Participating Hotels & Chefs

Sarah Steffan

Executive Chef

From line cook to pastry chef to sous chef, Sarah Steffan has held just about every title in the kitchen along the way to becoming the Executive Chef of the Dogwood at Blackberry Farm®. With more than 10 years of experience, Steffan opened the Dogwood at Blackberry Farm® for dinner in April 2015. Steffan grew up on a farm milking goats, planting gardens, and cooking. She learned how to cook using fresh, local, and sustainable ingredients. Steffan’s philosophy of cooking marries perfectly with Blackberry Farm’s Foothills Cuisine®. Prior to Blackberry Farm, Steffan spent many years working in other Relais & Chateaux kitchens including The Point and Fearrington House. A graduate of Paul Smith’s College in New York, Steffan also studied abroad at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Travis Hixon

Blackberry Farm

Like many craft brewers, Travis started his journey as a home brewer, quickly embracing his passion for quality beer. After 14 years of brewery work, he took a six-year detour from brewing to work in the distilled spirits sector. In 2017, Travis returned to his brewing roots and joined the Blackberry Farm Brewery team as Brewmaster. Enticed by the ethos of Blackberry Farm and the BF Brewery, Travis shares a passion for the old-world style of brewing and taking time to do things right. As Brewmaster, he is helping create a structure for the BF Brewery to continue growing while maintaining the same high standards of quality. A lifelong Tennessean, Travis is embracing life in Maryville and excited for the future of the brewery.

Tony Adams

Cooking School Director

Chef Tony Adams has spent much of his life in kitchens all over the world. Growing up in central Maine, he attended Johnson & Wales University in Providence, obtaining a unique bachelor’s degree in culinary arts. After college, he spent time in several fine dining restaurants, including working with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire, England.

Chef Adams was an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Orlando for more than five years, teaching over 4,500 students in his tenure, and twice being named the Best Chef Instructor as voted by the student body. He also owned a local-food-focused business in Orlando, Big Wheel Provisions. He has spent recent years cooking in restaurants and for private clients in Nantucket and Pennsylvania. His specialties include charcuterie, butchery, making fresh pasta, as well as modern American cuisine and classical French and Italian cuisines. When he’s not in the kitchen, you can find him hunting for hard-to-find bourbon, fishing at the beach, and keeping track of his favorite New England sports teams.

Chef Anthony Cole

Executive Chef

As Executive Chef of Chatham Bars Inn, Anthony Cole brings to the position some of the finest formal training available, experience in the kitchens of highly acclaimed chefs and the insights of a twelve-year career with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, most recently as Executive Chef for The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. Now at Chatham Bars Inn, he gathers his multiple talents to design bold, ingredient-driven menus for the resort’s four onsite venues: the Main Dining Room, the Tavern, the Beach House Grill and the Chef’s Table and Wine Cellar. He also oversees all day-to-day dining operations, including the creation of seasonal menus and daily specials, room service orders and banquet functions.

Following graduation form Johnson & Wales University, Cole moved to Atlanta, to begin a promising career with The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company as a lead Banquet Cook at the Mobile Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta, advancing quickly to positions as Garde Manger Chef and Banquet Chef. The rich multi-cultural environment of both city and hotel dished out a diverse education in regional specialties – Caribbean, classic American, Korean and French, among others.

Ethan Howard

Pastry Chef

Ethan Howard, pastry chef at the award-winning Murray Circle restaurant, uses fresh, local ingredients to create the refined, sweet treats that complement executive chef Justin Everett’s ever-changing, seasonal menu. Chef Howard believes in the importance of natural simplicity and embracing the true essence of ingredients’ natural flavors.

From the age of six while growing up in San Jose, California, Chef Howard knew he wanted to be a chef. He initially developed his sweet tooth for pastries while working with Chef François Payard in New York City. It was there he learned basic techniques and developed a passion for the art of baking French-style pastries.

Building upon his prior experience in New York City, Chef Howard had the opportunity to fine-tune his preparation techniques by studying refined pastry at The French Laundry with Pastry Chefs Steven Durfee and Sebastien Rouxel. His next adventure led him to The Martini House in St. Helena, where he defined the pastry menu that served as a finale to the restaurant’s rustic menu. Before starting his position at Murray Circle, Chef Howard worked as a pastry chef at Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, California.

