Chef John Vlandis cooks with organic ingredients whenever possible, often incorporating herbs and vegetables from his own garden. He makes everything—stocks, sauces, condiments, breads and more—from scratch, so he can control the quality and flavors of his cuisine.
John is especially passionate about pairing food with wine, a skill he fine-tuned during his four years as Executive Chef of the Hess Collection Winery. His food features flavors and dishes that complement wine, rather than compete with it. Chef John’s talent for creating memorable dining experiences is only surpassed by his love and passion for the food he creates.
After graduating from the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in 1982 with a foundation in classical French cooking, Chef John cooked his way through Northern Italy. He worked in restaurants ranging from local trattorias to the Michelin two-star restaurant Al Sorriso, considered then to be the best restaurant in Italy.
Over the years, John has prepared private dining experiences for a wide variety of A-list clients, including Frank Sinatra, George Strait, The Grateful Dead, Phil Collins, Billy Idol, the King of Greece, the Patriarch of Constantinople, Tyler Florence and athletes Michael Jordan, Dwight Clark, Joe Montana and Gary Player. He has also cooked for Napa Valley notables, including Robin and Jon Lail, Steve Padis, the Corley Family/Monticello Vineyards, Dancing Hares Vineyard, Harris Estate Vineyards and Padis Family Wines.
John’s recipes and food styling have appeared in Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Savor, Chicago, Diablo and Chefs magazines, and in the Chicago Tribune, Contra Costa Times, Chicago Sun-Times and Decanting Napa Valley. He also served as recipes editor for a series of national newsstand magazines with the theme “Easy Recipes From America’s Great Chefs”.
John has served as Executive Chef for a variety of fine dining establishments in the United States, including the world-famous Pump Room in Chicago and the Blackhawk Grille in Danville, California. He also supervised menu development for the 30-property Greenfield Restaurant Group and previously owned a custom pastry shop that supplied high-end caterers, hotels and restaurants with wedding cakes and specialty pastries. He still creates his own custom desserts and artisan breads today.