Meet the Brooklyn Winery Team
Brian is one of Brooklyn Winery's founding fathers and has done everything from raising capital to selling weddings to installing a sheet rock ceiling (2 layers thick!)—in the Parlor room, if you want to check out his handiwork! Before embarking in the winery world, Brian spent countless hours making Excel models and PowerPoint presentations at McKinsey and Co. before joining ExpoTV.com and helping a cool tech startup. He also started an awesome water business at his alma mater, Washington University in St. Louis, which still exists today! In his spare time, of which there isn't much, Brian enjoys drinking wine (obviously), running in Brooklyn, tennis, golf and of course spending time with his wonderful fiancée Teona and his cute and cuddly pup Reese.
Born and raised in the NY burbs, Mike found his Zen majoring in Chinese philosophy and poetry at Wesleyan University with a minor in roast pork lo mein.
His passion for food and wine, which started at his family’s knee, led him, post college, to the CIA (that’s the Culinary Institute of America) where he collected intelligence (but nothing covert) and honed the Zen, establishing his philosophy of freshness of ingredients and purity in flavor and finesse. Post culinary school, he landed in Prospect Heights, cycling down to Duane Street to work at renowned Restaurant Bouley. Then he pedaled over the bridge where, once again, he put his yin and yang on food as fine dining and banquet chef at the Mandarin Oriental. Now that he should be biking more often from East Side Manhattan to Williamsburg to compensate for his after-hours love of take-out from “Chow Fat” the bike is rarely leaving the rack. He resolves to get pedaling again in short order.
Mike’s passion for reading everything from Sci Fi to his worldwide menu collection inspires his precise, meticulous, and uncompromising attention to prepare and present food that heightens every taster’s experience.
Virginia was raised in Long Island on home cooked Sunday dinners which reflected her Polish and Italian backgrounds. After studying graphic design and physics at NYU, she began a decade of work in some of New York City's best kitchens including Blue Hill, al di la, and The Vanderbilt. Most recently she spent three years at The Institute of Culinary Education running student enrichment classes and helping to shape the next generation of chefs. She has appeared on television in morning show cooking segments, as a Chopped contestant, and even selling blenders. As a newlywed herself, she is thrilled to bring Brooklyn Winery's beautiful, seasonal dishes to hundreds of weddings, saving happy brides and grooms from rubbery chicken marsala once and for all. When she is not in the kitchen, she can be found enjoying a bitter IPA or a crisp rosé in Brooklyn with her husband and two cats, planning adventures to anywhere from Thailand to Burning Man.