FARMERS & PURVEYORS
The Farm Institute
The Grey Barn and Farm
North Tabor Farm
Dante de Magistris
ISLAND CHEFS | FARMERS & PURVEYORS | VISITING CHEFS | WINE PERSONALITIES | SPECIAL GUESTS
The chefs, pastry chefs, authors, wine personalities, purveyors, media and other experts come from all over the country to be a part of the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival and play a crucial role in the overall Festival experience. Learn more about each personality here, along with links to their businesses. The Festival Committee thanks everyone listed for their participation.
Below are the cornucopia of celebrity guests that participate in the Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival. Contact us today about how you can participate in the upcoming Martha’s Vineyard Food & Wine Festival.
Bio: Chef Michael Brisson has been in the food industry since he was fifteen years old. His first job was at a butcher shop/fresh produce market in his hometown of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. He went on to the nearby Uncle Tony's Pizza where he got his first taste of the restaurant kitchen atmosphere. He was hooked. Michael went on to work at a Hungarian/Italian restaurant, starting as a dishwasher, moved into food prep, Viennese pastry baking and eventually ran the kitchen when he was only eighteen. He then moved to Martha's Vineyard and French cusine at Chez Pierre in the Charlotte Inn in Edgartown, where he became Sous Chef and expanded his repertoire into classic French baking. After travelling in Europe and considering attending culinary schools there, Michael ended up in Boston where he cooked simultaneously at the renowned Cafe Budapest and at the highly-rated l'espalier as Assistant Pastry Chef. He was at l'espalier for four years under Chef Moncef Meddeb and eventually held all positions in the kitchen, including Chef de Cusine. Upon hearing that the restaurant space in the Charlotte Inn was vacant, Michael and his partner opened l'etoile in May of 1986. The restaurant became well-known for it's consistently excellent cuisine and friendly, professional service. After twenty years, l'etoile and it's great staff moved to the current location at 22 North Water Street in the heart of downtown Edgartown. It is here that Michael has really spread his wings offering three menus nightly...an a'la carte, Chef's Tasting and an eclectic bar menu. Michael is still cooking on the line every night steering l'etoile in it's twenty-seventh year in business.
Bio: Jan Buhrman, M.S. Ed., has been working with island farmers and local fisherman long before the words “farm to table” and “sustainability” held meaning in the culinary world. She combines her passion for food with a love of teaching to enhance people’s understanding of their food through farm tours, cooking classes, and nutritional workshops. All programs are designed to connect people with local food systems.
Jan has felt a responsibility to the earth and her community, With an ideology handed down from her parents, she has felt a responsibility to the earth and her community, and has been running Kitchen Porch, a community conscious catering company on Martha’s Vineyard since 1985. She has used her business as a means of utilizing locally raised produce and creating shelf stable products. Jan has also found joy in raising heritage breed pigs utilizing food waste her kitchen produces. She is a founding leader of Slow Food Martha’s Vineyard, and has been working to educate the community on the issues surrounding GMOs and appropriate labeling. She regularly leads classes and workshops on healthy lifestyles and locally viable food systems.
Photograph by Eli Dagstino
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Bio: Bernadette Cormie lives with her husband and two children on Martha’s Vineyard. She is a Caterer and Private Chef. Her and her husband Leigh started Herring Run Kitchens and Provisions four years ago in order to incorporate her passion for the Island and its farmers with her love of cooking.
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Bio: Chef Devivo is the head cook for the West Tisbury & Chilmark Schools on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Her passion for cooking healthy & delicious lunches combined w/ her commitment to source island-grown ingredients for the Up Island School's lunch menu earned her national recognition in Bon Appetit magazine.
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Bio: Chef and Farmer Chris Fischer grew up on Martha’s Vineyard, his family has lived on the island since 1670.
Fischer worked his way up in the kitchen at Mario Batali’s Babbo, before returning to the island to run his family’s 5-acre vegetable farm, Beetlebung Farm. He then spent time off the island—working at London’s River Cafe, St. John Bread and Wine and Alice Water’s Rome Sustainable Food Project.
In 2013, Fischer took over the kitchen at the Beach Plum Restaurant in Menemsha, MA; the restaurant uses a large percentage of produce from nearby Beetlebung Farm. After a successful first season, the Beach Plum team launched the pop-up restaurant Fish and Rose in Manhattan, to critical acclaim.
When he’s not cooking or farming, Fischer, a self-taught writer, contributes to the Martha’s Vineyard Gazette and has written for small food publications such as Diner Journal and Meat Paper. His forthcoming cookbook, The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook, will be published by Little, Brown.
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Bio: Nathan Gould is the executive chef of Harbor View Hotel’s acclaimed fine dining restaurant Water Street and popular Edgartown gathering spot Henry’s Hotel Bar. Since joining the Harbor View culinary team in 2012 as executive sous chef, Gould has moved up in the ranks while creating gourmet seasonal fare that showcases the bounty of Martha’s Vineyard. He has also been an integral part of Harbor View’s “island to table” philosophy, as he recently launched the property’s Chef Gardens, which offer more than 600 feet of raised garden beds that include fresh herbs and seasonal vegetables.
Gould previously worked as a private chef and caterer in New Jersey, during which time he was recognized as a featured chef in Princeton’s Art Council Dream Dinner Auctions and featured in Bucks Life Magazine. He also consulted on the menu design and redevelopment of a variety of restaurants in central New Jersey.
An internship with the Food Network gave Gould the opportunity to work alongside celebrity chefs like Charlie Trotter, Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Rachel Ray and Sarah Moulton, while cultivating a wealth of experience. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University, Gould enhanced his culinary education with wine training at the German Wine and Sommelier School of Koblenz.
Gould built relationships with local farmers and brought “island to table” cuisine to the historic Harbor View Hotel and the hotel’s clients. He worked hand in hand with The Good Farm, Cleveland Farms, Morning Glory Farm, Tabor Farms, Slip Away Farms, Honeysuckle Oyster Farms and many more. His goal is to create a menu in all outlets that utilizes the best ingredients native to Martha’s Vineyard.
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Bio: Judy Klumick was born and raised in Dorset Vermont and moved to Saranac Lake, NY when she was 10. Growing up as the youngest in a family of 10, Klumick said food was not always a glamorous event. She didn't discover my love for cooking until she was given the option in High School to join a Culinary Arts program. She excelled in school and went on her way to what has been a good go at it. She has now been cooking for 32 years and still loves it.
She has been on the Island for 17 years and has cooked at a few places but the one that stands out the most to her is Morning Glory Farm. She was there for 12 years and developed what is now their very expansive food selection. She is now at Black Sheep in Edgartown and has finally found a job that really fits.
