
Cru

Erin Zircher

Executive Chef

Cru
Nantucket, MA

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

Eric Asimov
The New York Times

Eric Asimov

Chief Wine Critic

The New York Times
New York, NY

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

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

Robert Dane
Dane Gallery

Robert Dane

Owner

Dane Gallery
Nantucket, MA

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.

Ethan Dupree
Meursault Wine Bar

Ethan Dupree

Owner

Meursault Wine Bar
Nantucket, MA

Ethan Dupree’s passion for cheese and wine was ignited on Nantucket.  Getting his start in high school as the cheese manager at Fahey and Fromagerie, Ethan moved to New York to work with Jean Luc Le Du of Daniel and Le Du’s Wines, and Terrance Brennan at Artisanal Bistro.  He continued his viticultural studies at the Lycée Viticole in Beaune, France. Upon graduation he worked for Domaine des Comte Lafon and Domaine du Comte Armand.  In 2011 Ethan opened the cheese and wine store Dupree and Company and in 2014 opened the sleek and sexy wine bar Meursault. He leads small group adventures through France and Italy with his travel company Long Table Travel where he continue learning about the wines and cheeses of the world. 

Stephen Gerike
National Pork Board

Stephen Gerike

National Pork Board
Des Moines, Iowa

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

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

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

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John Greeley
Gourmet Foods International

John Greeley

Vice President of Northeast Sales

Gourmet Foods International

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

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

 

Ihsan Gurdal
Formaggio Kitchen

Ihsan Gurdal

Owner

Formaggio Kitchen
Boston, MA

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.

Kerry Hallam

Kerry Hallam

Artist

Nantucket, MA

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

David Hamburger
Acker Merrall & Condit

David Hamburger

Director of Special Events

Acker Merrall & Condit
New York, NY

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

Robert Kacher
Robert Kacher Selections

Robert Kacher

Owner

Robert Kacher Selections
Burgundy, France

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
Acker Merrall & Condit

John Kapon

CEO

Acker Merrall & Condit
New York, NY

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

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

Jimmy Kennedy
Cabot Creamery Cooperative

Jimmy Kennedy

Spokesperson and Celebrity Chef

Cabot Creamery Cooperative
Waitsfield, VT

Jimmy proudly represents Cabot Creamery Cooperative as a spokesperson, celebrity chef and Marketing Products Business Manager. He also owns and operates, J.D.K. B.B.Q. and was the founder of the well-known River Run Restaurant in Plainfield, VT. 

Jimmy was born and raised in rural N.E. Mississippi and eventually found his way thru politics in Washington, D.C. and restaurants in New York City to Vermont. He is the author of The River Run Cookbook: Southern Comfort from Vermont and was a contributing chef to the 2014 Lodge Cast Iron Nation Cookbook. In addition to numerous national newspaper and magazine articles, he has won several culinary awards and appeared on The Food Network,  Live From Daryl’s House, New England Cooks and dozens of other television news programs. 

As a professional bass fisherman, Jimmy successfully competes on the B.A.S.S. and F.L.W. circuits, was the featured guest on Charlie Moore Outdoors and Vermont Public Television’s Outdoor Journal. He has also been mentioned in national outdoor publications, including Bassmaster, Outdoor Magazine, Men’s Journal, and Sports Afield as well as Interview.  Jimmy is co-host of Lakes Region Fishing TV Show and is currently working on a television/web series for fishing and cooking with kids. He’s also a Let’s Go Fishing Instructor for the Vt. Fish and Wildlife Service. His most important job? Proud father of his two daughters, Josie and June.

 

Julianna Knoettner
Dole & Bailey, Inc.

Julianna Knoettner

Director of Cheese and Dairy Operations

Dole & Bailey, Inc.
Woburn, MA

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

Max McCalman

Maître Fromager

New York, NY

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.

http://www.max-mccalman.com/

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Philippe Newlin
Duclot La Vinicole NY

Philippe Newlin

Director

Duclot La Vinicole NY
New York, NY

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

Louis Risoli
L'Espalier

Louis Risoli

Mâitre d' hotel and Fromager

L'Espalier
Boston, MA

Mâitre d' hotel and Fromager Louis Risoli instills the philosophy of “chasing perfection” into the front of the house by way of his diligent and meticulous orchestration of L’Espalier’s three dining rooms. In doing so, Risoli ensures a dining experience that far surpasses guests’ expectations night after night. He has also defined the role of Grand Fromager across the east coast, having been one of the first in the nation to add this distinctive culinary expertise to a restaurant setting.Risoli's arrival to L'Espalier even predates the restaurant's thirty-year plus owner, Chef Frank McClelland. He is the restaurant's most reliable historian, to include first hand stories of famous guests. As Mâitre d’ hotel for the past three decades, he has been integral in creating and maintaining the standard of excellence that has become synonymous with L’Espalier. Over the thirty years they have worked together, Risoli and Chef McClelland have developed a symbiotic relationship that is unparalleled. Risoli’s ability to anticipate the needs of the dining rooms and communicate with the kitchen is incomparable, some might even say psychic. In addition to maintaining harmony throughout the dining rooms and with the kitchen, Risoli’s intense passion for cheese has been the driving force behind the Grand Fromage, at L’Espalier since 1988, and the Cheese Tuesday program, which he and Chef McClelland initiated in 2002. He is nationally known, a perennial guest and speaker at national cheese conferences and a veritable encyclopedia about worldwide cheese varietals and culinary cheese trends.

