Drew Nieporent, Culinary Director
Drew Nieporent, one of America’s most respected and celebrated restaurateurs, is the founder and inspiration behind the Myriad Restaurant Group, which operates Bâtard, Tribeca Grill, Nobu New York City, Nobu Fifty Seven, Nobu London, Nobu Next Door, Corton and Crush Wine & Spirits. Over the last 26 years, Myriad has opened and operated over 35 restaurants around the world, including Seattle, Louisville, Providence, Boca Raton, London, Moscow, Citi Field, home of the New York Mets in Flushing, New York. Most recently, Myriad helped to open The Daily Burger at Madison Square Garden.
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 an unprecedented two Michelin stars with chef-partner Paul Liebrandt at the helm. Both Nieporent and Liebrandt are featured in a current HBO documentary A Matter of Taste.
Tribeca Grill (1990), with partner Robert De Niro and an all-star roster of investors including Bill Murray, Sean Penn, and Mikhail Baryshnikov, opened to national acclaim and continues to be one of New York’s landmark restaurants.
In 1994, again with partner Robert De Niro and sushi master Nobu Matsuhisa, Drew launched Nobu New York City to worldwide acclaim. Nobu NYC, Next Door Nobu, and Nobu Fifty Seven have all earned the coveted three-star rating from The New York Times. Nobu NYC was voted Best Restaurant in America by The James Beard Foundation. Nobu has gone on to open restaurants in all parts of the world.
Also in 1994, Nieporent was one of the few American restaurateurs to go bi-coastal. In collaboration with Robert De Niro, Robin Williams, and Francis Ford Coppola, he opened Rubicon in San Francisco.
Myriad’s excellence in wine service is widely acknowledged. It is the only restaurant group to earn three coveted Grand Awards from Wine Spectator Magazine – for Rubicon, Montrachet, and Tribeca Grill. In 2005, Myriad opened Crush Wine & Spirits, which was named the best new wine shop by Food & Wine Magazine.
Nieporent graduated in 1973 from Stuyvesant High School and in 1977 from Cornell University with a degree from the School of Hotel Management. While at Cornell, he worked on the world-class cruise ships Vistafjord and Sagafjord. In 1978, he began his management career with Warner Le Roy at New York City’s Maxwell’s Plum and Tavern On The Green. He then worked at the prestigious French restaurants Le Perigord, La Grenouille and Plaza Athenee’s Le Regence.
Drew donates his time to dozens of charities. He is on the board of Madison Square Garden’s Garden of Dreams Foundation, Citymeals-on-Wheels, and DIFFA, an Honorary Chair of the City Harvest Food Council and Culinary Director of the Jackson Hole Wine Auction. He has co-chaired SOS’s Taste of the Nation event in New York City since 1997. He has been honored by Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (2009), American Heart Association (1999), the Tourette Syndrome Association (2000), Food Allergy Initiative (2001), American Liver Foundation (2003), Cancer Research & Treatment Fund (2005), and Kristen Ann Carr Fund (2006). Drew is in great demand as a spirited, highly effective auctioneer at charity events.
AWARDS & HONORS:
Melman Award 2011 Recipient
Cornell 2011 Hospitality Innovator
James Beard Foundation 2009 Outstanding Restaurateur
Nation’s Restaurant News 2005 Hall of Fame for Nobu
DiRoNA’s 2005 Hall of Fame
James Beard Foundation 2000 Humanitarian of the Year
DiRoNA’s 2000 Humanitarian Award
James Beard Foundation 2000 Outstanding Wine Service for Rubicon
Bon Appetit’s 2000 Restaurateur of the Year
James Beard Foundation 1995 Outstanding Service for Montrachet
James Beard Foundation 1995 Best New Restaurant for Nobu
The Food & Beverage Association 1993 Man Of The Year
James Beard Foundation 1992 “Who’s Who of Cooking in America”
Restaurant & Institution’s Ivy Award for four restaurants: Nobu, Tribeca Grill, Rubicon and Montrachet
Fritz Hatton, Auctioneer
Fritz Hatton is one of the nation’s most experienced wine auctioneers. His wine auction experience dates back to 1980, when he joined Christie’s to help start the Wine Department in the United States. He was subsequently promoted to management and became Chief Operating Officer for the Christie’s U.S. and Far East.
After a musical sabbatical in the early 1990’s he returned to Christie’s and served as Director of Christie’s U.S. Wine Department from 1995 to 1998. In this capacity and in partnership with the leading American wine retailer Zachys he was responsible for the largest auctions of wine ever organized in the United States, $4 million and $6.5 million; annual sales rose from $4 million to nearly $20 million. Numerous wine records were established by the department during his tenure, among them the highest price for a single lot of wine ($420,500 for 50 cases of Mouton-Rothschild 1982), the highest price for a single case of wine ($112,500 for a case of Mouton-Rothschild 1945), and the highest price for a single lot of California wine ($77,000 for 25 cases of Dominus 1994). In 2002 he joined the prominent retailer Zachys as auctioneer and consultant for its new solo wine auction venture. The sales conducted beginning in October 2002 have been resoundingly successful and Zachys has now assumed the number one position in the U.S. wine auction market.
