TALENT



chefs + artisans + vintners + brewers + distillers + musicians




Harley Aveiro
Jeremiah Bacon
David Bancroft
Jesse Becker
Allan Benton
Nathan Beriau
Lowcountry Boil
Jean-Paul Bourgeois
Tyler Brown
Jason Carlen
Brandon Carter
Alysia Casebeer
Annie Coleman
Craig Collins
Will Copenhaver
Aaron Deal
Justin Devillier
Chris Dickerson
Mark Pulido Donna Walker
David Goewey DuBou
Drew Dzejak
Desmond Echavarrie
Patrick Emerson
Adam Evans
Kelly Fields
Autumn Fleck
Scott Flory
Megan & Colby Garrelts
Sarah Gavigan
Kenny Gilbert
Steven Devereaux Greene
Eileen Hallmark
Drew Hendricks
Kay Heritage
Tom Hines
Lee Hudson
Kyle Jacovino
Matt Jording
Amelia Keefe
Jeff Kellogg
Meredith Sutton and Kevin Ryan
Selina King
Bryce Knott
Geoff Labitzke
Raymond Lammers
Hugues Le Berre
Jamie Lynch
Andre Mack
Jordan Mackay
Amanda Mathis
Ryan McCarthy
Emily McCarthy
David McCarus
Rob McDaniel
Andrew McNamara
Quintin Middleton
Thaddeus Miller
Russ Moore
Kevin Nashan
Craig Nelson
Erik Niel
Darren Palace
Rajat Parr
Orchid Paulmeier
Emily Pickral
Eric Railsback
Joe and MariElena Raya
Jesse Rodriguez
Michael Hirby and  Schatzi Throckmorton
Rodney Scott
Scott Shor
Aaron Siegel
Clint Sloan
Corey Steranka
Larry Stone
David Szlam
Ross Taylor
Michael Toscano
Jennafer Tuffner
Katie and Kurt Weinberger
Kirsten Whitman
The Wild Feathers
Karl Worley
The  Yacht Rock Revue
Harley Aveiro

Harley Aveiro

Paul Hobbs Wines

Sebastopol, California

www.paulhobbswines.com | @paulhobbswines

Harley Aveiro is a Brazilian native from Uberaba in Minas Gerais. His early fascination with wine came from his Portuguese father’s side of the family, who always enjoyed a few glasses of wine with their meals. He has especially fond and vivid memories of the Lancers and Mateus bottles and their iconic shapes at the family table.

His passion for all things food and wine related didn’t fully develop until the early 1990’s though, when he began a career in the hotel/restaurant business, rapidly ascending through the ranks of the front of the house, moving from line staff busser and other entry-level positions as server and bartender to management positions in buying and operations.

Harley was fortunate enough to have worked with some of the best hotels and restaurant operations in the U.S., including the Four Seasons Hotel and Lacroix Restaurant in Philadelphia with Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix), the Borgata Casino and Chef Wolfgang Puck in Atlantic City, and Rosa Mexicano and Capital Grille in multiple locations throughout Florida.

After a successful career in the hotel and restaurant business, Harley found himself seeking a new challenge. For the past five years, he has immersed himself in the wholesale wine business working in importing and distribution. He recently served as Managing Partner of a small importing and distribution startup with offices in Texas and South Florida before joining the Paul Hobbs Imports team as Southeast Regional Sales Manager. Not surprisingly, his favorite hobbies are cooking for family and friends and the discovery of food and wines from around the globe.

Jeremiah Bacon

Jeremiah Bacon

Executive Chef of The Macintosh

Charleston, SC

www.themacintoshcharleston.com | @macintoshchs

With a name like Bacon, Jeremiah was destined to be a chef. A native of Johns Island, SC, he learned to appreciate at an early age the seasonal bounty and eclectic flavors that the Lowcountry has to offer.

After graduating from the College of Charleston with a degree in Philosophy, Jeremiah attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. then moved to New York City where he honed his skills in the kitchens of some of the city’s most legendary restaurants, including River Café, Le Bernardin and Per Se.

After refining his skills in the Northeast for 10 years, he returned home to the Lowcountry and incorporated a local-first philosophy into his culinary practices, first at Carolina’s and then as executive chef at Oak Steakhouse.

As executive chef of the Macintosh, Bacon continues to build upon his relationships with local farmers and purveyors to incorporate their food into his menu. His finely tuned talents and palate are reflected in the restaurant’s menu, which serves technique-driven dishes that are locally sourced and seasonally inspired.

David Bancroft

David Bancroft

Executive Chef/Partner of Acre Restaurant

Auburn, AL

www.acreauburn.com | @acrerestaurant

David Bancroft is Executive Chef/Partner of Acre Restaurant in Auburn, Alabama. Acre opened in August 2013. Born in Alabama but raised in San Antonio, Texas, David’s passion for cooking began at an early age, smoking brisket and making BBQ.  David is a self-taught chef, farmer and forager who showcases the sustainable ingredients provided by local farmers in Alabama.

His commitment to the Alabama farming community have earned him recognition on local, regional and national platforms- most recently, as a competitor and winner on the Food Network show “Iron Chef Showdown”.  His cuisine has been featured in Garden & Gun, Southern Living, and on ESPN, USA Today, CNN.com. In 2017 he received his second nomination from the James Beard Foundation for “Best Chef: South”.

To further his philanthropic contributions, David founded, planned and executed the “Alabama Oyster Social”, whose primary goal was to raise funds for Alabama oyster farmers.  The Social has gained support from nationally recognized chefs and restaurateurs, and raised over $40,000 at its fourth annual event in 2018. 

When not cooking, he enjoys hunting and fishing on his family’s farm in LA (Lower Alabama) and spending time with his wife, Christin, son, Walker and daughter, Kennedy.

Jesse Becker

Jesse Becker

Master Sommelier of Craft & Estate

Chicago, Illinois

www.thewinebowgroup.com/our-companies/craft-estate/ | @craftandestatewine

Jesse Becker is a Master Sommeliers and has worked for some of the top restaurants in the United States including Tra Vigne (Napa Valley), NoMI at the Park Hyatt (Chicago), and Frasca Food and Wine (Colorado). His training included three harvests: Miner Family Winery in Napa Valley (2001); Maison Camille Giroud in Burgundy (2004); and Domaine Alphonse Mellot in Sancerre (2008).

Jesse has written extensively about the wines of Germany and Austria contributed the annual Germany and Austria vintage reports for Sommelier Journal magazine from 2008 to 2013. He serves as an ambassador for Germany's VDP and continues to educate consumers and trade about the wines of Germany and Austria.

In addition to holding the titles of Master Sommelier and VDP.Ambassador, Jesse is a CIVB Accredited Bordeaux Tutor and a Certified Wine Educator. He is currently an advisory board member for the Somm360 conference and works as a Portfolio Specialist for Craft+Estate, an import division of Winebow specializing in the wines of France, Austria, and Greece. He resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Allan Benton

Allan Benton

Owner Benton's Country Hams

Madisonville, TN

www.bentonscountryhams2.com | @bentonsbacon

Allan Benton is the owner of Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Hams, which are slow cured using salt, brown sugar, and sodium nitrite and typically aged 9-10 months. This time-honored practice dates back to the era of our forefathers, when the preparation and preservation of meat was a way of life and sustenance. Although the hands of time and technology have sculpted many aspects of our modern world, Allan upholds the traditional dry-curing process and strives to produce world class country hams and bacon.

Benton’s was started in 1947 by the late Albert H. Hicks, a dairy farmer who began curing and selling country hams out of a painted block building. Since then, Allan and his employees have honed the dry-curing of hams and bacon into a culinary art and have catapulted the products from a simple breakfast mainstay into the world of gourmet cooking, where they have been praised for their characteristic flavor.

Benton’s Country Hams and Bacon are available either unsmoked or hickory-smoked. Hickory smoking is performed in a small, wood stove smokehouse behind the business, imparting a distinct smoked flavor that many customers prefer.

Nathan Beriau

Nathan Beriau

Executive Chef of Palmetto Bluff

Bluffton, SC

www.montagehotels.com/palmettobluff | @montagepalmettobluff

Chef Nathan Beriau, joined Montage Palmetto Bluff in April, 2015, as Executive Chef, responsible for overseeing all culinary operations. A New England native, Chef Nathan began his career working at some of the top restaurants in his home state, eventually accepting the position of Chef de Cuisine at the Harraseeket Inn, a Four Diamond, premiere Hotel in Freeport, Maine. Three years later, he and his wife relocated to San Francisco, where Chef Nathan was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with well-known, veteran chef, Ron Siegel, at The Dining Room of the Ritz-Carlton, a Five Star and Five Diamond Restaurant.

After two years working under the tutelage of Chef Siegel, Chef Nathan joined restaurant impresario, Pat Kuleto, and renowned chef, Jan Birnbaum, as Opening Sous Chef at Epic Roast House in the Bay area. A year later, he was coaxed back to the Ritz-Carlton as Executive Sous Chef, and within 2 years was promoted to the prestigious position of Executive Chef.

Chef Nathan remained Executive Chef at the Ritz-Carlton for almost 5 years, when he chose to move to the Lowcountry and accept the position of Executive Chef at Montage Palmetto Bluff.  His expertise, extensive experience and dedication to his craft, made him an obvious choice, and a perfect match to lead the culinary team.

Lowcountry Boil

Lowcountry Boil

Bluegrass Band

Bluffton, SC

www.facebook.com/Lowcountry-boil-bluegrass-band-338087346263862/

Mike Daly and his son Jevon Daly are joined by Andy Pitts and Gary Pratt in this fun string band that is Lowcountry Boil. The band started in 1997 and has just released its fifth cd full of fun original music you will swear you have heard before. The band is silly one minute and will have you on the edge of your seat the next. With thousands of shows together the band has a loose approach but razor sharp execution onstage and in song. Check them out on itunes and facebook.

Jean-Paul Bourgeois

Jean-Paul Bourgeois

Executive Chef of Blue Smoke

New York, New York

www.bluesmoke.com | @chefjean_paul

Jean-Paul grew up in the small town of Thibodaux, Louisiana, and received his Bachelor’s degree at John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University. In culinary school, Jean-Paul participated in an eye-opening exchange program with the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon, France. After completing his formal studies, he worked at Étoile restaurant at the Domaine Chandon winery in Napa before moving to San Francisco to help open EPIC Roasthouse as a sous chef under Chef Jan Birnbaum. In 2007, he moved to St. Thomas, where he served as sous chef at two local restaurants on the island. In 2009, Jean-Paul moved to New York and joined the team at Maialino. Over four years, Jean-Paul was promoted several times and ultimately assumed the role of Chef de Cuisine of Gramercy Terrace at The Gramercy Park Hotel. In 2014, Jean-Paul became Executive Chef of Blue Smoke, overseeing both locations of Blue Smoke, Jazz Standard at Blue Smoke’s Flatiron location, and Blue Smoke On The Road.

Tyler Brown

Tyler Brown

Chef

Nashville, TN

www.capitolgrillenashville.com | @capitolgrille

Executive Chef Tyler Brown, recently named one of Esquire Magazine’s Four New Chefs to watch, leads one of Nashville’s highly-praised restaurants. Chef Tyler Brown spends most days divided between the duties of an Executive Chef and those of a farmer. A typical day includes overseeing the day to day operation of the restaurant and then jumping on his John Deere to work on a piece of land at the farm. Overseeing the Land Trust for Tennessee’s Glen Leven Farm, located just 5 miles from the front door of The Hermitage Hotel, Chef/Farmer Brown uses sustainable farming practices to ensure everything comes out of the ground just as nature intended. He then uses these vegetables on the menu in the Capitol Grille. The efforts to operate the farm have been extremely successful and have recently grown to include a herd of cattle as well as bees.

Next, in the Capitol Grille, Chef Brown strives to serve cultural sustainability by paying homage to the great Southern dishes and cooking practices of the past to ensure they are not forgotten. In fact, many of his recipes came from the recipe box of his grandmother.

During Brown’s tenure at the Capitol Grille, the dining establishment has not only earned the coveted Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond designations, but was also voted one of America’s best restaurants by Gourmet magazine, on The Food Network, and was recognized at the James Beard House.

Prior to his position at the Capitol Grille, Brown graduated Magna Cum Laude from Johnson & Wales University in 1997 with an Associates Degree in Applied Science in Culinary Arts and was introduced to the culinary industry by his mother, who is also an accomplished chef. Brown worked at a number of fine dining restaurants including his position as Chef de Partie at Peninsula Grill in Charleston, S.C., a Forbes Four-Star / AAA Five-Diamond, and recognized Relais & Chateaux dining establishment. Currently, there are only 453 recognized establishments worldwide, all of which must meet rigorous criteria for quality. Brown then held the Executive Sous Chef position in 1999 at Fearrington House in Chapel Hill, N.C., a Relais & Chateaux property, before becoming the Executive Chef and Partner in 2001 of Southern Comforts BBQ & Soul, an upscale comfort food establishment in Charlotte, N.C.

Brown became Chef de Cuisine of the Capitol Grille in 2003 and emerged as a leader in the kitchen Brown surfaced as one of Nashville’s most talented chefs, establishing relationships with the local community organizations and producers to become a forerunner in the Southeastern culinary community with progressive, southern cuisine. He is a member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and is currently on the board of the Slow Food USA – Nashville Chapter. In 2010 and again in 2012, Brown was among the semi-finalists for the James Beard Award “Best Chef, Southeast”.

Jason Carlen

Jason Carlen

Scarpetta Wine

Chicago, Illinois

www.scarpettawine.com | @scarpettawine

Jason Carlen currently lives in Chicago and works as the Midwest Sales Manager for Scarpetta Wine. He is originally from Rhode Island, which is where he found his appreciation for food and wine. His mother and father influenced him as a child by exposing him to best seasonal flavors of New England.

Jason started his restaurant career as a busser at the age of 15 when he stepped in for his absent brother. He worked his way through college in New York at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy at any restaurant that would have him. His love of food and wine inspired and provided for him in between theater jobs in New York until wine ultimately became his muse.

Before leaving the floor for the dark side, he was the Wine Director at Tony Mantuano’s restaurant Spiaggia in Chicago. Jason worked as the Sommelier at The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, an Auberge Resort in S.C. As well as positions at Gotham Bar and Grill; Geronimo Restaurant; and The Old House Restaurant.

In 2017 Jason started working with Scarpetta. Scarpetta was born 10 years ago in Friuli Venezia – Giulia, Italia, making delicious, everyday wines that speak of place.

Brandon Carter

Brandon Carter

Executive Chef / Partner of FARM

Bluffton, SC

www.farmbluffton.com | @farmbluffton

As executive chef and partner of FARM, Brandon Carter works tirelessly to connect the dining experience with the farmer’s culture. Always cognizant of seasonality and availability of ingredients, Carter crafts ever-evolving menus that speak to the bounty of the region and pay homage to the many farmers and artisans who inspire him.

