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chefs_jay_colorJay C. Veregge, Director of Culinary Operations, Harvego Restaurant Group

Chef Jay Veregge was named as Director of Culinary Operations for Harvego Restaurant Group in 2016 after working as Executive Chef for Ten22 Restaurant in Sacramento since 2010. Chef Jay brings more than 25 years of culinary creativity to the table, always with a focus on seasonality and sourcing locally. In addition to being a lifelong farmer, he studied at the French Academy of Culinary Arts and was trained by some of the very best chefs in the world. In fact, he started his culinary training as an apprentice to Pierre Gagnier in France. And, before joining Harvego Restaurant Group, Chef Jay held Executive Chef positions at the Hotel Donatello’s Portobello and Tadich Grill — which received a James Beard award under his direction — in San Francisco, the Bella Fresca Restaurant in Berkeley and the Big Water Grille Restaurant in Incline Village, Nevada. He opened his own restaurant Le Bistro in Lake Tahoe and later partnered on the Wolf House Restaurant in Sonoma, then a Michelin-rated restaurant. Today, and with choices that range from timeless elegance to sophisticated casual, guests can experience Chef Jay’s innovative culinary techniques at The Firehouse and Ten22 Restaurant in Sacramento, California.


Chef-Lilah-Portrait-ColorLilah Rogoff, Pastry Chef 

Coming from Raleigh, North Carolina by way of Boston, Chef Lilah is excited to bring her strong background in both French and modern pastry technique to The Firehouse Restaurant. Her years of experience include a five-star hotel, contemporary patisserie, and fine-dining restaurants. Chef Lilah continues The Firehouse tradition of delivering outstanding dining experiences, inventive cuisine, and a thoroughly modern interpretation of the classics. She takes inspiration from her diverse culinary background and travels to create rigorously-executed and balanced desserts using seasonal ingredients. Her favorite pastries to make are French macarons, which she is currently offering in the form of an ice cream sandwich with cardamom, coffee, caramel, and brown butter almonds.


Mario Ortiz-ColorMario Ortiz, Wine Director, General Manager & Sommelier

Mario Ortiz has worked for The Firehouse for 45 years.  In 1971, at age 16 he applied for a part-time job at the restaurant as a busboy.  Since then he has moved up the ranks and taken on new challenges, having held just about every job at The Firehouse.

In the early 1980s, Mario developed a real interest in wines and began reading about wines and visiting wineries to learn as much as possible.  He met most of the area’s top winemakers including Robert and Peter Mondavi, Justin Meyer, Gil Nichols, Myron Nightingale, André Tchelistcheff and August Sebastiani.  Mario’s love of food and wine led to a keen interest in wine pairings and how to make enjoying a good meal even better with proper pairings.

Mario grew to become a highly respected wine expert and has developed the Sacramento Valley’s most impressive wine cellar, with more than 2,100 selections and 16,000 bottles.  Mario has also developed The Firehouse Vault, a magnificent list of very rare Californian and European wines for discriminating wine lovers in search of hard-to-find labels.

In 2002, Mario was promoted from special events director and wine buyer to general manager.  As general manager, Mario is responsible for ensuring The Firehouse continues to enhance its reputation as one of the premier fine dining destinations in the region.

Mario has met and served an incredible list of people over the years, including: Clint Eastwood, Mohammed Ali, Andy Warhol, George Foreman, Michael Jordan, and every governor of California starting with Ronald Reagan.

In 2007, Mario passed the introductory course of the Master Court of Sommeliers, and in October of that year, he was awarded the Career of Excellence Award from the California Restaurant Association.  The award is given annually to a restaurant industry professional with extraordinary talent for providing impeccable service. Recipients of the award have also made an undeniable impression on their peers.

In 2011, The Firehouse won the Sacramento Chamber’s Hall of Fame business award.  This would not be possible without the efforts of Mario.

