Alex was born in Portland, Maine. Surrounded by the rugged beauty of Maine’s rocky coast and the bounty of the frigid Atlantic, it’s no surprise that Alex was a food lover from day one. As a child, he spent many Saturdays at his Grandpa’s apartment watching him cook authentic delicious Chinese food. This is where Alex’s fascination with cooking and love of food was truly ignited.
Alex worked in restaurants through high school and was encouraged by one of his mentors to continue his development by attending culinary school. Upon graduation, Alex enrolled at The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Alex spent four years at the CIA and worked at some of the finest restaurants in the Hudson Valley.
After graduation in 2006, Alex and his then girlfriend Katie (now wife) headed west to Portland, Oregon. Alex worked at a couple of establishments before finding 50 Plates in the Pearl District of NW Portland. Alex was hired as Catering Chef by Executive Chef Patrick Miller to grow and develop 50 Plate’s catering program. The two worked together for three years before the restaurant was sold. The closure was bittersweet, but turned out to be a turning point for the two chefs.
In 2012, Alex and Patrick partnered up to create Grand Cru Hospitality. They began humbly running the lunch counter inside the well-known Wieden + Kennedy advertising agency with just one other employee. They are now nearly through their 6 th year of business, and employ a wonderful team of 50. Alex and Katie have a beautiful 9 month old baby girl and true “Native Oregonian.” He loves Portland and this community and he’s excited for what the future holds.
Chef / Owner
Promoting Tasty Food and Hard Work Since He Was a Kid
Patrick is a native of Portland who’s spent his life cooking up and down the West Coast. He came back home to Portland with his wife and dog 10 years ago to run a restaurant and start a family. Pat knew he wanted to be a chef at a young age and began attending culinary school in Seattle at 16, graduating 2 years later. He’s worked in nice restaurants and luxury hotels like the Four Seasons for years. He had his first promotion to Executive Chef at the Sun Mountain Lodge at the tender age of 22 and has been at the helm of kitchens ever since.
Patrick and his business partner, Alex, started Grand Cru Hospitality in 2012 after the restaurant they were running closed its doors. They have never looked back. Cooking is all Pat really knows how to do and he still loves it. He also loves spending time with his son, John, and wife, Rika, usually eating, talking about eating, deciding where to eat or what to cook. He also likes to work on his old house, help support his community, and drink beer with his friends.
An Oregon native and University of Oregon graduate, Nick has been with Grand Cru Hospitality since June 2012. After graduation, Nick began working as a barista at Grand Cru’s first café location, The Counter @ Wieden+Kennedy. Within the first three years of being with the company, he managed The Counter and the execution of off-site catering events.
Nick has always believed that good things will happen to dependable, hardworking and committed people. As the company continued to grow, the role of Operations Manager was created to encompass his knowledge and skill set.
As Operations Manager, Nick wears many hats while ensuring our café and catering operations run optimally on a daily basis. He treats GCH as his own and no matter what the task, he gives it 100%. The success and accomplishments of his “CRU” are at the core of his management style. Nick prides himself in creating a positive work environment for each employee and strives to ensure his team is set up for success. He is a strong believer in that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of you.
Outside of the GCH family, Nick enjoys spending time with his family, friends and black lab named Duke. They are the support that drives him to always do his best. You can also find him around town enjoying a cold pint, supporting locally and spending time at the Oregon Coast.
Catering Sales Manager
Born and raised in Salem, Oregon, Katie dreamed of becoming a chef. She spent her first years in the kitchen watching her mother prepare elaborate meals for the family gatherings but as Katie grew, she quickly realized her joy was found not in the kitchen, but in the dining room, tending to the needs of her family’s guests, ensuring every napkin, fork, plate, and table centerpiece flowers were properly placed. Her attention to detail and ability to precisely execute a vision and event design theme developed from work experience beginning at the early age of fifteen-years-old, when she spent her weekends working at a local catering company in her hometown. Katie learned every perspective and detail involved in organizing a catered event and has been making a mark of her own having continued working in the events and catering industry ever since.
Katie’s passion to create timeless moments and memories for people with food propelled her studies of Spanish and Sociology at Pacific University. As part of her Bachelor of Arts degree, she travelled throughout Europe, visiting over 7 countries, and lived in Salamanca, Spain. It was during her international travels that Katie developed a deeper appreciation for gatherings over food and drink to celebrate life’s most precious of moments.
In 2012, Katie founded Portland Event & Design, her own wedding and event coordination business. She serendipitously connected with Grand Cru Hospitality and as they say, the best was yet to come. In 2016, Katie joined the Grand Cru Hospitality team and together their shared passions for creating timeless events brought them together to envision and execute the most special of catering events.
When she’s not hand-selecting flowers, or organizing table cloths to find the perfect accompanying napkin rings, you can find Katie, her husband, Adam, and their daughter Olivia playing at the park with their adorable labradoodle, Lenny. She’s always got some type of pineapple print on or near her and on any given day, she will laugh at all of your jokes over a good hard cider.