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Bio: Jerry Marano, originally from New Jersey, is a graduate of Cordon Bleu culinary school of Orlando. Most recently, Marano worked for chef and owner of Innovative Dining, Jeremy Hammond-Chambers. Chambers, a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, worked in London for the Sugar Club with world renowned New Zealand chef Peter Gordon and for the award-winning restaurant, Dakota; and in New York with internationally-recognized chefs Douglas Rodriguez (Patria), Mario Batali (Babbo) and Daniel Boulud (Daniel, DB Bistro). Chambers was the Chef de Cuisine at Public, a James Beard award-winning New York restaurant known for its innovative fusion cuisine. (More on Chambers at http://innovative-dining.com/thechef.htm)
During Marano’s three years with Chambers as executive sous chef, Marano prepared private wine dinners for elite customers such as Martha Stewart. Marano recently returned from Thailand where he honed his Thai cooking skills, a central theme of Beetlebung’s innovative small plates menu debuting this Spring.
Marano joined Beetlebung last summer as Chef of its coffee house in Menemsha, a fishing village located near Chilmark. There he fine-tuned and augmented the breakfast and lunch menus, introducing the summer hit “Curry Lobster Sliders” featuring local lobster meat blended with subtly complex spices and house-made pickled cucumbers.
In collaboration with owner John Molinari, Marano is focusing his personal culinary experience on helping conceive and launch Beetlebung’s small plates menu that draws unconventionally on numerous non-western culinary traditions including Thai, Indian, Moroccan, Korean, and Japanese. Service at Beetlebung’s new evening mixology lounge, this “new rules” menu will delight and amaze guests who for the most part have had American and Continental dining traditions to choose between elsewhere on the Island. Marano has also helped design the new commercial kitchen in Oak Bluffs.
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Bio: Chef Justin Melnick trained at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, with on-the-job experience alongside celebrated chefs Todd English at Olives and Barbara Lynch at The Butcher Shop. Chef Melnick then spent six years (including four as executive chef) at Southborough’s Tomasso Trattoria, where he garnered awards and accolades from Zagat, USA Today, Yankee and Boston magazines, among others. During a three-month sabbatical in Italy, Chef Melnick and his wife, Emily, an accomplished pastry chef, honed their considerable skills working in restaurants, wineries and farms throughout the country, gathering inspiration along the way.
The chef’s dedication to fine cuisine, impeccable service, and a warm, sophisticated ambience pairs perfectly with the Charlotte Inn. The elegant conservatory dining room of The Terrace – with its crisp white linens, Limoges china, polished silver and brass accoutrements, and soft candlelight – offers old-world ambience at a leisurely pace. Soak up the romance and attention to detail in an atmosphere of Edwardian-era elegance, as you savor The Terrace restaurant’s exceptional cuisine and fine wine selection.
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Chef Joe Monteiro is an enterprising and conscientious culinary professional with a flair for exquisite dishes. Since breaking into the business in the early 90’s, he has worked with and mastered Northern Italian, French, Asian, New American, and Southwest cuisines. His experience, like his food, speaks for itself. Everything that he knows, he learned in the business. He has had the opportunity to work with some of the best chefs at some of the most respected restaurants in the United States.
During his twenty-two year career in the restaurant industry he has worked with Emeril Legasse, trained under one of the Top 10 Best Chefs of 1996, Kevin Rathbun, cooked at the James Beard House Foundation in 1996, assumed the role of Chef de Cusine for one of the Top 10 Best Restaurants according to Zagat magazine, served as Executive Chef at Giants Stadium and the top seafood restaurant in South Beach from 2002-2009.
When Chef Monteiro moved to Martha’s Vineyard in February of 2011 to become Executive Chef at Atlantic Fish and Chop House, he immediately recognized the opportunity to pursue his dream right here in the state of Masschussets . He has participated in charitable events like Taste of the Nation, Red Cross’ Hurricane Katrina Relief, March of Dimes, and many more.
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Bio: Our goal is for the students in the Culinary Arts Program to participate successfully in a standards-based, diversified educational program in which student and instructor benefit from criteria and performance-based assessment, successfully integrated with instruction, and to be prepared to successfully gain employment in a variety of occupational opportunities in the food service industry, or to pursue further studies at a culinary college.
Our mission is:
- To provide a safe, active, teaching/learning environment in our vocational technical program, in which students strive for excellence with the high level of skills necessary for success in a culturally diverse society .
- To provide a vocational educational experience for each student that will prepare him or her to be a self-confident lifelong learner, able to set and achieve goals, and to become a contributing member of a humane and democratic society.
- To develop responsible individuals who are aware citizens, lead healthy lives, make successful personal choices, demonstrate ethical behavior, function effectively as members of a team, and appreciate the value of diversity in the vocational department and the school population.
- To develop competent learners who pursue knowledge, demonstrate a variety of disciplines and skills, communicate effectively, can employ various forms of technology, and hold high expectations for their own future.
- To develop complex thinkers who solve problems critically and analytically, create original ideas and solutions, are willing to accept constructive critism, and are willing to take responsible intellectual risks.
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Bio: Coming soon
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Bio: For some islanders, the off-season on Martha’s Vineyard means taking a break. But for Dan Sauer, it means menu development, planning gardens, and searching for potential new products for his business, 7a Foods. It’s a technically precise, inspired, soul-and-belly satisfying sandwich shop, bakery, and fine-foods store.
Sauer is a CIA-trained chef, who cooked at Oceana and helped open both Hearth and Craft in New York City (a far cry from his stadium days slinging nachos in Billings, Montana), before he moved his skills and polish to the calmer, wild-rose covered terrain of Martha’s Vineyard.
His mission is to support the island’s food growers and provide expertly prepared sandwiches that are accessible to all. Through his involvement with Island Grown Foods, the Wild Food Challenge, and his own 7a Suppers, Sauer is changing (and bettering) the food-lives of his friends, family, and neighbors on every day.
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Bio: Gina arrived on Island with a dream and a self-professed workaholic mindset that would become essential to her profit margin. She graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in January 1991. While she was in D.C. working at the five-star restaurant at the St. Regis hotel, people at the White House discovered her talents. Gina was invited to be the pastry chef at the Blair House, the president’s guesthouse, where head of state, prime minister, and friends of the U.S. President were staying. Gina worked at the Blair House for two years. While the job was prestigious, it wasn’t fulfilling enough for Gina.
She searched online for other opportunities when she came across the diner. At the time, she thought the diner was on Nantucket, where she had visited several times. When she found out the diner was on Martha’s Vineyard, she decided to visit it even though she had never been to the island before. When she pulled up, the diner was extremely run down. She decided to take up the challenge and bought out her short-term partner and worked out an option to purchase the property.
Fourteen years later, Gina laughs when she says, “It’s the longest commitment I’ve ever made.” Gina changed the exterior of the diner and made modifications to the interior that were essential for the diner’s upkeep. She tried her best to keep the diner’s look and feel similar to the 1943 diner. The original menu hangs on the wall over the seven original stools. “I’ve always loved history and vintage things. The diner fuels my passion. I wasn’t looking to change it,” said Gina. “I wanted it to be what it was.”