Born in Ohio and raised in Georgia, Carter was inspired by the allure of the kitchen during a family trip to Italy at only thirteen years old. Compelled by the industry’s high energy, Carter took his talents to the Culinary Institute of America where he graduated in 1999. 

Just prior to FARM, Carter was executive chef at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff. He first joined the Inn at Palmetto Bluff as Chef de Cuisine in January 2011, assisting with the management of the River House Restaurant, including menu planning and all aspects of production and service. One year later, Brandon took the helm as executive chef where he oversaw four restaurants, twice as many menus, and was the grand poobah of the nationally lauded Music to Your Mouth food and wine event, which landed Palmetto Bluff on Bon Appetit’s Top Ten Foodie Destination List in 2013.

Previously, Carter served as Chef de Partie and Chef de Cuisine at The Ritz-Carlton Naples in South Florida, assisting with the management of three of the hotel’s restaurants from 2004 to 2008. Carter also gained experience at Mumbo Jumbo Bar and Grill in Atlanta from 2000 to 2003, where he started as Sous Chef and worked his way to Chef de Cuisine.

Carter is supported by his wife, Jessica, and their two children Declan and Bailey, all of whom contribute to Carter’s success at FARM. When he’s not in the kitchen, Carter enjoys spending time with his family, eating pork, quoting rock ballads and late night trips to the taco truck.

Alysia Casebeer

Alysia Casebeer

Peter Michael Winery

Calistoga, CA

www.petermichaelwinery.com | @petermichaelwinery

Originally from Oklahoma City, Alysia Casebeer began her career in the Food and Beverage Industry by way of Gaillardia Golf and Country Club, as their Beverage Manger.  Here she learned the importance of quality driven, smaller production wines, that carried a story behind the label.  Not only did the wines speak to her, coming from a sense of place, but the heart and soul of the wineries are carried through by their great tales.  She moved to Miami, Florida at the age of 27 and began working as the New World Portfolio manager for a small distribution company, Augustan Wine Imports.  Here she forged relationships with some of the greatest wineries coming out of CA, OR and WA. After eight years of managing such great brands in Florida as Dalla Valle, Shafer, Peter Michael, Araujo and many others, she moved to Singapore, where she delved into the International Wine business through consulting for restaurants and bars.  On her journey back to the US, she was offered the National Sales position at Peter Michael Winery and has since been promoted to Global Sales manager, heading up the winery’s Wholesale division.  After eight years with Peter Michael, she could not he happier with her career path and is incredibly grateful to all of those great wines of the world that inspired to be here. 

Annie Coleman

Annie Coleman

Pastry Chef of The Dabney

Washington, D.C.

www.thedabney.com | @annieyesimokay

A native of Beaufort, SC and graduate of the University of Georgia, Annie Coleman followed her passion for pastry and bread baking to Paris. She completed training at Ferrandi Culinary Institute and worked in pastry roles at La Pagode de Cos and Le Gabriel in Paris before moving to Washington, DC in early 2017 to join the city’s blossoming restaurant scene. She is equally inspired by old family recipes, classic techniques, and the challenges of seasonal cooking.

Photo credit Andrew Cebulka

Craig Collins

Craig Collins

Master Sommelier of Vintus

Pleasantville, NY

www.vintuswines.com | @vintuswines

Master Sommelier Craig Collins first became enamored with wine while working at a winery as an undergrad, an interest that led him to study abroad in Italy during his senior year at Texas A&M. He spent the next 20 years immersed in the beverage industry, from wineries to distribution and importing to restaurants. In 2011, Collins passed the esteemed Master Sommelier Exam, a feat mastered by just 200 people worldwide at that time. He now represents some of the most pedigreed wines from Italy as the Italian Specialist for Vintus, one of the premiere import companies in the country. He sits on the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers and frequently participates as a speaker and judge at wine and food festivals across the country.

Will Copenhaver

Will Copenhaver

Director of Sales and Marketing of Smithey Ironware

Charleston, South Carolina

www.smitheyironware.com | @smitheyironware

Will Copenhaver is Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Smithey Ironware Company, the premium cast iron cookware manufacturer based in Charleston, SC. At Smithey, the team seeks to create modern American icons in the cookware space, paying homage to the best of the past while utilizing the latest techniques to forge and finish cookware that is heirloom quality while designed for everyday use.

Prior to Smithey, Will served as Director of Marketing Communications for Le Creuset for ten years, where he helped the over eighty year old brand reignite growth and appeal to a new generation of consumers. It’s also where he learned to cook. Will’s career has also included roles in fashion with VF Corp / Nautica, brand consulting with Landor, entertainment with Tribeca Film Festival and technology with Lycos – all in New York City. Will was born and raised in North Carolina and holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Wake Forest University and a Bachelor’s in History from Duke University. He serves on the Board of Trustees for the American College of the Building Arts and resides in downtown Charleston, where he is reminded daily of the joys of historic house maintenance.

Aaron Deal

Aaron Deal

Executive Chef of The River and Rail

Roanoke, VA

www.riverandrailrestaurant.com | @theriverandrail

Aaron Deal is the Executive Chef of The River and Rail, a convivial restaurant with a focus on local, seasonal ingredients, in Roanoke, VA.

A native of North Carolina, Deal completed his formal culinary training at Johnson & Wales University in Charleston, SC, graduating summa cum laude in 2005. His first Executive Chef role came at the helm of Tristan Restaurant in Charleston, SC where he earned a 2009 James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef nomination amidst local praise. In 2009, Deal assumed the role of Executive Chef of Custom House Tavern in Chicago, IL. He earned many accolades during his time at Custom House, including being named a “Best New Chef Under 30” by Chicago Social magazine and one of Restaurant-Hospitality magazine’s “12 to watch in 2012.” After stints at Town House Restaurant in Chilhowie, VA and Cragie on Main in Cambridge, MA, Deal ventured to Roanoke, VA to open The River and Rail in 2012.

In his role as Executive Chef, Deal developed the culinary program for the restaurant from the ground up, creating regional cuisine inspired by the Virginia countryside. Outside of the kitchen, Deal has made appearances on The CBS Early Show’s “Chef on a Shoestring,” The Food Network, and as a culinary demonstrator, Deal has traveled to Johnson & Wales, The French Culinary Institute and the Culinary Institute of America, to lead discussions on sustainable food culture and cooking techniques. “Having recently celebrated our five-year anniversary at The River and Rail, I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to continue exploring the kind of cooking that excites and inspires me as a chef,” Deal says. “I’m also proud to share a distinctive regional cuisine that not many people outside Virginia have had the opportunity to sample.”

Justin Devillier

Justin Devillier

Executive Chef/Owner of La Petite Grocery and Balise

New Orleans, LA

www.lapetitegrocery.com | @justin_devillier

Justin Devillier was raised in a small beach town in California, where the bounty of local seafood inspired him to become a chef. In 2003, Devillier moved to New Orleans and cooked in the kitchens of Bacco, Stella and Peristyle, where he learned the intricacies of French cuisine from his mentor, Chef Anne Kearny-Sands.

In 2004, Devillier joined the team at La Petite Grocery as a line cook, housed in a century-old building with a storied history, and was promoted to sous chef after one year. Following Hurricane Katrina, he helped re-build the restaurant’s infrastructure, and in 2007 was promoted to executive chef. A short three years later, Devillier and his wife Mia took over ownership in 2010. At La Petite Grocery, Devillier puts his creative spin on traditional New Orleans cuisine with dishes like Turtle Bolognese, Panéed Rabbit, and Blue Crab Beignets. He has been named a James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef: South for the past five years (2012 – 2016), and was also awarded “Chef of the Year” by New Orleans Magazine in 2014.

In early 2015 the Devilliers opened their second restaurant, Balise, named after the first French settlement at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Set in a 19th century Creole townhouse in the Central Business District, Balise celebrates New Orleans as a port city and its unique access to a wide variety of ingredients.

Chris Dickerson

Chris Dickerson

Chef/Owner of Corner Taco

Jacksonville, FL

www.cornertaco.com | @cornertaco

After graduating from Wake Forest University, Chris Dickerson completed the Chef's Apprenticeship program at the Cloister Hotel on Sea Island.  He cooked at The Little Nell in Aspen under Chef George Mahaffey and later worked for Nobu Matsuhisa.  Dickerson has been invited to cook with many notable chefs and was part of a team who cooked for Paul Bocuse.  He is the chef & owner of Corner Taco in Jacksonville; which has been profiled on Alton Brown’s ABRoad Eats and in numerous publications, including The Local Palate

Mark Pulido Donna Walker

Mark Pulido Donna Walker

Proprietors of Pulido-Walker

St. Helena, California

www.pulidowalker.com

Pulido-Walker proprietors, Mark Pulido and Donna Walker, grew up in pharmacy families, and this early common experience is integral to the Pulido-Walker philosophy. Their scientific backgrounds make Mark and Donna precise, inquisitive and detailed. They know that perseverance and attentive observation yield results worth waiting for. Few people have the commitment or the endurance—never mind the conviction of their principles—to completely reframe the experiment mid-stream.

Although they had ’08 and ’09 vintages in barrel, Mark and Donna postponed the launch of their winery to investigate what new vineyards and a new winemaker could contribute in terms of quality. Experts concurred that these early vintages were very good, but Mark and Donna insisted that Pulido-Walker had to be better than very good. It had to be extraordinary.

Their patient and determined pursuit of the possible inspired Nancy Andrus Duckhorn and Thomas Rivers Brown to join the team. Under the watchful eye of, Tomas Rivers Brown, Pulido-Walker chose two remarkable vineyard sites where the natural alchemy of geography, soil, climate, and clone combine to yield a 100% Cabernet Sauvignon greater than the sum of its parts. Pritchard Hill’s Melanson Vineyard immediately captivated Thomas’ attention as he and Mark drove its steep and rugged, boulder-strewn grounds. Located on a rocky, gentle knoll along the old Napa River bed wash in St. Helena. The Panek Vineyard possessed all the characteristics to yield superb fruit and is Thoomas’ personal selection for his own vineyard designate.

The selection of Melanson Vineyard on Pritchard Hill and the Panek Vineyard in St. Helena solidified the foundation for Pulido-Walker wines. In each of these sought after vineyards, we carefully thin our vines several times throughout the growing season, leaving only the very best fruit for hand selection during harvest.

Our winemaking takes a non-interventionist approach crafting natural wines that reflect their unique terroir. Pulido-Walker is dedicated to the perfection of every element and to crafting exceptional, Single-vineyard-designated Cabernet Sauvignon.

David Goewey DuBou

David Goewey DuBou

Regional Sales Manager of Indigenous Selections

Louisville, Kentucky

www.indigenousselections.com | @indigenousselections

David has a real passion for wine and hates bios. When pressed, he humored us and instead offered up this poetic ode to a career in wine.

 

For over 20 years,

I've traveled the world's wine regions

and dug in their dirt.

I’ve worked harvests.

I’ve worked in labs and cellars.

I’ve collaborated with winemakers on the final blends for vintages.

I’ve been invited to the James Beard house as a Sommelier.

I’ve been blessed to work with oh so many talented chefs

on oh so many memorable dinners.

I’ve studied and collaborated with Masters.

I've forgotten too much to remember.

And now I work for an iconic Italian winemaker and oeno-entrepreneur.

Why?

Because wine is a spiritual love of art, philosophy, history, geography, science, debate and divine storytelling. 

These are things I am compelled to express to others.

Drew Dzejak

Drew Dzejak

Executive Chef of Alys Beach

Panama City, FL

www.alysbeach.com | @chefdrewdzejak

Chef Drew Dzejak says his inspiration for becoming a chef is the “classic grandmother story.” Growing up in Kissimmee, Florida, Dzejak was always at his grandmother’s side in the kitchen, cooking for family meals and church events. At 15, he was working as an apprentice at Karen Donatelli Cake Designs, baking weddings cakes and developing his first skills as a professional chef. He went on to attend Johnson & Wales in Charleston, South Carolina and graduated with a degree in Culinary Arts.

Upon graduating in 2001, Dzejak applied to work in the kitchen at the Forbes Five Star, AAA Five Diamond Woodlands Inn in Summerville, SC. He was told they were only hiring breakfast cooks, but undeterred, he took the job and was promoted to the dinner team a few months later and worked his way up through the kitchen.

Two years later, Dzejak followed Woodlands Executive Chef Ken Vedrinski to Sienna restaurant on Daniel Island, SC. He was promoted to sous chef and spent three years in the kitchen before packing his bags for Grand Cayman to work for Chef Dean Max at Brassiere for the fall season in 2006. Dzejak then returned to Charleston and became chef de cuisine at the Charleston Place Hotel. In 2008, he left Charleston for New Orleans and was named Executive Chef at the Windsor Court Hotel, where he remained for four years.

After starting a family with his wife Stephanie, Dzejak wanted to return to South Carolina and joined the team at The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, serving as Executive Sous Chef and Club Executive Chef. While at Palmetto Bluff, he was introduced to Food and Beverage Director Jeremy Walton, who would later offer him the role of Executive Chef at Alys Beach, an emerging seaside town in Northwest Florida on Scenic Highway 30A.

 

At Alys Beach, Dzejak will oversee all food operations for the growing community, including existing restaurants and new concepts. He envisions Alys Beach reaching new heights with its culinary offerings, with each offering a sense of place and providing residents and guests with lifelong memories.

 

When he’s away from the kitchen, Dzejak enjoys cooking at home with Stephanie and their two kids Aurora and John, gardening, and playing with his classic cars – a 1965 VW bug and a 1978 Trans Am.

Desmond Echavarrie

Desmond Echavarrie

Founder / Master Sommelier of Scale Wine Group

Napa, CA

www.scalewine.com | @scalewine

By the time Des Echavarrie was 30, he’d accomplished more than many sommeliers achieve in a lifetime of service. He won the Chaine des Rotisseurs Best Young Sommelier U.S. competition in 2004 at age 22 and the U.S. Top New Somm competition in 2011. In 2012, after nearly nine years of study and exams, Des became the 197th person to earn the title of Master Sommelier. Des’s love for wine began after college while working at The Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale. He secured an apprenticeship under Greg Tresner, MS and knew before he was old enough to legally drink that he would dedicate his life to learning about and sharing great wine. During his career as a sommelier, he earned coveted spots on the wine teams of legendary restaurants.

In 2011, he took a position at The French Laundry and passed the MS exam the following year. After a year spent as senior wine advisor for rare wine merchant Soutirage, Des was ready to work on the producer side of the equation and joined Realm Cellars as Director of Sales in 2014. Successfully managing both wholesale and direct sales at Realm for several years gave Des the experience and confidence to embark on his own entrepreneurial endeavor. He launched Scale Wine Group in August of 2016, with a mission to help small dynamic wineries elevate their brand through wholesale strategy.

