Executive Chef – 23 Hoyt
When an opening came available in late 2010 for head chef at 23Hoyt, Bruce Carey went straight to Saucebox chef Jason Neroni for advice. Jason – recently transplanted from California via New York – had recently been working with some of the country’s best talent. Jason didn’t hesitate to recommend his sous chef from Blanca Restaurant in San Diego. Mere days later Amber flew up with her knives, some special ingredients and a chef coat to try out …and blew us away. She moved to Portland and took the helm at 23Hoyt in December 2010. Amber Webster earned an Associate of Science in Culinary Arts degree from the California Culinary Academy Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco. After graduating, Amber moved to San Diego to study and work in some of the cities finest restaurants. Her approach to food is to apply skill and restraint, use locally grown, seasonal ingredients to create unpretentious yet elegant dishes that are deeply satisfying and always delicious.
Executive Chef- Saucebox
Working two jobs from the age of 19, Executive Chef Alex Diestra attributes his deliberate rise in the restaurant business to hard work and good luck; although the two jobs approach was more about wanting to learn and get more training than needing the work. With this strategy, Alex found himself in great kitchens with fantastic mentors, including Indonesian Chef Richard Van Rossum, who hosted a 2001 James Beard dinner in NYC with Alex at his side. James Porter of Petite Maison in Scottsdale, Arizona is also an inspiration and a great friend to Alex. Yet he cites his mother – a great cook – for having the most influence on him. With her appreciation for traditional methods, she coaxes distinct flavors from quality ingredients and makes bright, delicious, always memorable dishes.
This hands-on experience is complemented by Alex’s formal training at the Western Culinary Institute, now Le Cordon Bleu, in Portland. Alex has been a leader in the kitchen at Saucebox for years, working closely with Chef Gregory Gourdet and Chef Jason Neroni before he took the helm in early 2011.
Executive Chef- clarklewis
The hardest phone call clarklewis’ Executive Chef Dolan Lane ever had to make was to his father – to say that his love of food was greater than his love of photography: he wanted to leave university. Fortunately dad was supportive, and Lane’s culinary career, simmering since his first job in a mom n’ pop pizza restaurant, kicked into high gear.
Lane graduated from San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy but gives greatest credit for the chef he’s become to a series of generous mentors, including Walter Pisano of Seattle’s Tulio Ristorante; Marsha Polk-Townsend in San Francisco and most recently Kenny Giambalvo at Bluehour in Portland. “People have always been good to me, have shown me a little more in each position I’ve taken, from making fresh mozzarella with Walter to learning French techniques from Kenny. I learned cooking, but I also learned hospitality and warmth for guests. You’re inviting them into your home for a meal.”
Lane came to Portland to work at Pazzo under Giambalvo, whom he later followed to Bluehour, where he worked until taking the helm at clarklewis.