Chef Jason Alley grew up in Pulaski, Virginia, where agriculture was the mainstay of the local economy. At the age of four he industriously started cooking and never really stopped, helping out his busy family by whipping up Southern comfort food. His first professional food job was at St. Louis-based fast food chain Hardee’s. Alley resolved to go to college, but he soon realized that he was not well-suited to the world of academia and left to work at a Quaker-owned orchard near Harrisonburg, Virginia.
But fate intervened when a group of friends washing dishes at Harrisonburg Country Club encouraged him to join them. Soon he started prepping food and watching the chefs cook, and it wasn’t long before he had worked his way up to lead cook. He left shortly after for Champaign, Illinois and while his now-wife studied at the University of Illinois, he took a sous chef position at a bar and grill and was quickly promoted to executive chef.
The couple moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he worked at 1848 House, Blue Ridge Grill, and ENO. But his native state beckoned and Alley returned, this time to Richmond, for a position at the Europa Café and Tapas Bar, where he met his soon-to-be restaurant partner Chris Chandler. Alley and Chandler opened Comfort in 2002. Alley’s menu sings with a passion for the kind of Southern comfort food classics you could picture on checkered picnic blankets in some idyllic painting.
In 2011, with the help of partners Michele Jones and Ry Marchant, Jason opened his second restaurant, Pasture. Pasture features local products prepared simply, with a focus on small plates and current interpretations of classic Southern flavors. He opened Flora in 2017 with Michele Jones and Jay Bayer and there's more coming! When he’s not cooking or playing in his Spanglish Ramones cover band, Los Ramones, he's spending time with his wife and four amazing kids.
Trained professionally as a chef at the French Culinary Institute in New York City under Master Chefs Jacques Pepin, Andre Soltner and Alain Sailhac, Brittanny has worked for 15 years in the restaurant industry. After graduating at the top of her class at FCI, Brittanny worked in some of the best kitchens in New York City, most notably Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Northern Spy Food Company.
Brittanny is now back in her hometown of Richmond, VA where she cooks modern, seasonal, German-influenced cuisine as the Executive Chef and co-owner of Metzger Bar and Butchery in Union Hill. Brittanny is also co-owner of Brenner Pass in Scott's Addition.
Sara Ayyash is a graduate of Florida Culinary Institute and began her career creating delicious desserts at the award-winning The Troutdale Dining Room in Bristol, VA, Willa Jacks Restaurant in Abingdon, VA and The Blackberry Farm Hotel in Walland, TN.
She moved to Richmond to join the culinary team at The Jefferson Hotel as the Assistant Pastry Chef in 2010 and assumed the Executive Pastry Chef position in less than a year. She delights guests with her sweet treats in TJ's, Lemaire, Sunday Champagne Brunch and private special events while dazzling visitors to the hotel with her much celebrated, larger-than-life holiday displays. She uses local and seasonal inspirations to create simple, yet sophisticated classic American dishes laced with her own personal Southern flair.
As our name suggests, Lehja is a modern Richmond Indian restaurant that is all about style. Dreamed by Virginia restaurateur Ashok K. Arora, the restaurant has, at its heart, a kitchen that boasts traditional and popular dishes with a contemporary flair. In Managing Partner, Sandeep "Sunny" Baweja you will find a gracious host. Sunny and his team are constantly striving to provide you with a great dining experience in Short Pump. Lehja's convenient location makes it an ideal gathering spot for private and business diners alike, and our easygoing decor, inspired by 1970s Southern California, provides a cozy, cultured and refreshing spot right here in Richmond. There are four unique dining areas to keep the excitement going for your return visits. Our wine cellar graces the floor of the restaurant where vast and popular selections are stored in a humidity-controlled, temperate environment. Visit our bar and lounge and fill your craving for cocktails with our signature and innovative offerings. Open nightly, our bar and lounge provides a good place to socialize. Want a little West Coast flair? Enjoy our California-style outdoor dining area, where a naked flame fire pit invites you to cozy up for a fun-filled (or perhaps romantic) evening.
Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Chef Jason Bullard has over 20 years experience in the hospitality business. After studying at the Art Institute of Washington and the culinary program at J. Sergeant Reynolds, Bullard has been chef de cuisine at Hermitage Country Club, sous chef at Max’s on Broad and executive chef for Hanover Country Club. Since May 2017, Bullard has been the executive chef of Graduate Richmond, where he brings his passion for local, Southern food to create menus that are decidedly “Richmond.” When not in the kitchen, Bullard spends his time with his wife and 7-year- old son.
From an early age, Walter Bundy’s experiences on the Piankatank River in the Chesapeake Bay instilled in him a reverence for indigenous ingredients. His summers were filled with profound culinary experiences, from eating fresh fish and crabs pulled from the river by his own hand to helping his grandmother in the kitchen as she baked pies from heirloom recipes. The family garden was prolific with everything from cucumbers to tomatoes and squash, and hunting trips with his father completed the earth-to-table eating that was simply their way of life. Bundy took his rich culinary heritage with him when he left home for Hampden-Sydney College, and he was fortunate to live on a country farm where hunting was plentiful. He took to cooking wild game for friends and family, and the connection between the land and the kitchen further strengthened his commitment to entertaining with locally informed cuisine.
