Since the beginning of his celebrated career, master Chef, hospitality entrepreneur and hotelier Charlie Palmer has 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 cuisine. Charlie Palmer’s upbringing on a farm in upstate New York, along with his education in various kitchens in France and at The Culinary Institute of America, provided him with the wherewithal to form this unique style and ultimately strike out on his own. In 1988, he made a significant commitment to creating dishes featuring regional American ingredients at his sublime Aureole, originally situated in a historic townhouse off Manhattan's Madison Avenue and now in a spectacular new location in the heart of New York City’s radiant theater district.
Over the years, Palmer combined his creative cooking spirit and flair for business to open dozens of notable restaurants across the country and a growing collection of award-winning boutique hotels. These include: Michelin-starred Aureole and its less formal counterpart, Liberty Room at Aureole, Charlie Palmer Steak New York, Crimson & Rye, Upper Story by Charlie Palmer, Charlie Palmer at The Knick, JAKE’s @ The Knick and St. Cloud, all at The Knickerbocker Hotel (New York, NY); Charlie Palmer Steak DC, (Washington, D.C.); Aureole at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, and Charlie Palmer Steak Las Vegas at the Four Seasons, (Las Vegas, NV); Charlie Palmer Steak (Reno, NV); Charlie Palmer Steak Napa and Sky & Vine Rooftop Bar (Napa, CA); and Dry Creek Kitchen at the boutique Hotel Healdsburg, (Sonoma County, CA).
A 20-year board member of Citymeals-on-Wheels and longtime supporter of Share our Strength, Chef Palmer and his namesake restaurant and hotel group frequently give back to the community with their trademarked, signature events. A weekend long food and beverage experience at the Hotel Healdsburg, Pigs & Pinot is an annual celebration of award-winning Pinot Noirs, heritage pork, and acclaimed national and local chefs combining their star power and talents to raise serious funds for local Sonoma charities and scholarships, and Share our Strength’s No Kid Hungry Campaign.
Palmer is an admired and respected hospitality figurehead and business leader. The James Beard Foundation named him “Best Chef in America” in 1997 and welcomed him as a member of their illustrious “Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America” in 1998. For his culinary trailblazing in Las Vegas, he was inducted into the casino community’s Gaming Hall of Fame in 2011. Palmer’s unwavering support of his alma mater landed him a seat on The Culinary Institute of America’s Board of Trustees where he served as Chairman of the Board from 2013-2016 and the school bestowed him with an honorary doctorate in April 2018. As a tribute to his hard work and contributions to his upstate New York high school wrestling team, Palmer was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2017. A frequent guest on NBC's Today Show, Bravo’s Top Chef, The Rachael Ray Show and more, Charlie Palmer is also the author of six cookbooks, Great American Food (Random House/1996), Charlie Palmer’s Casual Cooking (Harper Collins/2001), The Art of Aureole, (Ten Speed Press/2002), Charlie Palmer's Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen (Melcher Media/2006), Remington Camp Cooking by Charlie Palmer (Charlie Palmer Group/2013), Charlie Palmer’s American Fare (Grand Central Life & Style/April 2015).
A caring, supportive father to four boys and doting husband to Lisa, Palmer holds the honor of family higher than any of his hospitality accolades. The family lives bi-coastally, both in New York and in Healdsburg, CA where the Palmer estate is home to abundant fruit trees and produce gardens, as well as vineyards, which are the foundation for his joint venture wine with Clay Mauritson, Charlie Clay Pinot Noir, now in its tenth vintage.
An industry veteran and CIA graduate, Executive Chef Scott Romano brings vast experience and an authentic approach to the culinary leadership at Dry Creek Kitchen. His philosophy of honest food served with integrity is critical to the restaurant’s wine country hospitality.
Scott became interested in cooking at a young age, hunting with his father and utilizing the entire animal to make family meals. He’s continued in this pursuit to this day, making refined charcuterie and jerkies, both of which appear on Dry Creek Kitchen’s daily menus.
Scott joined the Charlie Palmer Group in 1997 as a line cook at the group’s flagship, award-winning, New York property, Aureole, and was tapped to helm Palmer’s Alva (later Kitchen 22) and Kitchen 82 as Chef de Cuisine. After seven years with CPG in New York, the Jersey-native headed to California and worked with Palmer at Astra West and subsequently with Wolfgang Puck at his renowned Spago. During this time, Scott continued to refine his straightforward approach and in 2007 relocated to Dallas, Texas, again with Charlie Palmer Group. Upon opening Charlie Palmer at The Joule, Romano earned a four-star review from the Dallas Morning News. With continued passion for wild game, Scott explored his interest at The Frisco Gun Club and Nick & Sam’s Steakhouse, as well as a stint as Gerald Ford’s personal chef.
Scott’s skill, respect for ingredients, and passion for his craft make him a natural leader within the Charlie Palmer Group and at Dry Creek Kitchen.
A native Californian, Michael Cope has worked in the hospitality industry for over twenty years and brings a wealth of diverse knowledge and experience to his role as general manager at chef Charlie Palmer’s renowned Dry Creek Kitchen. Since joining the team in 2016, Cope has demonstrated strategic management and operation skills and is fully committed to imbuing wine country hospitality in the restaurant.
Cope discovered his passion for the hospitality industry by way of pursuing a business degree at California State Hayward. Like most industry professionals, Cope’s first related experience was as a server. Cope quickly worked his way up the culinary latter and held management positions at various restaurants in Northern California before becoming the General Manager at the girl & the fig in Sonoma, where he successfully improved all aspects of the restaurant’s revenue. He then traveled across the valley to Napa, where he managed Brix Restaurant before heading back to Sonoma as a Consulting Manager for Moana Restaurant Group. Now in Healdsburg, Cope has proven to be a valuable member of not only the Dry Creek Kitchen team, but also the local, tight-knit Sonoma County community.
Cope lives in Sonoma on a once working, small farm with his wife Cynthia and son Nicholas. To this day, the farm provides Chef Scott Romano with a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables used at Dry Creek Kitchen.