FEATURING WORLD CLASS CHEFS
LITV PAST WORLD CLASS CHEFS
ELIZABETH BINDERExecutive Chef Elizabeth Binder was born and raised in South Africa where she attended the internationally recognized Christina Martin School of Food and Wine in her hometown of Durban. After graduating, she landed her first cooking job at the small luxury hotel, Blue Mountain Lodge near the Kruger Park. Where she was quickly promoted to the hotel’s head chef, at the tender age of nineteen. At Blue Mountain, her notoriety rose as she cooked state dinners for both F.W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela at a pivotal point in South African history.
In 1995, Elizabeth packed her bags to embark on a career that would take her around the world. Her first stop was the UK where she worked for Sir Terrence Conran’s Del Ponte and at Clarke’s, owned by Alice Waters’ protege Sally Clarke. Subsequent travels took her around the globe – from the French Alps to Sydney, Australia – further deepening her knowledge of cuisine and international kitchens. Seeking her next culinary adventure, she headed to the United States where she fell in love with San Francisco. Her work in San Francisco has seen her be part of Traci des Jardin’s original team at Jardiniere and working along side Loretta Keller at Bizou.
In 2006, after the birth of her first child, Elizabeth met Christopher Losa. The two worked hand-in-hand to open the Italian-inspired Bar Bambino, which in five short years became one of the most recognized and awarded restaurants in San Francisco’s Mission District. At Bar Bambino, she was able to realize her concept of rustically elegant cuisine and combine finesse with respect for local, fresh, and extraordinary ingredients.
Elizabeth is presently on the hunt for her next venture. She recently finished competing on Top Chef: Seattle, the tenth season of the Emmy and James Beard Award-winning series. She currently resides in Napa with her chef husband and two children.
JOSEPH MANZARESOMA resident Joseph Manzare is a native of the Bronx, NY, and started working in restaurants in his early teens. By 17, he was telling people he was getting ready to open his own place, and got a college degree in business. After that, he cooked at the five-star, five-diamond Hilton in Woodcliff in New Jersey. Then he moved to Los Angeles to apprentice with Jean-Francois Mettigner at L’Orangerie. Manzare spent all his spare time working at Spago, and came to the attention of Wolfgang Puck, who brought him on full-time. After two years at Spago, he traveled to Italy and spent ten months working at San Domenico in Imola. Returning to the States, he again joined with Wolfgang Puck to be opening Sous Chef at Postrio in San Francisco, where he met his wife Mary Klingbeil, who was working as a waitress. Manzare explained, “I was kind of a loner chef that Wolfgang sent up to help get Postrio started. Mary and I met there 23 years ago.”
Soon, he was offered the position of Executive Chef at 44 at the Royalton in New York, where he was nominated “Rising Star Chef of American Cuisine” for the James Beard Awards. He was Chef at Granita in Malibu when he decided the time had come to launch his own restaurant. In 1997, Manzare and his wife and partner, Mary opened Globe in San Francisco, serving up American-Italian food. The couple then opened Globe Venice Beach in 2000. He and Klingbeil opened the Italian spots Zuppa and the (now shuttered) Joey & Eddie’s. Pescheria was their seafood spot that had a brief run in Noe Valley. Hecho, is their latest venture, a Tokyo style sushi and robata with a tequila bar and mariachi bands.
TREVOR ELIASONTrevor EliasExecutive Chef
As executive chef at Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel wineries, Trevor Eliason relishes the harmony found between food and wine. Wine club events and other special occasions at the wineries highlight Trevor’s talent for creating dishes that complement our family of wines. Educated at Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon, Trevor enjoys working with the many passionate people, from farmers and fishmongers to winemakers and waiters, who work together to create a fine dining experience. Trevor has been a chef in Napa Valley for over a decade and joined Far Niente and Nickel & Nickel in 2007.
Michael incorporates his personal passion for seasonal, sustainable living, into all that he does. From the growers that he supports as chef and owner of Bottega Napa Valley and his product designs for NapaStyle, to his earth‐friendly farming practices for his vineyards and the storylines for his Emmy‐winning Food Network show, Michael shares his unique perspective on what comprises good food and healthy living in an old‐world lifestyle.
Based in the Napa Valley, Michael lives amongst his vineyards with his wife, children and golden retriever.
