Master Chef Craig Shelton, influenced by his grandmother’s kitchen in Cognac, France, left a medical career behind to take a summer job at Ma Maison in Los Angeles, the start of an unparalleled culinary career that has spanned nearly 40 years. Chef Shelton’s childhood memories of impeccable cuisine around his grandmother’s table drove him in his quest for perfection of serving a “real – world dining experience”.
Chef Shelton trained in eight of the world’s greatest restaurants, including El Bulli, Jamin, Ma Maison, L’Auberge de l’Ill, Le Pré Catelan, Bouley, Le Bernardin, and La Côte Basque. He pioneered the farm to table movement on the East coast as Chef proprietor of The Ryland Inn, with its three-acre certified organic garden, giving diners the experience of homegrown cooking that “speaks to the soul”. Chef Shelton put New Jersey on the national culinary map and provided training for a majority of the Garden State’s top chefs of today.
Chef Shelton, a Yale graduate, has earned countless awards including a James Beard Best Chef medal, NY Times 4-Stars ratings on four separate occasions, a 5-Star Forbes rating, the Relais & Châteaux Grand Chef title, and Number One Top Restaurant in America in 2004 from GQ.
Chef Shelton radiates a passion for achieving excellence in every aspect of the customer experience. Chef Shelton and the Mountainville Manor team will work with you to create a pure “farm to table” experience using only the finest locally sourced ingredients.
Chef de Cuisine
Chef Klaus Kronsteiner grew up in the Austrian Alps, in Bad Aussee, a small town where his parents had a grocery store that delivered to the area’s hotels and restaurants. His mother was from Alto Adige, Italy; her family has been in the hospitality business for generations, and owns restaurants, inns, bed & breakfasts, night clubs, farms and more. Klaus worked in many of them during summer vacations.
He started his kitchen apprenticeship in Landhotel Kanzler, a farm to table restaurant in Bad Mitterndorf, Austria. After graduating from Culinary Institutes of Bad Gleichenberg and Aigen, Austria, he worked throughout Europe, in Northern Italy, Switzerland, and Austria—including a sous chef position in a Michelin three-star restaurant, Amador, in Langen, Germany. After a brief sojourn as a professional musician, Klaus reconsidered, finding his true calling in the kitchen.
He came to the United States in the late 1990’s, and worked for Tom Colicchio at Craft, Craft Bar and Craft Steak. Through this connection, he also worked at Liberty National Golf Club, overseeing fine dining operations as well as events. In 2010 he was called to Germany for a position at Silk, a Michelin-starred restaurant by celebrity Chef Mario Lohninger.
Chef Kronsteiner returned to the States in 2012, lending his talent and expertise to restaurants throughout northern New Jersey, including Moonshine Supper Club, in Millburn. He joined forces with master Chef Craig Shelton, consulting, and also teaching at Princeton University. Klaus was the Executive Chef of Chez Catherine in Westfield, acclaimed as a Top 25 NJ restaurant, and Best French Restaurant, by NJ Monthly. At Hudson Hall, he brought his palate, talent, and classical training to a menu steeped in Eastern European traditions. Most recently, he was the Executive Chef of Mountainside, New Jersey’s Publick House, leading a team that offers an enormously popular gastropub menu.
At Mountainville Manor, Chef Klaus Kronsteiner has teamed up again with Chef Craig Shelton in this extraordinary opportunity. Under this team’s direction, Mountainville Manor will combine the best of the Hudson Valley with some international accents, leveraging the Manor’s Hudson Valley location so that products from nearby farms are always on the table.
Wedding / Event Sales & Marketing Manager
Elizabeth hails to us from Virginia but has been a resident of the Hudson Valley for over 20 years. Having studied fine art, floral design, business & marketing, she has been a professional accomplished portrait artist while simultaneously holding many positions in the hospitality industry for a span of over 30 years.
Wedding management has truly become her passion. Her southern charm with some New York savvy paired with a warm and welcoming personality is a seasoned combination for making her clients feel relaxed and comfortable about planning and coordinating their specialty events and weddings. Elizabeth’s creativity, attention to detail and calm demeanor create an atmosphere that is stress free for our brides and hosts and comfortable and memorable for our guests.
She is trained and experienced with Relais and Chateaux standards and Forbes 5 star expectations. Fine art and hospitality trained and experienced with the highest industry standards will produce events exceeding our guests expectations.
“ Art nurtures my soul and my faith; hospitality is my addiction “
Audio / Video Communications Director
Casey was born with a fearless drive of creativity combined with an outgoing personality. A natural for communicating, this actor, director and filmmaker graduated with B.A. in Communications from Caldwell University.
Through video shorts and podcasts Casey conveys the culinary talent of the Mountainville Manor chefs along with the exquisite details of the Manor and property.
Lauren & James Abramson
President / CMO / CFO / Partners
It all began with Lauren’s vision and the rest is history. For Lauren and James, Mountainville Manor is much more than a wedding and private events venue, it is about making the world a brighter place.
New Jersey natives, Lauren began her career as a school teacher in Florida after graduating from Caldwell University with a B.A. in Fine Arts and Elementary Education. James began an accounting career while pursuing his Bachelors of Business Administration. For her dedication to her students and a passion to connect individually with each, Lauren was awarded Teacher of the Year in her third year of teaching. Returning to New Jersey, James became an executive in a Fortune 500 company and Lauren started LaLaBoodle’s Toffee Company that sold her specialty gourmet toffee directly to Disney, Gevalia, Amazon, and Fairway Market, as well as appearing on QVC.
Crossing paths with Chef Craig Shelton was destiny planned. After much searching, they found the Manor, a genuine property, hidden within the lower Hudson Valley… the beginning of a new journey. The three partners share a vision of sustainability and gracious hospitality.
Lauren has a passion for authenticity that inspires the quality and purity of the food and the customer focus at Mountainville Manor. “Events are about making memories, living in the present, inspiring hopes and dreams for the future, and having gratitude for the family and friends that share life’s special moments.” Lauren and James are grateful to have Mountainville Manor become a part these memories.