Perry Rossi
Perry Rossi Orchestras

Perry Rossi

Musician

Perry Rossi Orchestras
Pembroke, MA

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’.

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Nicolette Anctil
The Catbird Seat

Nicolette Anctil

Beverage Director

The Catbird Seat
Nashville, TN

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
Treasury Wine Estates

Gillian Ballance

Luxury Prestige Manager

Treasury Wine Estates

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 Breeze
Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel, CA

Beccy Breeze

Sommelier

Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel, CA
Carmel, CA

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. 

Joe Camper
BAR BOULUD Boston, MA

Joe Camper

Wine Director

BAR BOULUD Boston, MA
Boston, MA

For Joseph Camper, the summer of 2008 was a climactic one – his years of private music lessons, undergraduate studies at Manhattan’s Mannes College of Music, and Master’s program at the New England Conservatory of Music had all paid off – he was about to be offered a contract with a major Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo. It was the opportunity of a lifetime for a budding orchestral musician, but the thoughts running through his head were not of joy and relief. “I had spent my whole life preparing for this moment, but all I could think was ‘I want to spend less time playing Beethoven and more time drinking wine.’” Camper began plotting his return to the states, with eyes set on the cellar.

Upon his return to Boston, Joe contacted Cat Silirie, Wine Director of the Barbara Lynch Gruppo and Boston’s only Relais & Chateaux rated restaurant, Menton. Silirie, a tireless educator known for the wine training regiments at her restaurants, offered him a job as a ‘cellar rat,’ an opportunity Joe jumped on for sake of exposure. During the two years that followed at Menton, Joe attended countless tastings, played host to world-renowned winemakers, and learned every facet of the business, quickly elevating himself to the role of sommelier.

In 2011, when Joe itched to get back to the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, he took a position at Eleven Madison Park, where he worked in every dining room position, ultimately landing as a sommelier. Soon after, the chef sommelier position at Chef Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne opened, presenting an opportunity for Joe to return to a group with a wine program rooted in classic French regions. In early 2014 Boulud announced his plans to open a Bar Boulud in Boston, which presented Camper with the opportunity to return home, while continuing to promote his beloved wines of Champagne and Burgundy.

On his days off, Joe loves to drive to the beach with his wife Satomi, and the family Basset Hound, Charlotte, champagne in tow.

Rebecca Chapa
Tannin Management/Nantucket Wine Festival

Rebecca Chapa

Beverage Manager

Tannin Management/Nantucket Wine Festival
Nantucket, MA

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
The Regency Bar & Grill New York, NY

André Compeyre

Wine & Beverage Director

The Regency Bar & Grill New York, NY
New York, NY

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

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

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

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.

 

Nick Daddona
Boston Harbor Hotel Boston, MA

Nick Daddona

Wine Director

Boston Harbor Hotel Boston, MA
Boston, MA

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

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

Lauren Daddona
L'Espalier Boston, MA

Lauren Daddona

Wine Director

L'Espalier Boston, MA
Boston, MA

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.

William Davis
Wilson Daniels Napa, CA

William Davis

State Manager - Colorado and New Mexico

Wilson Daniels Napa, CA
Napa Valley, CA

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! 

Tracey Devlin
Nantucket Wine Festival Boston, MA

Tracey Devlin

Sommelier/Production Coordinator

Nantucket Wine Festival Boston, MA
Boston, MA

Tracey Devlin began her wine career on Nantucket Island in the summer 2011. While working for Seth and Angela Raynor at Boarding House and The Pearl, Tracey gained interest in their award winning wine program.  That led her to move out West to St. Helena in Napa Valley the following winter/spring.  While there she immersed herself in the world of wine visiting over 70 vineyards up and down the coast, and establishing relationships throughout the Valley.  She returned to Nantucket for the 2012 season as the Sommelier at Boarding House.  She has also been Sommelier at Cru Oyster Bar,Galley Beach, and The Nautilus all on Nantucket.  Her wine travel includes Spain, Portugal, and Burgundy, France, along with another extended stay in Yountville, California where she staged at the renowned restaurant Redd. She is now in Boston full time working as Production Coordinator for the Nantucket Wine Festival. 

TJ Douglas
The Urban Grape Boston, MA

TJ Douglas

Owner

The Urban Grape Boston, MA
Boston, MA

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

Upon his arrival in Boston, 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.”

Kai Gagnon
Bergamot

Kai Gagnon

Wine Director

Bergamot
Somerville, MA

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.

 

Tom Gannon
Spire Collection, Jackson Family Fine Wines

Tom Gannon

New England Region Manager

Spire Collection, Jackson Family Fine Wines
New England

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

Brent Jones

Brent Jones

Sommelier

Boston, MA

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.

Errol Joseph
C Salt Wine Bar & Grille Falmouth, MA

Errol Joseph

Maitre d' / Sommelier

C Salt Wine Bar & Grille Falmouth, MA
Falmouth, MA

A native of The Berkshires, Errol has recently taken over as the Maître d’ / Sommelier at Falmouth’s lively C Salt Wine Bar & Grille.  Errol is a long time contributor to the wine festival and additionally offers Private Sommelier & Cellar Services in the Greater Boston and Cape Cod area.  He is a Certified Sommelier within the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers and is currently an Advanced Sommelier Candidate.  Errol’s most recent prior experience includes running the wine program at Tosca Restaurant in Hingham, but also includes a fabulous season at Nantucket’s own White Elephant Resort.

