Meet the Chef: Jon LoPresti

The Cellar Angels team is thrilled to announce our recent partnership with the very talented Jon LoPresti, Executive Chef and Head of the Food & Beverage Department for Laurel Links Country Club in Laurel, New York.  Jon is an advocate of giving back to others through wine and was so inspired by the Cellar Angels concept that he decided to feature our company as part of his menu.  His generosity and culinary talents can also be experienced through his featured recipes, created specifically to complement the charitable wines on our site. 

Please read more about Jon’s impressive culinary background:

Jon is a native New Yorker in his 23rd year of his second career, his first being a designer and manufacturer in New York’s fur market until the end of the 1980’s. Jon attended and graduated the French Culinary Institute in 1991. By recommendation of acclaimed Chef Alain Sailhac, Dean of students at FCI, Mr. LoPresti gained an apprenticeship with French Master Chef Jean Morel at the renowned L’Hostellerie Bressane in the Berkshire Mountain region of upstate New York. The experience there provided invaluable practical application to the foundation provided by the FCI program as well as a valuable mentor. Morel gave Jon many opportunities to grow his culinary skills over the 2 years cooking at the Inn as well as appearing on the Food Network Channel in his place preparing Bressane specialties; an honored memory that Jon carries with him always.

Jon’s first job in NYC was at the venerable Water Club on Manhattan’s East River in 1993 attaining the position of Sous Chef in less than 6 months. Throughout the next 4 years Jon had the privilege of working with acclaimed chefs in 2 and 3 star restaurants throughout New York City including, Oceana, Cafe Bruxelles, Solera and The Sony Club. An opportunity in the Hamptons of Long Island brought Jon to the Bridgehampton Café as executive sous chef and then on to the same owner’s second restaurant venture; Bullshead Bar & Grill, as a first time Chef for which he received a 2 star rating from the New York Times.

In 1997, Jon signed on with the BR Guest Restaurant Group as Executive Chef at the highly rated Ocean Grill on Manhattans upper west side. After 3 successful years at Ocean Grill; Jon took the summer off in 2001 to reflect. The desire and opportunity for a change in geography came from the New England area. Jon and his wife/business partner Sandra made Portland, Maine their choice destination. Michaela’s opened in 2002 to critical acclaim and quickly became a destination restaurant on New Laurel Links Country ClubEngland’s culinary map. Jon made regular appearances on Portland’s WGME Channel 13 Great Chefs Demonstration Series and contributed to The Portland Press Herald’s weekly food section. In addition to having daily access to Maine’s incredible fish and shellfish varieties; Jon also worked passionately with the Crown of Maine farm collective to bring Maine’s diverse bountiful produce harvest to his guest’s tables at Michaela’s.

In 2004 and with a desire to be closer to family and friends Jon and Sandra sold Michaela’s and returned to Long Islands North Fork Wine Country with a great opportunity to experience the private club environment, enjoy the bounty of the rural North Fork and share their culinary experiences with the members and families of Laurel Links Country Club. With the Clubhouse entering its 10 season of operation they both look forward to each and every season with great enthusiasm.

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