2019 WINTER FEST TALENT
CHEF richard blais
Juniper & Ivy & Crack Shack | California
Richard Blais is a successful chef, restaurateur, James Beard nominated cookbook author and television personality. Perhaps most recognizable as a recurring judge on Bravo’s Top Chef and the winner of Top Chef All-Stars, Blais graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and trained at The French Laundry, Daniel, Chez Panisse, and el Bulli.
Blais currently owns and operates Trail Blais, a forward-thinking culinary company that has consulted on, designed, and operated multiple popular eateries. In San Diego, where he currently resides, Blais is a partner at the popular Juniper & Ivy and Crack Shack restaurants, which is expanding to multiple locations throughout California.
Blais is a James Beard Award-nominated author of Try This at Home: Recipes from My Head to Your Plate, and his second cookbook, So Good, was released in May 2017 (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). In addition, Blais recently launched a podcast entitled “Starving for Attention” which provides an entertaining, behind-the-scenes look into the food industry, and has featured guests including Wylie Dufrense, Michael Voltaggio, Andrew Zimmern, Gail Simmons, Lou Diamond Phillips, and more.
Chris Figgins, President & Winemaking Director
Figgins Family Wine Estates, Walla Walla WA
For more than 40 years, the Figgins Family has been producing wines of consistently high quality at Leonetti Cellar which was bonded in 1977 by Founders Gary and Nancy Figgins. What started as Gary’s vision to make world-class wines in Walla Walla has turned out to be a true American success story. Today, Leonetti Cellar produces some of the most sought after wines in the world.
Chris Figgins is the President and Winemaking Director for Figgins Family Wine Estates (FFWE). Chris succeeds his parents, Gary and Nancy Figgins, who founded Leonetti Cellar in 1977 – the oldest winery in Walla Walla. After growing up in the wine business, he officially joined Leonetti in 1996 post-graduation from Washington State University with a Horticulture degree. Chris assumed the position of head winemaker in 2001. In addition to running the day to day business and winemaking, Chris presides over all viticulture operations for FFWE, which includes seven distinct vineyard sites in the Walla Walla Valley AVA. To extend the FFWE experience further into wine and food Chris recently launched Toil Oregon, a small-production Willamette Valley Pinot Noir, FIGGINS, a single-vineyard estate wine brand, and Lostine Cattle Company, all natural grass-fed beef. Chris was instrumental in transforming Leonetti into an estate grown winery and is known industry-wide for consistently pushing the envelope viticulturally. A frequent public speaker, Chris loves to share his passion for sustainable farming and biological soil health.
JHFW Culinary Director
Owner, Nobu and Bâtard, New York, NYC
Drew Nieporent, one of America's most respected and celebrated restaurateurs, is the founder and inspiration behind the Myriad Restaurant Group, which operates Tribeca Grill, Nobu New York City, Nobu Fifty Seven, Nobu London, Nobu Next Door, Bâtard, Porsche Grille at Citi Field, and Crush Wine & Spirits. Over the last 30 years, Myriad has opened and operated over 39 restaurants around the world, including Seattle, Louisville, Providence, Boca Raton, London, San Francisco, Moscow, Citi Field, home of the New York Mets in Flushing, New York.
Nieporent's first restaurant, the groundbreaking Montrachet (1985), earned three stars from The New York Times and kept that rating for 21 years. In 2008, the restaurant reopened as Corton, maintaining its three New York Times stars and receiving two Michelin stars with chef-partner Paul Liebrandt at the helm. In May of 2014, Nieporent reopened the space as Bâtard with the help of chef- partner Markus Glocker and partner John Winterman. Earning three stars from The New York Times, New York Magazine, and a coveted Michelin star, the restaurant opened to critical acclaim. As 2014 came to an end, Bâtard landed at the top of several end-of-year lists, including the number one spot on The New York Times' list of "The 10 Best New Restaurants of 2014". In May of 2015, the restaurant won the James Beard award for “Best New Restaurant”.
Owner & Operator, Death & Co.
Los Angeles, CA
Alex Day bar owner and operator based in Los Angeles, CA. As co-owner Death & Co and other cocktail-focused bars, Alex and his team build world-class establishments renowned for their attention to detail and hospitality. Alex has also consulted for numerous restaurants and bars in the United States and abroad – designing bars, developing beverage programs, and training staffs.
Alex has a strong interest in spirits, cocktail, and hospitality education, teaching classes and seminars at various trade events and culinary schools around the world. As a writer, Alex contributed to many publications, including Tasting Table, ReadyMade Magazine, and Liquor.com, and is the co-author of Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails and the recently released, Cocktail Codex: Fundamentals, Formulas, Evolutions.
BIG WINES, SMALL PLATES
HOSTED BY JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT
Chris Figgins, Figgins Family Wines EstateS, Washington
MARY KATE BUCKLEY, JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT | URLARI WINES, JACKSON HOLE
DINNER PRESENTED BY
MICHAEL BRITTON, JACKSON HOLE MOUNTAIN RESORT
COCKTAIL CODEX MASTERCLASS
SPONSORED BY EDRINGTON PREMIUM SPIRITS COMPANY
HOSTED BY IL VILLAGGIO OSTERIA
Premium spirits provided by edrington
TASTE OF TETON VILLAGE - Best of Après Ski
PRESENTED BY FIRST REPUBLIC BANK
HOSTED BY FOUR SEASONS RESORT JACKSON HOLE
MUSIC PROVIDED BY ROCKY VERTONE
WINE, BEER, & SPIRITS
RESTAURANTS & BENEFICIARY