Guillem Kerambrun
Benoit

Guillem Kerambrun

Chef Sommelier

Benoit
New York, NY

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

 

Catherine Larsen
The Larsen Wine Group

Catherine Larsen

Owner

The Larsen Wine Group
San Francisco, CA

Catherine Larsen has been in the wine industry for over 15 years. Leaving the high-powered worlds of real estate development and investment banking in New York to pursue her passion for wine, she got her start as a Sommelier at Windows on the World, atop the World Trade Center – the infamous wine school and wine cellar directed by Kevin Zraly and Andrea Immer Robinson. Catherine’s wine career then flourished through her work with several respected companies – Frederick Wildman and Son’s, Partner in Channing Daughter’s Winery Bridgehampton, NY, Cardinale, Lokoya, to name a few. In 2003, Catherine started her own sales and marketing company, The Larsen Wine Group. The Company’s expertise is working with prestigious, boutique wineries from around the world - helping to turn their Client’s vision into reality while making their wine more successful and famous.  Nellcôte Rosé and Single Vineyard Cabernets from Napa Valley specially featured at the Nantucket Wine Fest. 

Anani Lawson
Bardessono

Anani Lawson

Wine Director

Bardessono
Yountville, CA

Anani Lawson selects wines for some of the world’s most discriminating palates. Mr. Lawson is launching along with some business partners a mobile app TIPSI your mobile sommelier.

Until August 2012 Anani was Sommelier at Per Se since October 2010, Anani Lawson was at The French Laundry, the mother home of world renowned chef Thomas Keller.  Anani has the fortune to work with a talented group of chefs and sommeliers from whom he garnered a strong work ethic, personal service, wine service at the highest level and dedication.

Since joining the Per Se team, the restaurant has received the best review from Zagat, James Beard Award for Outstanding service and The New York Times named Per Se “The best restaurant in New York City”.

Today Anani Lawson could be counted as one of the handful sommeliers to have worked for two three star rated (Guide Michelin) restaurants on both coasts, The French Laundry  in Napa Valley and Per Se in New York City; the only sommelier to have that achievement in the United States!  Time permitting Anani conducts wine country tours in California, France, and much of the world; sharing his vast network of wineries and relationships.  Anani is an entrepreneur at heart, customizing and filling private wine cellars from the novice wine drinker to the multi-million dollar wine collector.  Anani currently resides in the Napa Valley and performs wine director duties for Bardessono Hotel.

Todd Lipman
Bistro du Midi Boston, MA

Todd Lipman

Head Sommelier

Bistro du Midi Boston, MA
Boston, MA

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

Michael Madrigale
Bar Boulud & Boulud Sud New York, NY

Michael Madrigale

Head Sommelier

Bar Boulud & Boulud Sud New York, NY
New York, NY

Michael joined Chef Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group in 2007 as Chef Sommelier at db Bistro Moderne and later moved on to the group’s more wine-centric Bar Boulud to manage a cellar of over 500 selections, dedicated largely to the Rhône Valley and Burgundy. Here he attracted renown and a considerable following among connoisseurs for launching New York City’s first “Big Bottles” program, offering guests privileged access to rare and large format bottles poured by the glass. Today Madrigale oversees the wine programs for Bar Boulud, the new Boulud Sud and Épicerie Boulud. “Being in this business validates the way I grew up,” says Madrigale, “knowing that real happiness comes from eating and drinking with people you love.”

Michael has been named “Sommelier of the Year 2012” for both FOOD AND WINE and WINE ENTHUSIAST.

Gaetano Muscatello
Casa Lever New York, NY

Gaetano Muscatello

Chef Sommelier

Casa Lever New York, NY
New York, NY

Chef Sommelier is Chef Sommelier at Casa Lever on Park Avenue in Manhattan.  Born in Rome, Gaetano came to America when he was twenty-two years old.  Always passionate about food as a child, as he grew older, he became just as passionate about wine.  Although predominately an Italian wine list, Casa Lever also offers a wide variety of French and California wines.

Eduardo Porto Carreiro
DBGB Kitchen and Bar New York, NY

Eduardo Porto Carreiro

Sommelier

DBGB Kitchen and Bar New York, NY
New York, NY

Eduardo Porto Carreiro began his official career in wine at the age of twenty-one, but had been bit by the wine bug long before.  His first job in wine, as a wine clerk stocking shelves and manning the cash register, may not have been glamorous for West Hollywood, CA, but the opportunity allowed him to taste several hundred bottles per week and to place a smell and flavor to the wines of the fabled regions he had been reading about.

In early 2003, happenstance landed him a job as a food runner in one of Los Angeles’ best kitchens, GRACE Restaurant. Fraser recognized his knowledge and passion for wine and quickly promoted him through the ranks from food runner to Sommelier, then Wine Director, all in less than two years. At twenty-three he was the youngest Wine Director in Los Angeles, overseeing the acclaimed wine programs of GRACE and sister restaurant, BLD.

In the summer of 2010, Eduardo was tapped to create and helm the wine program at Sang Yoon’s LUKSHON Restaurant and oversee the wine lists at Yoon’s FATHER’S OFFICE restaurants.  

 In 2012, prompted by the geographic inconvenience of falling in love with a woman across the country, Eduardo moved to New York City. Upon arriving in NYC, he accepted a coveted position as a member of the sommelier team at Chef Daniel Boulud’s two Upper West Side restaurants—the Mediterranean-inspired Boulud Sud and rustic French Bistro, Bar Boulud. In the summer of 2013, he was named Chef Sommelier of DBGB Kitchen & Bar, Daniel Boulud’s downtown restaurant, where he manages the wine, beer, and spirits programs.

