One of the most highly regarded chefs in America today, Charlie Palmer received critical acclaim for his signature Progressive American cooking, a style built on rambunctious flavors and unexpected combinations with a deep and lasting infusion of classical French technique.
Born and raised in upstate New York and classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Charlie Palmer started his executive chef career at The River Café, Brooklyn’s legendary incubator for the American food movement, where he earned a prestigious three stars from The New York Times and trained a legion of other young cooks who have gone on to become some of America’s leading chefs. In 1988, Palmer made a landmark commitment to creating dishes featuring regional American ingredients at the sublime Aureole, at the time situated in a 19th century town house off Manhattan’s Madison Avenue. After two decades in its landmark location, our flagship restaurant took up residence in the spectacular at One Bryant Park in Times Square, one of the world's most environmentally advanced skyscrapers, where it continued its culinary legacy of intense flavors and unexpected combinations matched by an award-winning wine list. Aureole is in the throes of scouting for a new Manhattan home, and can still be enjoyed thanks to a progressive virtual model, Aureole at Home.
In 1999, Palmer made an early investment in Las Vegas, opening Aureole in the Mandalay Bay Resort as well as his first foray into the modern American steakhouse, Charlie Palmer Steak in The Four Seasons. For this pioneering spirit and culinary trailblazing, he was inducted into the Las Vegas casino community’s “Gaming Hall of Fame.” And over the next 20 years, Palmer combined his creative cooking spirit and flair for business into 15 notable locations spanning the country and a growing collection of boutique hotels.
Palmer, a longtime board member of Citymeals-on-Wheels was named by The James Beard Foundation as “Best Chef in America 1997” and “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” 1998. For his unwavering support of the Culinary Institute of America, he was named to the Board of Trustees, serving as Chairman of the Board from 2013-2016, and presented with an honorary doctorate in April 2018.
A frequent guest on NBC's Today Show, Bravo’s Top Chef, The Rachael Ray Show and more, Palmer is also the author of six cookbooks. He and his family live bi-coastally between New York and Healdsburg, CA, also home to the his vineyards—the foundation for Charlie Clay Pinot Noir, a joint venture with vintner Clay Mauritson, now in its tenth vintage.
Dan Prentice is a hospitality veteran with years of experience working throughout the country and abroad. Following his Captain stint at the clubby, American-style Christy’s in Coral Gables, Prentice spent a decade as manager of Nick’s Fishmarket, one of downtown Chicago’s culinary landmarks. In addition to his general duties overseeing the lounge, dining room and staff management, Prentice brought his unabashed enthusiasm for hospitality to bear by conducting specialized product knowledge training seminars in wine, cognac, cigars and the other essential components of maximizing the fine dining experience.
Following his experience in one of the country’s great dining cities, Prentice embarked on a six- year work tour of Europe, gaining professional knowledge and rich cultural experiences at traditionally acclaimed restaurants such as Germany’s stately Schabbelhaus in Lübeck, Michelin-rated destinations like Munich’s marvelous Schuhbecks and the luxurious Unterberger Stuben, located in the picturesque Austrian Alps ski resort of Kitzbühel.
Returning to the United States, Prentice took up residence on Fitch Mountain in Healdsburg, Calif. (Sonoma County) where he presided over all food and beverage operations for Hotel Healdsburg and Dry Creek Kitchen. “We were lucky to find someone with the proper mix of classical and contemporary experience necessary to accommodate sophisticated travelers,” said Chef Charlie Palmer. “Dan is a well-rounded hospitality expert who knows his food and his wine and isn’t afraid to share his passion for both.” Prentice functioned in a similar capacity at Orange County’s Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdales in South Coast Plaza before serving as the opening general manager at the Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer in St. Helena, Calif. (Napa County) where he hired, trained and set the restaurant in motion. In recognition of his achievements, Prentice earned AAA four-diamond awards consecutively since 2007 as well as the Ivy Award.
For several years, Prentice was retained by Del Frisco’s Restaurant Group to operate and improve Sullivan’s Steakhouses in Washington State, Illinois and Pennsylvania before rejoining Charlie Palmer Collective as general manager of Dry Creek Kitchen.
Outside of the kitchen, Prentice enjoys jogging, travel, and watching independent films.
Dry Creek Kitchen welcomed Wyatt Keith as Executive Chef, beginning in June 2021. However, Keith isn’t new to the company. Keith started with Charlie Palmer Collective in 2017, first at Harvest Table in St. Helena, then moving to Dry Creek Kitchen in early 2018 as a line cook. He quickly moved up to executive sous chef and in June Wyatt took over as Executive Chef.
Wyatt’s skill, respect for ingredients, and passion for his craft make him a natural fit for Dry Creek Kitchen. Chef Palmer says, “It’s been great watching Wyatt work hard and grow into the role of Executive Chef. His kitchen and cooking style lends itself naturally to DCK and I’m thrilled to have him as a leader in the kitchen.”
While many sommeliers have shifted course to become winemakers, Erin has the rather unusual distinction of coming to her new role as a veteran winemaker rather than as a sommelier, and feels that her passion and expertise for making wine will provide restaurant guests with a different perspective.
Erin’s path to the position – and to winemaking – was somewhat of a winding road. She worked in the Peace Corps in Niger and originally intended to become a doctor until she worked her first harvest as a “cellar rat” in Napa. It was when working with the land that Erin discovered a way to bring her loves of art and science together. Becoming a vigneron, developing an understanding of the grape growing process and how every decision made in the vineyard affects the final product fueled her passion – then and now. Prior to joining the Dry Creek Kitchen team, she worked with Evening Land Vineyards, Twomey Cellars, Provingage Wine Associates, and continues to make wine with grower friends. In her new role at Dry Creek Kitchen she is excited to help deepen guests’ experience and appreciation of their wine selections by sharing details of the journey of the grape from the vineyard to the table.