Chef Howard has developed a fond appreciation for working in Marin County due to the abundance of organic, seasonal ingredients available in the area. He has a genuine passion for experimenting with unexpected flavor combinations and he searches for his creative inspiration in everyday life and art.

Consistently sought after to create his renowned signature sweet finishes for tastings and special events around the region, Chef Howard was also named one of the Top 5 Pastry Chefs in the U.S. by GAYOT in 2008.

Derek Leinonen

Executive Chef

Chef Derek Leinonen began his roots in Detroit Michigan where hunting, fishing and gardening in the backyard started his passion for food. Chef Leinonen left Michigan and headed south to West Palm Beach Florida at the Florida Culinary Institute.  His culinary adventure began at PGA National Country Club, Delray Beach Marriott, Sheraton Austin Texas, Boca Marriott, and then honed his skills in the Adirondacks at The Sagamore Resort. Through his early experiences with farm to table and enhanced skills from the Adirondacks, Chef Leinonen gained the head toque at The Lake Placid Lodge a Relais & Chateaux property. His passion and creativity for food combines the modern American cuisine with fresh farm to table ingredients.

Chef Sunny Jin

Executive Chef

EXECUTIVE CHEF, THE RESORT AT PAWS UP, GREENOUGH, MT
VETERAN OF THE FRENCH LAUNDRY AND EL BULLI

Before becoming The Resort at Paws Up’s executive chef, Sunny Jin’s culinary journey took him around the world, cooking at the French Laundry, El Bulli and Tetsuya’s. His formative skills developed in Portland, Oregon, at the Western Culinary Institute, where he won the coveted Grand Toque Award. Now, his culinary journey has come full circle, first at the Allison Inn & Spa’s Jory restaurant and now as executive chef at The Resort at Paws Up.

Chef Sebastien Archambault

Executive Chef

A native Texan, Sebastien Archambault was raised in France and developed a passion for food at an early age while working in his family’s restaurant. After studying at Ferrandi in Paris, perfecting his skills beside legends such as Alain Ducasse and Guy Savoy, and serving as chef of the Michelin-starred Le Pirate in Corsica, Archambault helmed acclaimed establishments in Mexico City, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and New York City. As the Mansion’s Executive Chef, he oversees all the culinary experiences throughout the hotel and restaurant, leading a new chapter in their illustrious histories, blending tradition with impeccable gastronomic artistry.

Chef Laurent Pillard

Executive Chef

At St. Regis Aspen Resort, Laurent Pillard serves as the Resort Executive Chef, where he oversees the property’s culinary teams at Velvet Buck, the resort’s signature restaurant with a focus on modern mountain cuisine; Mountain Social Bar & Lounge; Splash Pool Lounge; and in-room dining. Known for his classic European background and sophisticated culinary style, Chef Pillard brings a worldly viewpoint and unparalleled level of expertise to the resort and to the Aspen community.

Chef Pillard’s previous experience includes extensive work in France’s top kitchens, including Ècole Hôtelière François Billoux in Blois; the two Michelin starred Hôtel du Lion d’Or in Romorantin (where he truly discovered his love for cooking); L’Archestrate and Lucas Carton, both three Michelin-star restaurants in Paris; and Troisgros in Roanne, where he was the Chef de Partie and worked alongside Chef Joël Antunes.

Following his time in France, Chef Pillard moved to Melbourne, Australia to work as the sous chef at Mietta’s. He then moved back to Europe where he was reunited with Antunes in London where the two opened Les Saveurs, which was awarded a Michelin star in its first year. In 1996, Pillard returned to France where he served as the executive chef at Hôtel du Rivage.

Reuniting again in 2000, Pillard and Antunes moved to Atlanta, Georgia to jointly run the dining room at Ritz Carlton Buckhead. While in Atlanta, Pillard was introduced to Chef Hubert Keller and moved to Las Vegas shortly thereafter to open Fleur de Lys and Burger Bar at the Mandalay Bay Resort.