 

Rob Renteria
La Folie Restaurant

Rob Renteria

Sommelier

La Folie Restaurant
San Francisco, CA

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

Matt Ryan
Beaver Brook Bottles Waltham, MA

Matt Ryan

General Manager

Beaver Brook Bottles Waltham, MA
Waltham, MA

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

Brooke Sabel
Ninety Acres, New Jersey

Brooke Sabel

Wine Director

Ninety Acres, New Jersey
Peapack, New Jersey

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

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

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

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

Aviram Turgeman
Nice Matin New York, NY

Aviram Turgeman

Chef-Sommelier

Nice Matin New York, NY
New York, NY

Aviram Turgeman is the Chef Sommelier of Restaurant Nice Matin on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The famous wine program features 2,500 selections, highlighting mature wines, mostly from Bordeaux and Provence, alongside the rest of France, Classic Europe, and California. The restaurant owns wine collections such as JFK's that features pre-phylloxera historical vintages, the famed Restaurant Chanterelle collection, among others.

In addition, Aviram is the beverage director of the "Chef Driven Group" that consists of the Tour de France restaurant group, Barbounia, as well the 5 Napkin Burger group.

Marika Vida
The Ritz Carlton-Central Park

Marika Vida

Wine Director

The Ritz Carlton-Central Park
New York, NY

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

Bertrand Ambroise
Maison Ambroise

Bertrand Ambroise

Owner/Winemaker

Maison Ambroise
Burgundy, France

In 1987 Bertrand Ambroise took over Maison Ambroise.  Through hard work in the vineyard and his everyday passion for wine, he was able to bring his personality into the wine he crafts from 17 hectares, about 40 acres of vines. Bertrand and his family are passionate about vines and wines. Together they work with a unique goal in mind “your pleasure”. Their method of working the vines and making wine is a true philosophy which was built over time. If ripeness is the goal in the vineyards, freshness is the goal in the cellar.

Kale Anderson
Pahlmeyer Winery

Kale Anderson

Winemaker

Pahlmeyer Winery
Napa Valley, CA

Kale Anderson is the director of winemaking at Pahlmeyer Winery. As a California native, his interest in the wine industry led him to earn a B.S. in Viticulture and Enology from U.C. Davis in 2002. Since then he has held positions at Colgin Cellar’s Pritchard Hill Estate, Terra Valentine, Cliff Lede Vineyards, and finally Pahlmeyer Winery. His passion for producing wines is 10 years strong, and far from finished.

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Tony Apostolakos
Masi Agricola

Tony Apostolakos

Director of U.S. Marketing and Sales

Masi Agricola
Italy

  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.

Dimitri Augenblick
Château Cos D'Estournel

Dimitri Augenblick

Business Development Manager

Château Cos D'Estournel
Bordeaux, France

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

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

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Megan Baccitich
Paul Hobbs Winery

Megan Baccitich

Director of Winemaking

Paul Hobbs Winery
Sonoma, CA

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.

Craig Becker
Somerston Estate Vineyard & Winery

Craig Becker

Winemaker

Somerston Estate Vineyard & Winery
Napa Valley, CA

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

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

Gary Brookman
Miner Family Winery

Gary Brookman

Winemaker

Miner Family Winery
Napa Valley, CA

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 Browne
CIRQ & Kosta Browne

Michael Browne

Owner

CIRQ & Kosta Browne
Russian River Valley, CA

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).

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Christopher Carpenter
Cardinale & Lokoya

Christopher Carpenter

Winemaker

Cardinale & Lokoya
Napa Valley, CA

Chris Carpenter is the winemaker for some of Napa Valley’s most prestigious wineries, including Cardinale, Lokoya, La Jota and Mt. Brave. He has earned a reputation for taming Napa mountain tannins and creating legendary Cabernet Sauvignon. He believes in maximum attention in the vineyards and minimal intervention in the winery to create the purest expression of place.

Chris earned an undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, then went on to receive his MBA at the University of Illinois, Chicago.  It was there that he started exploring and discovering the great food and wine scene in Chicago.

During a visit to Napa Valley, Chris discovered a lifestyle that combined his love of the sciences with his growing passion for culinary and wine pursuits— a way to be challenged both intellectually and creatively.  Chris and his wife founded the Napa Valley chapter of Slow Food and served as Chair for Slow Food USA, an organization dedicated to preserving regional foods and small food purveyors, and to celebrating local farmers and chefs. Chris continues his love affair with the restaurant business by bartending every Friday night at the Rutherford Grill where he “learns more about human nature and about life in general, behind the plank.”