Gina Stanley is going into her 12th year as chef and owner of the famed ArtCliff Diner in Vineyard Haven. The ArtCliff Diner celebrated its seventieth year last winter 2013. Locals gather on a regular basis for Gina Stanley’s delicious home cooking. Tourists flock there either because they’ve heard or read that the diner is a must-do on the Vineyard or because it is a long-standing tradition and should be their first stop once they’re off the ferry.
Gina opens the doors at seven in the morning and stays busy through to closing at two in the afternoon. She always has a list of specials on the board, but people always end up ordering her traditional diner food. Diners crave Gina’s pancakes, her specialty egg dishes, cod fish cake with fried eggs, the Art Cliff homemade jam, and the crepes. Folks can’t get enough of those crepes – for lunch or breakfast. At noon, the classics remain: hot dogs, hamburgers, grilled cheese, lobster rolls, and chowder.
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Bio: Chef Martin began his involvement in the culinary arts at age 15 in Old Downtown, Las Vegas. After high school, he enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu and began his professional career. Two semesters into culinary school, he landed an apprenticeship at Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, at the MGM Grand Hotel in the Las Vegas strip, that turned into a 4 year career path. After years of working at Emeril’s he went to work for Mario Batali to expand his culinary ability. Apprenticing for Vegas chefs such as Michael Mina, Guy Savoy and Wolfgang Puck he learned the ropes of successful kitchens and moved to Martha’s Vineyard to work more closely with fresh seafood and local farms. Chef Martin has been the Executive Chef of the Boathouse Restaurant for 3 years and enjoys working to please the demanding palate of the Vineyard community.
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Bio: Upon graduation with a degree in Hospitality Management Mark accepted a position on Martha’s Vineyard. This move has had a lasting effect on his life.
Mark says of his history with the Vineyard: “I am a very enthusiastic individual who fell in love with Martha’s Vineyard when a career in the hotel industry first brought me to the Island. My life’s path has taken me to and from the Vineyard a number of times and the life long friends I have met there, as well as the Island itself, have always welcomed me back with open arms.”
After 10+ years in hotel front office Mark embarked in a career in off premise catering working his way though all aspects from server to large scale event management and catering sales. Honing his catering skills in Boston, West Palm Beach and Miami Beach, Florida
In 2011 Mark opened Black Sheep & Trio. Black Sheep is a marketplace with an emphasis on cheese and charcuterie by day and Trio wine bar offers wine flights and small plates at night. Offering products from around the world as well as US artisans who have honed their craft to excellence, Black Sheep and Trio provide a knowledgeable friendly staff in a beautiful setting.
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Bio: Everett Whiting grew up around food from the farm and has worked in excellent kitchens on Martha’s Vineyard his entire life. In summer of 2010, Everett Whiting of West Tisbury and Tim Laursen of Vineyard Haven joined efforts to bring the Local Smoke. It began as a small catering business specializing in the smoking of local chicken, pig, fish, and even lamb, if requested.
Cooking since he was a boy of 12, Mr. Whiting has taken on restaurant positions on and off for years. Mr. Whiting has full control over the food and Mr. Laursen specialized in constructing a smoker and managing their time restauraints.
Cooking and smoking is not all Local Smoke offers. They have a plethora of fresh side dishes that are also locally harvested from the Island, specifically from farms that they have relationships with. In the summer, they offered potato salad, vegetable slaw, corn and tomato salad, all with no mayonnaise. For fall pig roasts, Local Smoke will offer ingredients that are in season from farms close by, including corn, potatoes, broccoli, and cabbage to create healthy slaws with raw vegetables.
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FARMERS & PURVEYORS
About: The FARM Institute is an educational non-profit institution committed to connecting people of all ages and all circumstances to agriculture through the diverse operations of a working farm.
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About: We were not farmers. And looking back we can tell you we really didn’t know what it would mean to own and run a small family farm. Eric, a graduate of The University of Chicago, worked in the corporate world for fifteen years and Molly, a graduate of Pratt Institute, was a designer. We were foodies before the word foodie existed. Once our two boys, Noah now nine and Jakie now eight, came along we became really interested in the source of our foods. When Eric decided to leave his job we were not really sure what we wanted to do and the idea of a farm started to percolate. We began working more in our garden and the entirely family truly enjoyed our three meter by three meter 'farm.' Over time our thoughts came together: we'd find some land, start a farm, raise animals and make cheese. Sounds great, right? But where?
Martha’s Vineyard? We had been coming to the vineyard for years in the summer months and we knew the island had a rich agricultural history. The vibrant core of small family farms was very apparent at the farmers market and our kids had been to The Farm Institute for a summer program. Whether we were correct or not, we felt the island had many great vegetable farms but local dairy and local meat were not as well represented at that time. We always enjoyed visiting the island because it is beautiful, has an outstanding arts community and a great local food scene. After visiting the island in the winter to see the schools we were sold. We knew this was the right place for our family.
Over an eight month period we worked on developing a plan for the farm. Our learning curve was beyond steep but it was really fun and exciting to dive head long into something we knew absolutely nothing about. Milking parlors, rotational grazing, chicken houses, foliar feeding, cheese school; the list went on and on. Then, in the summer of 2009, we purchased this farm and moved here on August 2nd.
The research continued and before we knew it, in March of 2010, our first three cows arrived on our farm, Thelma, Helen and Mary Nell. It was from that moment forward that there has been no time to look back. From cringing when learning how to castrate piglets on you tube to laughing hysterically when being drenched with milk because of a broken gasket, other farmers are right, there IS NEVER a dull moment.
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About: Morning Glory Farm, started in 1975 by James and Deborah Athearn, grows about 60 acres of vegetables and small fruits, here on the island of Martha's Vineyard. Small successive plantings of a wide variety of crops supply the farmstand from May through December.
Crops include sweet corn, lettuce, carrots, beets, tomatoes, melons, potatoes, beans, squash, pumpkins, and more. Our morganically grown herb garden supplies a full assortment of culinary herbs. We also raise 2 acres of cut flowers, and small plantings of strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and beach plums.
We keep beef cows on pasture in Chilmark for whom we harvest 40 acres of hay and we also produce eggs, pork and fresh, pasture-raised chickens to sell in the farmstand.
Seven acres of our vegetable fields are farmed morganically (not certified) and we try to manage the rest of our land with a minimum of pesticides and with attention to the long- term health of the soil.
James and Deborah Athearn started Morning Glory Farm in 1975 on family wooded land on Meshacket Road. In the first years they cleared a small vegetable plot and room for a barn and pasture for milking cows. The yields of the small plot were sold at the farmhouse in a small shed, and at the Farmers Market in West Tisbury. The farm name grew from the vision of the sun rising over lush, green fields, cows with udders full of milk ambling past bountiful gardens and hedgerows lively with honeybees; true wealth of nature's glory.