Patrick Emerson

Patrick Emerson

Partner of Curated Selections and Advanced Sommelier

Charleston, South Carolina

www.curatedselections.com | @curatedselectionswine

Patrick Emerson, Advanced Sommelier, recently launched Curated Selections, a wine distribution company in South Carolina. He specializes in small, family-estate fine wines from around the world with a commitment to sustainability and quality. His wines are represented in fine dining restaurants, top independent retail accounts and hotels throughout South Carolina. Patrick is committed to high standards and wine education. All Curated Selections employees carry the distinction of being a minimum Certified Sommelier, including his delivery drivers and warehouse team.

Patrick is also the founder of Communion Wine Club LLC., a wine and beverage consultancy for new and existing restaurants, bars, wineries and hotels nationwide. As a consultant, Patrick assists on- and off-premise accounts on a project-to-project basis. He specializes in worldwide wine selections, handcrafted cocktail mixology, the creation of ongoing staff training programs and menu design.  He also works with multiple corporate clients and private collectors. Patrick also served as the beverage director for Charleston’s prestigious Wine and Food festival for their 10th anniversary (2015). He was responsible for recruiting international talent and designing programming for over 100 events.

Since moving to Charleston, South Carolina, Patrick has established himself in the regional market as a leading sommelier and wine director in the restaurant wine scene.  From 2004 to 2012, Patrick worked in Charleston as the wine and beverage director for four successful restaurants, High Cotton and its sister restaurant in Greenville, Slightly North of Broad and The Old Village Post House. His responsibilities included all staff wine training, teaching wine classes for the public, wine and cocktail list development and hosting special events.

In November 2012, Patrick was voted as the top sommelier in Charleston by national and regional critics and was honored at the highly acclaimed Ultimate Critics Dinner. In addition to wine, his skill at cocktail mixology has won him praise in many publications, including GQ, Southern Living, Food and Wine, Local Palate, Charleston Magazine, City Paper and the Post and Courier. His restaurant wine lists have been awarded 28 Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence.

Patrick has attained his Advanced Sommelier certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers and is a Certified Specialist of Wine. He is also a founding member of the Charleston chapter of the U.S. Bartenders’ Guild.

A native of England, Patrick was a recipient of the prestigious Morehead scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated with a Highest Honors degree in Speech Communications and Dramatic Arts.

Adam Evans

Adam Evans

Owner and Chef of Automatic Seafood and Oyster

Birmingham, Alabama

@adamhevans

Born and raised in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, many of Evans’ early memories revolve around fishing in local waters and tending his grandfather’s garden. Working at local restaurants during his time at Auburn University, Evans then ventured to New Orleans, working at Bacco and La Petite Grocery before heading north in May 2005 to continue his cooking education. 

He spent the next five years at Tom Collichio’s Craft in New York City, eventually earning the title of sous chef until he was relocated to open Craftbar in Atlanta as chef de cuisine.

Shortly after his arrival to Atlanta, Evans made a mark on the city’s culinary landscape through his signature seafood dishes at The Optimist, bringing national recognition such as Esquire’s Restaurant of the Year and one of Bon Appétit’s Top Ten Best New Restaurants.

In 2015 Evans opened Brezza Cucina with Chef Jonathan Waxman, and in 2017 he returned home to Alabama to pursue another dream: owning and operating a restaurant with his wife in Birmingham, Alabama.

Automatic Seafood and Oyster will open in late 2018.

Kelly Fields

Kelly Fields

Chef Partner of Willa Jean

New Orleans, LA

www.willajean.com | @willajeanneworleans

Kelly Fields is the Chef Partner of Willa Jean in New Orleans’ Central Business District. Opened in August 2015 and named for Kelly’s beloved grandmother, Willa Jean celebrates Southern sensibilities with fresh, local ingredients. Kelly and the restaurant have received significant praise in Bon Appétit, Garden & Gun, Saveur, Southern Living, Travel + Leisure, and many other national and local publications. Hailed as one of the “Top Ten Pastry Chefs in America” by Dessert Professional, Kelly was named a semifinalist for the James Beard Award for Outstanding Pastry Chef in 2015 and 2016 and a finalist in 2017 and 2018. In addition to her role at Willa Jean, Kelly is also passionate about inspiring, encouraging, and mentoring the next generation of female chefs, locally and beyond. In 2017, Kelly launched the Yes Ma’am Foundation, which strives to provide opportunities within the restaurant and hospitality industries for women across the South through community engagement, mentorship, and personalized continued education.

Autumn Fleck

Autumn Fleck

Senior on Premise Manager for JUSTIN Vineyards and Landmark Vineyards

Apex, North Carolina

www.justinwine.com | @justinwine

Autumn Fleck’s love for wine began during her studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. With the vineyards of Santa Barbara and nearby Santa Ynez on her back doorstep, she had the opportunity to learn about production and vineyard operations and, of course, to enjoy the delicious fruit of the Central Coast. At the age of 21, she had the opportunity to take her first trip to Napa and solidified her love affair with the wine industry.

While she relocated to the Raleigh area after graduating from UCSB, she knew that someday she would return to California to fully immerse herself in the wine industry. In 2011, she got her chance when her husband’s job relocated them just south of Napa. While in Napa, she worked at Shafer Vineyards in both sales and hospitality. In 2013, Autumn and her husband made the move back to North Carolina, where she has had the opportunity to continue her career in both wine and water sales with JUSTIN Vineyards, Landmark Vineyards and FIJI Water.

Scott Flory

Scott Flory

Director of Sales for Revana Wines

Denver, Colorado

www.revanawine.com | @revanawinery

Scott Flory is the director of sales for Dr. Madaiah Revana’s portfolio of wineries and estates in Napa, Oregon and Argentina. Growing up on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, working in the hospitality industry lead him to find a love and respect for both food and wine. Scott started his career early in distribution in South Carolina where he represented several of the top winery portfolios in the state.

He caught the eye of Dr. Madaiah Revana, world renowned vintner and cardiologist. At the age of 26, he was hired as the director of national sales for Revana Wines where he built on the existing portfolio and introduced Dr. Revana’s newest vineyard, Corazon del Sol. Scott was promoted to vice president of sales in 2016. He currently oversees a team distributed across 47 states and 14 countries. After living across the United States while furthering Doctor Revana’s portfolio, Scott is currently residing Denver, Colorado.

Megan & Colby Garrelts

Megan & Colby Garrelts

Chef and Owners of Rye

Kansas City, MO

www.ryekc.com | @rye_kc

Megan and Colby Garrelts are the chef-owners of Rye Leawood and Rye Plaza, as well as Bluestem, a 2015, 2016, & 2017 James Beard Semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurant, in Kansas City. Chef Colby is a 2013 James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Midwest award winner, 2005 Food & Wine Top 10 Best New Chef and has had his cuisine showcased in the Wall Street Journal and on the cover of Saveur Magazine. Chef Megan is a James Beard Semifinalist for Outstanding Pastry Chef and her recipes have been featured in numerous national publications including Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Wall Street Journal and Saveur.

Bluestem opened in 2004 and showcases Colby’s progressive American cuisine and Megan’s new varieties of American desserts. In 2006, the Garrelts expanded Bluestem and opened a lounge next door to the dining room. With Bluestem, the Garrelts offer a flavorful toast to fine-dining and a marriage of outstanding culinary skills. Their first cookbook, bluestem, the cookbook, which was released in fall 2011, showcases the cuisine featured at the restaurant. In 2015, the Garrelts released their second cookbook, Made in America, which is an ode to the Midwestern cuisine they grew up eating and now serve.

Sarah Gavigan

Sarah Gavigan

Head Chef, Little Octopus

Nashville, TN

www.littleoctopusnashville.com | @lttleoctopus

After 17 years in TV, film and music in Los Angeles, Sarah Gavigan moved back to her home state of Tennessee and quickly realized that, while the pace and community of life in Nashville fit, she missed the sprawling Japanese culture within the pockets of her former home. Gone were the Izakaya and Yakitori joints of Torrance and the Ramen Shops on Sawtelle that Sarah visited nearly once a week during her tenure in Southern California. Without a local source for her beloved Japanese soul food in Nashville, she set out to create a pop-up Ramen Shop that she called OTAKU SOUTH.

Loosely translated, OTAKU is a Japanese word for someone obsessed with a particular aspect of popular culture, sometimes to the detriment of their social skills. Sarah became otaku ramen, and her love and passion would fuel the next chapter of her life and career.

In the summer of 2013, with zero experience in a professional kitchen and no resources to teach her how to make ramen, she taught herself the craft by watching Japanese ramen videos online and by good old trial and error. Soon she received a call from Chef Erik Anderson, one of the opening Chefs of hailed restaurant The Catbird Seat. It took one bowl of Sarah’s ramen for Anderson to realize that Nashville needed to know about her; the OTAKU SOUTH concept would sell out nine dinners in 10 months. At its height, Chef Gavigan and team served 250 bowls of ramen in one night.

In 2014, Gavigan and her husband Brad purchased the space where the OTAKU commissary was located and POP Nashville was born. The space was converted to a multi-use room that would house the OTAKU SOUTH pop-up concept as well as new chefs, cuisines, cultures and innovative ideas. In September 15, the Gavigans moved OTAKU SOUTH to The Gulch neighborhood in Downtown Nashville and re-branded the concept to its current state: OTAKU RAMEN.

In 2016, Sarah and Brad opened Little Octopus, where Sarah spends her days as Head Chef. The concept is a love letter to LA culture; its mission is to bring innovative feel good food and drink to the Nashville community.

Sarah and Brad Gavigan live with their daughter Augusta in East Nashville.

Kenny Gilbert

Kenny Gilbert

Chef/Owner of Gilbert's Southern Kitchen & Bar

Jacksonville, FL

www.gilbertssouthern.com | @chefkennyg

Cooking since he could barely reach the kitchen counter at age three, Chef Kenny Gilbert is best known for his appearance on “Top Chef” Season seven, where he displayed big personality and instantly become one of the most likable cheftestants to date. 

Born and raised in suburban Cleveland, Kenny’s curiosity for the kitchen started young.  His mom noticed how captivated her son was when she cooked or entertained and so in an effort to harness it, began teaching him the basics. Kenny’s father, an avid BBQ man, schooled him in the ways of the grill, including homemade sauces and rubs, presenting him with his very own small Weber at the age of seven.  By age 11 Kenny was cooking the entire Thanksgiving dinner solo, and in high school, was cooking for his entire swim team, before and after practice and meets on a portable electric double burner in the locker room.  Cooking had been in Kenny’s blood from day one and so, while still in high school, he enrolled in a local vocational culinary program.

After high school, Kenny attended The Pennsylvania Culinary Institute where he received a degree in Culinary Arts. Upon graduation, Kenny relocated to Jacksonville, FL, where he joined The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company as an apprentice in the garde manger kitchen of their Amelia Island property.  Kenny worked his way up to Chef de Cuisine at the age of 23 at the Ritz, helping to consistently secure the AAA Five Diamond Award for the property throughout his tenure there.

After a two year stint in Naples, FL, opening Caxambas, a members-only fine dining establishment in the Fiddler’s Creek development, Kenny landed in Sea Island, Georgia where he served as Executive Chef, overseeing all four dining concepts at The Lodge Sea Island Golf Resort.  During his tenure at The Lodge, Kenny had the opportunity to cook for the G8 summit while President Bush was in office.  After Sea Island, Kenny returned to the Ritz-Carlton family, taking the position of Executive Chef at their Jupiter, FL location. It was then onto Telluride, Colorado, where he led the culinary team at The Inn at Lost Creek, one of Conde Nast’s Top 40 Resorts in the US – Kenny would then join the opening team for the new luxury boutique hotel, Capella, under West Paces Hotel Group. 

While working in Colorado, Kenny learned of the open casting call for Bravo’s “Top Chef” season seven.  He auditioned and made the cut.  While he didn’t take home the winning title in DC, he did well in the competition and impressed the judges with his skills and finesse.  

After “Top Chef,” Kenny landed back in Jacksonville, FL, where he designed and opened Caribbean-inspired Nippers Beach Grill.  Within one year of opening, Folio Magazine awarded Kenny Chef of the Year, and Nippers, Best Caribbean Restaurant.  Next up, Kenny made his way to Miami where he served as Corporate Chef for 50 Eggs Restaurant Group and was responsible for organizing and designing the future kitchens and infrastructure for James Beard recognized concepts like Yardbird, Khong River House and Swine.  After Miami, Kenny headed back to the turquoise water and sandy beaches of the Caribbean, working as the Executive Chef at Bajan Blue at Sandy Lane Resort in Barbados (the famous internationally themed restaurant grosses over $10 million in sales annually). 

In 2014, Kenny headed north to Edison, NJ where he served as the Executive Chef of Plainfield Country Club, an elite golf facility that hosts the annual Barclay’s Golf Tournament.  He has now settled back in Jacksonville where he opened Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen with his wife Anna, about a year and a half ago.  UK serves seasonal deep southern cuisine and is located in Fernandina Beach, FL.  This Fall, Kenny and Anna opened their second restaurant, Gilbert’s Social, this time in Jacksonville proper, serving seasonal and creative modern Southern fare with international influences.

Kenny is also a consultant for Micfood, an international company based out of Miami that produces organic tropical packaged goods like Plantains and Yuca, while also lending his expertise to the menu at Boston neighborhood restaurant, Tempo American Bistro.

Over the years, Kenny has developed a passion for herbs and spices, and has paired that passion with his culinary prowess to create Chef Kenny’s Spice Blends, a line of spice blends with equally big personality. The product line, which includes Jerk Spice, Raging Cajun and Cinnamon Coffee Rub, is used by luxury hotel brands including The Lodge at Sea Island Company and the Omni Amelia Island Hotel and Resort. The line of spice blends is also available for purchase at www.chefkennygilbert.com, or at Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen.

Throughout his career, Kenny has traveled the world, staging in some of the top restaurants in Japan, Spain, France and the Caribbean.  He has cooked at the James Beard House, participated in wine & food festivals around the country, cooked for the Sports Illustrated Super Bowl party and appeared on the “Today Show,” Jacksonville’s FOX 30 and in the LA Times. Kenny has also recently penned his first book titled, A Chef’s Journal. He has cooked for the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Gayle King, Stedman Graham, Samuel L. Jackson and A.J Calloway, just to name a few.  Kenny has competed on and won Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen,” and beat Chef Bobby Flay at his own game on “Beat Bobby Flay.”

With over 20 years of professional experience in the food & beverage industry, Kenny has run just about every area of Food & Beverage Divisions at the AAA Five Diamond and Mobile Five Star levels. His passion for fine dining is complemented by his vast experience across the entire spectrum of the culinary industry. From banquets to pastries, club and restaurant design to bar and lounge concepts, Kenny’s innovative and creative approach to the restaurant and hospitality industries is unmatched.