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Laura Catena
Catena Winery

Laura Catena

Vintner

Catena Winery
Argentina

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

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

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

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Paul Chevalier
Château D'Esclans

Paul Chevalier

Wine Director

Château D'Esclans
Provence, France

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

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

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Remi Cohen
Lede Family Wines

Remi Cohen

Vice President & General Manager

Lede Family Wines
Napa Valley, CA

Remi Cohen is the Vice President and General Manager of Lede Family Wines, encompassing Cliff LedeVineyards in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley and FEL Wines in the Anderson Valley. In her role,Cohen directs the Cliff Lede Vineyards winemaking process from vineyard to bottle and is responsible fortop quality, small-lot winemaking that is expressive of appellation and terroir. In addition, she is a brandambassador and oversees the distribution of all wines throughout the domestic and international markets.Born and raised in East Brunswick, New Jersey, Cohen migrated to the West Coast and attended U.C.Berkeley with plans to become a doctor or genetics professor. Upon receiving a degree in molecular andcellular biology, Cohen realized that she preferred plant science and enrolled in the Viticulture andEnology program at U.C. Davis, where she received her Master’s Degree. Cohen subsequently completedher M.B.A. at Golden Gate University in San Francisco.“Cliff Lede really focuses on quality and capturing a sense of place in each and every wine,” says Cohen.“Our goal is to maintain a portfolio of wines that are opulent but balanced with great acidity.”Cohen is an advocate of sustainable farming practices and has hosted lectures on sustainability andwinegrowing at venues including U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Davis, Commonwealth Club, Society of WineEducators, and the American Society of Enology and Viticulture. In addition to writing a column forVineyard & Winery Management, Cohen is on the board of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers and the StagsLeap District Winegrowers Association. She was former President of the Napa Valley VineyardTechnical Group, and is on the scientific review board of the American Vineyard Foundation. Cohen isalso a California licensed Pest Control Adviser and a Court of Master Sommelier Certified Sommelier.

 

 

 

 

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Roberto Damonte
Malvirà

Roberto Damonte

Owner/Winemaker

Malvirà
Piedmont, Italy

Roberto Damonte is the principal winemaker of the Azienda Agricola Malvirà.  Known for its award-winning nebbiolos and arneis, Malvirà is the preeminent winery of the Roero winemaking zone in Piedmont, Italy.  Roberto inherited the winery—along with his passion for winemaking—from his father, Giuseppe Damonte, who began producing wine under the Malvirà label in the 1950s.

Daniel Daou
DAOU Vineyards

Daniel Daou

Winemaker / Owner

DAOU Vineyards
Paso Robles, CA

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

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

Dominique Demarville
Veuve Clicquot

Dominique Demarville

Cellar Master and Winemaking Director

Veuve Clicquot
Reims, France

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. 

Fiorenzo Dogliani
Beni di Batasiolo

Fiorenzo Dogliani

President

Beni di Batasiolo
Piedmont, IT

Fiorenzo Dogliani, President of Batasiolo for almost 3 decades, is the third generation owner of Batasiolo, one of the most important wine brands produced in the Piedmont region in Italy. Fiorenzo started in the wine business at the age of 8, picking grapes and taking them to the winery for crushing. When he was 18, Fiorenzo started driving regularly to Milan in his Fiat 500 with 20 cases of wine. He started promoting the brand door to door in the restaurants throughout Milan.

Today, Fiorenzo is the president of the largest privately-owned wine producer in Piedmont, with over 120 hectares of land (of which 70% are Nebbiolo based) and producing more than 4 million bottles each year. Batasiolo is sold in over 53 countries, and has international recognition from field organizations such as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, The Tasting Panel, and Gambero Rosso.

The philsophy of Fiorenzo and the winery are to produce varietally and historically typical wines of Piemonte with the main focus on Barolo, Barbaresco, and the other important wines of the Langhe.  They have a keen respect and connection to the land and strive to showcase the natural beauty of each vineyard.  For example, they are the leading family in Barolo in the number of cru Barolo’s from distinct communes.  Finally, the overriding principle is to produce all of these wines with loving care, while making sure that all of their wines are priced with utmost honesty and value.

Joe Donelan
Donelan Family Wines

Joe Donelan

Founder

Donelan Family Wines
Sonoma, CA

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

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Tom Eddy
Tom Eddy Winery

Tom Eddy

Owner/Winemaker

Tom Eddy Winery
Napa Valley, CA

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

Laurence Feraud
Domaine du Pégau

Laurence Feraud

Owner/Winemaker

Domaine du Pégau
Rhone, France

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

Eric Flanagan
Flanagan

Eric Flanagan

Owner/Winemaker

Flanagan
Sonoma, CA

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

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

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Lamberto Frescobaldi
Luce della Vite

Lamberto Frescobaldi

Winemaker

Luce della Vite
Italy

Lamberto Frescobaldi represents the thirtieth generation of this renowned Tuscan winegrowing family.  In 1989 he took on the responsibility of vineyard investments and helped to expand the holdings of the family’s various Tuscan estates to include 1,200 hectares.

In 1995, after the establishment of the first Italian-American joint-venture partnership, known as ‘Luce della Vita’, Lamberto directed its winemaking, along with Tim Mondavi. In 2005, he assumed the position of Managing Director of Tenute di Castelgiocondo and Luce della Vite, one of the most prestigious producers of Brunello di Montalcino. Since February 2002, he has served as President of the Società Vigneti di Nugola S.r.l. (Livorno) the result of a joint-venture between the Marchi and Frescobaldi families. Since August of 2012 he has collaborated with the Penal Institute of Gorgona Island (Livorno) on the development of a winemaking venture with direct involvement of the detainees. Lamberto Frescobaldi was appointed as President of the Board of Directors of Marchesi de’ Frescobaldi in June 2013.

Armando Fumanelli
Marchesi Fumanelli

Armando Fumanelli

Owner

Marchesi Fumanelli
Italy

 Armando Fumanelli owns and manages Marchesi Fumanelli winery.  He leads his experienced team with the goal of deftly combining traditional and modern techniques to produce authentic expressions of their distinctive terroir.  Prior to joining Marchesi Fumanelli in 1998, Armando completed a Political Science degree in Switzerland and subsequently spent several years working for the Italian Embassy in several East African and Middle Eastern countries.  Since joining his historic family winery, Armando has overseen the restructuring and replanting of the wine cellars and vineyards to bring the Squarano Estate back to its splendor and glamour of past centuries. Marchesi Fumanelli wines are the reference point for Pedigree and Provenance in the heart of Valpolicella.