While in college, Bundy helped open The Blue Point Restaurant on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The restaurant continues to be known for its “Southern coastal cuisine” and its use of the freshest local ingredients. After graduation, he was exposed to a whole new palette of flavors when a move to Santa Fe, New Mexico brought him to work at Mark Miller’s Coyote Café. Inspired by the variety of unfamiliar ingredients and flavor profiles, Bundy decided to enroll in the New England Culinary Institute. A desire to learn about wine subsequently brought him to the Napa Valley, where he worked with renowned chef Thomas Keller at the legendary French Laundry.
In 2002, Bundy was one of the featured chefs at the James Beard House in New York, and in the same year he presented a dinner for renowned New York chef Daniel Boulud. In 2003, Chef Bundy was the guest chef for The Chesapeake Bay Wine Classic Gala dinner held in Virginia Beach. Bundy also participated in an offsite James Beard Dinner held at Todd Jurich’s Bistro in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2004, chef Bundy appeared on Food Network’s Food Nation with Bobby Flay and also appeared as a guest chef for a dinner to promote Patrick O’ Connell’s The Inn at Little Washington Cookbook.
Bundy was named executive chef at Lemaire in May 2001. As a native Virginian, he is committed to providing upscale Southern cuisine that showcases the bountiful seasons of the area. The menu honored traditions while providing a modern, fresh approach.
During his tenure in Lemaire, Bundy cooked at the James Beard House in New York and hosted a number of James Beard award winners in his kitchen for an annual fundraiser in support of the foundation. He regularly participates in local charity events and has been featured on Food Network’s Food Nation with Bobby Flay and the Cooking Channel’s Road Trip with G. Garvin. He is an active member of Southern Foodways Alliance and a big fan of the work that they do to preserve and celebrate the diverse food cultures of the American South.
Bundy opened his own restaurant, Shagbark, in summer 2016 in Libbie Mill-midtown.
Swiss-trained chef Tanya Cauthen encountered a culinary paradox: Richmond chefs could find excellent cuts of meat, but Richmond consumers lacked options. The idea of bringing restaurant-grade meats to the consumer market was born in the spring of 2006, and the idea became Belmont Butchery.
Cauthen moved to Richmond in 1993 to work with Jimmy Sneed at the acclaimed The Frog and The Redneck restaurant in Shockoe Slip. At 24, she opened The Red Oak Cafe as executive chef. Never afraid of a challenge, chef Cauthen opened Capers Catering as chef-partner. Her experience has not been limited to restaurants, having worked as chef of Ellwood Thompson's Local Market, and the European Market. Cauthen opened Edible Garden in 2005 as Chef de Cuisine.
Cauthen's international experience includes a chef's apprenticeship in Bern, Switzerland, where she first tried her hand at butchery, as well as a stint at Melbourne's Queen Victoria Market in Australia. Always hoping to inspire good cooking, she ran the Virginia Gourmet cooking school, and has covered food and wine as a writer for a well known regional publication.
Brad Cooper is a Chesterfield native who early on developed an interest in science and a penchant for precision. In his younger years, these interests became passions and resulted in a lot of experiments and some ill advised fireworks creations that kept his parents on their toes at all times. After attending the Virginia Military Institute, Cooper began home brewing and quickly developed a talent for creating recipes that resulted in unique flavors while still emphasizing the history behind specific styles of beer. In September 2014, Cooper decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship and began plans to open his first brewery in his hometown of Chesterfield. On June 11, 2016, the Cooper family opened the doors at Steam Bell Beer Works to several thousand friends and haven’t looked back since. Specializing in farmhouse ales, Steam Bell Beer Works has 3 flagship beers — the Grisette Saison, Time Is Money IPA, and Tiramisu Stout — and continues to evolve their portfolio with a wide selection of small batch beers on tap in their tasting room. Historically, a steam bell was used in the craft of barrel making by coopers to make the wood they used more pliable. As such, the Steam Bell brand name is representative of the heritage, tradition and craftsmanship we seek to embody in every beer we create.
Part of Everyday Gourmet in Richmond
Neverett Eggleston III
Bio to come
Ellie Basch Ellie Basch grew up in a family of Chinese-Indonesian cooks. She began her cooking career at The Southern Inn in Lexington, VA, and worked on every kitchen duty, from making sandwiches to line cooking to baking breads. With her extensive knowledge of spices and herbs, Ellie developed her signature style: fresh, flavorful and healthy. Ellie launched Everyday Gourmet in 2002. In 2012, Women Chefs and Restaurateurs selected Ellie to receive the Barbara Tropp Memorial Internship to study Chinese cuisine. Ellie spent 3 weeks cooking at the Black Sesame Kitchen in Beijing and a week exploring the food of Fujian, the province from which Ellie’s grandparents emigrated. Throughout her Richmond cooking career, Ellie has worked at the Jefferson Hotel and The Bull and The Bear Club. She also designed and launched New Visions New Venture’s Breadwinners Program, a non-profit program that helps low income women start their own food business.