Steven Devereaux Greene

Steven Devereaux Greene

Executive Chef of The Umstead Hotel and Spa

Cary, NC

www.theumstead.com | @devereauxgreene

Steven Devereaux Greene is executive chef of The Umstead Hotel and Spa, a Cary, NC, hotel lauded for its progressive American regional cuisine. He is responsible for all food and beverage operations, including Herons restaurant, The Bar & Lounge, and catering. Greene’s passion for using ingredients and products from the rich Piedmont region to drive beautifully refined culinary experiences is evident daily in The Umstead’s award-winning dining program. One of the country’s youngest executive chefs to helm the kitchen of a Forbes Five Star or AAA Five Diamond establishment, Greene has been a 2016 and 2017 semifinalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Best Chef: Southeast” award. Esteemed restaurant critic John Mariani has noted, “Herons matches everything else of quality at The Umstead, but stands as a culinary beacon in the entire region, a restaurant of great generosity and elegant proof of fine dining's enduring pleasures.”

Greene’s tenure with The Umstead began in 2009. During his post as chef de cuisine, Greene guided Herons to its first Forbes Five Star rating. In 2012, Greene departed to hone his skills as executive chef of Cary’s New World Cuisine, a restaurant that shares ownership with The Umstead. Under Greene’s direction, it received five stars from The News & Observer and was named among “the Triangle’s crème de la crème.” Greene returned to manage The Umstead’s culinary operations in 2014 and continues to provide creative leadership as its culinary director.

His background includes work in some of the country’s most celebrated kitchens. After serving as chef de cuisine at the Dining Room at Woodlands Resort and Inn in Summerville, SC, Greene was inspired to open his namesake restaurant, Devereaux’s, which quickly became a mainstay in Greenville, SC. Devereaux’s would ultimately join the prestigious ranks of the Table 301 Restaurant Group to make way for Greene’s first post with The Umstead. Named a “Rising Star” by Restaurant Hospitality in 2008, Greene has twice cooked at the prestigious James Beard House in New York, representing Herons in 2011 and Devereaux’s in 2007.

Greene is the consummate Southern gentleman and hails from Ninety Six, SC. He lives in Morrisville, NC, with his wife, and beyond family and food, his next great passion is guitar, which he has played for more 25 years.

Eileen Hallmark

Eileen Hallmark

The Sorting Table

Atlanta, Georgia

www.thesortingtable.com | @thesortingtable

A native of Alabama, Eileen Hallmark has over 25 years of experience as a wine professional. She started in the wine industry at her parents’ business, Quality Wines in North Alabama. She left Alabama for the experience of a lifetime to become the original wine manager for the largest wine distributor in the United States, Southern Wine and Spirits for their new Hawaii division. After several years in Hawaii she returned to the South to become part of the Vineyard Brands team where she spent nearly 17 years, finishing as a senior vice president of sales.

In her spirit of always learning and growing, Eileen accepted a position with an up and coming importer, The Sorting Table based out of Napa, California in January of 2016. The Sorting Table represents over 30 artisanal wineries from around the globe with a core vision of representing terroir-driven estates who own and manage their vineyards, control every step of the winemaking process and are considered an archetype or benchmark for their region. Eileen currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Drew Hendricks

Drew Hendricks

Director of Business Development at Republic National Distributing Company

Houston, Texas

www.rndc-usa.com | @rndc_usa

Drew’s passion for wine and food was started while living in Germany and serving in the Army and continued to develop in Culinary School. His interest in wine and service have led him on an interesting career path. Prior to joining Republic National Drew was the vice president of sales and marketing for Standard Beverage, Rudd Oakville Estate and Distillery No. 209 Gin. Before that he was the corporate director of wine for Pappas Restaurants in Houston where he oversaw wine and education in over 60 restaurants.

Under Drew’s’ direction both Pappas Brothers Steakhouses won the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award. Drew was named one of the "Best New Sommeliers of 2005" by Wine and Spirits. In 2007 he took first place International Chaine des Rotisseurs Young Sommelier Competition. And in 2008 he went on to pass the rigorous Master Sommelier Exam.

Recognizing there was a need for more camaraderie and education in the sommelier world, Drew cofounded the TEXSOM Conference with James Tidwell, MS which celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2014. Most recently TEXSOM rebranded the 30-year-old Dallas Morning News Wine Competition as the TEXSOM International Wine Awards. Drew now lives in Wichita, Kansas with his wife, Meredith, and their two children.

Kay Heritage

Kay Heritage

Founder of Big Bon Pizza

Savannah, GA

www.bigbonpizza.com | @bigbonpizza

We believe good things happen around good food.That’s why Kay and Anna, a Korean mother - daughter duo, teamed up and dove into the pizza business. 

Infusing classic Italian flavors with a Korean flair, we handcraft delicious pizzas from a wood fire oven on wheels. Let’s get back to slow food, fast friendship and long-lasting community, one warm slice at a time.

Tom Hines

Tom Hines

Trinchero Family Estates

Napa Valley, California

www.tfewines.com | @tfewines

Tom Hines has close to 35 years of experience in the wine industry. Since 2005, he has been the South Carolina district manager for Trinchero Family Estates, one of the leading producers of fine wines. Prior to joining Trinchero, he held progressively responsible sales and management positions with Southern Wine & Spirits of South Carolina and Pearlstine Distributors and has been involved in the management of several fine dining restaurants on Hilton Head Island.

A West Virginia University alumnus, Tom is a Certified Specialist of Wine through the National Society of Wine Education and is the current President of the nationally recognized Hilton Head Island Wine & Food Festival, where he has served as a judge for its annual wine competition. During his tenure as president, the Festival expanded to include educational events, celebrity chef dinners and a grand tasting. For both business and pleasure, Tom has toured some of the top wine producing regions of the world, including Argentina, Chile, Spain and France, as well as the Oregon, Washington State and California wine country.

Lee Hudson

Lee Hudson

Founder of Hudson Vineyards

Napa, California

www.hudsonranch.com | @hudsonnapavalley

Lee Hudson was born in Houston, Texas and attended the University of Arizona where he earned a degree in horticulture. After college, Lee worked for Domain Dujac in Morey St. Denis, Burgundy. He came to California in 1977 to study viticulture and enology at U.C. Davis. Following his graduate studies, he moved to the Willamette Valley in Oregon to work for a small vineyard and winery. In 1981 he returned to California to found Hudson Vineyards.

Hudson Vineyards spans 160-acres on both Huichica and Carneros Creeks North of Highway 121/12 in Napa, Carneros. The vineyard grows five white varieties and seven red varieties and sells to 30 different wineries.   

Recently, Lee has sought to diversify his agricultural pursuits by producing a small quantity of wine under the Hudson Vineyards label and has been growing produce and raising pigs and poultry under the name Hudson Ranch. 

Kyle Jacovino

Kyle Jacovino

Chef Proprietor of 1540 Room

Savannah, GA

www.1540savannah.com | @1540room

Kyle Jacovino began his culinary career in 2005 in the garde manger position at the Nemacolin resort outside Pittsburgh, a five-star, five-diamond rated resort. In 2007 he became the sous chef at Mirbeau Inn, New York, a four-star, four-diamond rated resort. Then in 2010 he linked up with renowned chef Hugh Acheson at Restaurant Eugene in Atlanta, working under Executive Chef Ryan Smith. Restaurant Eugene was named the Best Restaurant Atlanta 2010 during his tenure. Recognizing his growing star, Acheson named Kyle the Executive Sous Chef at Empire State South in 2011 under Chef Ryan Smith/ Chef Hugh Acheson. Empire State South was also named Best New Restaurant 2011 too.

Kyle then extended his culinary studies by spending six months in Italy, studying traditional Italian cooking and traveling. During his time there he visited Napoli, Bologna, Venezia, Porretta Terme, studying under the Valdiserri Family. Returning to the U.S. in 2013, he became the Executive Chef at Five & Ten in Athens, GA, also owned by Hugh Acheson. Setting his sights on Savannah, Acheson and Kyle teamed up to open The Florence, where Kyle developed the menu concept, ran the day to day operations, and served as the executive chef. In 2017, he opened the 1540 Room in the newly renovated Desoto Hotel as the chef proprietor.

Matt Jording

Matt Jording

Executive Chef/Owner of The Sage Room

Hilton Head Island, SC

www.thesageroom.com | @mattmx727

Matt Jording, executive chef and owner of Sage Room, was born in Omaha, NE, and grew up in Fairfax, VA. Matt is a self-taught chef who began traveling early on to define his own way of cooking. Matt moved to Hilton Head in 1995 and worked at local restaurants until he opened Sage Room in March of 2002. He built his kitchen in the middle of the restaurant with a ten seat chef’s counter surrounding it. Matt’s intention was to give his customers a one-on-one dining experience. It worked! The chef's counter has proven to be the most popular and memorable place in the restaurant. From prep to plate, everything is done in this extremely open kitchen for all to see. 

Amelia Keefe

Amelia Keefe

Head Brewer at River Dog Brewing

Bluffton, South Carolina

www.riverdogbrewing.com | @riverdogbrew

Amelia graduated from the American Brewers Guild’s Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering program and was inaugurated a member of the Guild in 2015. While pursuing her passion for beer, she studied science and traveled overseas, where she developed a love of traditional, historic styles of beer. Her deep understanding of recipe formulation and food pairings is evidenced in her richly‐flavored craft brews.

After growing up in the artsy little town of Easton, PA, Amelia moved to beautiful Bluffton, South Carolina where she serves as the head brewer at River Dog Brewing. Founded in 2012 by the Gray Family, River Dog Brewing has managed to make a splash in the rising tide of the Southern craft beer scene. Under Amelia’s direction, they’ve created an exceptional menu of hand‐crafted, nationally‐recognized and award‐winning beers.

When not brewing delicious beers, Amelia can be found exploring the waterways of the Lowcountry. She loves to fish and forage and enjoys experimenting with local farm‐fresh produce in her kitchen, where she is known to brew a wicked fermented hot sauce. Amelia is proud to be one of the nation’s few female Head Brewers and works to inspire other young women to become leading ladies in craft beer.

Jeff Kellogg

Jeff Kellogg

Owner of Kellogg Selections

Charlotte, North Carolina

www.kelloggwineselections.com

In 2004, Jeff moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, and began working for the restaurant group 131 Main. Over the next six years, Jeff helped the group open four new restaurant locations and a wine bar, serving initially as a manager and eventually running the group’s wine program.

Feeling ready to further his wine education, Jeff took a job as sommelier at the historic Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. There, Jeff reveled in the Greenbrier’s renowned culture of hospitality, but as he fell deeper in love with wine, he wanted to learn about winemaking up-close.

In 2011, he moved to Napa to work the harvest and as a sommelier at several Napa restaurants including the Michelin-starred Redd and La Toque. In September 2012, he moved north to work the harvest at Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla, Washington before relocating to San Francisco to become a sommelier at RN74, Michael Mina’s wine bar and restaurant. 

In June 2013, he moved across the country yet again to become the wine director at Danny Meyer's Italian concept, Maialino. In less than four years, Jeff put together one of the great Italian programs in the country, sharing his passion for aged Italian wines with guests and staff. His work with the program at Maialino led him to be names one of Wine and Spirits Best New Sommeliers in 2014, and a Food and Wine Magazine Sommelier of the Year in 2016. 

After a brief stint at Quince in San Francisco, in 2017 Jeff and his wife Stephanie returned to where they met, Charlotte, North Carolina to start their own wine distribution business, Kellogg Selections. The distributor highlights Italy, Champagne and California, taking advantage of relationships and knowledge built over a career.

Meredith Sutton and Kevin Ryan

Meredith Sutton and Kevin Ryan

Co-Founders of Service Brewing Company

Savannah, Georgia

servicebrewing.com | @servicebrewing

Service Brewing was seeded by passion, literally: It all began on Valentine’s Day, when Kevin received a gift from his lady love, Meredith.  An artist constantly seeking to imbue life with inspiration, Meredith had asked Kevin what interests he had outside of cycling, and finely-crafted beer topped the list. Instead of his favorite six-pack, however, she brought him home brewing supplies. After an obsessive practice period, Kevin’s tasty brews found their way into the glasses of friends and family.

The West Point graduate and former Army commander had also been seeking something more from his career, and in 2014 the couple launched Service Brewing with the help of almost two dozen investors–most of them Army, Navy and Marine Corps veterans. Kevin leads the company, continuing to develop recipes and research the craft. Meredith, a Savannah College of Art and Design graduate, designed the stunning Savannah tasting room based off of the stories Kevin told about his military experience and has creatively built the brand to pay homage to American military history.

With the help of an eager and thirsty community, Service Brewing has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for local, regional and national organizations that assist our veterans and first responders.

Partners in life and in business, Kevin and Meredith remain passionate about brewing great beer and honoring those who serve.

Selina King

Selina King

Founder of Selina King Jewelry

New York City, New York and Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

www.selinaking.com | @selinakingjewelry

Growing up on Hilton Head Island, Selina King always had a great appreciation for the natural beauty of the Lowcountry - the majestic oak trees, salt marshes and tranquil waves of the Atlantic.

Those Southern roots, along with her Native American and Sephardic Jewish heritage, her bohemian upbringing and a healthy dose of creativity passed down from her parents, have all shaped who she is today. They have also inspired her line of jewelry, which is loved by women of all ages and backgrounds around the world.

At the age of 18, King moved to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design on a full scholarship and began a career in the fashion industry. After years of working in the corporate world, King began selling vintage clothing at a flea market in the East Village. During that time, she began transforming vintage jewelry into more modern pieces.

King continued making jewelry for years, while working other jobs in fashion styling. She soon realized creating jewelry was her true passion. Not much of a surprise there as her father was a skilled jeweler; the talent must be in her blood.

King decided to leave the fashion world altogether and launched Selina King Jewelry in 2009. She apprenticed with master metalsmiths in Georgia, South Carolina and California, and now designs and creates her own pieces by hand.

King has recently expanded her brand to include handcrafted fine jewelry and custom engagement rings. Her jewelry is created with vintage, ethically sourced stones. King employs ethical practices in all of her work. She works with a combination of metals, including 14 karat gold, sterling silver and brass, as well as natural gemstones, such as moonstone, clear quartz and turquoise.

Characterized by a spare, graphic elegance, King’s pieces are both contemporary and evocative of artifacts unearthed from ancient times. Her versatile pieces have an effortless fluidity and can be worn on their own or layered with other pieces and styles.

King now has studios in both Brooklyn and Hilton Head, where she spits her time with her artist husband of 22 years. Her southern studio is nestled on a dirt road, on the same property where she was raised, and she still uses some of her father’s old tools to create jewelry.

King’s experience working in high fashion has helped her develop her own personal style and a desire for quality-crafted pieces. Her Lowcountry roots have kept her grounded and loyal to the place she will forever call home.

Bryce Knott

Bryce Knott

Executive Chef of a.Lure

Savannah, Georgia

aluresavannah.com | @aluresavannah

Chef Bryce Knott is a classic case of starting from the bottom and working one's way to the very top. He began his journey as a dishwasher and is now Executive Chef at a.Lure restaurant. Knott brings a unique perspective and in depth culinary expertise to Lowcountry cuisine. A chef who is eager to learn, he has certainly mastered his own craft and style. a.Lure's contemporary, award-winning approach to classic Southern recipes is rooted in a passion for fresh seafood. From pan-seared grouper, to a Lowcountry boil, the preparation is always inspired. Located right next to City Market, a.Lure is a modern, yet classic Lowcountry staple. Comforted with classic, white tablecloths, black napkins, and a bar with warm blue lighting, a sense of intimacy allows customers to be more engaged with their dining experience. 