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Alex Gambal
Alex Gambal

Alex Gambal

Winemaker / Owner

Alex Gambal
Burgundy, France

Alex Gambal never thought he would be a winemaker. After graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in 1979 he began work in the real estate business in Washington, DC but in the late 80s he began to get interested in wine and food.

In 1992 during a visit to Burgundy, he met Becky Wasserman, the iconic exporter.  After an evening of good wine and cheese he decided to take a sabbatical with his family, working with Becky in Burgundy. After three years in the export business, Alex began his own winery in July of 1997 by buying grapes and wine in barrel.  In 2005 Alex bought his first vineyards, consisting of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 

Currently Alex produces approximately 5,000 cases of wine a year with 55% being white.  The range of his appellations extends from Bourgogne Pinot Noir and Bourgogne Chardonnay, Village, Premier Crus and Grand Crus such as his Batard-Montrachet, Corton-Charlemagne Clos Vougeot and Latricieres-Chambertin.

 

Chris Hall
Long Meadow Ranch Winery

Chris Hall

Executive Vice President & General Manager-Winery

Long Meadow Ranch Winery
Napa Valley, CA

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.

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Ted Henry
Jarvis Estate

Ted Henry

Winemaker

Jarvis Estate
Napa Valley, CA

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
Hirsch Vineyards

Jasmine Hirsch

Sales and Marketing

Hirsch Vineyards
Sonoma, CA

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
Paul Hobbs Wines

Matt Hobbs

Partner & National Sales Manager

Paul Hobbs Wines
Sonoma, CA

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

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

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Christopher Howell
Cain Vineyard & Winery

Christopher Howell

Winemaker

Cain Vineyard & Winery
Napa Valley, CA

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

Angelos Iatridis
Alpha Estate

Angelos Iatridis

Winemaker/Manager

Alpha Estate
Greece

Mr Angelos Iatridis is manager, Director and winemaker of ALPHA ESTATE.  It is one of the most famous viti/vinicultural exploitation in Greece at Macedonia, in Amyndeon region.

Prior to that, he worked for Boutari and Son Winemakers, where he held a number of responsibilities: he has been responsible of winemaking at the regional winemaking installations entrusted with the supervision of winemaking for the products “Varietal Selection” and “Estate Boutari”; he has been responsible for the international microbiology programme of yeast selection, he has worked for the ISO 9000 certification of the company and the introduction of the HACCP system, he was responsible enologist at the company’s winemaking installations of Stenimachos, and he was responsible for the experimental vinifications and varietal products.

He has been a trainee at the Institute Technique du Vin at Colmar, Alsace, at Universite du Vin at Suze LaRousse, at Château Liversan at Haut Médoc property of Prince Henry Melquior de Polignac. He is a regular speaker at wine-related seminars.

Mr Iatridis holds a Diplôme National d’ Œnologue from the University of Bordeaux II and a Diploma in Chemistry from the Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki. His Diploma thesis at Bordeaux II (which won an award from the French Enologists’ Association) studied the off flavours of wines using gas chromatography and spectrophotometry; his thesis was carried out under the supervision of Professor Bertrand.

Mr Iatridis is a member of the French Enologists’ Association, the Greek Enologists’ Association and the Greek Chemists’ Association. He speaks English and French.

Dave Keatley
Flowers Vineyard & Winery

Dave Keatley

Director of Winemaking

Flowers Vineyard & Winery
Sonoma, CA

A native of Chattanooga TN, Dave’s love of the French language took him to McGill University in Montreal where he majored in Economics and Physical Geography. It was here that he discovered what he calls the “nuance of wine and gastronomic culture.” His first experiences in wine carried him to the Napa Valley where he first worked at Chappellet and later at Pine Ridge. He then set his sights on Sonoma County Pinot Noir and after his internship with William Selyem in 2007, Dave joined the Flowers team as Assistant Winemaker in 2008. During the growing season and especially during harvest, Dave is most frequently found in the vineyards assessing fruit development and monitoring vine health; but during the winter months, when the vines are dormant, he is full of energy skiing in the Sierra Nevada backcountry. His love affair with mountains carries him back to the Sierra during the summer for frequent hikes and climbs.

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Sean Larkin
Larkin Wines

Sean Larkin

Owner/Winemaker

Larkin Wines
Napa Valley, CA

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

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Sebastien Le Ber
Domaine de l'Ile

Sebastien Le Ber

Winemaker

Domaine de l'Ile
Provence, France

In 1911, F.J. Fournier, after making a fortune in Mexican silver mines, bought the Island of Porquerolles, where he planted 450 acres of vines. He died in 1935 leaving behind a widow and six daughters. In 1957, the island was divided in 4 parts corresponding to the 4 natural plains.

Lelia Fournier, married to Dominique Le Ber, was the only member of the family to replant 50 acres of vines on her land, and in 1964 built a new winery. In 1980, their son, Sebastien Le Ber, took over the running of the farm. The Domaine de l’Ile rented an additional 100 acres from the state, which had converted almost all of the island into a natural park.