Chef David Dunlap is presently Executive Chef of the soon-to-open Quirk Hotel, A Destination Hotel, located in Richmond, Va. Slated to open September 2015, David’s hands-on approach at the hotel’s food & beverage outlets will influence the conception and development of a restaurant designed for city residents and travelers alike, as well as a bar and bites program at the city’s first-ever rooftop bar and lounge.
Born in Washington State near the Puget Sound, Chef David Dunlap recalls fond childhood memories of days spent playing and harvesting in his family's orchards: plucking strawberries and blackberries, foraging for huckleberries an fishing in the stream behind his home. Establishing a passion for food in his early upbringing, David took his first cooking role at a local farmer's market in Boulder, Colo. Realizing he had found his calling, he enrolled at the California Culinary Academy to conduct his studies and further his skillset. Upon graduation, he worked under Executive Chef Romuald Jung at El Encanto Hotel in Santa Barbara, California, where he refined his utilization of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as creating and executing complicated and delicious recipes on the fly as he worked with the array of seafood delivered daily by local fishermen. From there, Chef Dunlap accepted a position with the five-star, five-diamond Four Seasons, also in Santa Barbara, where he worked under Executive Chef Martin Frost and contributed to menu development as well as assisting with a myriad of winemaker dinners.
The arrival of their second child (now a father of three) prompted David and his wife to move to Virginia to be closer to family. Dunlap secured a position with the opening crew for Alain Ducasse's Adour restaurant, in Washington, D.C., and trained under Executive Chef Julian Jouhannud and Corporate Chef Sylvin Portay. It was here that David notes the finer points of his culinary approach were developed. With a variety of high-demand skills now under David’s belt, Chef Damon Gordon of Plume Restaurant at The Jefferson Hotel, DC, a Relais & Châteaux property, recruited David as his Sous Chef. This opportunity led to The Inn at Little Washington, another Relais & Châteaux property, taking notice of David’s culinary skills. David was hired as their Sous Chef and soon thereafter promoted to Executive Sous Chef. Two years later, David accepted an offer to become the Executive Chef at The Ashby Inn, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, where he helmed the restaurant and culinary programing for nearly two years, prior to accepting his current position at Quirk Hotel.
Richmond native, J. Frank began his professional career in his hometown at the prestigious Commonwealth Club in the late 1970s. From there he gained international experience at the Hilton International in Munich, the Brauerei Gastof in Aying Aying, Germany and at Hintlesham Hall in Hintlesham, England. He returned to the states in the late 80s to work at the Indian Creek Country Club in Miami and from there to The Inn at Little Washington and the Urbana Inn in his home state of Virginia.
He came back to Richmond in 1991 where he gained widespread recognition for his culinary achievements at The Berkeley Hotel. Since 1995, J. has been the chef for the Lewis Family in Richmond.
Lee Gregory worked under chef Dale Reitzer at Acacia in Richmond, Virginia, for five years before moving to Six Burner (Richmond), Mockingbird in Staunton, and Blue Light Grill in Charlottesville. He returned in 2011 to open The Roosevelt. The Roosevelt is a neighborhood restaurant in a turn-of-the-last-century building in Church Hill, Richmond’s oldest neighborhood. The Roosevelt's menu is an untraditional celebration of the food of the South, served alongside an all-Virginia wine list, a hearty roster of regional beers, and a selection of craft cocktails that’ll knock your socks off. The Roosevelt opened to public and critical acclaim and was named 2012 Restaurant of the Year by Style Magazine, Best New Restaurant in the Region by Richmond Magazine and awarded an Elby as the city’s Best New Restaurant. The Roosevelt was again awarded Elbys in 2013 for Best Cocktail Program (Thomas “T” Leggett), and in 2014 for Restaurant of the Year and Chef of the Year. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Gregory was nominated for the James Beard Awards Best Chef Mid Atlantic, and in 2014 joined the advisory council for the Atlanta Food and Wine Festival. Here opened Southbound with Joe Sparatta in late 2014, crossing the James River in style.
Greg Haley has been Chef de Cuisine for Amuse Restaurant at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts since it opened with the McGlothlin Wing in May of 2010. Amuse was named Restaurant of the Year by Style Weekly in 2011, and is known for an eclectic menu featuring fresh ingredients sourced locally and regionally.
Chef Haley began washing dishes in his family’s restaurants at age 12, and graduated to the cooking line at age 14. After high school, Chef Haley attended a two year culinary program in Myrtle Beach S.C. while working as sous chef in several local restaurants. Upon returning to Richmond, Greg spent two years working with local legend J. Frank at the Berkeley Hotel, then moved on to work as Executive Chef with the Richmond Restaurant Group.