Born in 1962 and raised in the central California community of Turlock, Michael developed his passion for growing, harvesting and cooking from his Italian immigrant mother, who taught Michael the Calabrian traditions of food and family. He followed his dream of becoming a world‐class chef, apprenticing in restaurants at age 14 and eventually graduating from The Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, NY) in 1982. After attending the Florida International University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Michael began his professional career by opening Toby’s restaurant, in Miami, Florida. The restaurant won immediate acclaim and brought Michael rapid success, including being named Chef of the Year by Food & Wine magazine in 1985. In 1986 he was lured back to his Californian roots to design and open Tra Vigne Restaurant in the Napa Valley, where Michael developed an avid following for his unique style of Italian‐influenced wine country cooking and entertaining. He acted as Executive Chef/partner for Tra Vigne and seven other restaurants until 2000, when he left to create NapaStyle, Chiarello Family Vineyards, and focus on his television career. In 2008, Michael officially stepped back into his clogs and chef’s jacket with the opening of his Bottega Napa Valley restaurant, which was quickly named to the Top 100
Bay Area Restaurants (San Francisco Chronicle) and won a critical nod from the Wine Spectator for its wine, list all within 6 months of opening. Bottega is located within the historical Vintage Estates property, which is developed in a 140 year old winery and estate, originally the Groezinger Family Estate. In Summer of 2009, he appears in a new spin‐off of the # 1 food show on cable, Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, where he competes against 23 other renowned chefs in an attempt to win $100,000 for charity.
MATTHEW GRIGGMay 2014, Noble House Hotels & Resorts and River Terrace Inn welcomed Executive Chef Matt Grigg to their Napa Valley culinary team from Vail, Colorado. Matt’s diverse food and beverage career began in Nashville, Tennessee, where he developed a variety of restaurant brands and concepts. The revamping of Yolo’s Restaurant, located in the prestigious Nashville neighborhood of Green Hills, stands out as one of Matt’s top accomplishments. Chef Matt then honed his culinary skills from Johnson and Wales University in Denver, Colorado. He worked at the Westin Tabor Center under Chef Jean-Luc Vogele and Marcos Coal Fire during his stint in Denver, as well. Following culinary school, Matt packed up and moved to the mountains of Vail, Colorado, where he worked at Vail Cascade Resort and the James Beard recognized restaurant La Tour. Matt has also led the culinary operations at the highly acclaimed Grande Denali Resort, located in Alaska’s rugged Denali Park. Chef Matt now finds himself in Napa, California looking to create magic at River Terrace Inn and the new Terrace Court Event Center.
JOEY ALTMANJoey AltmanJoey Altman makes cooking look fun. Whether it’s his natural cooking flair or his easy-going, entertaining teaching style watching Altman cook is almost as enjoyable as eating his food. This celebrated chef trained across the country and “across the pond” to develop his own unique, multi-cultural cooking style that has been described by critics as “bold,” “colorful,” and “sophisticated yet whimsical.”
After graduating from Hotel and Restaurant Management school in the Catskill Mountains, Altman left for France to train under some of France’s finest chefs in Brittany and Lyon, following the rigorous apprenticeship program of French kitchens. He left France with a thorough grounding in the principles and techniques of classical French cuisine and an appreciation of the importance of balance and harmony in cooking. Altman returned to America to work at Harvest restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Bob Kinkead, one of the creative forces behind the new American cuisine. At Harvest, he gained an appreciation of the exciting developments in American cooking that emphasized the freshest seasonal and regional ingredients in creative and exciting combinations.
Following his stint at Harvest, Altman traveled to New Orleans where he learned the principles of Creole and Cajun cooking under Emeril Lagasse at Commander’s Palace. He also continued his travels and culinary adventures in the American South and Southwest, the Caribbean, and Mexico – all sources of his lively and eclectic style of cooking.
Upon arriving in the San Francisco Bay Area, Altman worked at Stars and other trend-setting San Francisco restaurants. But it was the Caribbean- and African- inspired dishes that he created at Miss Pearl’s Jam House, which he opened in 1989 that catapulted Altman to the forefront of the Bay Area restaurant scene. The restaurant was wildly popular for its bright flavors and exciting spicy combinations of exotic tropical foods.
From 1999 to 2003 Joey Altman was executive chef owner of the innovative wild game themed restaurant Wild Hare in Menlo Park, south of San Francisco in the heart of the Silicon Valley, where he offered diners an evocative and inventive menu of a wide variety of meats, poultry, and seafood paired with seasonal and locally grown ingredients.
Altman developed an even larger following with his three-time James Beard Foundation award winning food magazine television show, Bay Café. In addition to his local television, Altman hosted two series on Television Food Network; “Appetite for Adventure,” a show where gourmet cooking meets the great outdoors and “Tasting Napa” a culinary travelogue through Northern California’s wine country. He now serves as the Chef Spokesperson for Diageo Chateau & Estate Wines. Altman’s new cookbook “Without Reservations: How to Cook Bold, Creative and Flavorful Food at Home” published by John Wiley & Sons was released in the Spring of 2008.
Joey Altman appears at many benefits and food-related events in the Bay Area and nationwide. He also plays guitar in the Backburner’s Blues Band, made up of a group of Bay Area Chef. The group plays at local benefits and can be found jamming occasionally at San Francisco rock clubs.