“My passion for wine is sincere. I hope you will enjoy some of my favorites, or you will discover one that will make your dining with us a memorable experience.” —Mario


Daniel Hatch, Dining Room Manager & Sommelier

Prior to coming to The Firehouse, Dan was an Assistant General Manager at Morton’s in Denver, where his responsibilities included managing the service staff and the wine program.  Prior to working in Denver, he spent approximately 10 years with Morton’s in Sacramento as a Captain and Corporate Trainer.  Dan is a Level One Sommelier and has a real passion for wines.

“The reason I love what I do is the people. Our staff is fantastic and our guests are amazing.  Only in a place with a wine list this special can we get so many people this interested in some of the most incredible wines.”—Daniel


Randy Bowling, Assistant General Manager & Special Events Director

Originally from the East Coast, Randy began his restaurant industry career in his native Virginia. He continued his professional journey for a few years in Philadelphia before venturing West, gathering industry experience in Phoenix and Portland before coming to Sacramento. Randy joined the Firehouse Special Events team in 2010. In 2017, Randy was promoted to Assistant General Manager and Special Events Director.

“It is a sincere pleasure to direct the Special Events Department and contribute new chapters to The Firehouse’s incredible 50-plus years as Sacramento’s premier dining, weddings and events destination.” —Randy


Atique A. Rahman, Dining Room Manager

A Sacramento Valley native, Atique began his food service career at the Grill at Froggy’s in Davis, where he worked as cook, bartender and manager. He moved on to become a Training Supervisor with the Border’s Group, Inc. and twice received the Outstanding Guest Service Award. In 2008, Atique was hired as part of the opening staff for Randy Paragary’s Cosmopolitan Cabaret Theater and in 2009, began working with the Lounge on 20, Atique bartended his way to several accolades including yelp.com’s “People’s Choice Award” during Midtown Cocktail Week Mixology Competition in 2010. He finally came to us in 2011, hired as a Special Events Lead and has since developed several original cocktails for specific events.

“My fondest memories are linked to food and wine and the people I’ve shared those moments with.” —Atique


SOMMELIERS

Our Sommelier Staff has over 100 years of combined experience in viticulture and the art and history of winemaking.  Their knowledge and service is impeccable.  Each sommelier is as diverse as their favorite vintage, yet all have the same goal – to ensure guests here have the most memorable experience possible.  Whether it is learning more about wine at Wine Tasting Tuesdays, discussing wines with winemakers as they lead guests through a seven-course meal specially created for a Winemaker Dinner, or simply enjoying a selection personally hand-picked to accompany a meal, our sommeliers are here to raise your dining experience to the next level.

Mario Ortiz ~ General Manager, Wine Director & Sommelier

“My passion for wine is sincere. I hope you will enjoy some of my favorites, or you will discover one that will make your dining with us a memorable experience.” —Mario

Dan Hatch ~ Dining Room Manager & Sommelier

“Wine is an exploration of sensory art. And, with so many winemakers and styles, I am always on a quest to find wines that sing to my palate.” —Dan

Sean Griswold ~ Certified Sommelier & Server

“Wine is unique. It conveys a sense of culture, traditions, region, and vintage. Yet, above all else, a great wine paired with just the right dish leaves both elevated beyond their original potential.” —Sean

Steven Burris ~ Sommelier & Server

“The quality of a wine one is drinking is always dependent upon the company and the memories made.” —Steven

Megan Davidson ~ Sommelier & Special Event  Lead Server/Bartender

“While the waters of the world separate us, the wines of the world
bring us together.” – Megan

Nick Haag ~ Sommelier & Special Events Lead Server

“I have an unmatched love for California wine.  California is my home, my backyard…let’s explore it together.” —Nick

Chris Hayes ~ Sommelier & Server

“A good bottle of wine transforms food from mere sustenance to fine dining.” —Chris

Daniel Knell ~ Sommelier & Special Event Lead Server/Bartender

“Wine has the power to lure you down a path full of truth, knowledge and adventure.” – Daniel

Reggie Lewis ~ Sommelier & Server

Garrison Schwarz ~ Sommelier & Bartender

“As the nurturing hand of the farmer transforms simple grapes into exquisite wines; so too will wine transform an elegant meal into a transcendent dining experience.” —Garrison

 

 

 

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    1112 Second Street
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    Tel 916.442.4772
    Fax 916.442.6617

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