Chef Michael Hall who owned M Bistro at Rocketts Landing, emphasizes his award winning “Country French Cooking with a Southern Flair, offering his distinguished menu of fine dining and a few new touches representing the best in Southern cuisine at Richmond’s 2300 Club. Previously, Chef Hall was general manager and executive chef at the Bull and Bear Club and also Executive Chef at The Berkeley Hotel in Downtown Richmond.
Carena Ives, with her mother in the kitchen by her side, opened Jamaica House in 1994 on West Broad Street near VCU. In 2007, she ventured to Chesterfield County on Midlothian Turnpike near Chippenham Parkway to open her second restaurant, Carena's Jamaican Grille. When Jamaica House opened in the summer of 1994, it became the home away from home for island people living in Richmond. "That means on a Saturday morning when you're hankering for a plate of Ackee n' Salt fish and Fry Dumpling, or on a Friday afternoon the only thing you're hungry for is a steaming bowl Red Peas Soup, only place to satisfy those cravings in Richmond is Jamaica House."
One of fourteen children, Velma "Mama J" Johnson was born and raised in Richmond, VA. She and her siblings took on a lot of responsibility around the house, including helping their mother in the kitchen, where she learned many of the recipes now so popular at Mama J's. A visit to Mama J's feels a lot like coming home.
Born & grew up in Roanoke VA,
- Graduated from Roanoke College, studied Spanish, Psychology and Anatomy & Physiology
- Left Roanoke in 1990 and lived in Charlotte, Martha’s Vineyard,
Atlanta and Richmond.
- The high point of my service career was working as sommelier and assistant manager at the Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead in Atlanta, GA (1995 – 1999). During this time at the Dining Room, the restaurant earned the Mobil 5 Star award, becoming one of 14 restaurants in the country to achieve that distinction.
- Encouraged by Michael McNeill MS to enter the Court of Master Sommelier program in 1995 - I passed the practical and blind tasting components of the Master Sommelier exam in October 1999 and in March 2001 I passed the theoretical component of the Master Sommelier exam, becoming the 49th American to earn the Master Sommelier diploma.
- I left the service industry in June 2001 and joined Kysela Père et Fils, (Importer and Distributor of wine, sake, spirits and beers) as a national account manager, to learn the business of moving wine around the world, into and through our system of wholesale distributors and on the trade.
- Completed John Gauntner’s Advanced Saké Professional course in Japan in 2014.
- Married since 1995, with two children, moved to Richmond VA in June 1999.
- Professional travels to France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Wales, England, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Hawaii and the Turks & Caicos have furthered my education.
From Baltimore to Oahu to Richmond, Mike Ledesma’s culinary travels and Filipino heritage continue to inspire his cooking. Once a financial advisor, he made a career change in 2002 when he enrolled in culinary school in Hawaii. Since moving from desk to kitchen, he’s worked under “Iron Chef” Roy Yamaguchi and has brought his passion for food back to the East Coast. Recently he led operations, training and menu development for six restaurants as corporate chef for Richmond Restaurant Group. After opening the Hard Shell’s Southside Richmond location and the Belgian-inspired Max’s on Broad, Ledesma’s menu relaunch at Patina put the restaurant in the spotlight as one of the Richmond Magazine’s top 10 dining establishments. In August 2017 he became Executive Chef at Kabana Rooftop in downtown Richmond.
With a passion for cooking with fresh ingredients and making each dish shine with unique flavor, Executive Chef Mike Lindsey has enjoyed great success in the restaurant industry.
Mike was raised in Eastern North Carolina in a family that spent most of the time fellowshipping in the kitchen. Spending time with his grandparents, mother and father, Mike learned to cook everything, from southern classics to pit smoking whole hog barbeque. Mike grew up in a true farm to table environment with his family. His family grew fresh fruit and vegetables, then harvest them to create the freshest dishes. Raising chickens, hogs and cattle to have the freshest meat to cook and smoke. This upbringing gave Mike a true passion for cooking with fresh ingredients.
Mike’s professional path began with a line cook job at a scratch Italian restaurant in 1995. In a year, he was moved up to head chef. After 4 years, Mike moved on to be a chef at a scratch upscale casual restaurant where he honed his skills in meat and fish butchering. With over 20 years plus, Mike has continued to grow his career a successful Executive Chef. He has worked at several upscale and fine dining restaurants including Ruth’s Chris and Capital Grille. Mike is now the Executive Chef at Red Salt Chophouse & Sushi in Richmond, VA. He has created a very diverse and successful menu of fresh ingredients and flavors. Red Salt has been nominated for Best New Restaurant in Richmond.