Altman lives in San Francisco with his wife and three children.
GREG COLEExecutive Chef/Owner
Greg Cole is the executive chef and owner of Celadon and Cole’s Chop House, both located in historic downtown Napa. His love of food and wine has created two of the most highly respected restaurants in the Napa Valley. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, he came to the Napa Valley in 1985 to work with Chef Philippe Jeanty in the kitchen of Domaine Chandon. He went on to chef positions at Pasta Prego and Ristorante Piatti. In 1990 Greg’s passion for wine led him to join the winemaking team of Robert Sinskey Vineyards. At Sinskey, Greg worked with respected winemakers Joe Cafaro and Jeff Virnig. In addition to cellar work, he promoted wine sales throughout the country. He cooked and hosted dinners pairing food and wine in top restaurants and cooking schools nationwide.
In September of 1996 Greg and his wife and business partner, Beth Fairbairn, opened the award-winning Celadon restaurant in downtown Napa. Celadon pioneered the fine dining scene in the city of Napa with Chef Cole’s style of ‘Global Comfort Food’. Local and national acclaim followed and in 1998 Greg was selected as one of the 24 “hottest young chefs” in America by the Wine Spectator. Celadon received a three star rating in the San Francisco Examiner and four stars in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. USA TODAY selected Celadon as one of the ‘ten great places to dine at the bar’. Celadon has received the Zagat Survey “Award of Distinction” and has been a Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” recipient for its innovative and food-friendly wine list since 1997. In the summer of 2002 Celadon moved to a larger location in the Historic Napa Mill, one of downtown’s restored riverfront jewels.
Cole’s Chop House opened in March of 2000. Serving ‘Classic American Steak House’ cuisine, Cole’s Chop House was an immediate favorite of locals and visitors. A Wine Spectator “Award of Excellence” and Wine Enthusiast Magazine “Award of Unique Distinction” wine program features Cabernet Sauvignon from the area’s finest small producers. Cole’s Chop House has been one of San Francisco’s top rated Steakhouse’s in the Zagat Survey for the last five years and named ‘one of the top five steak houses’ in the Best of Bay Area Dining by San Francisco Chronicle Magazine. Cole’s Chop House has been featured in Gourmet, Food Arts, Bon Appetit and Sunset magazines.
Greg is the host of “Today in the Wine Country”, a local radio show covering food trends in the wine country and beyond. The show airs Tuesday mornings from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. on Napa’s KVON 1440AM. Chef Cole won KVON’s 2009 Best of Napa and Sonoma Valley award for ‘Best Local Chef’. He is a guest chef on Karen MacNeil’s PBS series Wine, Food and Friends. The nationally syndicated program features Chef Cole preparing dishes paired with wines chosen by MacNeil, Culinary Institute of America at Greystone wine educator and author of The Wine Bible. Greg has been a guest chef at the James Beard House in New York City. Greg and Beth were honored with the Napa Chamber of Commerce 2005 Business of the Year Award for Celadon and Cole’s Chop House.
Greg’s commitment to the community is evidenced by his support of many local charity events. Cole’s Chop House was one of ten local restaurants chosen to prepare dinner for Wine Auction Napa Valley 2005. The event was one of the most successful in its history. Other causes supported by Chef Cole’s establishments are: American Red Cross, Jewish Home of San Francisco, American Cancer Society, Queen of the Valley Hospital, Community Health Clinic Olé, Children’s Hospital Oakland, Boys & Girls Club, and numerous local public and private schools.
Greg resides with Beth and their two children in downtown Napa.
ERIC MACZKOExecutive Chef, Round Pond Estate
eric-maczkoAs Executive Chef, Eric Maczko oversees menus and wine pairing for Round Pond Estate’s extensive wine and food programs. He is dedicated to the concept of farm-to-table dining, and creates original dishes from the produce of on-site organic olive orchards and biodynamic produce gardens, including the estate olive oils, citrus syrups and red wine vinegars.
Prior to joining Round Pond Estate full-time, Eric consulted with the winery as an independent contractor, specializing in menus, recipes and wine pairing. For nearly a decade he served as Executive Chef at the historic Pine Ridge Winery, where he developed a style based on the marriage of classic French cuisine to contemporary California fare.
Originally from New Jersey, Eric attended the University of Hartford in Connecticut before earning his degree from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He is a certified sommelier and is currently pursuing his advanced sommelier certification. Eric enjoys travel and has tasted wine throughout the world’s finest winegrowing regions.
DEAN FEARINGCreator of Fearing’s Restaurant and author of The Texas Food Bible, Chef Dean Fearing is renowned for the “Elevated American Cuisine – Bold Flavors, No Borders” of his award-winning Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas.
