2020 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, Pacificwild Catering, OCC
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 / Quaintrelle
Ryley has always had a fondness for art, culture, music, travel, new ideas, academia, shared moments and experiences, so naturally he gravitated towards food and its possibilities for creative expression. Born in London, he was influenced by travels and work in countless restaurants in North Carolina, Barcelona, Manhattan, and Central America. After arriving in Oregon in 2011, Ryley led the kitchen at Jen’s Garden in Sisters and later opened DRAKE in Bend in 2013. After moving his family to Portland and a stint at Olympia Provisions, he took over the kitchen at DOC where he further honed his style.
Landing at Quaintrelle signifies all the puzzle pieces coming together, where he can create beautiful, unpretentious dishes with as much direct connection to farm, oceans and ranches possible.
Chef/Owner, Parallel Food & Drink
Joey grew up northwest of Atlanta, Georgia. Searching for something creative and active, he enrolled in culinary school directly after graduating high school. After working for a couple years in Georgia and South Carolina, he jumped at an opportunity to move to New York City. He used the opportunity to learn as much as possible, cooking under noted chefs such as Brad McDonald and Peter Hoffman. After eight years of the grinding big-city cook life, he moved to Portland. Joey was a sous chef at Roman Candle Baking Co. and Olympia Provisions before committing full time to raising his daughter. He also took this time to launch his dream of starting his own project, Parallel Food & Drink. His southern roots, New York training, and mentorship by farm-driven chefs have given him a cooking style that is a seasonally-driven combination of comfort and fine dining.
ALTHEA GREY POTTER
Executive Chef, Oui! Wine Bar + Restaurant at the Southeast Wine Collective
Althea has been a food enthusiast since she was very young. It is no surprise that the child of an artist and a chemist became a chef. Raised in rural Massachusetts by counter culture parents, as a small child she harvested fresh vegetables from the organic family garden with her parents. Althea got her first job in a restaurant at a small town roadside stand at age 15 and eventually bought a one-way ticket to Portland (sight unseen) and enrolled at the Oregon Culinary Institute. She never looked back.
At Oui! Wine Bar + Restaurant, Althea creates big flavors out of a tiny kitchen nestled inside the SE Wine Collective wine cellar. Her creative takes on global flavors have garnered attention at the oeno-bistro near and far. Since opening in 2017, her work at Oui! has received recognition as one of Portland Monthly Magazine’s Best New Restaurants 2018, a Best New Restaurant by Time Out, and one of Portland’s Best New Restaurants Top 5 Dishes of 2018 by the Portland Mercury.
Executive Chef/Partner, Irving Street Kitchen
Sarah guides guests through a story of past and present via a marriage of her East and West coast influences. She is one of Portland’s powerhouse female chefs, always on the cutting edge of the local food scene with standout, casually elegant American cuisine.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1993, Sarah began working under some of the most respected chefs in the restaurant industry. She became the youngest and first female Sous Chef at Gramercy Tavern in New York City and was instrumental in the opening of the famed Eleven Madison Park. From there, she made her way to San Francisco and to work as Chef de Cuisine for Daniel Patterson. After several years in the Bay Area, the Pacific Northwest beckoned and in 2010 Irving Street Kitchen was born.
Executive Chef, Il Solito
The grandson of Nebraska dairy farmers, Matthew figured out early where he wanted to focus his culinary aristry: hand-crafted pastas, whole animal butchery, seasonal ingredients, rustic preparations. A graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of College of Culinary Arts in San Francisco, Matthew trained at some of the Bay Area’s top restaurants, including Quince, Foreign Cinema and Flour + Water, where he honed his pasta- and salumi-making chops before taking a sabbatical in Colombia and Italy in 2014. As Executive Chef at Portland’s Renata, Matthew developed the relationships with local farmers, ranchers and artisans that now enrich his work at Il Solito.
Executive Chef, Vaux at the Canopy Portland
Born and raised in Michigan, Sara attended the Culinary Institute of America in upstate New York, which led her to work at some of the most renowned restaurants in New York City. Following stints at Oceana, Blue Hill at Stone Barns, and Commerce Restaurant, Sara decided to branch out and further develop her craft as a food stylist and culinary producer with Martha Stewart and the Food Network.
Seeking something new, she spent time with the critically acclaimed Zingerman’s company in Ann Arbor, Michigan before making her way to Portland to plant some roots and experience the growing and thriving Pacific Northwest culinary scene. After several years as celebrity chef Jenn Louis’ chef de cuisine at Lincoln and Ray, Woods joined the Canopy team.
2020 Ambassadors Dinner Chefs
A Colombian native, Sandra moved to the US to attend college. Food and wine were always part of her life and in 2005 Sandra moved to Canada where she enrolled in the Culinary Management Program at Fanshawe College. While in school Sandra secured an internship at The French Laundry where she later worked as dining room expeditor. More recently Sandra worked as a captain at three-star Michelin Benu in San Francisco.
Executive Chef / Owner, La Moule & St. Jack
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 / Co-Owner, Le Pigeon & Canard
Two-time James Beard Award winning Chef Gabriel Rucker's edgy, highly original, and recipe-free masterpieces have gained him both regional and national acclaim.
In 2003, Rucker landed a coveted job at Paley’s Place and, after two years moved on to the Gotham Tavern as Sous Chef. In 2006, he opened Le Pigeon and became an overnight success. In 2018, Rucker and Andrew Fortgang opened Canard, which quickly became one of the most buzzed about openings nationwide, winning "Restaurant of the Year" titles from The Oregonian and Portland Monthly, in addition to a James Beard Award nomination for Best New Restaurant and many other accolades.