Andrew Manning, Patrick Phelan & Megan Fitzroy Phelan
Longoven is a pop-up dinner series hosted by chefs Andrew Manning, Patrick Phelan and Megan Fitzroy Phelan that serves seasonal, ambitious menus featuring the best of local and regional ingredients. With over 20 years combined in the restaurant industry spanning luxury catering, Michelin starred restaurants and international consulting, Longoven have settled in Richmond, VA, opening their brick and mortar in Scott’s Addition in Spring 2018. Bon Appétit Magazine recently named them one of America’s Best New Restaurants.
Courtney Mailey is the owner and cidermaker at Blue Bee Cider, based in Richmond, Va. She is a career switcher who left her desk job in economic development to start a cidery. She apprenticed at Albemarle CiderWorks and then started Blue Bee Cider in 2012 in the Manchester neighborhood. Blue Bee moved to the lovingly renovated Richmond stables in Scott’s Addition in Fall 2016. Mailey is from an Army family and met her husband while on assignment in Belfast, Northern Ireland. They live in downtown Richmond with a precious cat, Vivian.
Chef Dale Reitzer began his cooking career in 1982. After graduating from Johnson and Wales University in 1989, he became chef of Alexander's in Norfolk, VA. In 1990, Dale became the sous-chef at Windows on Urbanna and did short stints during winter months at nationally-acclaimed restaurants including Patina in Los Angeles for Chef Joachim Splichal. In 1993 Dale became the Chef de Cuisine at the Frog and the Redneck in Richmond, VA, and in 1996 he moved to Atlanta to work with Chef Gunther Seeger at the Ritz-Carlton, Buckhead. He was the James Beard nominee, semi-finalist for Best Chef: Mid Atlantic 2010, 2011, 2012 and Food and Wine Magazine America’s Best New Chef 1999.
Returning once again to Richmond in 1998, Dale and his wife, Aline, opened Acacia. Acacia’s menu takes advantage of the freshest, highest quality food the area has to offer; cooked with consideration and to perfection by the chef, with an emphasis on seafood and regional favorites.
David is the Chef & Sole Proprietor of L’Opossum sur la Colline de L’Orégon in Richmond, Virginia. Soon after graduating from New England Culinary Institute, he began his eight year tenure at The Inn at Little Washington spanning 1987 to 1995. From Garde Manger to Executive Sous Chef, David experienced every station and responsibility in the kitchen. During that time, he staged at two Michelin starred properties, L'Oustau de Baumanière and Abbaye de Sainte Croix in France.David's culinary experience also includes apprenticing for Daniel Bonnot at Restaurant de la Tour Eiffel in New Orleans, Executive Chef at The Ashby Inn in Paris, VA, Also in Richmond, Virginia, Chef at Helen’s and Chef/Co-Owner of Dogwood Grille & Spirits.
In 2018 L’Opossum was named The South’s Best Restaurant by Southern Living Magazine. Other recent awards include two 2017 Elbys for Chef of The Year & Restaurant of The Year as well as OpenTable’s Top 100 Restaurants in the U.S. In 2016, L’Opossum was named Style Weekly’s Restaurant of The Year and David was selected as a James Beard Foundation semifinalist for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic.
At L’Opossum, David strives to create a menu and dining experience enhanced by curated music and decor that intrigues and satisfies all senses. “For me, the best part is directing a collaborative process to harness and focus the depth of the diverse skills and talents that everyone on our team possesses.”
A native of the garden state of New Jersey, Joe was born into a family of chefs, and took up the craft at an early age. It was not until he began working at The Ryland Inn under Chef Craig Shelton that he truly found his passion. At the time, The Ryland was the only New Jersey restaurant to be awarded four stars by the New York Times, and the only to be awarded Relais Gourmands by Relais & Chateaux; it is in this environment, with a four acre organic garden to work with, that Joe got his education. Joe received additional training with Chefs David Bouley, Eric Ripert, and Michael Laiskonis in New York City before joining Chef Scott Anderson to open elements in Princeton, NJ.
While Sous Chef and Pastry Chef at elements, Joe managed a team that received top ratings from local and New York press, garnered publication in Art Culinaire, and earned a spot in the top 20 “most important restaurants” in America by the Opinionated About Dining Guide.
Since moving to Virginia, Joe has worked with restaurateur Paul Keevil and with Chef Jason Alley & Michele Jones, along with Ry Marchant, in their latest restaurant venture Pasture.
When not at Heritage, and when the season is right, you can probably find him fishing, or foraging for ramps and other wild delicacies to tempt his son Hunter with.
VMFA pastry chef extraordinaire. Bio to come.
Christine is the Owner/Culinary Director of Mise En Place, located in Richmond, VA. She graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education (formerly Peter Kump's NY Cooking School) in New York City , and has worked in such restaurants as Chanterelle and Eleven Madison Park. Prior opening Mise En Place, Christine worked as a catering chef for A Sharper Palate Catering Company, here in Richmond.
Jenny Tremblay West
Jenny Tremblay West grew up in the hospitality industry, which has fueled her love of connecting with people, traveling, and food. She is a chef who is passionate about teaching folks of all ages the skills and knowledge she has learned over her lifetime. A former pastry chef, baking is one of her favorite things to share with clients and friends.