Outside of the kitchen, Pillard has a passion for travel, biking, soccer, and hunting, and is thrilled to reside in Aspen with his wife, son, and dog – Sushi.

Bernard Ibarra

Executive Chef

Bernard Ibarra brings more than 30 years of culinary and hospitality experience to Terranea Resort. In his role as executive chef, he oversees the daily supervision of all of the resort’s food and beverage operations, including eight dining venues, in-room dining and their banquets division.

Born and raised on the French side of Basque Country, Ibarra became interested in pursuing a career as a chef early on. His parents’ ability to create complex cuisine using simple ingredients served as an inspiration, along with growing up in a tourist destination. Basque’s seaside restaurants, fisheries and marketplace created an environment and lifestyle filled with food and centered on hospitality.

Ibarra earned his culinary associate degree at Collège Technique La Citadelle and began his career working at Michelin-rated Hôtel des Pyrénées with mentor Chef Firmin Arrambide. He went on to join the Four Seasons hotel group, where he immersed himself at locations in Calgary, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, Houston, Tokyo and Singapore. Ibarra was then named executive chef of the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore before joining Arnaud’s in New Orleans, and later the world-renowned Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong. Most recently, Ibarra served as executive chef of The Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and was executive chef of the team that opened Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

Ibarra’s cooking philosophy is that “one must respect the ingredients and the cultures, feel the passion, and live your life like you are cooking a great dish.” His global travels and exposure to various cuisines fuel his desire to continue growing. He finds harmony and comfort in cooking and enjoys sharing his innovation and passion with guests and fellow chefs.

Giving back to the community is an important focus for Ibarra, and he donates his time to many philanthropic and charitable endeavors on behalf of Terranea. He is a proud parent of two children: his daughter Kayla and son Keita. In his free time, Ibarra enjoys scuba diving, underwater photography, surfing, sailing, cycling and flying. His passion extends to gardening, wine and, of course, cooking.

Nate Lindsay

Executive Chef

Nate Lindsay is the executive chef of Bardessono Hotel & Spa, the luxurious, LEED Platinum-certified wine country retreat in the heart of Napa Valley. Lindsay oversees all aspects of the culinary experience at Bardessono and for Lucy Restaurant & Bar, the hotel’s award-winning, signature restaurant that presents innovative, garden-inspired cuisine embodying the property’s “exceptional by nature” modern aesthetic and eco-spirit.

Before taking the helm at Bardessono, Lindsay was the executive chef at the farm-to-fork restaurant Jardenea at Melrose Georgetown Hotel in Washington, D.C. Lindsay embraces the philosophy of serving inventive dishes through artful presentations with the use of the highest-quality seasonal ingredients. Noted by Parade magazine as a chef who “takes the whole farm-to-table trend to a whole new level,” Lindsay’s talent at creating harvest-centric cuisine was revered by national media outlets and the D.C. community.

Lindsay’s love affair with food has put his career on the fast track within Remington Hotels’ Luxury Division. Prior to his role as executive chef at Melrose Georgetown Hotel, Lindsay was part of the pre-opening team at One Ocean Resort & Spa and Azurea Restaurant in Atlantic Beach, Florida, where he quickly assumed the position of executive sous-chef. He spent time overseeing all food-and-beverage outlets at the Florida resort.

Lindsay began his formal training at Connecticut Culinary Institute in Suffield, Connecticut, where he studied advanced culinary arts. Before joining One Ocean Resort & Spa and Azurea, Lindsay led the kitchen for Amelia Island Plantation’s Ocean Grill in Fernandina Beach, Florida.

A seasoned talent with extensive experience in the culinary arena, Lindsay has a reputation for meticulous preparation and presentation. He takes current, conscious cooking to a new level with his locavore ideology that reflects the growing trend toward a healthier lifestyle. By building relationships with local farmers and purveyors, Lindsay brings a taste of his dedication to the table and reaffirms the direct connection between land and plate.

With his signature style and welcoming smile, Lindsay considers himself lucky to be able to call Yountville home, and takes pride in providing dining experiences that are both memorable and inspiring.