Geoff Labitzke

Geoff Labitzke

Director of Sales and Marketing of Kistler Vineyards

Sebastopol, CA

www.kistlervineyards.com

Geoff Labitzke is the Director of Sales and Marketing for Kistler Vineyards.  Kistler Vineyards is an artisan winery dedicated to producing world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using old world Burgundian techniques.  Kistler has consistently produced some of the best California examples of these varieties for over 30 years. 

Geoff began his career as a retailer in Southern California in 1978.  For five years Geoff managed Bradley’s Liquor in Tustin, California. At the time, the Orange County Fair Wine competition was perhaps the nation’s most prestigious wine judging event. All of the commercial wine judges were either owners or winemakers.  Geoff would later judge amateur wines at the Orange County Fair.  Geoff also was a guest speaker at wine classes at Saddleback College and Orange Coast College.  In 1983 Geoff became Director of Marketing at Hi-Time Cellars.  He organized the Newport Harbor Art Museum’s wine auction and wrote a weekly wine column for the Orange County Daily Pilot. While at Hi Time Cellars, Geoff created a wine sales and presentation course for restaurant servers.

In 1986, Geoff went to work for Wine Warehouse, a Los Angeles based fine wine and beer wholesaler.  After developing a sales territory in Anaheim, Geoff was promoted to Beer Division Manager.  Geoff conducted dinners, educational seminars and staff trainings with some of the greatest beers in the world.  Geoff introduced new brands such as Chimay, and Spaten to Wine Warehouse.  Geoff also drafted analyses and business plans reintroducing draught beer to the company and expanding beer distribution statewide. Despite his success in the craft beer business, Geoff was still passionate about wine. In 1989 Geoff attained the Certified Wine Educator credential from the Society of Wine Educators.  Geoff would later serve on the Society’s board of Directors and he chaired the annual conference held in Sonoma.  In 1989, Geoff earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing at the California State University, Fullerton.

In 1991 Geoff relocated to Northern California and went to work for Vineyard Brands, a prestigious national wine importer. As Pacific Northwest Regional Manager, he was overseeing business development in 6 states.  During that period, Geoff represented some of the greatest Burgundies in the world as well as prominent brands from Europe.  In 1995, Geoff was recruited by Wine Warehouse to be Imports Manager for Northern California.  There he worked with top wines from Bordeaux, Burgundy, Australia, Italy and Champagne. While at Wine Warehouse, Geoff increased imported wine sales to $25M and was instrumental in developing the Riedel glassware business throughout Northern California.

In 2000, Geoff become the Imports Manager for Young’s Market Company.  Young’s had just created the Estates Group, a division dedicated to fine wine.  There he oversaw imported wine sales for the state of California and directed wine and sales education for the entire company.  During his tenure, Geoff introduced a portfolio of direct imports which became a major profit generator for the Estates Group amongst a group of 60 suppliers. Geoff also directed sales of Bordeaux futures and executed pre-arrival wine offerings to all business channels. In 2006, Geoff was one of two Americans to pass the rigorous Master of Wine examination.  Currently there are only 35 Masters of Wine in the United States.  In 2016 Geoff attained his MBA from Sonoma State University. 

Geoff remains dedicated to the world of wine.  At Kistler Geoff mentors sommeliers nationally and assists in their professional development.  Geoff has been a speaker at the Society of Wine Educators conference and TexSom, a national sommelier convention in Dallas.  Geoff directs national and international business for Kistler Vineyards and is implementing strategic initiatives for future business development.

Raymond Lammers

Raymond Lammers

Executive Sous Chef of Palmetto Bluff

Bluffton, SC

www.montagehotels.com/palmettobluff | @montagepalmettobluff

Raymond Lammers is Executive Sous Chef at Montage Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina. With nearly three decades of culinary experience with a high concentration in pastry, Lammers oversees all day to day resort culinary operations including River House and Buffalo’s, as well as in-room dining, private dining and on-property culinary events. Also integral to his role is overseeing management and staff training.

Lammers joined Montage Palmetto Bluff in 2015 following five years at Montage Deer Valley where, as opening Executive Pastry Chef, he assisted the resort’s Executive Chef in implementing and overseeing key culinary operations. He joined Montage from Stein Eriksen Lodge, a Five-Star/Five-Diamond resort in Park City, Utah, where as Executive Pastry Chef for close to a decade he created menus, recipe books, showpieces and art carvings and oversaw the chocolate program.

Lammers previously was the Pastry Chef for cruise liners Seabourn Goddess I and II; Chef de Partie in the pastry shop of Amstel InterContinental Hotel Amsterdam, whose gourmet restaurant La Rive had two Michelin Stars; and opening Pastry Cook at Salon de Thé Van Straaten, a subsidiary of highly rated Patisserie Van Straaten in Amsterdam. The Salon was the last of several pasty shops to engage Lammers’ talent over the first decade of his career.

In 2005, Lammers was on the Silver Award-winning team at the Amoretti National Pastry Team Championship held at J.W. Marriott Desert Ridge Resort and Spa in Phoenix. In 2009, he was honored as one of the country’s Top 10 Pastry Artisans by Dessert Professional magazine.

A native of the Netherlands, Lammers earned diplomas in pastry from De Berkhoff School for Food and Beverage Professionals and College for Food and Beverage Professions, both in Amsterdam. He has continued to develop his craft with professional courses over the years. During downtime away from the pastry kitchen, Lammers enjoys traveling, scuba diving, engaging in home improvement and pursuing personal development.

Hugues Le Berre

Hugues Le Berre

Director of Food and Beverage at Alys Beach

Alys Beach, Florida

www.alysbeach.com | @alysbeach

Hugues Le Berre knew he was destined for a life in restaurants after spending his childhood days playing in the kitchen at renowned restaurant Roseraie de Bel Air in Brittany, France, which was owned by close family friends. At 17, he started his journey into the hospitality industry working as a server at Roseraie de Bel Air while studying for his hospitality degree at Lycee Chaptal. After graduation Le Berre went on to serve in the French Navy as a headwaiter for a commander.

From there, Le Berre relocated to England and joined Chef Michel Roux’s team at The Waterside Inn, a three Michelin starred restaurant in Berkshire County. He started as a food runner and worked his way up to server. 18 months later, he moved to South Africa and joined the team at the Relais Gourmand Bosman Restaurant of The Grande Roche Hotel Relais & Chateaux, where he was promoted from server to assistant manager within a year and then to restaurant manager shortly after. During this time, Le Berre completed his wine certification at Cape Wine Academy. During the summer of 1999, he moved to Switzerland to work for another Relais & Chateaux, Le Vieux Manoir au Lac.

In 2000, Le Berre was offered the opportunity to come to the U.S. for the first time, working for the Woodlands Inn in Summerville, South Carolina. He started as the manager for the AAA Five Diamond restaurant and was eventually promoted to Director of Food and Beverage. In 2004, Woodlands Inn became one of only three hotels in the nation to earn the Forbes Five Star and AAA Five Diamond awards for lodging and dining.

In 2009, Le Berre followed Woodlands General Manager Marty Wall to Palmetto Bluff in Bluffton, South Carolina where he worked under Director of Food and Beverage Jeremy Walton and managed club and resorts, four restaurants, room service, two pools, and wedding and catering operations. Having worked with Walton for many years, Le Berre jumped at the opportunity to join Walton in Alys Beach, Florida, and became the community’s Director of Food and Beverage in 2016. In his role, Le Berre works closely with Walton to develop the town’s dining concepts and oversee existing food and beverage operations on property.

When not at Alys Beach, Le Berre enjoys spending time exploring his new home in Northwest Florida, as well as furthering his passion for wine by continuing his education and exploring new wines.

Jamie Lynch

Jamie Lynch

Executive Chef/Partner of 5 Church

Charlotte, NC

www.5churchcharlotte.com | @chefjamielynch

Jamie Lynch’s affinity for the restaurant business began when he was only 16 years old, working his first job as a dishwasher at a local bar and grill in a Massachusetts fishing town.

“I fell in love with the intense, high-octane kitchen life there,” he says. “That’s where it all started.”A New York native who spent many of his formative years in Massachusetts and Florida, Lynch moved to New Hampshire after graduating high school and began working at a from-scratch Mexican restaurant learning the nuances of cooking. After studying knife skills and how to approach different flavors, Lynch’s passion for food was solidified. “It was the only thing that came naturally to me, and that catapulted me into fine food and upscale kitchens.” While attending the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont, Lynch completed an externship at Aqua in San Francisco under famed chef Michael Mina. Cooking at Mina’s four-star restaurant fueled Lynch’s desire to train under the highest caliber of chefs possible. After graduating, Lynch returned to New York City, where he was offered a prestigious position at Le Cirque 2000 in The Palace Hotel. He polished his technique while working under chef Andrew Carmellini, who would become his longtime mentor. Lynch continued his training as a saucier at Charlie Palmer’s Aureole before reconnecting with Carmellini at Café Boulud. Over the course of the next two years, he worked his way through Café Boulud’s kitchen before taking a sous chef position at Tocqueville in Union Square. Then, the events of 9/11 brought him down South, forever changing his culinary style. Upon moving to Charlotte in 2002, Lynch worked at Ethan’s, a new American bistro, and met farmer Sammy Koenigsberg of New Town Farms. “Seeing his produce, the chickens he was raising and the flavors he was cultivating from the earth just blew my mind,” Lynch recalls. “Before I knew it I was spending all my days off there to help. My attention shifted to the product and how it got to the plate.” Lynch’s relationship with Charlotte’s sustainable farming community and the local dining culture grew from there, and in 2012 he accomplished his dream of starting his own restaurant with the opening of 5Church in the heart of Uptown Charlotte. Lynch has since garnered many accolades, such as Charlotte Magazine’s Best Chef award in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2018. Lynch considers himself lucky to be part of the “eclectic bunch” of partners behind 5Church and uses this as inspiration for his food. “I don’t stick to one particular type of cuisine; it’s more of a hybrid of flavors from all over the world because it’s important to me that my menus speak to the diversity of our group,” he says. “I try to create dishes that excite the palate and are visually appealing, but I use traditional techniques to tie everything together.”

With the opening of the 5Church location in Charleston, South Carolina, he makes his mark in the two markets by offering both signature dishes as well as items that speak to each city’s geographical differences, from more meat-centric meals in Charlotte to a larger seafood selection in Charleston. Catering to these local tendencies also enables Lynch to remain true to his philosophy of showcasing the ingredients rather than overproducing them.

In his spare time, Lynch enjoys riding motorcycles and spending time with his 12-year-old son, who has grown up in 5Church’s kitchen and already displays a strong work ethic just like his father’s.

Andre Mack

Andre Mack

Sommelier-At-Large, Maker of Maison Noir Wines

maisonnoirwines.com | @andrehmack

Iconoclastic sommelier André Hueston Mack was the first African-American to be named Best Young Sommelier in America by Chaine des Rotisseurs. He was a sommelier at Thomas Keller’s renowned French Laundry before opening Chef Keller’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Per Se. As one of the top professionals in the wine industry he has worked with the likes of Amazon, Cadillac, Ebay, National Rental Car and Microsoft and has appeared on Anthony Bourdain's “The Taste” and NBC’s “Uncorked.”

In 2007, he founded Maison Noir Wines which incorporated his trademark attitude and personal perspective on wine subculture. Mack produces 40,000 cases which can be found in the best restaurants and retail stores in 45 states and 11 countries.

A self-taught graphic designer, Mack designs his own labels as well as a t-shirt line for Maison Noir Wines. Additionally, he authored and illustrated Small Thyme Cooks, the world’s first culinary coloring and activity book. Currently with Abrams Books, Mack is writing a memoir with a focus on the wines which have featured prominently in his life.

Jordan Mackay

Jordan Mackay

Writer

Napa Valley, CA

@jorgrama

Jordan Mackay is a James-Beard-award winning writer on wine, spirits and food. His work has appeared in Food & Wine, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Decanter, The Art of Eating, Wine and Spirits, and many others. His first book, Passion for Pinot, was published in 2009, and his second, Secrets of the Sommeliers (with Rajat Parr), was released in October 2010, winning a James Beard award in 2011. Two in the Kitchen was published in 2012. Franklin Barbecue (with Aaron Franklin) was released in April, 2015 and spent many weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. Knife, written with chef John Tesar, was released in May 2017 by Flatiron Press.  His new book, The Sommelier’s Atlas of Taste, comes out October of 2018.  Jordan lives in Napa Valley and travels extensively, speaking about wine, spirits and food.

Amanda Mathis

Amanda Mathis

Owner of Salt & Shore

Savannah, Georgia

www.saltandshorecompany.com | @saltandshore

Amanda Mathis is the Owner of Salt & Shore Company, an artisan candle company producing small batch, hand poured candles made from 100% all natural soy wax and ingredients.

Located in Savannah, Georgia, Salt and Shore has grown throughout the Lowcountry and Coastal Empire, offering healthy, safe candles with scents inspired by the Georgia and South Carolina coast.

Amanda created Salt & Shore Company in 2017 with the dedication to bring consumers a quality candle that is safe to burn at a reasonable price. Understanding that scents can evoke an emotion, Amanda strives to curate collections that help create moments and memories that give consumers a feeling of home.

Amanda is a native to Hilton Head Island and a graduate of Auburn University, where she studied Marketing and Communication. Prior to launching Salt & Shore, Mandy worked as an Account Manager for national and international marketing and advertising agencies Her experience in the creative arts industry combined with her passion for design and advertising, contributed to the creation of her own company and unique brand.

 

Inspired by the culture, food, people and lifestyle, Mandy follows her heart in creating the right fragrances to enlighten all the senses.

 

Ryan McCarthy

Ryan McCarthy

Owner/Chef of Downtown Catering Company

Bluffton, SC

www.downtowncateringcompany.com | @downtowncateringcompany

Downtown Catering Company is an award-winning catering service that has been servicing Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Beaufort and Charleston, South Carolina, as well as Savannah and Augusta, Georgia for over 14 years. 

Husband and wife team, Ryan and Leah McCarthy (he’s the chef, she’s the planner) have a large staff of dedicated professionals to tend to just about every event need. We cater for Events, Weddings, Parties, Private Chef Services, Corporate Events and Golf Tournament Catering. 

Chef Ryan and his wife have been local owners/operators of The Downtown Deli for the past 14 years. We provide the residents and visitors to Historic Bluffton with the freshest, most delicious food imaginable. That is why we have been voted “Best Deli” “Best Lunch” and “Best Sandwiches” each year since 2002!  They recently relocated their catering and sandwich shop operations to 1223 May River Road.  Their new location also has a private event space, “Venue 1223” an inside and outside area for parties up with to 250 guests!

