The kitchen lights are dim today. Tony was a force in the kitchen and beyond. He was cool and irreverent. His curiosity was infectious. He made us more curious too. He shared untold stories and asserted their importance. Never one to mince words, he was vocal and literary about our profession. And we needed his voice. He has said that as a cook, taste and smells were his memories. He was always in search of new ones. And he was memorable himself. Among many other things, he reminded us there is nothing more gratifying and intimate—nothing more human—than sitting down to a meal with others. His life and work are a testament to the power of cooking to make the world a kinder, more connected place. I will cherish my memories of him. My thoughts are with his daughter, family, loved ones and the countless lives he touched.
In his own words, Dan Bunter (@fearsome5) is not a “typical” server. And that, he claims, has a lot to do with where he works. For him, @adhoc_addendum is a special place that allows the evolution of its team members to progress organically, naturally. That is what happened to him. He started out with us eleven years ago, when Ad Hoc was still a “temporary” restaurant. He started illustrating our menu and wine list chalkboards “by accident”; the chalkboards have now become one of our signatures, and Dan’s artistic ability is now recognized throughout Yountville and beyond. . “The chalkboards announce the day’s menu but we also use them as an art form to celebrate milestones, births and honor departing,” Dan explains. “They embody our ‘it's all about family’ ethic, and have been the way I have personally expressed that sentiment.” Our chalkboards also note events beyond the walls of Ad Hoc, such as the passing of Leonard Nimoy, David Bowie and Chef Paul Bocuse. Our guests look to the chalkboards as a way of keeping up on current events.” . Working at Ad Hoc rekindled Dan’s early interest in art. “As a child and well into my teen years, I would draw beside my mother, who was an amateur artist, a painter. She passed away when I was in my early 20’s and I stayed away from art for a long time. My art began to flourish again because of the opportunity Ad Hoc gave me, starting with the chalkboards. This past decade I have focused more attention to my art and have illustrated for many projects.” . “Working here is much more than a job. The ‘it’s all about family’ philosophy brings out the best in me and our team. We’ve grown our families together and look out for each other. The Ad Hoc schedule allowed me to take my children to school as well as be there for them when they got back. I even got to homeschool my children’s first grade. “Working here has transformed my life in giving me back my identity as an artist and
@perseny, colleagues call her the heart of the restaurant. Aracely Warner @chelitin has been part of our team since we opened. Her memory for guest details is unsurpassed. Maternal & optimistic, she is known for her consistently warm & positive attitude. She’s mentored many by relying on her core values--consistency, responsibility and respect. For Aracely, “every day is a good day and brings a new experience or challenge." . “When I applied for the job, believe it or not, I did not know who Chef Keller was at that point! When I told my classmates that I had been called back, they said: ‘No way! Do you know who he is?’ When I Googled him, I fell in love with his story and how @_TFL_ was born.” . With a background in culinary management from @iceculinary, Aracely started out as a Hostess before switching to Reservations. "As the mother of two smart and beautiful girls, Shaniza and Skye, I had to make a decision between working on the dining room floor or in Reservations. Being in Reservations allows me to spend more time with my family" [which, for Aracely, includes getting up at 5:30 AM to make sure her daughters have homemade lunches for school] and still be part of hospitality." . For Aracely, the best part of her job is being able to take care of the guests by making them feel special — asking about dietary restrictions, getting them a signed menu, giving them a personalized cookbook. “Once we had a guest call for a reservation. She was very sweet, but unfortunately we didn’t have any tables available so we placed her on the waitlist. She was so genuinely grateful that she sent me flowers. To this day she sends me holiday cards with good wishes for my family. Her name is Ms. Classy (yes).” . The obvious pride Aracely takes in her work stems in part from her role as a mother. When she makes sure her daughters are properly fed every day and introduces them to new cultures through food as diverse as pig's feet, foie gras and even crickets,