Long known as the “Father of Southwestern Cuisine,” Dean Fearing has spent his life cooking for people who love good food. After 20-plus years at The Mansion on Turtle Creek, he opened Fearing’s Restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton, Dallas in 2007. A reflection of his personal vision and design, the lively, comfortable restaurant features seven stylish dining settings, including the most distinctive alfresco experience in Dallas and a popular interactive display kitchen offering ringside seating for true foodies.
Since its opening in 2007, Fearing’s has been named “Restaurant of the Year” and “Table of the Year” by Esquire Magazine, as well as #1 in Hotel Dining in the U.S. by the prestigious Zagat Survey. The restaurant was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as Best New Restaurant and it is currently included on top national lists by TheDailyMeal.com, Gayot.com and many other influential food websites.
The exuberant, ever-friendly Fearing was winner of the James Beard Foundation Restaurant Award for “Best Chef in the Southwest,” and diners from across the country flock to Dallas to experience his signature dishes. Current menu highlights include flavorful Tortilla Soup, Barbecued Shrimp Tacos, Mopped Rib Eye cooked over Live Mesquite, Maple-Black Peppercorn-Soaked Buffalo Tenderloin, and Pan-Roasted “BBQ-Spiced” Filet with Chicken-Fried Maine Lobster, which has been described as a genuine “taste of Texas.”
A well-known face on television and in culinary and news media, Dean Fearing has been featured in The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, Food and Wine, Bon Appétit, Garden & Gun, The Food Network, Texas Monthly, Guitar Aficionado, Modern Luxury as well as the face of “Dean’s Cuisine” running for 22 years on Dallas’ local Fox affiliate. He was recently recognized as a “Pioneer of American Cuisine” by The Culinary Institute of America, “Best of the West” by Cowboys and Indians magazine, winner of the Robb Report’s 2015 Culinary Masters Competition with Nick Badovinus and was also presented with the Silver Spoon Award for sterling performance by Food Arts. CRN Digital Talk Radio named Fearing Chef of the Year for 2014, and further top rankings for Fearing and his food have been published by Southern Living, Forbes, Fox News, Hotels Magazine, Robb Report, The New York Times, the Dallas Morning News and other leading media outlets.
GRANT MACPHERSONChef Grant’s stellar career has spanned five continents, four decades, and some of the world’s most celebrated dining and hospitality destinations. He has cooked adventurous five-star menus, designed and run world-class kitchens, and built top-notch teams at iconic places including Raffles Hotel in Singapore, Bellagio Las Vegas, Wynn Las Vegas, Wynn Macau, Regent Hotels Sydney, Kuala Lampur, and Singapore, several Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton Big Island, and Sandy Lane Hotel in Barbados. This native Scotsman’s robust embrace of global wanderlust and contrasting cultures is exceeded only by his passion for food and all things culinary. With these comes his deep love of the camaraderie of the kitchen, the restaurant, the venue – the life – which has earned him consummate respect for his people and executive skills as well as his mastery as a chef.
MacPherson relishes sharing tales of his colorful experiences, extraordinary mentors, and storied accomplishments so far – most recently with Word of Mouth, a coffee-table volume brimming with mouth-watering photos, recipes, and memoir – but is always one to look to the challenges ahead. Based in Las Vegas, MacPherson runs his own culinary global consulting business, and keeps a globetrotting calendar of international festivals and events. He was recently tapped as one of the Chef Ambassadors for Stella Artois, and is featured in video and print in their “Host Beautifully” campaign for 2015/2016. He has recently been spotted in Las Vegas working on the re-launch of the Westgate Resort & Casino – formerly the legendary Las Vegas Hilton. He has also been featured this year on VH1’s Big Morning Buzz as part of the executive culinary stars of the celebrated private rock & culinary festival, Live In The Vineyard, in Napa, California.
MacPherson has served as the Global Culinarian for Beech Ovens, Jade Range and Executive Chef for Viking Commercial as well as being the subject of another beautiful coffee table cookbook, “In The Viking Kitchen”. He has cooked 15 James Beard dinners, including three in New York City and was involved in the first overseas James Beard dinner at the Four Seasons in Singapore. He was also a Gold Medal winner in the Culinary Olympics of 1992 on Team Singapore.
Chef Grant has been appearing as a Chef Ambassador at multiple festivals presenting pairings and cooking seminars with Stella Artois, Goose Island and various Anheuser-Busch products. His upcoming projects as Principal and Chef of Scotch Myst’s culinary consulting team span the world from Malaysia, Australia, North America and Europe to Newport Beach, California.