Ryan McCarthy attended Paul Smith’s University, NY for culinary arts and relocated to Hilton Head from Vernon Center, NY, in 1998 where he worked as Sous Chef for Colleton River Plantation. Ryan has been working in food and beverage since 1995. He has three children, ages 13, 11 and 4, and is passionate and dedicated to high quality food and service.

Emily McCarthy

Emily McCarthy

Founder of Emily McCarthy

Savannah, GA

www.emilymccarthy.com | @emilymccarthyshoppe

There is no room for bore in the colorful life of Emily McCarthy. Small town girl turned coastal living designer, you'll be in for a treat to the senses in her world of geometric patterns and prosecco (don't forget a dash of cheetah). As she resides in Savannah, Georgia with her college sweetheart turned husband and little red-headed, blue-eyed babes. Coastal living gives her life. As a graduate with a BA in Graphic Design and Photography from LaGrange College in LaGrange, Georgia, she's been an active member of the gift and paper industry for over 10 years. Throughout her tenure she's had the experience of working in small independent retail, direct wholesale, large corporate retail, and boutique design. This experience brings knowledge of all things weddings, paper and branding, and it's an honor to offer it to her clients. Now she's opened the doors to her own flagship store in historic downtown Savannah. Her popular online presence is now a real life sensory experience right on Abercorn Street.  Within the walls of The Shoppe you'll find items and designs reminiscent of Emily's inspirations, loves, passions and things that simply make her smile. 

 

David McCarus

David McCarus

Founders of McCarus Beverage Company

Charleston, SC

www.mccarusbeverage.com | @mccarusbeverage

Beginning in 2013, the McCarus Beverage Company has slowly grown focusing on representing a cohesive family of producers both domestic and international. McCarus Beverage Company imports and distributes wines from California, France, Spain, and Italy’s star producers each of whom share a strong respect for terroir; focused on natural, organic or biodynamic practices in their vineyards. With each producer adding their own personality to the MBC family they all have one characteristic in common, they produce beautifully precise wines of place. "To say the least, we are simply honored to work with each of our producers and to have the opportunity of introducing South Carolina to some of the world’s greatest wines and winemakers. For us, this is the ultimate gift.” - David and Matt McCarus

Rob McDaniel

Rob McDaniel

General Manager and Executive Chef of SpringHouse

Alabama City, AL

www.springhouseatcrossroads.com | @robmcdaniel1

Rob McDaniel is General Manager and Executive Chef of SpringHouse at Russell Lands On Lake Martin, Alabama.

After graduating from Auburn University with a Bachelor’s in hotel and restaurant management and New England Culinary Institute, McDaniel trained under prestigious chefs such as Johnny Earles at Criolla’s, Chris Hastings at Hot & Hot Fish Club and Drew Robinson at Jim ‘N Nick’s BBQ. During his time in these kitchens, McDaniel’s passion for Southern foods, foraging, and sustainability evolved into the culinary style that he is known for today.

Since accepting the position at SpringHouse in 2009, McDaniel diligently works to ensure the seasonally based menu stays true to the region’s local flavors and cuisine. In 2012, McDaniel additionally assumed the role of general manager for Kowaliga Restaurant at Russell Lands On Lake Martin.

As a five-time James Beard Best Chef South semi-finalist, McDaniel has been honored as Auburn University’s 2012 Outstanding Hotel and Restaurant Management Program Alumnus and the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce Chamber Business Person of the Year for 2017.

When McDaniel isn’t in the kitchen, his world is consumed by his and his wife Emily’s young twin daughters, Rosemary and Amelia.

Andrew McNamara

Andrew McNamara

Vice President of Wine Development and Master Sommelier for Breakthru Beverage Group

Tampa, FL

www.breakthrubev.com | @breakthrubeveragegroup

Andy is the Vice President of Wine Development and Master Sommelier for Breakthru Beverage Group. McNamara oversees the Luxury Wine Team and Augustan Wine Imports in Florida. He works closely with Breakthru’s suppliers and customers to strengthen relationships. He also provides education to both Breakthru’s Sales Associates and customers.

 

Prior to joining Breakthru Beverage Florida, McNamara was a member of the sommelier team at the Breakers in Palm Beach, Florida. While at the Breakers, Andrew passed the Court of Master Sommeliers Advanced Sommelier Examination in 2005. Following this achievement, Andrew competed in the finals of the Chain de Rotisseuers Best Young Sommelier in America competition in the summer of 2006. Following this, Andrew passed the Master Sommelier Diploma Examination in March of 2007, where he became the 10th person to win the Krug Cup – awarded to the individual who passes the Master Sommelier Exam on the first attempt with the highest score; there are now just 13 other individuals who hold that accolade.

 

He was named one of the "Best New Sommeliers of 2008" by Wine and Spirits, and has been a featured presenter at TEXSOM, Palm Beach Wine and Food Festival, Kapalua Wine and Food Festival, Charlotte Wine and Food Festival and numerous others.

 

McNamara served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers, Americas from 2015 through 2017. Andrew previously served as Chair of the Education Committee for the Court. He has also previously served on the Board of Directors for the Guild of Sommeliers.

 

McNamara got his start in the wine business at Arthur’s Wine Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Davidson College in Davidson, NC.

Quintin Middleton

Quintin Middleton

Founder of Middleton Made Knives

St. Stephens, South Carolina

www.middletonmadeknives.com | @middletonmadeknives

Mr. Middleton has been producing knives since 2003 and has had the fortune to be mentored by fellow South Carolina master bladesmith, Jason Knight. Jason calls Quintin “the GQ craftsman. Full of artistry, craftsmanship and style.” Other influences found in Quintin's work include greats such as Jerry Hucks, Michael Rader, and the legendary Bob Kramer.

Using high carbon stainless steel, each knife is custom made to the exact specifications requested by each customer. Quintin puts great care into each piece and he stands by the simple philosophy that every great chef needs a great knife, at a great price.

“Passion and skill. In every knife.” - Quintin Middleton

Thaddeus Miller

Thaddeus Miller

Sommelier and Head of Wine at Farm

Bluffton, South Carolina

www.farmbluffton.com | @farmbluffton

Thaddeus grew up in Marietta, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta. Introduced to the industry by his uncle who works for a beverage distributor, he worked several odd jobs until finding his niche. He happened upon that opportunity when he met Jeff Ingram, a young sommelier opening his own restaurant, The Brickyard. Jeff was willing to share his knowledge and Thaddeus had a passion for learning every aspect of the restaurant business. His diligence and desire were rewarded when he became a partner in the business and later, earned his certification as a sommelier. Thaddeus has served as Beverage Manager for Ruth’s Chris Steak House and Sommelier at The Greenbrier Resort’s premier restaurant, Prime 44 West. He joined the Inn at Palmetto Bluff team in August 2013 and began impacting the acclaimed resort’s beverage operations immediately. He currently heads the wine program at Farm in Old Town Bluffton. Thaddeus is known for his vast collection of bowties and effusive nature. He now calls Old Town Bluffton home where he lives with his wife, Christa, and two very spoiled dogs.

Russ Moore

Russ Moore

Executive Chef of Slightly North of Broad

Charleston, SC

www.snobcharleston.com | @russ_moore_

As chef Russ Moore wears many hats, including management of an esteemed culinary team, cultivating talent, and spearheading the menu development that continues to delight patrons since the restaurant’s opening in 1993.

Moore speaks of these responsibilities with equal enthusiasm. “A lot of what we do at Slightly North of Broad is cultivating young talent. I’m inspired by their creativity and dedication to cuisine.  Being part of their culinary development is incredibly rewarding. The Slightly North of Broad kitchen is a special place.  To be able to serve products that often just came in the back door from someone you consider a friend is priceless.  Having that opportunity makes you strive to be a better cook everyday.”

Within its classic “bistro” concept, Slightly North of Broad offers abundant choices - perennial favorites complemented by daily, seasonal specials. By offering that combination, Moore feels Slightly North of Broad brings diners a unique experience. “We want people to feel they can come here every day, any day, and enjoy what we’re doing.”

A graduate of Johnson and Wales University Charleston, he was named Slightly North of Broad’s chef de cuisine in 2008, chef in 2013, and then executive chef in 2015. Moore is an active mentor at the Culinary Institute of Charleston and the Art Institute of Charleston. He serves as a judge with the National Restaurant Association’s Pro Start program and actively involves himself with local professional organizations. 

Kevin Nashan

Kevin Nashan

Chef/Owner of Sidney Street Cafe

St. Louis, MO

www.sidneystreetcafestl.com | @knashan

Chef Kevin Nashan has been pivotal in putting St. Louis, MO, on the map as a dining destination. The 2017 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Midwest has helmed Sidney Street Cafe for more than a decade. There he crafts dishes with myriad influences, including Spanish, New Mexican, Midwestern, Southern, and French cuisines. He honed his skills in revered kitchens like Commander’s Palace, Daniel, and Martin Barasategui in San Sebastian, Spain. In August 2014, he opened his second restaurant, The Peacemaker, a lobster and crab shack inspired by the Acadian coastal cuisines of the Northeast and Louisiana. Nashan won the 2013 Cochon 555 Barbecue competition in St. Louis and is a member of chef BBQ team Seersucker Collective. In 2014, he appeared on Esquire Network’s show “Knife Fight.” He has cooked for President Barack Obama, completed six Iron Man competitions and two Chefs Cycle events benefitting No Kid Hungry, and regularly participates in national food events, including Pebble Beach Food & Wine, The James Beard Celebrity Chef Series, Charleston Wine + Food Festival, and Taste of the NFL in San Francisco.

Craig Nelson

Craig Nelson

Proof

Charleston, South Carolina

www.charlestonproof.com | @proofonking

When Craig Nelson was a child, the school bus dropped him off at his grandmother’s liquor store. According to family legend, he had his first taste of bourbon before he was one. Today, he mixes drinks at Proof, the intimate craft cocktail bar in Charleston, South Carolina that he opened in 2012. Over the past several years, he has competed in and won a handful of cocktail competitions on local and national levels.  In 2013, Food & Wine named Proof one of the fifty best new bars in the country. In 2018, Tales of the Cocktail listed Proof as one of the top ten cocktail bars on the east coast.

Erik Niel

Erik Niel

Executive Chef of Easy Bistro & Bar

Chattanooga, TN

www.easybistro.com | @easybistro

Erik Niel is a two-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast (2016 & 2017), as well as voted “Chef of the Year” by the Tennessee Tourism & Hospitality Association (2016). Having grown up in Louisiana fishing on the bayou, Erik's upbringing strongly influenced his cooking of Southern-inspired French classics. His restaurant Easy Bistro & Bar, located in what was formerly the world’s first Coca Cola bottling plant, is one of the most well-regarded restaurants in Chattanooga’s burgeoning food scene. The restaurant has a nationally recognized wine and craft cocktail program, and is one of the only raw bars in Tennessee that features seafood from all three coasts. In October 2014, Erik and his wife Amanda assumed operations of Main Street Meats, a neighborhood restaurant and butcher shop that works closely with Chattanooga’s surrounding farmland to explore the distinctive flavors of the region. Erik and his wife Amanda are deeply committed to furthering Chattanooga’s food culture – they have spearheaded a restaurateur collective to promote independent, locally-owned restaurants. In April 2015, the Niels launched the Scenic City Supper Club (SCSC), a guest chef series created to shed light on Chattanooga’s emerging restaurant scene and its dedicated community of chefs, farmers, and producers. The series has already proved to be a defining moment for the Chattanooga food scene.

Darren Palace

Darren Palace

East Coast National Sales for Failla Wines

St. Helena, California

www.faillawines.com | @faillawines

Darren’s love of wine started many years ago during family gatherings when his whole family was together, smiling and laughing. Food and wine stand out for Darren as the catalyst for the family bond. Being Italian and Irish has its downsides; the use of guilt as a manipulation tactic, for example, or being locked in every Sunday because it was “Family Day.” But it had upsides, too. The food, for one, a high tolerance for alcohol and always “knowing a guy.” 

Deciding to escape for a few years, he attended the University of Montana. It was the furthest place away from New Jersey that he could imagine. He spent his time studying Finance and Fine Arts in Missoula. Even with his fascination for Phat Farm clothes and 90s R&B, Darren managed to meet many people that had similar interests in food and wine. The energy that came from the dinner parties and social gatherings that Darren and his close-knit clique would throw further fueled his interest in food and wine.

After college, Darren started collecting wine and spent his free time studying it. His classrooms were the restaurants where his friends cooked in New York City. In 2008, after quitting his job with a National Bank he decided to join a dear friend in what they called “serious enology in Brooklyn.” Darren succumbed to the wine habit for real. He started as a cellar rat and became assistant winemaker and general manager of the Red Hook Winery during the winery’s first six vintages. He made wine with and under the guidance of Abraham Schoener, Robert Foley and Christopher Nicolson. Spending another vintage in cellars helping friends in California make and brand some wine, the idea of splitting time between two coasts started to become reality. Darren joined Failla in 2015 and now spends his time on the East Coast spreading the gospel of Failla and its honest wines. 

Rajat Parr

Rajat Parr

Partner/Proprietor of Domaine de la Côte

Lompoc, CA

www.domainedelacote.com | @domainedelacote

Co-founder of Domaine de la Côte, Rajat is a three-time James Beard Award winner and regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on wine.

A trained chef, Rajat grew up in Calcutta, India, before journeying to the United States where he graduated from the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park. It was at the CIA where his interest in wine took hold. After graduation, Rajat chose to pursue the cellar instead of the kitchen, venturing to San Francisco to join the staff of Rubicon, the renowned wine-focused restaurant of Master Sommelier Larry Stone. Rajat quickly rose in the ranks, becoming a protégé of Stone. Here he honed his wine knowledge and tasting skills, while beginning a career that would see him become one the world’s most celebrated sommeliers.

Raj eventually left Rubicon to take over the wine program at San Francisco’s landmark Fifth Floor restaurant before moving to join chef Michael Mina as wine director of that chef’s eponymous restaurant. The Mina Group would eventually spawn over 20 restaurants across the country, wine programs all overseen by Rajat. During this period winemaking began to evermore capture his imagination.

Eternally fascinated not just with the taste of wine, but the question of why it tastes the way it does, Rajat not only frequently traveled to European wine regions; he also made use of his proximity to California wine country, becoming close with several of California’s top winemakers. This ultimately translated into bottling his own wines. At first these were blends selected from wines produced by others, but in short time Raj became more deeply involved—calling picking times, overseeing fermentations, etc. As vineyards and winemaking became ever more an obsession, Raj made the transition from sommelier to producer.

During this period, he became closer to Santa Barbara County winemaker Sashi Moorman, as they found mutual interest in pushing the boundaries of California wine, every vintage seeing how much earlier they could harvest to achieve more balanced alcohols, racier acidity, and purer flavors. In 2011, Rajat and Sashi launched Sandhi, producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from select vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills.  In 2013, they released wines from his new estate vineyard, Domaine de la Côte, located on the westernmost edge of the Sta. Rita Hills. Most recently, in early 2014, Rajat and Sashi took over the historic and acclaimed Seven Springs Vineyard in the Eola-Amity Hills of Oregon.

