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Site: Villagio Inn & Spa

Title: 01/2010 - Executive Chef - Kevin Miller Bio

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Executive Chef - Kevin Miller
The Vintage Estate ~ Napa Valley

It’s a broad smile and quiet charisma that first catch you with Kevin Miller. Then you sample a plate of his seared dayboat scallop with truffle parsnip puree and lemon agrumato and the culinary artistry of his flavors and presentation reels you in.

The 37 year-old Oklahoma native grew up around a family farm where respect for the land, the produce, and a passion for fresh, seasonal ingredients provided an early inspiration.  At the age of 5, his family moved to Humboldt County, California, an area bountiful in nature’s harvest.  

His first experience for cooking came around the first grade when his mother gave him a pass to the kitchen, where cooking eggs was the ramp up to culinary preparation.  Breakfast soon became Kevin’s favorite meal. Miller fondly recalls that his true inspiration for cooking grew from many summers spent on his grandmother’s farm in Washington State.  Surrounded by 200 acres of every kind of fruit and vegetable at his fingertips, Miller discovered the pleasures of “cooking and creating from what you pick yourself” was a garden-to-table philosophy that would shape his culinary style.

At the age of 22, before entering culinary school, Miller served a year’s stint at the Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort in Bend, Oregon, where he swiftly learned that serving hundreds of slope-bound guests in a matter of a few hours separated those with an interest in cooking from those with a passion—fortunately, he was the latter.

Graduating with honors from the Culinary Institute of Portland, Oregon, Miller took his first posting with the five-diamond Esplanade Restaurant at the Riverplace Hotel in Portland, where he worked virtually every position, but was quickly promoted to Sous Chef under the renowned Chef John Zenger.  It was here, Miller reveled in the exploration of international flavors and nuances crafting Pacific Northwest cuisine with a worldly flair under the tutelage of Chef Zenger, one of the most globally traveled chefs in the country.  In his time at The Esplanade, Miller further explored his fervent love of wine, embracing the art of food and wine pairing and developing original five to ten course meals to rave reviews. 

Moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1999, Miller joined the exclusive Claremont Resort & Spa in Berkeley for three years where he served as Sous Chef to Executive Chef Lawrence Jackson for the award-winning Jordan’s Restaurant, acclaimed for its California-Pacific Rim fusion fine dining cuisine.

By 2001, Miller was eager to expand his culinary repertoire when the invitation came to join the prestigious Bohemian Club as Executive Sous Chef for both the private San Francisco city club and the 2700-acre retreat in Monte Rio, California.  For five years, Miller catered to the most discerning palates of statesmen, celebrities and international figures, crafting meals ranging from the most elegant of intimate winemaker dinners to upscale dining experiences for 600 guests.

In 2007, Kevin Miller became Executive Chef for The Vintage Estate in Napa Valley’s epicurean mecca of Yountville, taking a place among some of the finest chefs in America and creating new standards of excellence for The Vintage Estate’s culinary program.

An avid fisherman, skier, and ardent organic grower, Kevin Miller now resides in Yountville with his wife, Claudia, and their twin sons, Alexander and Julian. ###

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