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
Manny comes to Mountainville Manor with an extensive culinary experience. He credits his mother and grandmother with instilling in him the desire to source, cook, and serve meals of uncompromising quality and flavor. “All throughout my childhood, I was always around great tasting food and I really took pleasure in learning how things were being done. My mother and grandmother were amazing cooks, and I always expressed curiosity in what they were preparing in their kitchens.”
It was with this foundation that Chef Perez embarked on his culinary career, starting at Bridgewaters, a catering facility in the financial district of Manhattan. He further honed his skills at the Plaza Hotel and The Water Club where he worked under famed pastry chef Florian Bellanger.
Under his tenure as Executive Chef at The Peacock Inn in Princeton, NJ, the inn was named one of New Jersey’s top 25 restaurants. Chef Perez leads the kitchen operations team at Mountainville Manor ensuring a unique culinary experience for every event.