Born and raised in Goochland County, in the Richmond Region, Patrick grew up learning the food cultures of his mother’s family in Wolftown, VA where cooking from scratch and food preservation were both preferred and necessary. From his father’s family in Eastern North Carolina, he developed an appreciation for the smoking and slow-roasting of pork and other meats.
The fifth person in his family to attend East Carolina University, Patrick enrolled as a freshman to pursue a career as a pharmacist. After two years of heavy science curriculum he changed his major to Hospitality Management, based upon his first work experiences in the kitchens of Richmond-area restaurants. It was there that he re-discovered his passion for fresh ingredients and the art of culinary creation.
Following graduation, he stayed in North Carolina where he continued to hone his skills in the kitchen, restaurant operations and guest service. It was also in the kitchen that he met his lovely wife, and they began to build a life together which ultimately led them back to his Virginia roots.
In 2009, the lure of being close to family, as well as his wife’s career path to becoming a physician led them back to Richmond. Patrick joined the Lemaire team as a line cook just as the restaurant was launching a newly renovated space and a New American menu featuring Virginia grown ingredients and the Southern influences of Richmond. He was then promoted to sous chef before being named executive chef of Lemaire in 2016.
When he is not in the kitchen you can find Patrick outside. He enjoys playing with and chasing after his two young sons, kicking the soccer ball or swinging a baseball bat. He also enjoys being near the water - kayaking, fishing or hunting water fowl. Or, you may just find him tending his homemade smoker and a delicious cut of meat for his family’s dinner.
Jessica has worked with, been taught by and been inspired and motivated by chefs such as Julia Child, Gabrielle Hamilton, Missy Robbins, and Job Yacubian.
She has always been surrounded by the culinary arts from her early years growing up on a farm in Vermont to working with culinary historians to foraging on morning walks to her first job as a dishwasher at age 14. She became the chef at Dear Bushwick and is now poised to open GRACE in Richmond.
Evrim Dogu of Sub Rosa Bakery. James Beard nominated Best Baker in 2017 and 18 with his sister, Evin Dogu. Bio to come
Bio to come.
Adam Campbell is the executive chef of Scuffletown Garden. Formerly of Rappahannock, Campbell is a self-described mix between Gonzo and Janice from the Muppets, and runs a dynamic kitchen with the compassion of Kermit and the authority of Miss Piggy. You can often find him blasting the kinks and taking breaks from prep to start staff dance parties before service. But his passion for food isn’t limited to busting out pork chops (or sick moves) in the kitchen. Adam wears his biggest smile early morning pulling weeds from the manicured garden or finding produce ready at peak ripeness for his season-driven menu.
Bio to come.
Beth Dixon has been in the restaurant industry for over 18 years. She started her bar career behind the stick at Can Can Brasserie. In her almost 7 years at Can Can she honed in her skills as a professional and she bartended up till 38 weeks while pregnant with her beautiful daughter Ellie. Beth credits a lot of her success to the things she learned from Joao Neri & Bob Talcott in her tenure at the French Brasserie. When time came to move on, she rather serendipitously landed at Pasture, where she was hired via text on their opening night by Michele Jones. She worked the bar there for almost 7 years, fine tuning her style with Southern flare and hospitality, eventually to become the bar manager there. The teamwork that Jones and her partner, Jason Alley, encouraged between BOH and FOH, allowed Beth the freedom to make her own mixers and team up with kitchen staff to do an incredibly low waste bar program. Known for her shrubs and high acid cocktails, Beth has now been challenged in her current role as Bar Manager at Perch. Mike Ledesma's Pacific Rim inspired cuisine has opened up a new creative window, where the focus is on Polynesian style cocktails, with tropical fruits and spices.
Chef Hamidullah Noori began his chef’s career in 2004 at the Kabul Serena Hotel, a 5 star hotel in Afghanistan as Commis Chef and quickly promoted to Chef de Partie. After his training, he returned to Kabul Serena Hotel as the Executive Chef where he oversaw the cuisine of several restaurants in the hotel. He was featured in several cooking show episodes on TOLO TV in Afghanistan and was later given the Executive Chef position at the USAID. Since his arrival in Richmond, Chef Noori showcased his talent at the Capital Farmers Market, the Hi Hostels Culture Kitchen and Noorani where he has continued to refine his art in international cuisine. (Photo by Crixell Matthews/WCVE)
Matt Kirwan, a Richmond native, started his culinary career at the Country Club of Virginia when he was sixteen. In 2012, he worked at the West End staple Eurasia, then became the opening sous chef at The Rogue Gentlemen (Rogue). After moving to New York 2015, he worked at The Little Prince in SoHo as well as Virginia’s in the Lower East Side Under Chef Matt Conroy. Returning to Richmond in the fall of 2017, Matt assisted in the opening of The Shaved Duck Restaurant as the executive chef. In October of 2018 Kirwan Joined the Roosevelt as Executive Chef. You’ll rarely find Kirwan in the kitchen without his Yankees hat on as he’s a die-hard New York sports fan. When he’s not in the kitchen, he enjoys listening to music and walking his dog around Church Hill.
