Classic Wines Auction

919 NE 19th Ave, Suite 160

Portland, OR 97232


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© 2018 Classic Wines Auction



2019 Auction Chefs

We are pleased to feature  incredible chefs each year at the Classic Wines Auction. These chefs will showcase their skills at both the tasting reception and the multi-course Classic Wines Auction dinner.



Executive Chef Allan Wambaa is a highly experienced chef with nearly a decade and a half of experience working in the food industry at restaurants on three continents. Born in Nairobi, Kenya, his culinary exposure started in his family’s restaurant. Wambaa later attended culinary college at The Career Training Centre in Nairobi and apprenticed in one of the city’s most celebrated restaurants, the Safari Park Hotel.

Allan left Nairobi to work as the personal chef to the royal family of Saudi Arabian Prince, Fahd bin Khalid Al-Saud. He later traveled to the United States, where he embarked on a series of culinary experiences in Seattle starting with the Palisades Restaurant. Most recently, Allan served as executive chef at Benaroya Hall where he worked with world-renowned chef Wolfgang Puck, followed by a turn as executive chef for Bell Harbor International Conference Center and World Trade Center in Seattle.

Allan joined the team at pacificwild catering at the Oregon Convention Center in 2011 and is  currently the Executive Chef for all Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission venues.

Executive Chef, Pacificwild Catering, OCC


Aaron Barnett_forprint.jpg

After graduating from the California School of Culinary Arts’ Cordon Bleu, Aaron Barnett completed an externship in his native Canada at Lumiere in Vancouver, BC, and was immediately taken with the flavors and produce available in the Pacific Northwest.

He moved down the West Coast back to California to work under Gary Danko in San
Francisco and shortly thereafter took a sous chef position at Myth under Sean O’Brien.
Reminiscing of the Pacific flavors that caught his palate in his externship, Barnett headed back up North to Oregon. After working in Portland kitchens for a couple of years, he opened St. Jack in 2010. St. Jack has won multiple awards in Portland. Barnett was acknowledged with the Portland Rising Star award in 2011, and received a nod from James Beard in 2012. In 2015, Barnett opened his second project, La Moule, a Belgian-inspired gastropub in SE Portland.

Executive Chef / Owner, La Moule & St. Jack


The intersection of culture, food, and art has always been a focal point of Ryan Fox’s culinary journey. After completing his education at the Culinary Institute of America, he spent years honing his craft at three Michelin-starred restaurant Joel Robuchon, and Portland’s own Castagna. He now offers a refreshing approach to Portland dining. From New York to Nevada and then Oregon, each region’s distinctive tastes have helped Ryan understand the locals’ influence on the food culture.


After developing a deep understanding of Portland’s food culture, and its citizens‘ desire for low-key but high-quality dining, Ryan is devoting his culinary passion to opening an intimate stage for food lovers to indulge. He offers a new experience for those seeking a closer connection with local cuisine in an exquisite private atmosphere.

Executive Chef, Nomad


Chef Sara Hauman’s career started in San Diego where she attended The Art Institute. Soon after graduating she continued her culinary education in San Francisco working at some of the top restaurants including Michelin starred Octavia and Mister Jiu’s. In 2013, she was given the opportunity to work in Spain under Victor Arguinzoniz at Asador Etxebarri. Sara is a recent Portland transplant and at Arden, located in the Pearl district, she aims to execute simply prepared foods using the best of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer.

Executive Chef, Arden Restaurant


Johnny Nunn began cooking and refined his craft working at premier restaurants around the country, including San Francisco’s Farallon and Town Hall, New York City’s Eleven Madison Park, and Washington D.C.’s Cafe Atlantico. He moved to Portland in 2007 and opened restaurant five-0-three in West Linn. Nunn made significant contributions as Executive Chef to Portland restaurant institutions RingSide Hospitality Group and Brasserie Montmartre before opening French-Northwest focused Verdigris on Fremont in 2014. In the spring of 2018 he opened Corzetti, a neighborhood, handmade pasta forward, Italian restaurant on NE 15th & Prescott.

Executive Chef and Owner, Verdigris and Corzetti Restaurants


The “local and seasonal” ethos comes naturally to Chef Lauro Romero. Growing up on a small farm in Mexico, it was just how things were done. Lauro credits his mother with stoking his passion for cooking, launching a career that began when he got his first restaurant job in Salt Lake City at just 14. Since then, Lauro worked his way up the ranks at restaurants including Bambara in SLC and Portland’s Three Degrees, where he became Executive Chef in 2016. Today, Lauro puts his farm-grown sensibility to work in the King Tide kitchen. When he’s not busy grilling Oregon seafood to flaky perfection, Lauro loves spending time with his wife and two daughters, exploring the outdoors and gardening.