BRETT YOUNGBrett Young was born and raised in Lodi, California, the Zinfandel capital of the world. Brett started cooking when he was just 18 years old, where he worked for the Wine & Roses Resort in Lodi, CA. This sparked his interest in pursuing a culinary career, and he soon decided to enroll in the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. As a student at the C.I.A., he took part in an externship program at the Ritz-Carlton, Millennia, Singapore. This experience forever shaping his beliefs and thinking toward food and hospitality as a whole. “I inherited my personal philosophy on the importance of a personalized guest experience during my time at the Ritz-Carlton. It was here that I began to develop the skills necessary to anticipate and exceed guests expectations whenever possible.”
Eager to continue to advance his culinary experiences, upon graduation, Brett left New York for Las Vegas to serve as Master Cook at Mix Mandalay Bay, an Alain Ducasse restaurant. Here Brett further refined his French cooking techniques, including mastering a fine attention to detail toward preparation and both understanding and embracing the benefits of quality ingredients.
After gaining experience in top food destinations throughout the world, in 2008 Brett set his sights on the Napa Valley. With access to a wealth of fresh produce, his time at Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts, afforded him the opportunity to creatively prepare ever-changing menus that embraced seasonality. In 2010 he transitioned to Robert Mondavi Winery, assisting in the organization and execution of daily wine and food pairings. He continued to explore wine country and in 2013, he became Chef at Franciscan Estate. Brett appreciates the personal, intimate setting that Franciscan offers to its visitors. Here he’s able to craft menus that evoke the skills learned through his diverse background while preparing dishes that embrace the bounty of the Napa Valley and beyond. Originally from California’s Central Valley, Brett now lives in Napa, Calif. with his family. When not in the winery’s kitchen, he enjoys spending time with his close friends and family.
LISA STALVEYExecutive Chef – Live In The Vineyard
Lisa Stalvey has been cooking for over thirty years. She began her career at the Good Earth Restaurant while studying acting. As luck would have it, she “fell” into an apprenticeship with Wolfgang Puck at the original Ma Maison restaurant in West Hollywood. After a successful one year engagement, she took an apprenticeship with L’Orangerie. Following that, she worked at several famous restaurants including: Pastel, Les Anges with Patrick Jamon, La Toque with Ken Frank and then as the chef of Beau Rivage. Following her many successes, she had an opportunity to work with Wolfgang Puck again, and went back to work as a line cook at the Sunset Spago restaurant. After two and one-half years, she became the head chef. After Spago, she worked at Rebecca’s, the West Beach café, DC3 and consulted on the opening of five restaurants.
After a hectic working schedule, Lisa took the next two years to do some research, reflect on her past experiences and consult for Tacone, which is now a chain of quick limited service restaurants. Upon returning to the dining scene, Lisa helped open Granita in Malibu, Shatzi on Main in Venice, traveled to Reykjavik, Iceland and was the guest chef for Amma Lu restaurant and went to Moulin de Mougin, France to work with Roger Verge. When she returned home, Lisa opened Bambu in Malibu and for two years in a row she received awards for being one of the Top 100 Chef’s in America . The awards were for culinary excellence approaching the new millennium.
Four years later, Lisa got out of the restaurant kitchen again and became a consultant for Newman’s Own. She wrote two cook books and created two new sauces for the Company; The Steak Sauce and The Parisianne salad dressing. She continues to consult with Tacone, Basic Bites, a new fast casual restaurant in Beverly Hills, and has created a line of spices that will be distributed to super markets.
As a food consultant, working on menu development, quality, taste, plate presentations, recipes and costs, Lisa is a valuable addition to the Global Grill Café management team. She worked at Passages in Malibu, CA an exclusive drug and alcohol rehabilitation center for over 3 years. She is currently developing TV shows, restaurants, cookbooks, culinary products & tools.
ANGELA TAMURAAngela started cooking Italian food when she was old enough to hold a wooden spoon at her mom’s side. She started cooking professionally after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. After working in various restaurants around her home outside of Boston, she attended the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont which included two internships at the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island and Rialto Restaurant in Cambridge.
Angela stayed on for several years at Rialto under James Beard award winning chef, Jody Adams until she got the call to move out to California’s Napa Valley to work at Bistro Don Giovanni where she eventually became Chef de Cuisine. From there she skipped to Spanish tapas and became Executive Chef and Partner at Zuzu Tapas & Wine Bar.
Now, as Chef de Cuisine at Péppoli, she is back to her culinary roots. Her goal is to use the best ingredients she can find with a focus on local and organic and to cook from scratch as much as possible making her own pastas, sausages, salami, pancetta, jams and preserves.