Eventually they out grew the shed and seeking a greater market they moved to the end of Meshacket Road in the lot at Ed Tyra's locker plant in 1979. After two years there Jim and Debbie decided to build their own farm stand on the site where it is now. The original building, built in 1981, was a 18x20 foot post and beam. There have been several additions since then, more greenhouses, an employee residence, the vegetable barn with its two farm kitchens and an equipment maintenance building, among other improvements. The fields and crops grew and flourished, and at the present point are actively working over 120 acres and hire a staff of up to 100 employees. In 2010 a large post and beam barn replaced the original farmstand, which now houses our farm stand.
Jim and Debbie raised three children on the farm. Their daughter Prudence, a Registered Dietitian, along with her husband Josh Levy, also a Registered Dietitian, and their two boys Kyle, age 5 and Judah, age 2 are now back on the island after years in Boulder, Colorado and Portland Maine. Prudence & Josh are the owners of Vineyard Nutrition, a medical practice that offers nutritional counseling. Specializing in diet and lifestyle consultations, weight loss guidance, diet planning and related services. Prudence had previously worked on the farm for many years. She had become a specialist in the flower field and was the farmstand manager. Simon, after high school went to culinary school in New Hampshire and then to small business school at the University of Montana. Simon has become Chief of Operations for the farm. Simon married Robyn in April of 2011 they recently had their first child a daughter named Rose. They live on the farm in West Tisbury which has been in the Athearn family since the 1800’s. Robyn is the cut flower manager at Morning Glory Farm overseeing the cultivation of 2 acres of annual flowers and a half-acre perennial field. Daniel returned to the Vineyard and Morning Glory Farm after receiving a degree in aquaculture from The University of Maine. Daniel quickly became indispensable on the farm as a skilled machine operator, and the irrigation specialist although he spends many hours in the tractor seat working the soil and tending the crops, he still maintains his presence on the water in both commercial and recreational fishing. Meeghan Athearn, Daniel's wife, works at the farm farmer’s market and in the farm stand. Dan and Meeghan have three young children a daughter Clara, a son Zeb and a daughter Penelope Louise, they live on family land in Chilmark where the MGF Cattle graze in water view pastures.
The extended farm family is a large one, not only have many Athearn relatives have been part of the farm in different ways, but also many employees over the years have brought in their sisters, mothers, daughters, sons, mother’s in law, etc.
Each year we meet a new crew of farmers, bakers, growers, and farmstand staff that become part of the farm family. The farm has benefited from a variety of wonderful people who have endowed Morning Glory with their own special contributions. With the younger generation involved there is the expectation that the farm will continue to provide quality fruits and vegetables to the community and provide people with meaningful employment and memorable island experience.
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About: North Tabor Farm is a 6-acre family-run farm off of North Road in Chilmark. It specializes in organically grown salad greens, shitake mushrooms, blueberries and farm fresh eggs. It also sells fresh chickens and pork when available. It operates a self-serve farm stand year-round.
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Bio: The young and talented Christopher Coombs pursued an education at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in New York, and got his first taste of upscale dining while working at Blue Ginger under award winning Chef Ming Tsai upon graduation. Soon after, he headed to Nantucket to work for Relais & Chateau property Toppers at the Wauwinet where he impressed Executive Chef Patrick O’Connell and was hired on the spot. O’Connell took Coombs under his wing and put him to work at The Inn at Little Washington, Virginia, where he prepared special dinners for Laura Bush at The White House and for “Le Club des Chefs de Chef”.
Coombs returned to Boston in 2005, and in August of 2006 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 then, Coombs’ success has been grabbing the attention of both local and national media, including an appearance on Food Network’s Chopped, and being recognized by Forbes magazine for their 30 Under 30 Awards in the food & wine industry. In early 2013, Coombs opened Boston Chops, located in the heart of Boston’s South End. Chops is Boston’s first urban steak bistro studded with the panache that steakhouses are known for, but tailored with a refined, casual twist. Most recently, his recipe for rib eye steaks appeared on the cover of Food & Wine magazine and Boston Chops was included in America’s Best New Steak House recipes.
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Bio: Nancy Cushman’s passion for sake was sparked over a decade ago in her hometown of Chicago. After her first sake experience, she became fascinated with it and made studying the beverage her mission. She left her career as an advertising executive and in 2006, she completed the Sake Professional Course in Japan with John Gauntner, who is recognized as the world’s foremost sake expert. In Boston in March 2007, she opened o ya, a contemporary Japanese restaurant, with her husband Tim Cushman.
o ya has received numerous awards, including being named by the New York Times’ Frank Bruni as the #1 new restaurant in the U.S. outside of New York and the top Zagat rated restaurant in Boston in 2012. In 2012, Nancy travelled back to Japan to complete the Advanced Sake Professional Course and is now one of less than 100 people in the world to have this certification.
As o ya’s sake sommelier, Nancy enjoys serving and pairing an extensive selection of premium sakes with the cuisine. She also regularly teaches sake courses at o ya and for private organizations.
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Bio: James Beard Award-winning Chef Tim Cushman is Chef Owner of o ya, a contemporary Japanese restaurant, in Boston. o ya was named by New York Times as the #1 new restaurant in the U.S. in 2008 and was awarded a rare food score of “29” in the 2011/12 Zagat Guide. Cushman was also picked as a Best New Chef in 2008 by Food & Winemagazine. Food & Wine also selected o ya as one of the top 10 new restaurants in the world. Bon Appetit and Details magazines have recognized o ya as one of the top 10 sushi restaurants in the U.S. In 2012, Eater recognized o ya as one of nine exceptional omakase menus across the U.S. In 2013, Headline News featured o ya as one of Travel & Leisure’s top 3 sushi restaurants in the U.S.
Chef Cushman has spent the last 30 years cooking around the world in Japan, France, Thailand, Italy, Germany, Hong Kong, London, Mexico and Taiwan. He served for seven years as a Corporate Chef with Lettuce Entertain You in Chicago where he developed menus for new concepts. In 1994, Cushman launched a consulting business to develop menus for restaurateurs, from independents to large operators. Presently, Cushman is Chef Owner of o ya and consults on various restaurant projects.
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Bio:Dante de Magistris is the Executive Chef and Co-Owner of the award winning Restaurant dante in Cambridge, Massachusetts, il Casale Cucina Italiana + Bar in the Boston suburb of Belmont and il Casale Cucina Campana + Bar in the Boston suburb of Lexington. Dante is the consummate Italian-American chef and has perfected century-old family recipes that are equal parts traditional Italian comfort food and exclusive family classics. Dante has earned the attention and praise of national and local culinary critics alike and has received numerous awards for his innovative technique and deft touch with simplicity.