Beyond his wineries, today Raj has also co-authored the James-Beard-Award winning book Secrets of the Sommeliers (with Jordan Mackay), and is now working on their new book The Atlas of Taste. He also co-founded the trend-setting California non-profit wine group, In Pursuit of Balance. He lives in Santa Barbara, though he can still be found frequently traveling the world speaking, educating, tasting, and obsessively learning.

Orchid Paulmeier

Orchid Paulmeier

Chef/Owner of One Hot Mama's

Hilton Head Island, SC

www.onehotmamas.com | @mamaorchid

Owning a restaurant was always part of “Mama” Orchid Paulmeier’s American Dream. “Growing up in a Filipino family in Chicago, I learned the joy of big family dinners with lots of traditional Filipino dishes as well as the fundamentals of home cooking and using what you have in the kitchen,” she said.

She started her culinary career as an ice cream scooper in high school. Intent on learning more about the restaurant business, Orchid accepted an internship on Hilton Head Island in 1994, and decided this is where she wanted to live. So along with her high-school-sweetheart husband, Mike, Orchid settled in the Lowcountry and began digging in to the deep, colorful cooking traditions of this region. Just days before her 30th birthday in 2003, Orchid opened One Hot Mama’ s as part of the SERG Group which owns a number of area restaurants, designing the menu and creating all the signature sauces herself. “I blended Southern favorites like collards, cornbread and slow-cooked barbecue, with my own family recipes,” she said, describing the cuisine as “comfort food with a kick.”

Orchid became familiar to millions of people throughout the country when she auditioned for and won a slot on Food Network Star, Season 7. The series took 15 chefs and put them in what has become a familiar reality TV showdown.  While she didn’t take home the grand prize, her culinary creations were praised by the judges and she was consistently one of the leaders in the fan vote. But that little taste of the spotlight hasn’t change Orchid’s priorities: Family, friends and food. (Because nothing tastes better than that.)

Emily Pickral

Emily Pickral

Master Sommelier of Spire Collection

Calistoga, CA

www.spirecollection.com | @spirecollection

Emily Pickral’s passion for wine began during her early 20’s while living in New York City. She worked as a Captain & Wine Steward at Gramercy Tavern, which gave her first-hand experience tasting the top wines of the world. In 2011, with a desire to learn more about wine production, she relocated with her family to Yountville, CA. There, she has spent the past 6 years working for some of Napa’s top wine producers. She recently moved back to the east coast, and as the region manager for the Spire Collection, continues her to share her love of some of Napa & Sonoma’s best wineries here in the southeast.

In 2009, her passion for learning about wine encouraged her to enroll in the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory Course. Four years later in 2013, she earned the Master Sommelier Diploma. Emily was the 19th woman in the world to earn the title, and is one of 250 Master Sommeliers worldwide.

Eric Railsback

Eric Railsback

Co-Founder of Lieu Dits Wines

Santa Barbara, California

www.ieuditwinery.com

Eric Railsback’s career in the wine industry began taking shape in Santa Barbara, California nearly a decade ago. After stints at the Wine Cask and the Hungry Cat, Eric furthered his exposure to different regions and producers working at Osteria Mozza and by running the wine program at Gordon Ramsey in Los Angeles. Eric has a strong connection to the wines of France. He is fluent in French and has worked harvests all over Europe.

Eric brought his talents to Michael Mina’s RN74, a premiere Burgundy-inspired restaurant in San Francisco. There, he led a team of sommeliers for over three years before bringing it back full circle to Santa Barbara with Lieu Dit.

After countless bottles shared together and many trips to France, Railsback and his partner decided to found Lieu Dit in 2011 and focus it solely in the varieties indigenous to the Loire Valley, now grown in Santa Barbara County, California. The varied micro-climates and marine based soils of Santa Barbara County are ideally suited to this set of grapes. Lieu Dit centers on Sauvignon Blanc and more limited bottlings of Chenin Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Rose and produces around 2500 cases annually. For Eric, in each vintage, the quest for purity, elegance, and balance in every wine is paramount.

Joe and MariElena Raya

Joe and MariElena Raya

Owner/Creater of Bittermilk

Charleston, SC

www.bittermilk.com | @drinkbittermilk

MariElena grew up with cooking in her genes. Her father Robert owned and operated one of the city’s most popular restaurant institutions—Robert’s of Charleston, where she worked her way up from washing dishes. She and Joe met while attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. After culinary school, together they traveled and worked in Palm Beach, Boca Raton and then back to Charleston where they managed Robert’s for more than five years.

In 2010, the Rayas opened The Gin Joint, a Charleston cocktail bar, to spread the love of pre-prohibition cocktails and fine hand crafted spirits with Charleston and beyond. Joe developed the beverage program and was the bar’s first bartender, and MariElena was chef, developing a menu of sophisticated bar snacks. With countless requests from patrons for The Gin Joint’s cocktail recipes that were just too labor heavy and called for ingredients that aren’t common in the home, the next step for Joe and MariElena was clear - to help people easily make quality, complex cocktails in their own homes.

After two years of tweaking ideas and testing recipes that combined their beverage and culinary expertise, Bittermilk came to the market in August 2013 with three classic cocktails needing only booze to make a complete cocktail. Since then, it has won Garden & Gun’s Made in the South Award for Drinks and has been featured in Southern Living, The Wall Street Journal, and GQ amongst other national media. Bittermilk products can be found in nearly all U.S. states and more than 900 retail stores and restaurants.

In 2015, Joe and MariElena’s business adventures expanded to include Tippleman’s, a line of complex bar syrups developed for bartenders. While Bittermilk is developed as a complete cocktail mixer, Tippleman’s is one ingredient, the sweetener, in a cocktail.

Jesse Rodriguez

Jesse Rodriguez

Director of Wine at Montage Palmetto Bluff

Bluffton, SC

www.montagehotels.com/palmettobluff | @montagepalmettobluff

Jesse Rodriguez is the Director of Wine at Montage Palmetto Bluff, an award-winning hotel and resort in Bluffton, South Carolina. Prior to this position he worked at Montage Laguna Beach where he helped Studio Restaurant receive the prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award.

Rodriguez is an Advanced Sommelier by the American Chapter of the Court of Master Sommeliers, is credentialed as a Certified Wine Educator by the Society of Wine Educators, and has completed the Diploma level through The Wine and Spirits Educational Trust (WSET). He is a second-year Master of Wine Student. He holds a Masters in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. He has a passion for education and currently holds positions as Business of Wine Advisory Board for San Diego State University College of Extended Studies and Executive Director of the SommCon Advisory Board.

Prior to being a member of the Montage team, Rodriguez managed the beverage program for The Grand Del Mar, a luxury resort in San Diego County. The beverage program for both the fine dining restaurant on property, Addison, and The Grand Del Mar, received one of ten of “America’s Best Spots for Wine” by Forbes.com. Under Rodriguez, San Diego County and Addison also received the first ever nomination for the James Beard Awards Semi-Finalist for Outstanding Wine Service, The prestigious Wine Spectator Grand Award for 2009-13, Wine Enthusiast’s 2010 and 2011 Ultimate Award of Distinction and the 2010 Santé “Wine Restaurant of the Year” Award. The property was also named one of Wine Enthusiast’s “100 Best Wine Restaurants” in 2011 and 2012. The impressive wine list compiled by Rodriguez at this property was also named “One of Seven Winning Wine Lists for 2007” by Food & Wine Magazine.

Before joining the team at The Grand Del Mar, Rodriguez was the Head Sommelier at Napa Valley’s The French Laundry, helping the restaurant become the only dining venue in California to receive a Three Michelin Star rating. Rodriguez was also California Sales Manager for ZD Wines, the Estate Manager for Phoenix-based Alliance Beverage Distributing Company, and a sommelier for The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Rodriguez was named one of “America’s Best New Sommeliers” by Wine & Spirits magazine in 2007 and one of StarChefs.com’s 2010 “Los Angeles-San Diego Rising Stars.” He was also named “Best Sommelier” by the readers, editors and critics of San Diego Magazine and Ranch & Coast: San Diego’s luxury lifestyle magazine for four consecutive years.

Michael Hirby and  Schatzi Throckmorton

Michael Hirby and Schatzi Throckmorton

Co-Founders of Relic Wine

Napa Valley, California

www.relicwines.com | @relicwines

Husband and wife team, Michael Hirby and Schatzi Throckmorton, founded Relic Wines in Napa Valley in 2001 with a focus on historic winemaking techniques. Inspired by a love of Burgundy, they began with the production of a miniscule amount of Pinot Noir. They have since continued to mine history for the old secrets for making Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Sonoma Coast to the Rhone and Bordeaux varietals from the Napa Valley, where the winery is located.

When traditional methods - like indigenous yeast fermentation, whole-cluster fermentation, extended lees ageing and minimal-intervention - are applied to California’s great terroirs, the resulting wines are world-class, complex, layered and vibrantly aromatic. The diverse vineyard sources are tended with the utmost care, are organically-farmed whenever possible, and are always grown to Relic’s specifications of yield, light exposure and irrigation. Relic’s small production is sold mainly through their mailing list.

Michael is also currently the consulting winemaker for D.R. Stephens Estate, Husic Family Vineyards and Sarocka Estate, and was the consulting winemaker at Realm Cellars for eight years. Schatzi is the General Manager for Behrens Family Winery.

Rodney Scott

Rodney Scott

Chef/Owner of Rodney Scott's BBQ

Charleston, SC

www.rodneyscottsbbq.com | @rodneyscottsbbq

Rodney Scott moved with his family to Hemingway, SC when he was just one year old. His family opened Scott’s Variety, a convenience store and grocery of sorts located on the side of the old highway that ran through town. Although they sold local produce and cold drinks throughout the week, every single Thursday they they did a little something extra: the Scott’s smoked whole hogs. The intoxicating smell of smoked pork was enough to bring in all the locals, but the flavor of the Scott family’s whole hog BBQ is what kept them coming back.

The Scott’s built their own hog pits out back behind the store and fired them up with hardwood coals. Young Rodney was just 11 years old when he cooked his first whole hog, and it couldn’t have come a day sooner. As word began to spread about the Scott’s weekly BBQ feast, more and more people were hankering for a taste. It turned out that just one day a week of whole hog BBQ was simply not enough. By the mid 1980’s they moved to smoking hogs two days a week, and before long two days turned into three. Finally, in 2012 they added a fourth day, offering old-fashioned whole hog BBQ every week from Wednesday through Saturday.

But it wasn’t just locals that were eating all those hogs. People drove for hours -- from Charleston, 90 miles south, and even beyond -- having heard about Rodney Scott and the old-fashioned whole hog BBQ they were cooking in Hemingway. Before they knew it, even the New York Times was praising Rodney and the magic of Scott’s BBQ.

In 2010 Rodney was invited down to Charleston to cook at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival. Rodney, accompanied by his infectious personality and delicious food, was an instant hit and by the end of the festival people were already calling him the “Charleston BBQ Guy.” Nobody cared that he had traveled 90 miles for the occasion. More event invitations followed, and Rodney traveled distances as far as Australia and Belize to share his passion for whole hog BBQ.

As Rodney’s notoriety grew around Charleston, so did the requests for him to open a joint a little closer to town. Impressed by the hospitality of everyone he met in Charleston, Rodney fell in love with the town and its charm. In July of 2016, Rodney Scott left the family business to start a new chapter and open his own place.

Rodney Scott’s Bar-B-Que in Charleston takes all the things that Rodney values about BBQ and his time in the family business and combines them with a larger space and an expanded menu that lets him incorporate his life experiences into the foods he loves to eat. Whole hog is still the king of the menu at Rodney Scott’s BBQ, but it’s got a lot of flavorful friends to keep it company. From the fan-favorite spare ribs that are covered in a special rub, slow-smoked and slathered in Rodney’s Sauce, to baked mac n’ cheese with a crispy breadcrumb topping, there are many items that showcase Rodney’s food lifestyle.

Southern fried catfish and pit-cooked BBQ chicken provide a little variety to an otherwise pork-packed diet, and homemade sides like fresh-cut shoestring fries satisfy a craving like nothing else can. Vibrant memories of his mother making banana pudding on Sunday afternoons led to Rodney adding homemade banana pudding to the menu. And Rodney’s personal favorite Southern comfort food, Chicken Perlo, is crafted with both skill and creativity, offering his Charleston guests the same joy that he receives from eating it.

Scott Shor

Scott Shor

Owner of Edmund's Oast

Charleston, South Carolina

www.edmundsoast.com | @edmundsoast

Scott Shor, a Long Island native, started his career in the beverage industry soon after moving to Boston in 2000. For five years, he was General Manager at a high-end beer, wine and liquor store in the prestigious Beacon Hill area. In 2005, Scott moved to Charleston and eventually re-entered the food and beverage business, working at Ted’s Butcherblock.

In 2007, South Carolina's "Pop the Cap" bill became law, lifting alcohol limits on beer. Fueled in part by friendship with the owners of COAST Brewing Company, Scott decided to make the move into craft beer. He, along with longtime friend and business partner Rich Carley, opened the state’s first craft beer-exclusive store, The Charleston Beer Exchange. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a full-time job and led to him running the store alongside Carley. The Charleston Beer Exchange was a trendsetter, featuring the state's first dedicated retail growler station. In 2010, they expanded with a second location in downtown Greenville, South Carolina.

Scott has spent the last several years helping grow the Charleston beer scene. He, Carley, and the owners of COAST organize various high-profile beer events, and co-created Brewvival, the premier beer festival event in the region.

In 2013, Scott fulfilled another dream by opening a beverage-centric restaurant. The vision started much smaller, but expanded in scope and size to become Edmund’s Oast. The restaurant quickly became one of the most popular establishments in the city and in the South, was a semi-finalist for the James Beard Awards Best New Restaurant in 2015. It was also selected as a Top 50 Best New Restaurant by Bon Appetit and a Best New Restaurant in Southern Living, both in 2014. Media coverage and acclaim for the restaurant has been continuous under Scott’s leadership.

August 2017 brought the opening of the relocated Charleston Beer Exchange as the new Edmund's Oast Exchange next door to Edmund's Oast Restaurant. The following month saw the Grand Opening of Edmund's Oast Brewing Company located at 1505 King Street. The brewery is currently distributed in South Carolina, New York City and Florida with future plans for additional territories. 