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Sacha Lichine
Château D'Esclans

Sacha Lichine

Winemaker

Château D'Esclans
Provence, France

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

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

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Bob Lindquist
Qupé

Bob Lindquist

Winemaker

Qupé
Central Coast, CA

A devout follower of the LA Dodgers and audiophile with a particular passion for the Beach Boys and the Kinks, Bob’s path through the wine world of Southern and Central California began in the ’70’s with stints in Gilroy, Ventura County and finally Santa Barbara County with Zaca Mesa where he met his winemaking mentor and future business partner, Jim Clendenen (Au Bon Climat). Bob’s first vintage was 1982. In 1989 Bob joined with his old friend Jim Clendenen to build a winery facility of their own on the Bien Nacido Vineyard, where the wines are still made today.

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Ernst Loosen
Dr. Loosen

Ernst Loosen

Owner/Winemaker

Dr. Loosen
Mosel, Germany

Ernst Loosen was born into a great tradition of German winemaking. Since he took over Dr. Loosen, they have received countless awards and reviews in the wine press. The estate has become a member of the VDP, Germany’s association of top-rated wine estates, and has been named one of the 10 best estates in Germany by nearly every wine publication worldwide. Ernst was named Germany’s Winemaker of the Year in the 2001 edition of Gault Millau’s Weinguide Deutschland and Decanter magazine’s Man of the Year in 2005. He was also the International WINE Challenge’s White Winemaker of the Year in 2005.

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Paul Michael
Peter Michael Winery

Paul Michael

Owner

Peter Michael Winery
Sonoma, CA

Paul, the eldest son of Sir Peter and Lady Michael, recalls the first time he set foot on the land that was to become the Peter Michael Winery: “I was a teenager on summer vacation with my family in 1982 and I found myself planting vines on this hot, dusty and extraordinarily beautiful hillside in Knights Valley. It was an experience I’ll never forget.”

Paul graduated from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne in 1990 and worked with the Forte Group of Hotels in London, Paris and Dubai, before completing his MBA at Ashridge Management College in 1994. Today, he is involved in overseeing the management of the family’s Vineyard at Stockcross, a high-reputation restaurant and luxury Relais & Chateaux hotel in the UK. Paul is also Chairman of My Tiny Planets Ltd, the creative studio behind Tiny Planets and tinyplanets.com. His work as executive producer with Tiny Planets earned two BAFTA awards (British Academy for Film and Television Arts). As part of the Michael Family’s holdings, Paul also manages a diverse portfolio of international businesses that provides seed funding and management consulting to small technology and media companies.

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Corinne Michot
AXA Millésimes

Corinne Michot

Brand Ambassador

AXA Millésimes

Corinne Michot was born and raised in the Loire Valley, the heart of the French countryside. Early on she developed an affinity for the fresh, crisp local flavors which led her to study sommellerie at Tours.

Master of Wine Gérard Basset, the World's Best Sommelier in 2010, invited Corinne to work as an assistant sommelier in England when she was 19. Under Basset’s mentorship she quickly rose through the ranks of his prestigious Hôtel du Vin chain. At age 21 she became Head Sommelier at the Birmingham Hôtel du Vin, and then worked as Head Sommelier in Brighton for three years with the same company, before relocating to London in 2004.

In London, Corinne was appointed Head Sommelier at Gordon Ramsay's celebrated Connaught Hotel, run by Angela Hartnett. During her tenure at the Connaught she also designed the wine list for Cielo by Angela Hartnett, another Gordon Ramsay restaurant in Boca Raton, Florida.

She then went on to work for AXA Millésimes, and created the position of ‘Brand Ambassador’. This new role couples her broad sommelier’s knowledge with her strengths in communication to reinforce the AXA Millésimes brand.  

 

Christian Moreau
Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils

Christian Moreau

Owner/Winemaker

Domaine Christian Moreau Père et Fils
Burgundy, France

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

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

Joe Nielsen
Donelan Family Wines

Joe Nielsen

Winemaker

Donelan Family Wines
Sonoma, CA

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

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Tyler Olbres
Nellcôte

Tyler Olbres

Founder/Vintner

Nellcôte
Napa Valley, CA

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.

 

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Frédéric Panaïotis
Champagne Ruinart

Frédéric Panaïotis

Chef de Caves

Champagne Ruinart
Reims, France

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

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

Ron and Lynn Penner-Ash
Penner-Ash Winery

Ron and Lynn Penner-Ash

Owner/Winemaker

Penner-Ash Winery
Newberg, OR

Lynn graduated from U.C. Davis and worked as the enologist at Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars for four years. She joined the Oregon wine industry in 1988 as winemaker for Rex Hill Winery and then became President and Chief Operating Officer in 1993.  Lynn started Penner-Ash Wine Cellars with husband Ron in 1998, crafting small amounts of Pinot noir and Syrah, while she was still at Rex Hill. Their early success with the label caused them to dream of what they could create and in 2001 they began building the Penner-Ash brand full time.  They have achieved impressive growth, going from 125 cases of Pinot Noir in 1998 to 9,000 cases of Pinot Noir, Syrah, Viognier and Riesling. 

Eric Perrin
Chateau Carbonnieux

Eric Perrin

Owner

Chateau Carbonnieux
Bordeaux, France

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

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Austin Peterson
Ovid Napa Valley

Austin Peterson

Winemaker

Ovid Napa Valley
Napa Valley, CA

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

Suzanne Pride Bryan & Stuart Bryan
Pride Mountain Vineyards

Suzanne Pride Bryan & Stuart Bryan

Co-Owner

Pride Mountain Vineyards
Napa Valley, CA

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.