Pablo Mellin

Chef de Cuisine

Chef Mellin was born and raised in the village of Rio Nexpa, Mexico. He moved to the United States in 1986 and began his culinary career as a line cook at the Hog’s Breath Inn Restaurant in Carmel, California. After working in a variety of local Monterey fine-dining restaurants, including the Sardine Factory, he embraced the opportunity to cook at Pebble Beach Resorts® in 1991.

In 2000, Chef Mellin became lead supervisor at Roy’s at Pebble Beach, where he was able to hone his skills in Hawaiian-fusion cuisine. In 2005, he was promoted to sous-chef, a position where he would gain a wealth of knowledge in Japanese products, global flavors and unique presentations. In 2008, Chef Mellin took over the reins of Roy’s at Pebble Beach as chef de cuisine.

As an active member in the community, Chef Mellin participates in numerous local special events such as Cooking for Solutions and Pebble Beach Food & Wine. At the 2010 Harvest Farm-to-Table, he won the award for “Best Dish.” More recently, Chef Mellin was voted the 2013 Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation, Monterey Bay Chapter.

Chef Mellin loves Asian cuisine with its vast array of ingredients and intense flavors. Tropical fruits, fresh produce and seafood are the flavors of Chef Mellin’s youth, and he has brought that passion to Pebble Beach Resorts.

Angela Tamura

Chef de Cuisine

Angela Tamura is a native of New England who now calls California home. Although she has been cooking all her life, a prerequisite with an Italian mother, she has been doing so professionally for only 12 years. Tamura attended, and graduated from, the University of Pennsylvania before finally realizing her senior year that what she really wanted to do was cook and create good food.

After working her way through several kitchens, she decided to attend the New England Culinary Institute in Essex, Vermont. As part of her education, she took two demanding internships: one at The Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, Florida, and one at Rialto Restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts. After fulfilling all of her school requirements, she stayed on at Rialto for another two years to continue learning from James Beard Award-winning Chef Jody Adams. From her time at Rialto, Tamura thought it would be great to see the wine country and learn more about food and wine together, so she moved to Napa and took the position of sous-chef at Bistro Don Giovanni, eventually moving up to Chef de Cuisine.

In 2001, after taking time to get married, she joined the team at ZuZu. She felt a real affinity for the tapas concept and enjoyed the flexibility and creativity it afforded. She stayed on a year before being coaxed away to San Mateo to become executive chef at Central Park Bistro. Now back at Zuzu as executive chef and really coming into her comfort zone, Tamura is enjoying playing with small plates. She has a real love of Spanish and Latin American cuisine and is starting to explore other regions of the Mediterranean such as Morocco and Greece for added inspiration.

Ryan Rupp

Executive Chef

Ryan Rupp was originally hired as a line cook and saucier, at the Arizona Biltmore- Waldorf Astoria and, in the space of only a few years, advanced first to Sous Chef.
From there he moved to Maui and learned Farm to Table fining dining with daily revolving menus at Roy’s Ka’anapali until moving to South Beach to open Chef Morimoto’s first hotel F&B operation. Always with an eye open to Northern California, he took his first executive chef position at the Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa, with a focus on ingredient forward and wine friendly offerings. He is delighted to be here at Skywalker, with great home grown and raised ingredients, and genuinely wonderful team.

Laura Werlin

Laura Werlin is one of the country’s foremost authorities on cheese. She is a James Beard award-winning author of six books on the subject and a sought-after speaker and spokesperson for consumer and trade organizations. She is also a popular presenter at food and wine festivals such as the Food & Wine Classic at Aspen, Pebble Beach Food & Wine, LA Food & Wine, Palm Desert Food & Wine, and the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta among others, and she is often tapped by wineries to present cheese and wine pairings to consumers and trade alike. A self-styled “edu-tainer,” Laura possesses the rare ability to entertain while educating about almost anything related to cheese.

Laura has been featured on numerous television, radio and Internet video channel segments across the country including the Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family, Oprah.com, CNN, QVC, the Martha Stewart Show, and the CBS Early Show, as well as numerous local television and radio shows. In addition, she has been the subject of instructive yet fun cheese-related videos on the popular website chow.com. She has also written for national magazines including Food & Wine, Sunset, Everyday with Rachael Ray,Culture, Aspen Magazine, Saveurand Delta Sky.