Executive Chef, King Tide Fish & Shell


Seattle native Chef Christopher Smith’s passion for the culinary world began at a young age, cooking for his family and determining at the age of 14 to pursue a career in the culinary arts. Two years later, he enrolled in the culinary program at Lake Washington Institute. With 15 years of industry experience under his belt, including mastering his craft under chef Bobby Moore at the Barking Frog at Willows Lodge for six years, Chef Smith was named one of Zagat’s “30 under 30” Seattle Chefs that are redefining the industry. Chef Smith brings an inventive and artistic vision to The Allison with new, transformative tasting menus and elevated dining experiences.

Executive Chef, JORY Restaurant at The Allison Inn & Spa


2019 Ambassadors Dinner Chefs


Spatzle and Speck + Park Avenue Fine Wines
Voted 2018 Chef of the Year by Portland Monthly Magazine


Karl Holl is a chef, butcher, forager and farmer all tied into one. Growing up in a small town in Vermont, Karl’s passion for cooking started at a very young age. He cooked alongside his Oma at her small restaurant and quickly knew that he wanted to pursue a career in food.


After attending the culinary program at the New England Culinary Institute, Karl decided to head west where he worked in Napa Valley at the Martini House Restaurant. After Napa, he took to the mountains of Colorado for a year where he accepted a roll as pastry chef at Vail's Larkspur, where he worked on his pastry skills and bread baking.  After a year of living in the mountains, Karl was drawn back to the Bay Area where he landed at San Francisco's Perbacco Ristorante as the Chef de Cuisine.


Karl always dreamed of growing and raising everything he cooked, so he decided his next move would be to the Pacific Northwest to pursue his dream of owning a farm. Before making the leap, Karl joined Outstanding in the Field tour for a year where he had the opportunity to travel the country and see farming first hand, cooking from the farm. Ninety farms later, he found himself with a group of friends on a mountain side in Oregon living his dream. With the move to Oregon he had a lot of work ahead building a cuisine that is driven by what his farm produced, also having never farmed before had a lot to learn. Immediately started connecting with the PNW food community.


After a little over three years, Karl ventured off for a new beginning with what he calls Spatzle and Speck. There, he continues to grow and raise everything he cooks while diving into his love of northern Italian cuisine.


Executive Chef, a Cena


Chef Gabriel Gabreski’s career is built on the finest formal taining including the California Culinary Academy. This training has been shored up by experinece training with such top-tier chefs as Roland Passot and Rocco DeSpirito; membership in the team that opened Daniel Boulud’s four-star Daniel in New York City, and a number of significant stints as Chef de Cuisine at top-tier resort hotels including Avalon of Beverly Hills.

Executive Chef, Nonna Tavern and DOC food + wine


Chef Stephen Malloy has worked under highly regarded chefs throughout his career. Hailing from California his resume boasts experience at Avion and Claw (French Laundry alums), The Granada Hotel, 23 Hoyt, and La Moule. Still in his 20s Stephen Malloy is the executive chef at Nonna Tavern, and DOC food + wine. Stephen's food is simple, and conveys the spirit of DOC- a celebration of regional food, traditions, and quality of life. 

Executive Chef, The Porter Hotel, featuring Terrane Italian Kitchen


Wyoming native AJ Voytko was originally an avid animator. He left college after two years to attend culinary school, where he fell in love with cooking. Voytko considers Chef Trey Foshee his biggest culinary influence. Foshee taught Voytko how to respect and magnificently prepare the food that came through the kitchen doors. Voytko was given the award of Youngest and Brightest Chef by Anthony Dias Blue and the Rising Star from James Beard Foundation. He has even been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for Food Network and the Travel Channel’s Food Paradise. Voytko is a passionate philanthropist, working with Unity Farms at the Oregon Food Bank and NoKidHungry. When Voytko is not in the kitchen at The Porter, you can find him spending time with his family.

Director of Culinary & Consumer Experiences, Black Walnut Inn


After graduating the Texas Culinary Academy in 2009, Chef Chase worked for prestigious restaurants of the region, including Mansions on Turtle Creek, Charlie Palmers at the Joule Hotel in the Dallas and Austin areas under chefs Charlie Palmer & Bruno Davaillon.


In 2014, Chase moved to Oregon and joined The Painted Lady as chef de cuisine, the year the restaurant received its James Beard award nomination. He has since worked at Soter Winery and with Chef Bernard Malherbe at Crooked House bistro before accepting the position to lead the small but mighty culinary program at the Black Walnut Inn & Vineyard in 2017.