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Bio: Alyssa fell in love with Japanese beverage culture with her first sip of sake. Nancy Cushman, co-owner and sake sommelier of o ya in Boston MA, offered her a taste of Yuki No Bosha Junmai Ginjo from Akita while Alyssa was a hostess at the restaurant. That moment began her studies of Japanese sake.
Over 5 years later, she manages the restaurant and its beverage program. She loves being on the floor every night, telling the stories of the brewers and distillers who have been practicing their craft for hundreds of years. She sees herself as a storyteller, educating each guest on the history of the bottle and how it pairs with the exceptional food from James Beard Award Winning Chef Tim Cushman.
In 2011 she passed her Certified Sake Professional Course in New York City where she was thrilled to meet sake industry folks who share her passion and in 2013 she passed her Advanced Sake Professional Course in Tokyo. Alyssa’s passion for sake and Japanese beverage culture was recognized by Eater National in June of 2013 when they presented her with an “Eater Young Gun” award. Since then, she has furthered her education by studying Japanese spirits. She enjoys teaching about sake and spirits in addition to her responsibilities at o ya. In February 2014, she led a sake tasting at Harvard’s Microbial Sciences Initiative.
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Bio: As Executive Chef of A Voce Columbus, Filippo Gozzoli recreates the Italian classics of his childhood with seasonal, modern accents that complement the restaurant’s sophisticated setting.
Gozzoli’s culinary career began at Ceresole, a Michelin-starred restaurant in Cremona, Italy, where at just 13 years old he was exposed to the world of luxury hospitality and high-end dining. After a number of years spent in some of Cremona’s top restaurants and Rome’s Hotel Eden, Gozzoli traveled to Los Angeles, California in 1999 to work with renowned Chef Gino Angelini at Angelini Osteria Restaurant. He relocated to London in early 2000 at Harry’s Bar where Hotelier Rocco Forte, a regular there, saw Gozzoli’s talent and offered him the job of Executive Sous Chef in his Hotel de Russie in Rome.
In 2002, Gozzoli spent a year as Sous Chef at the world-renowned Baer Hotels in Venice, Italy before joining Chef Gualtiero Marchesi at his international Italian cooking school in Colorno. As a Maestro Chef Gozzoli taught as well as learned team management and leadership – skills that he mastered during the next six years as Executive Chef of the Park Hyatt Hotel in Milan. He returned to the U.S. in 2012 when he was named Executive Chef of Sirio Ristorante, the Maccioni brothers’ restaurant at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. At Sirio, his specialties included gnochetti with squid, eggplant parmigiana wrapped in puff pastry, and brick-pressed Cornish game hen.
Since joining A Voce in October 2013 Gozzoli has revised the restaurant’s menus including the addition of an Insalate section on the lunch menu and a broader selection of Antipasti, Pasta and Secondi options on the dinner menu. Brunch, which is now served on Saturdays in addition to Sundays, has also been extended under Gozzoli to include new egg dishes and a Late Wake Up Call section with sweet breakfast dishes in line with MARC’s classic meets avant garde food philosophy.
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Bio: In 2005, Rachel Klein is quoted as saying: “Food is the purest form of art because it appeals to all the senses.” Now the award-winning chef comes full circle with her passion for art as Executive Chef of Liquid Art House in Boston. The Brooklyn native and former student of The Art Institute of New York City took a detour from an art pursuit to study culinary arts at New York Restaurant School. Since then, Klein has never looked back, enjoying a stellar career spanning nearly two decades, beginning in NYC celebrity kitchens of Peter Hoffman’s The Savoy and Anita Lo’s Michelin-starred Anissa. A move to New England found her at the helm of the X.O. Café and Lot 401, garnering an " America’s Best New Restaurant" award (for X.O.) from Esquire magazine's John Mariani, who called her one of America's wonder chefs. A "Top Chef Under 30" nod followed by Spirit magazine. From there it was on to Boston to headline OM in Harvard Square, where she help secure a coveted spot on Conde Nast Traveler's Hot List and Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants in America” (2006). The Boston Globe and Boston Magazine named her Boston’s “Best New Chef,” making "Rachel Klein" a household name in Boston's culinary scene. In 2010, she was the youngest to join the ranks of Julia Child, Barbara Lynch and Lydia Shire as Boston's "Most Influential Women" in food by Esquire's John Mariani. An in-demand Klein accepted an offer to be part of Seaport Hotel's multi-million dollar renovation, where she re-concepted the food and beverage program and honed her craft to encompass in-room and private dining. Klein was wooed away to become Executive Chef of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, one of Boston’s only 5 star luxury properties, where she where she won praise from kings, celebrities and rock stars — cooking for, and catering to the likes of Justin Bieber, Adam Levine, Adele, Bill Clinton, Adam Sandler, Sting, and Warren Buffet.
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Bio: Catalyst Restaurant’s Chef/Owner William Kovel’s interest in food “sparked” at an early age and led him to travel in pursuit of delicious food. 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.
"The food I prepare comes from a passion for fresh, simple flavors cultivated in California, Boston, and Europe, threaded together with classic French techniques," says Kovel. Citing his time at Jardinière and Northern California cooking as his biggest influences, Kovel dedicates himself to using the best and most responsible seafood, produce and other products locally available.
During Chef Kovel’s time in San Francisco, he secured an entry-level garde manger position where he learned from one of the best chefs in the country, Traci Des Jardins of Jardinière. Under Chef Des Jardins, Kovel worked his way up to a Chef de Partie position while learning about local and sustainable cooking from one of America's most influential culinary leaders.
Kovel came back to New England and being an admirer of Restaurateur Michael Schlow, he soon joined his team at Radius where he worked his way up to Sous Chef and helped run Schlow's flagship restaurant for three years.
Kovel then yearned for a new challenge and accepted a position abroad at the Michelin-starred Orrery in London. This time overseas refreshed his focus on French technique and the demands of a Michelin kitchen. Most recently, Kovel was in charge of the esteemed and award-winning restaurant, Aujourd'hui. When the Four Seasons announced that they would be shutting the doors of the Grande Dame of the Boston restaurant scene in June of 2009, Kovel was ready for a fresh start. Grateful for his time spent in the kitchen amongst his passionate and talented team, and for the unique opportunities the position provided, he approached the closure with a mixture of melancholy and excitement for what lies ahead. His next focus brought him to his own restaurant, which he spent a year planning and building- Catalyst in Cambridge.
During his tenure at the Four Seasons, Kovel was recognized by Boston Magazine and was named one of a talented group of upcoming "Chefs to Watch". He was also honored with Boston's Top Restaurants by Chaine des Rotisseurs and he achieved the revered status of the AAA Five Diamond Award.