Laura is also involved in various cheese-related organizations including serving on the boards of the American Cheese Education Foundation and California Artisan Cheese Festival. She is also a member of the prestigious Guilde des Fromagers, the American Cheese Society and the California Artisan Cheese Guild.

When Laura isn’t eating or teaching about cheese, she can be found jogging on the streets, hiking in the mountains, or in a nod to her previous profession in the broadcast news industry, watching the news — naturally while eating cheese.

Brandon Jew

Executive Chef and Owner of Mister Jiu's

Brandon Jew is the executive chef and owner of Mister Jiu’s, a contemporary Chinese American restaurant in the heart of San Francisco Chinatown. Mister Jiu’s combines the local, seasonal and organic bounty of the Bay Area together with classic Chinese techniques and flavors. The restaurant celebrates its place in the historic neighborhood working to evolve and define Chinese American cuisine in the Bay Area.

Brandon’s training spans from Bologna, Italy to Shanghai, China and many restaurants within the Bay Area. He considers Judy Rodgers (Zuni Café), Michael Tusk (Quince) and his grandma, Ying Ying, to be his most influential mentors. Brandon has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Mind of a Chef, Ugly Delicious, and Vice Munchies. His honors at Mister Jiu’s include one
Michelin star, Bon Appetit #3 Restaurant on Hot 10 2017, SF Magazine Chef of the Year and James Beard nomination for Best Chef West 2018.

Michael Scholz

Vice President Winemaking and Vineyards

Michael Scholz is a sixth-generation winemaker from Australia’s famed Barossa Valley. His storied career began on his family’s estate, the Willows Vineyard, in the 1980s. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Oenology in 1985 at Roseworthy, Australia’s first agricultural college (now part of the University of Adelaide), and traveled the world honing his craft in France, South Africa and the United States.

He has spent over a decade at St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery challenging himself year after year to express the full potential of the vineyards’ worth of exquisite estate fruit. Scholz firmly believes that great wine begins in the vineyard, so when he first arrived at St. Supéry in 1996, he worked closely with the vineyard manager on an extensive replanting project to unite blocks with their ideal varietals, focusing on the classics of Bordeaux. Thanks to his vision, a signature style developed that has captured the imagination of wine lovers around the world. The Sauvignon Blanc has become a California benchmark, and in 1998, Scholz created the gracious Bordeaux inspired blend, Élu, with renowned wine consultant Michel Rolland. Of his friend and colleague, Rolland says, “Michael Scholz is on my list of great winemakers from around the world.”

Participating Vintners

Lexus Cycling Ambassador

Lexus Cycling Ambassador Christian Vande Velde

Christian Vande Velde is a retired American professional road racing cyclist who rode professionally between 1998 and 2013. He competed for the U.S. Postal, Liberty Seguros, Team CSC and Garmin-Sharp teams and is an 11-time Tour de France veteran, holding a top 10 title for two of those years. The two-time Olympian and five-time National Champion is currently a color commentator and analyst for NBC Sports for the Tour de France, Olympics and other cycling events.  He also acts as a Guest Peloton Instructor and Lexus Cycling Ambassador. Christian is a Chicago native who currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina, with his wife, who tailors his diet for performance, and two daughters.

Lexus Culinary Master Sommelier

Lexus Culinary Master Sommelier Carlton McCoy

Carlton McCoy, Master Sommelier, became President and CEO of Heitz Cellar in December 2018. To Carlton, Heitz Cellar represents a very particular style of Napa wines: ones that speak to an earlier era in California winemaking. His vision will highlight the winery’s consistent focus on remaining true to its elegant, pure style. “There has to be reverence when it comes to these older brands that create the greatest wines in the country,” he states. “It is fortunate that the Heitz family believed in that style and didn’t change it over the years. It makes the wines the unique experience that they are.”

In addition to his position at Heitz Cellar, he represents Lexus as it’s Culinary Master Sommelier.