Shola Walker is the co-owner and pastry chef of Mahogany Sweets in Jackson Ward along with her two sisters. Prior to opening the bakery in 2017, Walker worked for an allergy-friendly and specialty bakery that previously occupied the Mahogany Sweets space. She brings that same knowledge to the shop where they serve vegan and gluten-free tarts, quiches, tortes and more. (Bio credit: ChefsFeed)
Native Texan, and self-taught pitmaster, Chris Fultz was born near the epicenter of Central Texas barbecue. Trained as an architect and transplanted to Virginia, he discovered that the universal language of barbecue appealed to his passion to create, and to share that creation with friends and family. That inspiration quickly grew into a lifelong obsession to produce the perfectly smoked brisket. Together with his wife / pitmistress, Alex Graf, they opened ZZQ Texas Craft Barbeque in 2018. Chris and Alex sought to create an authentic barbecue experience that blends the culture, techniques, and flavors of Central Texas with the regional influences of Central Virginia. ZZQ’s method is rooted in tradition, but artisanal cooking techniques and unique flavor combinations elevate their barbecue to one of the most sought after commodities in the mid-Atlantic. Unprecedented accolades have followed since their opening in March of 2018. ZZQ was named the Best Barbecue in Virginia, and top 12 in the nation, by Food & Wine Magazine. Following this tremendous recognition, Thrillist named them one of the top 33 Best Barbecue Joints in America two years in a row, and Daniel Vaughn of Texas Monthly Magazine lauded their Texas Barbecue as “Flawless” and stated, “I don’t think anyone outside of Texas does it any better than ZZQ in Richmond, Virginia.”
Florida-born and raised overseas, Brandon experienced a lot of culture and cuisines at an early age. Directly from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, Brandon started working his way through the ranks at Lemaire in the Jefferson Hotel led by Richmond all-star chef, Walter Bundy. In 2016 Brandon left the hotel and embarked with Chef Bundy and assisted in opening a restaurant focusing on utilizing the best ingredients Virginia has to offer. Brandon currently holds the title of Chef de Cuisine at Shagbark Restaurant, Chef Bundy’s homage to the great state of Virginia. Brandon has a musical past including competing with International Drum & Bugle Corps, and teaching numerous competitive scholastic drumlines throughout Virginia and Rhode Island.
Willie Hernandez is a graduate of The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. He has 19 years of culinary experience working his way through the ranks of a retirement community kitchen in Fairfield, California, Sous Chef and Chef De Cuisine of two hotels and resorts, Executive Chef of restaurants in Maui, Hawaii and Hilton Head, South Carolina and Banquet Chef at The Country Club Of Virginia.
Khaled began his career at the Hilton Richmond Downtown in December of 2017 as a Kitchen Supervisor. It quickly became apparent that he had a true passion for culinary creativity and was soon promoted to Sous Chef and now the Executive Chef as of August 2019. Khaled has an extensive culinary background which includes owning his own restaurant in the West End called “Sweet Olive” and over 20 years of hospitality/restaurant experience in Tunisia training under famous French Chefs before moving to the United States.
Born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley, Olivia attended The French Culinary Institute right out of high school to get a degree in Pastry Arts and went on to work at Bouchon, The Inn at Little Washington and Metzger Bar and Butchery in Richmond, Va. At Metzger, she became the Pastry Chef and formed a tight relationship with Brittanny Anderson. Olivia then partnered with her and four others to open Brenner Pass and Chairlift. Being the Pastry Chef at her own restaurant and also the coffee shop next door has given Olivia the opportunity to create a Pastry and Bread Program thats truly her own. (Bio credit: ChefsFeed)
Mary Catherine Thompson Ortolani
A Hanover county native, Chef “MC” Ortolani has been working in kitchens since she was 14 years old – starting out short order at the soda fountain in her grandfather’s Mechanicsville Drugstore.
After earning a chemistry degree from the University of Mary Washington, she attended culinary school at J. Sargeant Reynolds completing both culinary and pastry arts programs.
Previously of A Sharper Palate Catering, Mary Catherine Ortolani has been the Executive Chef of Hanover Tavern since 2013 overseeing a full-service restaurant and on-site catering. Her passions lie in historical foodways, heritage products, house-produced, and farm-to-table relationships. Working in a 300-year-old establishment owned by a historical foundation has allowed her to explore these areas and offer community education on the history of food in Virginia.
Lamont and Alisha Hawkins
Bio to come.