CARRIE NAHABEDIANCarrie started her career in cooking in the Ritz Carlton Hotel fine dining restaurant, “The Dining Room” while still in high school here in the northern suburbs of Chicago. From the first day she walked into that kitchen she knew that this was her calling. The passion, love, commitment and drive that she feels have not diminished in all of her 30 plus years of cooking. Owning NAHA for the past fourteen years with her cousin Michael and working daily with her sisters Chris and Cathy, is the reward for the journey that she has taken.
From the very start Carrie was involved in fine dining, cooking with the finest ingredients and learning to appreciate their beauty and flavor. She worked with fine mentors who taught her the craft in the true Classical French manner. This is a path that has not only taken her from the kitchens of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, Le Perroquet, Jovan and Le Francais to LaTour at the Park Hyatt and ultimately to be an Executive Chef with Four Seasons Hotels in Chicago, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles, but also around the world to experience cuisine, service and dining.
Life in beautiful Southern California was a tremendous experience, but the allure of coming home to Chicago to create NAHA surrounded by her family and friends was the driving force.
In November of 2000, NAHA opened to critical acclaim and has received many accolades and honors for it’s Mediterranean inspired American Cuisine. The location in River North with the great neighborhood and style was ideal for the architecture and design of Carrie’s cousin, Tom Nahabedian. NAHA has been awarded a Michelin Star in the Chicago Michelin Guide every year since Michelin has been in the city, five consecutive years. Carrie was awarded the James Beard Foundation Award for “Best Chef Great Lakes” in 2008 and has been nominated for Outstanding Chef as a semi-finalist for a number of years. In May of 2015, NAHA was awarded four stars, the highest rating by the Chicago Tribune.
We are thrilled to have opened our second location in April 2013, just up the street from NAHA. Brindille, which is an intimate restaurant that features “refined Parisian” cuisine, inspired by Michael and Carrie’s trips to our favorite spots in Paris and London. Once again using the architectural design talents of Tom Nahabedian, the space is a “gem jewel-box”, sleek and sexy. Brindille is French for “Branch with a new Growth”. The Chicago Tribune said the restaurant was “The best Restaurant to open in 2013 was Brindille”
The James Beard Foundation awarded Tom Nahabedian and Bureau of Architecture and design partner, James Gorski, the JBF Award for Best Design New Restaurant 2015.
Ed Sheets was born and raised outside of Richmond, VA and started cooking with his mother and grandmother at a early age. After high school, Ed attended Johnson & Wales University and received a bachelors degree in Culinary Nutrition. While a student at JWU, Ed trained under James Beard Chef George Mahaffey in Aspen, CO and shot a television show for PBS with Master French Chef Paul Bocuse in the British West Indies at at Cuisinart Resort and Spa. After college, he opened a restaurant with Master French Chef Alain Lecomte in Richmond, Va. He has worked at over 28 different restaurants as well as becoming an Instructor at Johnson & Wales university at the age of 26. Ed taught Culinary Nutrition in Providence, RI for 2 years as well as travelling to Singapore to teach at the Culinary Academy located at the historic British Fort in downtown Singapore. After leaving the University, Ed travelled to Reno, NV and took his first Executive Chef Position at the Wild River Grille. He then moved to San Francisco and took over as the Corporate Executive Chef of Restaurant B and Boxed Foods Cafe. While in San Francisco, he also was the personal Chef of the Golden State Warriors NBA Team. After years in fine dining kitchens, Ed went back to focus on nutrition and became the Executive Chef of the Willow Springs Health Center which is a children’s hospital and worked toward improving the level of nutritious food. He has also consulted with other Hospitals including the Spring Mountain Center in Las Vegas. Ed currently resides in Charlottesville, VA working as a restaurant and nutritional consultant.
JEFF MOSHERJeff Mosher’s love affair with cooking began amid the flying flour and lively camaraderie of a local pizzeria in Oberlin, Ohio. The thrill and adrenaline rush of working on the line hooked Mosher, who also loved the hands-on nature of the work. “I’d liked cooking since I was a child,” he says. “I like that it is practical, creative and has limitless learning potential.” An undergrad at Oberlin College, Mosher furthered that learning with a junior year abroad studying—and eating—in Strasbourg. Shortly after graduation, Mosher moved to San Francisco in 1997 and began working as a line cook at E and O Trading Company. From there, he moved to Clouds where he was promoted to Sous-Chef, responsible for creating specials and handling daily operations. Next up was North Star where, as lead line cook, he managed the lunch and brunch shifts. In 2000 he joined the team at Campton Place, cooking four-star contemporary French cuisine under chefs Laurent Manrique and Daniel Humm.
Having laid the groundwork for his culinary career in San Francisco, in 2004 Mosher moved to the Napa Valley—arguably the epicenter of American wine and food culture—to become Sous-Chef at COPIA’s Julia’s Kitchen, working with Chef Victor Scargle in running daily operations from butchery and sauce production to writing tasting menus.
