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, award-winning boutique hotels and a growing collection of food-forward wine shops. These include: Michelin-starred Aureole and its less formal counterpart, Liberty Room at Aureole, Charlie Palmer Steak, Crimson & Rye, Upper Story by Charlie Palmer, the all-new Charlie Palmer at The Knick, and the soon-to-open St. Cloud (New York, NY); Charlie Palmer Steak, (Washington, D.C.); Aureole at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, and Charlie Palmer Steak at the Four Seasons, (Las Vegas, NV); Charlie Palmer Steak and Briscola in Reno, NV; Dry Creek Kitchen at the boutique Hotel Healdsburg, (Sonoma County, CA); as well as two hotels and restaurants in the Bay Area with his Palmer City-Core partners, Mystic Hotel by Charlie Palmer and Burritt Room + Tavern (San Francisco, CA); and Harvest Inn by Charlie Palmer and its forthcoming restaurant, Harvest Table, opening May 2015 (St. Helena, 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. A James Beard Award Winner and Chairman of the Board of The Culinary Institute of America, Palmer is also the author of six cookbooks, including the all-new Charlie Palmer’s American Fare which was released in April 2015.
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.
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 Group as general manager of Dry Creek Kitchen.
Outside of the kitchen, Prentice enjoys jogging, travel, and watching independent films.
Wine and hospitality expert Jeff Creamer brings his deep knowledge of Northern California wines to Dry Creek Kitchen, renowned chef Charlie Palmer’s vibrant Sonoma County restaurant located on Healdsburg’s town square. With 15 years in the industry, Jeff’s passion for Napa Valley and Sonoma County wines, especially niche, limited-production bottlings, translates to a dynamic, and often discovery-driven, drinking experience for guests; he brings the singular excitement of tasting new wines to the table.
Most recently, Jeff served as Wine Director at Napa’s prominent Brix restaurant. With a focus on Napa and Sonoma wines, Jeff managed a 4000-bottle inventory and a list that received the Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence every year during his tenure. Prior to managing the wine program at Brix, Jeff was Wine Director at Hawthorne Lane where he launched an education program designed to improve the guest experience, hosting weekly tastings and teaching staff on the virtues of different producers and vintages. Other hospitality positions, including a term at Rubicon in San Francisco, encompassed the development of robust digestif lists and craft cocktail programs centered around the creation of housemade infusions. Jeff’s expertise in both local wines and modern spirits makes him a compelling sommelier, but his commitment to gracious hospitality renders him a natural leader on the Dry Creek Kitchen team.