Steve DeRaffele, of Lunch.SUPPER! & Brunch, is a New York native who headed south to Richmond VA in early 2012 for a change of scenery and career. After working his way through every position in the kitchen to kitchen manager to general manager within his first few years in the RVA restaurant scene, Steve DeRaffele eventually found his space at the ever growing Scott’s Addition favorite: Lunch.SUPPER! Shortly after joining the LS team and becoming director of kitchen operations, DeRaffele was able to help build out the restaurants catering and events program, beer garden, and pop-up tasting dinners. DeRaffele brings a piece of his New York/Italian roots and way around a kitchen to the slow southern comfort dishes of the LSB brand. Now 3 years in with the RL Restaurant Group, DeRaffele helped oversee the opening of the groups newest addition to the brand: Brunch, with his first cover to cover menu. Opened in January 2019, Brunch has already found their space on Best Of Richmonds roundups and award lists with their first 8 months.
Rick Lyons was born in Westchester, Pennsylvania in 1964. He is one of seven children. In 1992, Lyons headed south to Richmond, Virginia, and fell in love with the area right away. From 1992-1997, he was the general manager of Memphis Bar & Grill in Shockoe Bottom. From there he went on to design and open Bandito’s on Cary Street (1998), Starlite Dining & Lounge on Main Street (2001), The Republic on Broad Street (2010), Lunch on Summit Ave in the then quiet neighborhood of Scott’s Addition (2012), and Supper on Summit Ave (2014).
In 2016 Lyons further expanded the popular Lunch and Supper brand, adding The Urban Roost Event Space and Urban Roost Beer Garden at Summit and Marshall. The newest addition to the group is BRUNCH in The Fan District at the former Starlite location, right back where he started. In March 2019 Rick matriculated from the Stratford University Culinary Program. In his free time Mr. Lyons loves hanging out with his pup Laker, who is 16 years old, and enjoys cooking and woodworking!
Known as a lively, witty and informative wine lecturer, Bartholomew is also one of the world’s foremost authorities on Port and Madeira. He is credited for being responsible for the growth of Port consumption in North America during the mid 1980’s and was responsible for the re-introduction of Madeira to America in 1989, instrumental in its growth since then. Bartholomew Broadbent’s company, Broadbent Selections, Inc., founded in 1996, is the exclusive US national importer for some of the worlds most sought after family wineries, including Chateau Musar, Warwick Estate, Spy Valley, Ferreira, Quinta do Crasto, Louis Guntrum, Montsarra Cava, Vilafonte, AABadenhorst, and Dr.Hermann. He owns Broadbent Port, Madeira and Vinho Verde in Portugal, Broadbent Malbec in Argentina, Broadbent Gruner Veltliner in Austria and The Curator in South Africa.
Raised in the English wine trade in a formal apprenticeship to his legendary father, Michael Broadbent MW [Director of Christie’s and prolific wine author], Bartholomew’s company is now one of America’s leading wine importers.
Bartholomew Broadbent was named one of the “fifty most influential people in the wine world.” by Decanter Magazine (June 1997). Broadbent Selections, Inc. was nominated Importer of the Year in 2005 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine and was named one of the 100 fastest growing companies in 1998 by Entrepreneur Magazine and Dun & Bradstreet. In 2013 IntoWine.com ranked him 48th in the “Top 100 Most Influential People in the U.S Wine Industry.” Today, he has expanded from his pivotal role in the breathtaking growth of Port and Madeira to “exert a profound influence on the US wine market” says Decanter. He lives in Virginia where he is also pioneering the distribution of Virginia wines, now available in over 30 states.
For Chef Caleb Shriver, food has always been a means of gathering, a way to bring family and friends together. An Oklahoma native, Shriver has fond memories of his mother's southwest cooking, comfort foods often comprised of family caught and hunted fish and game. Growing up he often helped out in the kitchen, and it wasn't long before a fascination with food began to form. After completing a unique culinary apprentice program with Chef Kurt Flieschfresser at The Coach House in Oklahoma City, Shriver wanted to increase his culinary knowledge and experience and made his way to Chicago, landing at Otom, and then Sugar Toad in Naperville, Illinois. In 2010, Shriver moved south to Richmond and began working at Aziza's, developing a relationship with the Richmond community, all the while garnering multiple local awards. In 2012, with a hunger to make his own mark in the food community of Richmond, Caleb & his wife Michelle opened Dutch & Company.
Maggie has loved cheeses since she was a child in central Kentucky. While studying in Paris in college, she took a wine and gastronomy course and a whole world of new options emerged. After graduation, she worked for associations in Washington, DC while following her passion working at a cheese shop in Alexandria. Prior to her move to Richmond, she was cheesemonger at a specialty grocer in Chapel Hill, NC.
Maggie founded Truckle Cheesemongers in 2015 and has spent the past four years popping up in breweries, cideries and wineries, collaborating on cheese classes, and wholesaling to small shops and restaurants. Maggie draws on her Kentucky roots to make a Beer Cheese with Virginia beers. She also offers a monthly Cheese Share, featuring a cheese selection curated by Maggie from around the globe.
Truckle will open a brick and mortar location at Blue Bee Cider this fall and will offer cut to order cheese and charcuterie, cheese boards, and hot sandwiches.