Since 1983 Mr. Hatton has conducted charity auctions throughout the U.S., most involving wine in support of arts, educational, and medical charities. In addition to the San Francisco Opera Guild, New York Philharmonic, Napa Valley Opera House, the Sonoma County Wine Auction & Showcase, Peninsula Center for the Blind, Make-a-Wish Foundation, the American Heart Association, and the Jackson Hole Wine Auction, he has served as principal auctioneer for the Napa Valley Wine Auction (the world’s largest charity auction) since 1998.
In the fall of 1998 Mr. Hatton became a vintner when he returned to California to launch Arietta, a super premium Napa winery featuring Bordeaux-style blends, in partnership with winemaker John Kongsgaard. Fritz and his wife Caren purchased the Kongsgaards’ share in Arietta in 2005, and became sole owners. Fritz and Care reside in Saint Helena, California with their two daughters, Libby and Hattie.
A native of Michigan, Mr. Hatton is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and a summa cum laude graduate of Yale with a degree in English Literature. He returned to Yale as one of the first students to enroll in the new Yale School of Organization and Management, from which he received his M.B.A. in 1979. Apart from family and wine, his major interest is classical music, and he is just as happy playing Chopin and singing Schubert as he is encouraging bidders to turn cash into collectible wine.
Neil Loomis, Wine Director
Sommelier Neil Loomis comes to the Jackson Hole Wine Auction from the renowned Fine Dining Restaurant Group, where he is the Wine and Beverage Director. Having started his time with FDRG in 2001 as Bar Manager at Rendezvous Bistro, Neil quickly made his way, replacing co-owner Gavin Fine as wine buyer in 2003. In 2008, he assumed his current position, overseeing all wine and beverage services for the company’s six restaurants, catering company and most recently added Bodega in Teton Village.
Outside the restaurants, Neil has continued his vintner education in California, Oregon, Washington, Argentina, Italy, France, Spain, Chile and New Zealand, even working a harvest for two New Zealand wineries. Neil brings a great deal of passion, knowledge and dedication as head sommelier for Fine Dining Restaurant Group.
Featured Wineries & Chefs
Each year we proudly welcome an elite group of culinary masters and world-class winemakers to the Tetons for the Jackson Hole Wine Auction. This carefully curated selection of top chefs and vintners come together at our one-of-a-kind, three-day charity event to present their tantalizing creations.
Excited to announce our 2016 Featured Wineries…
Antica, Napa Valley
Glenn C. Salva is responsible for all winegrowing activities for ANTICA NAPA VALLEY, the Antinori Family’s Napa Valley, California wine estate. Glenn assumed the role of Wine Estate Manager in December 2002.
ANTICA is a symbol for Antinori California and expresses in Italian our family’s passion for winemaking passed along 26 generations. The Antinori Family history is a narrative about devotion to winemaking that is woven through six centuries and stretches from the family’s lengendary vineyards in Tuscany to Califorinia. Antica Napa Valley is a breathtaking estate set high in the eastern mountains of the Napa Valley. The 550-acre estate produces only small lots of wines, a testament to the discipline and care of the Antinori Family.
Arietta, Napa Valley
Caren and Fritz Hatton
Arietta, an ultra-premium Napa winery specializing in limited production Bordeaux-style blends, is owned by wine specialist and auctioneer Fritz Hatton and his wife Caren. One of America’s most celebrated winemakers, Andy Erickson, crafts the Arietta wines from carefully chosen blocks in the cooler climates of Napa Valley.
The Hattons founded Arietta in 1996 in partnership with winemaker John Kongsgaard and his wife Maggy. The partnership was born of a shared passion for fine wine and classical music. Arietta’s label features the manuscript of Beethoven’s Arietta movement from his last Piano Sonata, Opus 111, written long after the composer had lost his hearing. Opus 111 is one of the most transporting and revolutionary pieces of music ever composed. Serene yet complex, rich yet ethereal, Beethoven’s Arietta provides an inspirational model for great winemaking.
Archery Summit, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Christopher Mazepink joins the stellar team at Archery Summit by way of a rich line-up of well-established Oregon wineries. At Archery Summit, Mazepink manages all vineyard and winemaking operations. This includes the oversight of six estate vineyards across 120 acres in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.
At Archery Summit, Mazepink’s focus will be on expanding the winery’s impressive Pinot Noir program, as well as raising the profile of the winery’s Pinot Gris production. He describes his role as, “a dream job for a winemaker who specializes in Willamette Valley Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris.” He also says, “I firmly believe that the best wines in Oregon are made from the Dundee Hills and Ribbon Ridge AVAs. With Archery Summit’s six estate vineyards planted in these regions, we have all the ingredients to build upon the winery’s past successes.”
Figgins Family Wine Estates, Walla Walla WA
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. Gary Figgins was the first artisan winemaker in the state of Washington and Leonetti Cellars evolved into Washington’s first cult winery. Over the years, Leonetti has garnered 18 ratings of 95 points or more from the Wine Advocate.
