I've been in the hospitality/restaurant business from the time I was a kid, whether knowingly or not! My parents had a newsletter called "La Belle France" which reviewed restaurants and hotels in France and we would travel to France for several weeks every summer. We would visit the very best restaurants and hotels in Paris and the countryside. We were constantly evaluating the service, food, ambiance, decor.... all of it. It was an education on the best of the best. As a child, I was looking at what was right, what was off, and what could have been
done better and why.
After graduating from SMU in Dallas, I moved back to Paris, where I had spent several semesters of undergraduate studies, to attend the famed Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School. I spent a year in their
"Grande Diplôme" program and loved every minute of it.
I was fixated on every aspect of food and hospitality.
I finished Cordon Bleu at the top of my class which earned me the opportunity to apprentice under Chef Roland Durand at the
3-Star Michelin Restaurant Le Prè Catelan in Paris's Bois de Boulogne. Working for 6 months in a restaurant of this caliber was an experience unlike anything else. Though I spent weeks on end deveining fois gras and picking tiny leaves off chervil stems, I also worked every station and was honored by Chef Durand when he asked me to plate President Mitterrand's entrée. He patiently stood over me, and watched my every move, but allowed me to plate the entire dish!
I went from there to Australia where I worked in Perth at Club Bayview, the top restaurant/nightclub in Western Australia. Fun though it was to wake up and surf every morning, I moved back to the U.S. where I managed "Lapis" on San Francisco's waterfront.
It was then on to New York, where I worked at Travel + Leisure,
and was a restaurant and hotel critic for
Manhattan Magazine, Golf Digest, Golf Travel, La Belle France,
and Men's Journal.
I came back home to Charlottesville to raise my two children, June & Wallace, and to introduce my love of food and wine to our community through
Tavern & Grocery.
In January 2020, Simeon Market opened. Though the pandemic curtailed my initial vision of Simeon being a breakfast and lunch café and a neighborhood meeting spot, complete with little French café tables, a great coffee bar, and gourmet specialties, we managed to survive the curveball. Simeon now offers breakfast and lunch, though the little tables are now scattered al fresco in view of the vineyards! And it's still the best place to put together your afternoon picnic for a visit to the area wineries!
bio coming soon