An enthusiastic member of the Chef's Collaborative; an organization that promotes sustainable and local cuisine; he applies his down-to-earth approach to his own restaurant where he focuses on local, sustainable food in a refined, neighborhood setting. Catalyst embodies the expertise and cooking techniques that Kovel is known for and opened in August 2011 in Cambridge’s Technology Square. Kovel offers American cuisine with undertones that incorporate classic French techniques.
Since opening, Kovel and his team have earned rave reviews including a coveted 3 star review from The Boston Globe as well as being named The People’s Best New Chef New England by FOOD&WINE magazine in March 2012.
Kovel lives in Milton with his wife Sara. His interests include reading, traveling, tending to his little urban "garden" and fishing.
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Bio: Chef Jason Santos likes to have fun.
You can tell by his trademark blue hair, and more importantly, you can tell by his food. Liquid nitrogen salsa that smolders like a disco when it hits the plate? Check. Orange gel that forms into noodles when it hits hot broth? Got it. Black Truffle Dippin Dots Ice Cream that arrives tableside smoking? Absolutely.
The presentations of Santos’ dishes are whimsical and inventive, but the flavors on his plates keep diners coming back for more. Jason’s cuisine seamlessly combines Asian, French and traditional American flavors with dazzling visual and textural twists that wow diners at Gargoyles on the Square in Boston (Somerville). His cooking style has been referred to as “Julia Child Meets Willy Wonka”.
Santos defies expectations by challenging diners with unique flavor and texture combinations. “You have to systematically create complexity,” he says of his thought process. “It sets creativity free." Jason takes his guests on a culinary adventure with his whimsical gastronomy.
Santos’ name is familiar to foodies. Known as “Jay” on the seventh season of Fox’s hit television show “Hell’s Kitchen”, Santos has been regularly complimented by one of the industry’s toughest critics, Chef Gordon Ramsay.
He cut his teeth at Andy Husbands’ Tremont 647 and quickly rose through the ranks before assuming the role of executive chef at Gargoyles on the Square in 2005. In his years there, his cuisine has transformed the restaurant from neighborhood stalwart to out-of-town destination dining hotspot. His fusion of new techniques and exotic ingredients into bistro fare has earned plaudits from The Boston Globe (including the cover of the Food Section), chowhound.com, Improper Bostonian, and most notably, Stuff Magazine (where he appeared on the cover twice).
Jason is now the owner and executive chef at both Abby Lane in Boston’s Theater District which opened in November 2012 and Blue Inc. which is located at 131 Broad Street in Boston’s Financial District and opened in June 2011. Blue Inc. is open for lunch and dinner and has become popular for its innovative menu and “smoking cold” milk shakes. Abby Lane, open for lunch and dinner, is a two floor restaurant known for approachable cuisine in an upscale setting. Jason is set to open his third restaurant, Back Bay Harry’s this Fall in Boston’s South End.
It’s not just nights on the line, though – Santos gets around a little bit. He teaches culinary courses at both Boston University and Cambridge Rindge and Latin’s culinary programs. He had the honor of cooking to a sold-out crowd at the James Beard House in 2005 and 2010, and was invited to the Star Chefs Molecular Gastronomy conference in 2007, where he hobnobbed with the likes of Jose Andres, Wylie Dufresne and Grant Achatz.
Each year Santos donates his time to Share Our Strength’s Operation Frontline, an organization dedicated to educating disadvantaged families on nutrition, and serves as the restaurant chair for “Taste of the Nation,” Share Our Strength’s benefit to eliminate childhood hunger. He was also awarded second place in the country at the National Pork Board’s Annual “National Taste of Elegance” event in Baltimore. Jason appears regularly on Boston’s local Fox affiliate doing cooking demos and has recently appeared nationally on the CBS Early Show and The Talk. Jason is a graduate of Newbury College with a Culinary Arts degree in Newton, MA.
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Bio: Inspired by the ingredients and culinary techniques of the Midi region in France, Executive Chef/ Partner Robert Sisca presents modern, ingredient-driven creations that are at once refined and approachable. From carefully conceived crudo selections to the freshest seafood, meats and vegetables, Bistro du Midi brings the simple, clean and bold flavors of Provence to Boston.
Influenced by his time cooking in New England, Chef Sisca has tremendous respect for all things seafood, and an immense appreciation for local product. Seasonality is where Provençal cooking begins and ends for Sisca. There is no culinary trickery, it is simple food done beautifully.
A graduate of Johnson & Wales, Sisca worked his way through New England, including Gracie’s in Providence and Bosun’s Bistro in Nantucket. He then honed his culinary skills in New York City at One If By Land, Two If By Sea before becoming Sous Chef at the renowned Le Bernardin. During his tenure, Le Bernardin earned the coveted Michelin Three Star award and Four Stars by the New York Times.
Chef Sisca, a resident of Rhode Island, has been well received in Boston with numerous awards and increased activity in the culinary community. In 2011 & 2012, Sisca was nominated for Food & Wine’s People’s Best New Chef New England. Sisca is constantly striving for excellence to keep Bistro du Midi at the forefront of Boston’s dining scene. Menu highlights include Black Bass crudo with grapefruit and squid ink rice puffs, spicy lamb tartare served with a quail egg and an authentic Mediterranean Bouillabaisse.
Sisca and his team celebrate local produce whenever possible and the freshest vegetables and seafood in dishes such as Loup de Mer with hearth bread, seared prawn and confit fennel. Another star on the menu is the roasted chicken for two with ricotta and lemon. For guests that enjoy a truly inimitable dining experience, Sisca offers tasting menus at Table 100 at Bistro du Midi, which overlooks the kitchen and includes tableside service.
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Bio: Pastoral’s Todd Winer has been the driving force behind the launch of several of the region’s most successful concepts. He has opened more than a dozen award-winning restaurants in his tenure that have become nationally known for their inspired and delicious menus. His newest solo venture is as chef and owner of Pastoral, which is located in Boston’s hottest neighborhood, the Fort Point neighborhood.
Chef Winer has worked under many of the country’s most renowned chefs including: Charlie Palmer, Bobby Flay, Nancy Oakes, and Todd English. Under English, Chef Winer wore many hats from Executive Chef, Culinary Director and was the point person at many special events for Chef English. Winer was an active part of helping English to open many of his restaurants around the country. He turned heads as the Executive Chef at Olives Charlestown with his complex flavor profiles and his layering techniques. One of Winer’s most impactful experiences under English was when he traveled to Japan to open Olives Tokyo.
Winer's passion for food was first ignited during his teenage years when he began a part time job in the kitchen of an Italian bistro. That led him into his interest in cooking where he learned the fundamentals of fine cooking at the New England Culinary Institute.
In 2006, Winer became the Culinary Director of The Metropolitan Club in Chestnut Hill under owner Kathy Sidell Trustman where he brought a variety of influences and styles to this role. His tenure with Metropolitan Club included helping to create new concepts and new locations including Massachusetts’ first burger bar at the MET Bar and Grill in Natick, as well as the MET Bar and Grill in Dedham. He then opened MET Back Bay on Boston’s posh Newbury Street. More recently, Winer launched MET on MAIN which is located on the island of Nantucket.
