“One of the best dinners I have had in a long time. Ranks up there with the Michelin star restaurants I have been too.” Juliette, September 2020
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.
Lauren & James Abramson
President / CMO / CFO / Partners
“Words cannot even begin to describe how wonderful Mountainville Manor is. We got married there last night and we’ve been planning with them since the summer. Every step of the way Lauren and James have been so helpful. They try to accommodate every part of your dream wedding.” Delia & Matthew, November 2020
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.
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.