Becoming Winery Chef at Robert Mondavi Winery in January 2009 is a dream come true for Mosher, who draws inspiration from the winery’s long history of championing wine, food and art as part of a gracious, healthy lifestyle. “Being here is a perfect fit for me—I’m surrounded by people committed to great wine and to providing the best experience to our guests,” he says. “Great food and great wine go hand in hand, each should complement the other with flavors in the food bringing out and enhancing characteristics of the wine, producing a beautifully balanced meal and an exceptional dining experience.” Napa Valley’s abundance is in harmony with Mosher’s philosophy: “Cooking, to me, is about obtaining the highest quality local and sustainably grown ingredients harvested at the peak of freshness and manipulating them in exciting new ways in accordance with classical techniques.”
The Bay Area’s richly diverse cuisines combined with the different positions he has held throughout his career have helped shape Mosher’s cooking and management styles. “I try to foster a kitchen environment where everyone can be creative and share ideas—hopefully we can inspire each other on a daily basis,” he explains. “I’m constantly thinking about new dishes and flavor combinations. I just can’t help it!”
Mosher lives in Napa with his wife Jessica and three boys, Sam, Elias and Atticus. When not in his whites, he thinks about recipes, bikes with his kids and admits to watching Top Chef.
STEPHEN BARBERAward-winning chef Stephen Barber is the executive chef of Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch in St. Helena. Building on his Southern roots, Barber brings his own ingredient-driven approach to Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch’s American farmhouse cooking, incorporating the organic produce, grass-fed beef and lamb, eggs, and olive oils from Long Meadow Ranch and other local artisanal producers.
Barber was most recently chef of Fish Story restaurant in Napa, which is owned by Chef Bradley Ogden’s Lark Creek Restaurant Group. Previously, he was executive chef of MECCA in San Francisco where he received three stars from Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle and was named a 2004 “Rising Star Chef.” In 2007, Barber opened BarbersQ in Napa, which also received three stars from the San Francisco Chronicle, was featured on the “Top 10 Best New Restaurants 2007” and “Top 100 Restaurants” lists by Mr. Bauer, and was named a Michelin Guide “Bib Gourmand.” Barber has cooked at the celebrated James Beard House twice.
A Kentucky native, Barber began his culinary career at one of the best restaurants in Mississippi, City Grocery, working with Chef John Currence. He next moved to Miami, where he spent four years honing his craft under Chef Norman Van Aken at his eponymous restaurant, Norman’s. Van Aken subsequently brought on Barber as the opening chef de cuisine for Bambu restaurant, where he was discovered by MECCA’s owner.
KELLY MCDONALDExecutive Chef
Kelly Macdonald was inspired to start cooking at the age of five after spending time with his mother and grandmother in the Sierra foothills, being exposed to a hunter/gatherer atmosphere and farm to table practices before they became the fashion. He quickly fell in love with food preparation and the tradition of cooking at holidays and family events.
Trained in the techniques of Provence, Kelly graduated with honors from the Community College in Columbia, CA and accepted a job with the culinary program. After two years, he moved on to distinguish himself in many well-known restaurants in California, including Mustards Grill in Yountville. Kelly Macdonald joined the Napa Valley Wine Train in 1993 as a sous chef and purchasing manager and was named executive chef in 2001. Maintaining an unwavering commitment to sustainable resources, Kelly’s gourmet lunch and dinner menus feature local, seasonal items prepared on board. Kelly and his team source the highest-quality products and cultivate strong partnerships with local and regional purveyors of fresh, sustainable food and beverage products. All meals are made fresh and to order on board.
Twice named the People’s Choice Chef at the Napa Valley Mustard Festival, Kelly also spearheads the Wine Train’s award-winning recycling program. In 2011, Kelly was chosen by the State Department to represent the United States in the Republic of Georgia’s Master Chef Series. Soon after, Kelly was invited to cook for Ambassador Ann Derse at her private estate in Lithuania and participated with her in a live television show on traditional American cooking styles. While in Lithuania, he did several television shows and two master chef classes.
He currently resides in Napa with his wife of thirty years. His grown son and daughter come home often to enjoy great family meals.
KEN FRANKExecutive Chef and Owner of
Acclaimed Chef Ken Frank is entirely self-taught and brings a distinctive, personalized touch to his contemporary French cuisine at the Michelin-starred La Toque restaurant, located in The Westin Verasa Napa.
Frank’s love of French cooking began in 1972 when his father went on sabbatical, moving the family from California to Yvoire, France, a 16th century village on the edge of Lake Geneva. When it came time to return to the states, Frank chose to remain in France. He began his culinary career as a dishwasher at a local restaurant, where he nurtured his appreciation for richly flavored food and his interest in a career as a chef was sparked.