Joan Pujol
CVNE

Joan Pujol

International Director/Winemaker

CVNE
Spain

A master linguist who speaks seven languages fluently, Joan Pujol joined CVNE (Compañia Vinicola del Norte de España) as International Director in 2013, the year CVNE's 2004 Imperial Gran Reserva Rioja was awarded Wine Spectator's #1 Wine of the Year, the first Spanish winery ever to receive the #1 Wine of the Year award from the Wine Spectator.

 After completing studies in winemaking and viticulture at the Université de Bourgogne and UC Davis, Joan worked in Champagne, California and Chile before returning to his beloved homeland, Spain, to join Bodegas Torres.  First working as a winemaker, and then progressing to many different areas of the company, including senior management roles in sales and marketing, Joan moved to the US in 1999, residing there for twelve years as worldwide export director.  Now based in Spain, but with commercial responsibilities and a travel agenda that keeps him on the road almost 10 months of the year, Joan tours the world sharing his passion for CVNE's stellar portfolio of award-winning Rioja wines.

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Jean Rémy Rapeneau
Château de Bligny

Jean Rémy Rapeneau

Owner

Château de Bligny
Bligny,France

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

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

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
Premium Port Wines Inc.

Rui Ribeiro

US Market Manager

Premium Port Wines Inc.
Portugal

 Rui Ribeiro has always had a love for wine but his interests became more serious when he received his degree in Agronomics at Vila Real University in the Douro. Once filled with knowledge Rui was ready to put his skills to work and started as a winemaker and harvest trainee in 2000. With a passion for nature and viticulture Rui quickly fell in love with the Douro Valley. He was captivated by the impressive beauty of the terraces and the surrounding atmosphere of the Douro. This solidified his career goals to educate the world about the wines of the Douro Valley. Rui is the US Market Manager at Symington Family Estates. He is working under Rupert Symington’s leadership. He frequently visits to the US market supporting importers and distributors and developing actions for the consumer.

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Michael Silacci
Opus One

Michael Silacci

Winemaker

Opus One
Napa Valley, CA

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

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

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

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Robert Sinskey
Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Robert Sinskey

Owner/Winemaker

Robert Sinskey Vineyards
Napa Valley, CA

Rob Sinskey believes that the goals of making luxuriously elegant wines and farming with earth friendly methods are not mutually exclusive. Rather, he has found that caring for the land and conscientious business practices have helped to define the well-crafted wines of RSV. Over the past twenty-five years, Sinskey has grown his 100% organic and Biodynamic certified winegrowing operation to over 200 acres of premium vineyards in the Carneros and Stags Leap districts of Napa and Sonoma Valleys. He holds true to the philosophy that “Wine is not an athletic event.” Wine should not be a “quick study,” but rather, sneak up on you, seduce you, and evolve in the glass and in the bottle.

Jay Christopher Somers
J. Christopher

Jay Christopher Somers

Winemaker

J. Christopher
Willamette Valley, Oregon

Jay spent 11 years making J. Christopher at the Holloran facility in the Willamette Valley before he joined the Dr. Loosen winery in Germany’s Mosel Valley. After many years and many bottles of wine, Jay and Ernst Loosen decided to begin making a collaborative Oregon Pinot called Appassionata. In 2010, they formalized their partnership, bought a 40-acre property on Chehalem Mountain in Newberg, Oregon, and began building a new J. Christopher winery. Today, Jay continues as the winemaker for the partnership, while Ernie provides Old World expertise and financial support.

Jean Soubeyrand
Olivier Leflaive

Jean Soubeyrand

President

Olivier Leflaive
Burgundy, France

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

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

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

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François Villard
Sarl François Villard

François Villard

Winemaker

Sarl François Villard
Rhone, France

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

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

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

Carolyn Wente
Wente Vineyards

Carolyn Wente

CEO & Winegrower

Wente Vineyards
Livermore Valley, CA

“My great-grandfather, C.H. Wente, was smart enough to see the potential in Livermore Valley when he purchased 47 acres back in 1883. That decision helped to establish my family winery as the oldest, continuously operated family-owned winery in America. I’m proud to be leading the family business and driving that legacy forward.”  

As Fourth Generation Winegrower and Chief Executive Officer, Carolyn Wente maintains the family’s longstanding commitment to producing 100% estate grown, sustainably farmed wines in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay & Arroyo Seco, Monterey. The winery’s 3,000 acres of Estate vineyards are located in these two appellations, both known for offering a unique microclimate that is particularly suited to producing award winning varietals.

Since taking over as CEO, Carolyn has been instrumental in the development of the Wente family's lifestyle business, which has brought Wente Vineyards worldwide renown and attracted visitors from around the globe. She also was a major influencer who encouraged her nephew, winemaker Karl D. Wente, to create a line of handcrafted, more limited production wines that would compete with the very best in the world.

Today Carolyn works with fourth and fifth generation family members and company executives to continue the growth of Wente Family Estates. She was chosen as one of the honorees for the Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World in 2002, in an event sponsored by J.P. Morgan Private Banking, Baccarat and Hermès, among other leading luxury brands. She is currently the president of the California Wine Institute– the third member of her family to lead the organization that her grandfather helped establish eighty years ago. 

Carolyn was born and raised in the Livermore Valley, California. She earned a degree in history at Stanford University. She also studied in Europe and was a student intern on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Carolyn makes her home in the scenic Livermore Valley with her husband, Buck Layton, and their son, Buck IV.