Todd’s taste for full-bodied, rustic flavors and eye-appealing presentations is a reflection of his training and personal style. With a unique combination of fearlessness and respect for tradition, Todd’s passion for rustic food can be found on the menu at Pastoral.
Winer has been invited to cook at the James Beard House several times, he has received many awards and accolades for his cooking under English and with MET Restaurant Group, and he participates in several annual charitable events including the Foundation to be Named Later’s Hot Stove Cool Music, Boys and Girls Club, and Lovelane Special Needs Horse Riding Program. Winer became a certified Pizzaiolo by the VPN to continue the authentic Neapolitan pizza technique at Pastoral. Chef Winer has also participated in a number of nationally recognized events such as the Mohegan Sun Winefest, Epcot Food and Wine, Nantucket Wine Festival, Bermuda Food and Wine and the Bangkok international food festival. He has also appeared on many television and radio shows, including: Martha Stewart Radio and TV, NECN Morning Show, TV Diner and 24 hours with Kate. His food have been featured in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, the Boston Globe, the Boston Herald, Boston Magazine, the Improper Bostonian, and the New York Times.
Opening in 2014 in South Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, Pastoral features an innovative dining destination featuring rustic yet refined food, creative cocktails, communal dining, lounge area, late-night dining, delivery, take out, and a café with European seating. Pastoral will offer an entertaining and welcoming atmosphere for guests to enjoy quality food and service. Pastoral is a home, a restaurant, and a community and a dream that is dedicated to food and its direct connection to celebration, community, and culture. Pastoral runs on a system of organic processes that are built on a foundation of relationships with a community of friends and teachers, hunters and farmers, importers and foragers, wine and beer makers, fishermen, builders, and artists. The restaurant will work to celebrate food and the daily nourishment it provides.
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Bio: Chef Wong was born in Managua, Nicaragua. His dad opened seven restaurants, mostly Chinese cuisine, with his mom working alongside of him. They lived in Costa Rica for twelve years before moving to Boston in the 80’s.
Chef Wong went to Le Grand Diplome, the most comprehensive program in French culinary arts at Le Cordon Bleu Paris. He completed an internship in pastry with Pierre Herme, one of the best chefs in the world, and another in cuisine at the luxurious Le Meurice hotel. He made his way through the ranks to become Chef de Partie at the Restaurant Le Meurice, one of the most prestigious fine dining restaurants in Paris.
When Rachel Klein called Wong, he was exploring opportunities in Bora-Bora, Malaysia and Lebanon. He ultimately chose to return to Boston to open Liquid Art House, which shows how much he loves working with Rachel Klein.
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Bio: The New York Times called Joseph Carr “A producer to watch.” Mr. Carr began his career as a sommelier in NY and passed the initial Master Sommelier exams before he was 25. He later went on to work for wineries in France, Italy, Spain, Australia and Napa Valley.
In 2009 at age 39, he was named President of Mildara Blass USA, the international wine division of the Foster’s Brewing Group. Mr. Carr along with his wife and daughter began an eponymously named Napa Valley négociant firm in 2005, producing Napa Valley Cabernet, Merlot and Sonoma Coast Chardonnay. In 2009 Mr. Carr worked with grower/winemaker Tom Larson to produce a Sonoma California brand dedicated to his father.
Dylan’s Ghost, Mr. Carr’s latest project was created, after a long walk with celebrated winemaker Aaron Pott, down a vineyard road, in the Stags Leap District of Napa Valley. “ We discussed winemaking, art and literature, and both realized that the iconic terrior, which surrounded us, was the place to capture all of this,” states Carr. Wine Writer Ken Hoggins call’s Dylan’s Ghost Hell Hollow, in a phrase “simply amazing; 92 points” and Wine Blogger Joe Roberts professes that Dylan’s Ghost SLR Vineyard as “Dylan is alive and well in the inky depths of this silky, rich red.”
Destined to be another cult wine classic, with less then 800 cases produced, the Dylan’s Ghost portfolio is only available on line and at a few select luxury retailers and restaurants.
Mr. Carr divides his time between Napa Valley and Cape Cod Massachusetts.
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Bio: With over fifteen years of experience, Drync Director of Marketing, Aimée Cronin prides herself as a well-seasoned wine marketer who has worked in nearly every facet of the beverage industry.
Beginning her wine career as the Marketing Director at a boutique winery in Long Island, Aimée later moved west to New York City to run the wine division for luxury Food and Wine PR agency, Deussen Global, which she grew to be the largest grossing team in the company. Aimée spent several years building brands and developing national sales and marketing programs at the supplier level for producers big and small, such as Pernod-Ricard (Perrier Jouët, Mumm, Jacob’s Creek, Brancott), Moët Hennessy (Veuve Clicquot, Dom Perignon, Ruinart), Laurent-Perrier Champagne, Sandeman Ports, San Felice, and Erie Vineyards. Most recently, she worked for Martignetti Companies, the seventh largest distributor in the United States, where she first managed a portfolio of over 200 prestigious California wine producers and developed her position to oversee all corporate communications for the company.
Aimée has been a guest speaker at the Culinary Institute of America and the Aspen Food and Wine Classic and is a Certified Specialist of Wine, as well as WSET Certified with distinction. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University’s School of Communications. When she is not trying to revolutionize the wine industry for the greater good of mankind, Aimée is happily spending quality time with her husband and three young children.
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Bio: Dan moved to Mass in 1986 after a number of years working in the restaurant business and traveling extensively. He has been with a family operated wine distributor and importer since first arriving (Ruby Wines Inc.) where he is the Director of Special Events and a Fine Wine Specialist. Outside of work, he currently chairs the Boston University Wine School Founding Advisory Board and still travels to wine country around the world.
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Bio: Lisa Kaplan began her career in the Food and Beverage business as a Pastry chef and line cook before transitioning to the front of the house. She held positions of Restaurant Manager and Sommelier, at fine dining establishments in Boston and on Nantucket. Ready for a new challenge, Lisa joined Ruby Wines in March, 2002, where she worked as a Sales Representative and Sales Manager. After nearly 10 years with the company, she made the transition to the Import side of the business and began anew with Domaine Select Wine Estates – 2010 Food and Wine Importer of the Year – as the New England Regional Manager. After a brief stint working in “the real world,” Lisa joined Charles Smith - 2009 Food & Wine magazine’s “Winemaker of the Year” – and his empire of highly acclaimed WA wineries. She currently oversees the business in the northeast, from Maine to PA.