After growing up in the wine business, Chris officially joined Leonetti in 1996 after graduating from Washington State University with a degree in Horticulture – he became the head winemaker in 2001. The 2015 vintage will be Chris’s 20th at Leonetti, and his 15th as winemaker. In addition to winemaking, Chris presides over all viticulture operations for Figgins Family Wine Estates, which includes five distinct vineyard sites in the Walla Walla Valley AVA.
Sequoia Grove, Napa Valley
Winemaker Molly Hill oversees all winemaking and production operations of the winery as well as helping with grower relations and recommendations in the vineyards. Top-quality winemaking and grape growing, with passion, is her goal every step of the way. For Hill, balance is of utmost importance in making a great wine. “Balance to me means nothing stands out—not alcohol, not tannin, not acid, nor fruit nor barrel.”
Although Hill joined Sequoia Grove at the relatively young age of 24, she came with experience from quite a few wineries, large and small. During her studies in the UC Davis viticulture and enology program, Hill learned the ropes at Beringer Wine Estates and later making Pinot Noir at Domaine Carneros. Upon graduation, she sharpened her skills and winemaking intuition first at Sea Smoke Cellars and then at Viña Isidro in Chile, where Michael Trujillo contacted her with a job offer. She joined Sequoia Grove in 2003 as assistant winemaker and was promoted to winemaker in 2008.
Excited to announce our 2016 Featured Chefs…
M.B. Post, Manhattan Beach, California
Chef David LeFevre, a native of Madison, Wisconsin, developed his passion for cooking as a child by helping his Mother in the kitchen. He says “I loved the food my mother made and realized that if I knew how to cook, I wouldn’t have to wait for someone else to cook for me.” Yet as a teen he set off on the Industrial Engineering track at the University of Wisconsin, temporarily forgoing his culinary pursuits. Of course it wasn’t long before LeFevre left the Engineering world and, after working in various restaurants, enrolled at the renowned Culinary Institute of America. It was during this time that he interned at Chef Charlie Trotter’s celebrated restaurant in Chicago and made such an impression that he landed a job as tournant at Trotter’s Las Vegas, where he worked until it closed in 1995.
Underbelly, Houston, Texas
Midwest-raised, James Beard Award-winning Chef Chris Shepherd opened Underbelly, featuring locally-sourced food inspired by the ethnic diversity of Houston, in March 2012. The Art Institute-alum and former Executive Sous Chef-turned-Sommelier of Brennan’s brings his farm-to-table passion to fruition at Underbelly, which sources ingredients from the Gulf Coast, surrounding farms and ranches. The in-house butcher shop, which only uses whole animal, supports Shepherd’s passion for butchering and charcuterie. The 2014 James Beard Award winner for Best Chef: Southwest was also named one of the Top 10 Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine. Underbelly was named to the National Eater 38 (one of 38 essential restaurants in America) in 2015 and as one of the best new restaurants in the country by Bon Appetit and Esquire in 2014. Chris runs two Underbelly kiosks inside Reliant Stadium, serving up football-friendly dishes during Houston Texans home games.
Chef Lee Wolen, age 33, was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended a vocational culinary school during high school and quickly decided to pursue a career in the kitchen. During his early career, Wolen worked as Sous Chef in Chicago at Moto and at Butter in 2005, before spending time at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons and the famed El Bulli.
After his time abroad, Wolen returned to the states and spent considerable time at Eleven Madison Park in New York, a three-Michelin-star restaurant, where he held the position of Sous Chef for three years. While at Eleven Madison Park, the restaurant achieved The New York Times’ coveted four stars, earned multiple Michelin stars, and a Top Ten ranking in San Pellegrino’s “World’s 50 Best Restaurants.”
Providence, Los Angeles
At his much acclaimed Los Angeles restaurant Providence, Co-owner and Chef Michael Cimarusti has created elegant and contemporary seafood-centric cuisine for a decade. The chef and the restaurant have earned national accolades that include several James Beard Award nominations and two highly coveted Michelin stars. He combines his extensive knowledge and appreciation for seafood, with an advocacy for sustainable fishing practices that is evident in each dish he creates. “Seafood has inspired me in a personal way from the very start,” he says. “It is my duty to staunchly support its conservation and best practices, and it’s my privilege to have the opportunity to showcase it on a nightly basis.”
Cimarusti cultivated his reverence for ingredients in his experiences leading up to founding the restaurant in 2005. Prior to Providence, he dedicated six years to serving as executive chef at downtown L.A.’s famed seafood restaurant Water Grill, earning both glowing local reviews and a national reputation for his masterful approach to seafood.
Nobu, New York City
Ryo Hasegawa’s immense culinary dedication stems from an early interest in cooking. As a child, he developed a curiosity in the field, eventually resulting in training at his uncle’s restaurant in Niigata, Japan. There, he was able to hone and polish various skills, beginning his culinary career.
Nobu, New York City
Ricky Estrellado’s passion for cooking began at an early age in his native Philippines. As a very young man he worked at Grand Air Caterers preparing meals for a diverse clientele including Malaysian Airlines and United Airlines. After that, Estrellado realized that food was his one true calling and left the Philippines for culinary school in New York City.