After returning to California and refining his skills at a number of restaurants, Frank first achieved national acclaim at age 21 as executive chef at the Los Angeles restaurant La Guillotine. Frank went on to serve as the opening chef at Michael’s in Santa Monica, considered the Los Angeles birthplace of California cuisine. In 1979, the 23-year-old chef boldly opened the first La Toque on the Sunset Strip.
After a 14-year run, Frank sold La Toque to the Chateau Marmont Hotel and went to work with Isaac Tigrett at the House of Blues. He launched the New Orleans House of Blues before returning to Los Angeles to open the House of Blues Sunset Strip, where Frank was tasked with developing the Foundation Room, a private, members-only restaurant on the top floor.
In 1995, Frank was hired to open Fenix in The Argyle Hotel in West Hollywood, where he introduced the concept of wine pairing with his tasting menu, dubbed the “Menu Fantaisie.” The restaurant immediately received rave reviews and in 1995 was named one of America’s Best New Restaurants by John Mariani in Esquire magazine. In 1998, The Argyle Hotel was sold and Frank decided to pursue his dream of moving to Napa Valley.
In September 1998, the second incarnation of La Toque debuted in Rutherford at The Rancho Caymus Inn in the heart of California Wine Country. The restaurant immediately garnered national acclaim and was soon established as the Napa Valley’s newest dining destination. La Toque was named one of the 20 Best Restaurants in America by Wine Spectator in March 2000, and was awarded a prestigious Michelin Star in 2007; the first year the organization published a San Francisco Bay Area guide.
In September 2008, ten years after opening La Toque in Rutherford, Frank relocated the restaurant to The Westin Verasa Napa. Since the restaurant’s move to downtown Napa, La Toque has continued to be well-received by the nation’s top food critics and reviewers. In 2008, La Toque earned a three-star review by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Michael Bauer and in October 2009 was honored again with a Michelin Star. Most recently La Toque was named one of “America’s Best Top 100 Wine Restaurants of 2011” in Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
ALEX ESPINOZABorn and raised in Guatemala, cooking entered Chef Alex Espinoza’s life at a young age when he found a passion for preparing his family’s Sunday meal. Years later, he made his way to California – a mecca of epicurean greatness and fine ingredients – to turn his hobby into a career while also being close to family he had in the state. Realizing that the Napa Valley region was rich in opportunity, Espinoza relocated there and his culinary career was born.
Espinoza got his start as a line cook at Tra Vigne in St. Helena, and after much hard work and dedication, he was quickly promoted to Sous Chef under Anthony Nash Cognetti.
After seven years at Tra Vigne, Alex became the Sous Chef at The Grill at Meadowood, exposing him to a different style of cooking. It was at Meadowood that Espinoza further honed in on his craft, performing at the highest level and preparing delicious food with precision and grace.
In 2011, Espinoza joined the culinary team at Peju Province Winery where he remains an integral part of the operation. Espinoza will now play a key role in the development of the culinary creations at Liana Estates, a new experiential winery in Carneros, CA. From creating intimate pairing menus for small groups, to large scale events, Alex will help propel Liana as the new taste of Carneros.
VICTOR SKARGLEVictor Scargle got his first taste of kitchen life at age 13, and with the exception of a brief break from professional cooking while he gave college a try, the chef, now 42, has been at the stove ever since.
"You go from the adrenaline of working on the line to sitting in a class with 800 to 1,200 people, and I was like, 'This is not for me,'" Scargle says of his days as an economics major. "I need to be in the kitchen."
Over the next two decades, he cooked under top chefs in Miami, New York City, and San Francisco. Now, he has settled into his role as executive chef at Lucy Restaurant & Bar in the Bardessono Hotel & Spa. There, he oversees a seasonal menu that draws on the garden just outside the kitchen.
"We kind of create our menu backwards," Scargle says. The ready-to-pick produce determines what he'll dish up, rather than the always-available beef, pork, chicken, and other proteins.
It's not just the garden that brings out his culinary artistry. Scargle says he needs a solid workout in order to really shine. "If you're not exercising, you're not getting your blood flowing, and so you're just not going to be as creative," he says. "That's one reason I make it a routine. And I actually like to go to the gym."
He tries to make time for a 45-minute workout on the cardio machines. These days he's concentrating on his abs, though it's not a six-pack he's after. "Lately, I've learned that strengthening my abs is great for my back," he says. "When you're on your feet all the time, your back gets really sore if you don't have a strong core." On the weekends, he often joins his 9-year-old son's tae kwon do class as they do 2 hours of conditioning exercises.
When Scargle cooks at home, he likes to keep things simple. If he's not at the grill with a nice piece of fresh tuna, you'll likely find him sautéing wild-caught king salmon and serving it with tart rhubarb.