Aaron Siegel

Aaron Siegel

Operating Partner of Home Team BBQ

Charleston, SC

www.hometeambbq.com | @hometeambbq

An Atlanta native and a graduate of the University of Georgia, Aaron “Fiery Ron” Siegel moved to NYC after college to follow his passion for cooking and attend The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. After completing an internship at Atlanta’s Nava under acclaimed Chef Kevin Rathbun, he graduated with his culinary degree and moved to Aspen, Colorado. There, Aaron worked as a sous chef at two of the most popular “white table cloth” restaurants — Pinion’s and Cache Cache — and became intrigued with the idea of combining traditional processes and techniques of classical cuisine with the simplicity of comfort food, BBQ, and Southern fare. He returned to the South and was hired by the Hospitality Management Group Inc. (HMGI) as the Executive Chef at Blossom Café in downtown Charleston where he worked for several years. Aaron worked closely with Executive Chef Craig Diehl at sister restaurant Cypress where he learned more about smoking meats and developing a charcuterie program. During this time, he began to scout locations for his barbeque concept and in 2006, together with partners Taylor Garrigan, Tony McKie, and Madison Ruckel, opened Fiery Ron’s Home Team BBQ in West Ashley. With years of hard work and dedicated service in the Charleston community, came the opportunity to expand for Home Team BBQ’s partners, with a location on Sullivan’s Island in 2009, a location in downtown Charleston in the spring of 2016, and at the base of Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado in the winter of 2016.

Clint Sloan

Clint Sloan

Drink Brand Partners

Charleston, South Carolina

@drinkbrands

Clint Sloan has no lack of accolades to his name. He is a four time (’04, ’05, ’07, ’09) southeast regional semi-finalist in the Chaîne des Rôtisseurs Young Sommelier Competition. In 2008 and 2009, Clint was awarded scholarships from Cru Carneros and The Guild of Sommelier’s Education Foundation. He was named Charleston’s Best Sommelier by The Charleston City Paper three years in a row (’09, ’10, ’11). In 2010, he became an Advanced Sommelier, and was named by Food & Wine as one of the top sommeliers in the country and by BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival as the Critic’s Pick for the City’s Best Sommelier in 2011.

In 2012, after opening Husk Restaurant, Clint took a position as regional sales manager for Skurnik Wines out of New York City, focusing mostly on the Terry Theise Estate Selections. In 2015, he accepted a position with Kysela Père et Fils to return back to Charleston. In June 2016, he took the position as Southeast sales manager for Valkyrie Selections, which focuses on small production domestic wines and imports out of Spain and France. Today, Clint has his own broker company with his partner Matt McKeown representing Valkyrie Selections, Averæn, Valravn, Scribe, Scarpetta and Maison Noir across the Southeast and mid-Atlantic.

Corey Steranka

Corey Steranka

Head Brewer, Cold Brew Division of King Bean Coffee Roasters

Charleston, SC

www.kingbean.com | @kingbeanroaster

A graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in Hospitality Management, Corey is the head brewer of King Bean’s new Cold Brew division. Corey oversees recipe development, quality assurance and large batch production of cold brew in our 400-gallon commercial grade tank. With his background and knowledge of craft cocktails, Corey’s a natural in crafting cold brew cocktails for our team and partners. His favorite cold coffee drink? A twist on traditional Irish Coffee, using Cold Brew Nitro as a base. 

Larry Stone

Larry Stone

CEO and Co-Founder of Lingua Franca Estate Wines

Salem, Oregon

linguafranca.wine

Within a few months of becoming the ninth Master Sommelier in the United States, Larry Stone became the first American to win the prestigious Grand Prix de Sopexa for the title of the Best International Sommelier in French Wines in Paris. He continued as a restaurateur and sommelier for the next 20 years going on to open the Four Seasons Hotel in Chicago. Then, as general manager and sommelier of Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant from 1989 to 1993, Larry helped to bring it to world prominence at the side of its talented chef/owner.

In 1993 he opened Rubicon Restaurant with New York restaurateur Drew Nieporent and Chef Traci des Jardin. Their other partners included Robert De Niro, Robin Williams and Francis Ford Coppola.

The restaurant earned a Michelin Star, the Restaurants and Institutions Ivy Award, a Food and Wine Silver Spoon, a James Beard Who’s Who Award, Wine Spectator ‘s Grand Award for 12 years running, and two JBF Outstanding Wine Service Awards.

Larry became a board member of the Coppola Companies, then, in 2006, general manager of historic Inglenook/Rubicon Estate, and president of the Rutherford Dust Society.  In 1996, with Mark Tarlov, he conceived of Evening Land Seven Springs, which he ran from 2010 to 2012.

In 2012, Larry bought a prime Eola-Amity Hills property next door to Seven Springs on Lone Star Road, then planned and planted the 66-acre Lingua Franca Estate. In 2016, the Lingua Franca winery was completed with Dominique Lafon as the consulting winemaker and the brilliant young French winemaker, Thomas Savre.

David Szlam

David Szlam

Founder/CEO of Virgil Kaine

North Charleston, SC

www.virgilkaine.com | @virgilkaine

Virgil Kaine Lowcountry Whiskey Co. founder and CEO David Szlam understands the food and beverage industry in its entirety. Educated at College of Charleston and later the California Culinary Academy, Szlam applies his passions and knowledge of whiskey and food to Virgil Kaine’s products. Thinking outside the barrel, Virgil Kaine is the product of creativity and experimentation to create whiskeys and bourbons with balanced flavors.

Szlam began his culinary background in Charleston under Frank McMahon at Hank’s Seafood where he learned the basics of sauces, knife skills and, most importantly, his love of building experience through ingredients and flavors. In 2001, he moved to San Francisco where he sharpened his culinary skills working in various celebrated kitchens, including Roland Passot, Gary Danko and Daniel Humm. Missing his Lowcountry roots, Szlam relocated to Charleston in 2004, and opened Cordavi, a new American restaurant concept that gained national attention, making Esquire’s list of the Top 20 New Restaurants of America in 2005.

In 2011, Szlam’s passion for whiskey prompted him to transition out of the kitchen and create Virgil Kaine, applying his culinary experiences to the process of blending and creating unique flavor profiles.

The name Virgil Kaine is inspired by the man himself who, in theory, did not let tradition and the influence of his surroundings make him succumb to the visions of the Old South. Much like its namesake, Virgil Kaine whiskey steps outside of the barrel and the traditions of American Whiskey, adding blending and infusing techniques to make a new kind of whiskey that entered the market when there was nothing else of its kind available.

When Szlam isn’t perfecting the art of whiskey at Virgil Kaine, you can find him on a boat drinking Natural Light or spending time with his wife, Chelsey, two sons, Harlan and Dylan, and their bulldog puppy named Biggs. Szlam enjoys fishing, gardening and BBQ.

Ross Taylor

Ross Taylor

Director of Business Development of Seaside Grown

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

www.seasidegrown.com | @seasidegrownfresh

The cure to your next hangover is growing in bulk beside the marshes of Coastal South Carolina, and has been since you were far underage. Seaside Farm is nestled in the heart of Frogmore, South Carolina on St. Helena Island. Over a century ago, Gus Sanders discovered that the soil on St. Helena Island was just right for producing plump and juicy tomatoes. That’s because the soil is just a tad bit warmer than that of inland farms, which makes it perfect for harvesting the best tomatoes.

When you start with vine-ripe tomatoes that have been cultivated and perfected over the past 115 years, superiority is but a few sprinkles of Carolina Sea Island spice away from perfection.

Ross Taylor grew up on his Great Great Grandaddy, Gus Sanders’, 400-acre estate; among the vines, he helped his family pick green tomatoes by hand, sometimes hundreds of thousands at a time, to be crated and distributed after June harvest. Now on their sixth generation, the Sanders family harvests up to 25-million-pounds of premium tomatoes for companies all along the East Coast.

Seaside Grown Bloody Mary Mix is the first of many widely-distributed, fresh-from-the-field blends to come from this Sea Island Brand. Combined with your favorite vodka, garnishes, and friends who know you best, this mix is reminiscent of everything you love about the low country. The Sanders family, along with their culinary artist, Chef Will Collins, will launch several new products including garden fresh salsas and blueberry jams with the next season’s harvest.

Seaside Grown is garnering nationwide attention for their humble intentions, honest ingredients, and heartening lineage.

Michael Toscano

Michael Toscano

Chef/Owner of Le Farfalle

Charleston, SC

www.lefarfallecharleston.com | @mjtoscano

Michael Toscano is Chef/Owner of Le Farfalle in Charleston, SC, the modern, Italian osteria he opened with his wife, Caitlin, in 2016.

A native of Houston, TX, Michael had goals of playing college golf until a stint working at a local golf course in high school turned him on to cooking instead. He received a scholarship to an American Culinary Federation Apprenticeship at North Carolina’s Pinehurst Resort. After moving to New York
City, Michael began working under Thomas Keller at Bouchon Bakery. By the age of 21, he was working as a sous chef for Mario Batali’s celebrated Babbo. After four years with B&B Hospitality, Toscano was tapped to open the Italian food mecca Eataly as the Executive chef of the fine dining restaurant, Manzo.

Michael ventured out on his own in 2012 to open Perla - a modern Italian restaurant located in Greenwich Village - which received many notable accolades. Through his career Toscano has garnered many accomplishments, such as “New York Rising Star” by StarChefs.com; Zagat 30 under 30; James Beard “Rising Star Chef” semifinalist; selected to be part of the Williams Sonoma Chefs’ Collective; and Charleston Regional Business Journal Forty under 40.

Seeking a slower pace of life and chasing their dreams of opening a restaurant together, Michael and Caitlin moved with their two children to Charleston to open Le Farfalle.

Jennafer Tuffner

Jennafer Tuffner

Vineyard Brands

Charleston, SC

www.vineyardbrands.com | @vineyardbrands

Jennafer Tuffner was born in Atlanta, Georgia and attended the University of Georgia in Athens.  Her wine career started in Charleston, South Carolina, where she served as a sales representative for Southern Wine & Spirits for five years. She then worked for Ben Arnold (now Breakthru Beverage) for four years, starting as a sales representative then moving into a leadership role as sales manager. 

Since 2015, she has served as the Sales Manager for North Carolina and South Carolina for Vineyard Brands, one of the country’s premier wine importers. Professionally, she holds the Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW) certification from The Society of Wine Educators (SWE). 

She currently lives in Charleston with her husband, Michael, and their rescue dog, Callie. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to new places, spending time on the beach or at Lake Oconee, eating delicious food (pimento cheese and fried chicken are some favorites), watching Law & Order SVU, shopping for colorful clothes and practicing yoga.  She is also an avid Dolly Parton fan and lives and bleeds Georgia football (Go Dawgs!). 

Katie and Kurt Weinberger

Katie and Kurt Weinberger

Owners of King Bean Coffee Roasters

Charleston, South Carolina

www.kingbean.com | @kingbeanroaster

King Bean was founded on the simple idea of bringing great coffee to the South. We believe that coffee doesn’t have to be complicated and you like what you like. We honor individual palates by creating the coffees you like to drink. Owner Kurt Weinberger founded King Bean in 1994 and now runs King Bean alongside his wife, Katie. Our roastery is located in Charleston, but our roots run deep with Palmetto Bluff— Kurt and Katie were married in the chapel in 2005. King Bean is proud to roast as the coffee purveyor for Montage Palmetto Bluff.  

 

Kirsten Whitman

Kirsten Whitman

Store Director of Billy Reid

Charleston, South Carolina

www.billyreid.com | @billy_reid

Billy Reid’s story begins in Amite, Louisiana. There, his mother ran a ladies’ clothing store, located in his grandmother’s old farm house from the 1920s. It was a place where these women would come gossip and hang out and buy a bunch of really cool clothes. When you walked in there, it felt like home. When he started out back in 1998, he wanted to continue that tradition. He wanted people to come in their shops and hang out – to feel like you’re a welcome guest in our house. He designed things he wanted to wear, and that fit into his life. He liked the outdoors and getting his hands dirty. He liked old-fashioned techniques and have a love of antiques. He is a Southerner and that certainly influences his life and work. He starts with classic American clothing and take it in a modern direction that still stays true to the traditional. He thinks through every button, every thread, every stitch. Some people on his team call it considered clothing for the modern soul. He just calls it good clothing, made with integrity so you can look and feel your best, no matter when and where you wear it.

The Wild Feathers

The Wild Feathers

Alternative

Nashville, TN

http://www.thewildfeathers.com/ | @thewildfeathers

The Wild Feathers are most at home on the highway, forever looking ahead to the next city and the next shared experience onstage. “When you’re on the road, you’re like cowboys in the Wild West going out into some neon frontier,” says singer-guitarist Taylor Burns.


The band– packing a three-vocalist punch in Taylor, singer-guitarist Ricky Young and singer-bassist Joel King, along with drummer Ben Dumas – embrace their more countrified influences. Sounding partly like a lost Eagles album and the record Tom Petty never got to make, the song satisfies with thick harmonies, jangly guitars, Ben’s in-the-pocket beat and smart, tight songwriting.


Their magic lies in their collaborations with one another. It’s a fact of which each musician is keenly aware. “We’re all smart enough to realize that while we’re pretty good on our own, we’re great together,” says Ricky. “Whatever this is, it’s special.”

Karl Worley

Karl Worley

Chef/Owner of Biscuit Love Brunch

Nashville, TN

www.biscuitlove.com | @biscuitlovebrunch

Chef Karl Worley grew up in the Southern Appalachian Mountains, where he learned to cook from his grandfather in Bristol, Tennessee. He received his culinary degree from Johnson & Wales University in 2010. After spending time in the kitchens of Rioja in Denver, he further developed his passion for sustainable agriculture and farm-to-table restaurants while working for the Coon Rock Farm in Hillsborough, NC. In 2012, Worley and his wife Sarah began Biscuit Love, a food truck that soon became a Nashville breakfast staple for biscuits and brunch. In 2015, they found a brick and mortar home for Biscuit Love in the heart of the Gulch neighborhood where they offer a wide range of breakfast and lunch options. Shortly after opening, Bon Appetit named Biscuit Love one of America’s top 50 best new restaurants and named the East Nasty Biscuit the Best Sandwich of 2015. Through sourcing top quality seasonal ingredients, Worley is known for creating delicious dishes that honor the deep-rooted traditions of the South.

The  Yacht Rock Revue

The Yacht Rock Revue

70's Light Rock

Atlanta, GA

www.pleaserock.com | @yachtrockrevue

The Yacht Rock Revue™ is the greatest show on surf and the finest tribute to ‘70s light rock to ever perform anywhere. Ever. Their spot-on renditions of Hall & Oates, Michael McDonald, Steely Dan, and the rest of the Time-Life Infomercial Catalog have enthralled fans across the United States.


The Yacht Rock Revue™ blurs the lines between a tribute, an original act, and a comedic troupe, forging a special bond with their fans. The band attacks each song as if it were their own, and the energy exchanged between the band and the crowd has more in common with a stadium U2 show than that of a typical bar band.


The band has won accolades ranging from “Best Place to Get Drunk With Your Dad” to “Best Overall Music Act in Atlanta” to “Best Place to Start an Extramarital Affair,” and has been name-dropped by the New York Times, Pitchfork, the Guardian UK, Spin, TimeOut New York, Billboard, MTV.com, and (probably) your mom at her last cocktail party.