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Beetlebung Cocktail Guru
Bio: Jonathan Pogash, “The Cocktail Guru™,” is one of the most premiere cocktail consultants and bartenders for restaurants and spirit companies. His signature cocktails can be seen and enjoyed in many of North America’s most upscale cocktail lounges and restaurants. With nearly 15 years experience in the hospitality industry, Jonathan shares his insights with the most influential publications from around the world, and contributes his unique talents to morning television shows and national radio. As the in-house mixologist for NBC’s “Weekend Today in New York,” Jonathan is able to “spread the good word…one cocktail at a time.”
Just as an Executive Chef may work their way up through the ranks “behind the line,” Jonathan has worked his way up from being a barback at The Russian Tea Room in NYC, to Owner and President of “The Cocktail Guru™,” a well-respected, full service beverage consulting firm. Jonathan was trained by cocktail luminaries Steve Olson, Gary Regan, and Albert Trummer. Throughout the years, a style emerged – that of a career bartender interested in studying technique, cocktail history, fresh ingredients, and seasonality. His inspiration lies in unique ingredients and quality ensuring that every beverage program he creates remains consistent and thrives throughout the years.
In addition, Jonathan and his Cocktail Guru team offer bartender services for special events, mixology classes and demonstrations, and signature drink development for weddings and occasions. The Cocktail Guru’s sister site, Wedding Cocktail Design, was created specifically for that couple-to-be seeking a unique specialty cocktail for their wedding.
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Bio: Dominick Purnomo, Wine Director & Co Owner of Yono’s & dp An American Brasserie, grew up in his family’s restaurant working alongside his parents at an early age before going on to State University of New York at Morrisville to pursue a degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management.
While at Morrisville College, Dominick became a member of the International Foodservice Executives Association, was elected the Chairman of the Student Board, representing some 3,500 student members of the organization worldwide and was instrumental in constructing many new programs to get the student members more involved.
Upon finishing Morrisville in 2000, Purnomo came back to Albany to work in the family business and took over the day to day operations. It was then that he discovered a true passion for wine. After having dined in some of the worlds finest restaurants such as Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, Aureole in Las Vegas, and Lespinasse in New York, Purnomo wanted to bring a world class wine program to Albany, more specifically to Yono’s. Since 2000, under Purnomo’s careful watch, the wine list has blossomed to 1,000 selections, has been recognized twice by the James Beard Foundation as a semi finalist for the “Outstanding Wine Program”, received the Best of Award of Excellence from Wine Spectator since 2004, numerous awards from Santé.
In 2002 Dominick was inducted into the Chaîne des la Rôtisseurs, as the youngest member in the society’s 52 year history. That same year, Dominick decided to enroll into the Court of Master Sommeliers Certification! In 2003 Purnomo was just one of 4 sommeliers from New York State, and the youngest in the nation to be featured in the prestigious Chalk Hill Winery Sommelier Guide.
In February of 2003, Purnomo decided to try his hand at his first sommelier competition, traveled to Boston to compete in the Northeast Regional Best Young Sommelier Competition, and won!!! In May, Dominick traveled to Miami, Florida to compete in the National Competition against the top 7 young sommeliers in the country. Purnomo was the youngest of all competitors at just 22 years old.
In 2005 Purnomo was elected to his first of two, two year terms as the President of the Greater Capital District of the New York State Restaurant Association, the youngest President in the history of the state organization.
Purnomo has presented public and industry seminars for Santé Magazine, The Desmond American Wine Festival, Cornell University, and the New York Wine & Harvest Fest as well as for private groups, Fortune 500 companies and a wine class open to the public. Dominick has written myriad articles on wine and wine service as well as published wine reviews.
Dominick also receives enjoyment from giving back to the community that has given so much to him. He has worked with well over one hundred charities including Living Resources, Girl Scouts of America, American Cancer Society, the Donald P Lancella Foundation and has chaired events for the American Diabetes Association, Senior Services Meals on Wheels, Northeast Regional Food Bank & Leukemia & Lymphoma Society as well.
He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District, is a member of the Society of Fellows at the Culinary Institute of America, the American Sommelier Association, the Chevalier du Tastevin and is the founder of the Sommelier Society of Albany.
In 2009 Dominick was among 12 Founding Members of the Wine & Dine for the Arts; Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival, which has raised over $500,000 in its’ first five years.
Dominick and his wife Carolyn, a Licensed Realtor, reside in Loudonville, New York with their daughters Gemma & Halle.
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Bio: Growing up just outside of Sacramento, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Charles Smith began craving worldly travel at a young age due to his Welsh mother and French father. As soon as he had the chance, Charles decided to move to Denmark (for a “hot piece of a**” i.e. a lady friend he met in the states). While in Scandinavia, Charles spent the next nine years managing rock bands and concert tours throughout Europe, including the famed Danish duo, The Ravonettes. Wining and dining while on the road became a catalyst for his passion of wine, which ultimately triggered the career he has today.
In 1999, he moved back to the United States, specifically to the Pacific Northwest, opening a wine shop on Bainbridge Island, just across the Puget Sound from downtown Seattle. On a road trip in late 1999, he passed through the small town of Walla Walla and met a young Frenchman and winemaker. The two men discovered their common passion for great Syrah and Charles was eventually convinced to move to Walla Walla and make his own juice. In 2001, Charles released 330 cases of his first wine, the 1999 K Syrah. The Walla Walla Valley was now his home.
After a devastating freeze in 2004, Charles brought to life a label he had once in a dream: House Wine. Low and behold, the label concept had never been created or trademarked, so Charles launched the legendary brand before selling it to Precept Brands in 2006. That same year, Charles started a second brand, Charles Smith Wines. The brand was themed as “The Modernist Project,” which focuses on the way people generally consume wine today: immediately. The intent was (and still is) to create wines to be enjoyed now, but with true typicity of both the varietal and the vineyard.
A self-taught winemaker, Charles is a true artisan and a pioneer in the wine world. In 2008, K Vintners was recognized by Wine & Spirits magazine as one of the “Best New Wineries of the Last Ten Years,” and as “Winery of the Year” in their annual buying guide. In 2009 Food & Wine magazine awarded Charles “Winemaker of the Year” and in 2010 Seattle Magazine recognized Charles as their “Winemaker of the Year.”
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Bio: Patrick Ahearn, AIA, specializes in historically motivated architecture and interior design. Over the past 38 years, his volume of finely crafted and detailed residential work spans a multitude of classic styles of architecture from City Town Houses to Island Homes. With offices in both the Historic Back Bay neighborhood of Boston and on the island of Martha's Vineyard, these environments provide a rich and fertile background for the creation of classical timeless architecture, appropriate and in scale to each locale.
The firm's work covers a broad spectrum of projects in the United States including master planning, new construction, historic renovation and restoration. To each of his projects, Mr. Ahearn and his team of architects and designers bring a highly educated and schooled knowledge of classic architecture coupled with a keen sense of how people live today, which in turn produces homes that are timeless and responsive to the needs of today's lifestyles.
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