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Our Culinary Team

Our Culinary Team

Our Culinary Team

The dining experience is always the heartbeat of Mountain View Grand. It is where we provide sustenance and help create family memories made over the dining table as well as memorable farm-to-table dishes for all of our guests. Therefore, we are proud to carry on the legacy of the Dodge family through the revitalization of Mountain View Farm, the construction of vegetable and herb gardens, and our relationship with local growers. Currently we partner with over 16 farmers and distributors from northern New Hampshire and Vermont. Below you will find information about our talented and dedicated Food & Beverage team.

Oral Kelly

Oral Kelly - Food & Beverage Director

The first time Jamaican native Oral Kelly came to the United States was 1989. Since then he's been cultivating his culinary passions in a variety of different settings, from cruise ships to the Cape. For nearly 10 years Kelly fine-tuned his food and beverage expertise doing "almost everything" as part of the staff on Celebrity Cruise Lines. There, he worked extensively with fine dining, serving as headwaiter, chief of menus and buffet set up, and doing his part to pitch in anywhere else he could.

When he was ready for a change of pace, Kelly pursued the resort industry, landing a job as Conference Service Manager for Chatham Bars Inn (CBI) on Cape Cod in Massachusetts from 2003 until 2006.

When the company that previously owned CBI purchased the Mountain View Grand, Kelly was one of several staff members to make the move northward to the White Mountains. For Kelly, who became Food and Beverage Director at Mountain View Grand, the move was almost like coming home. Growing up in the countryside of Jamaica, he developed both an interest and curiosity in wildlife and nature, and enjoyed being in New Hampshire, away from the constant bustle of Cape Cod.

In 2009 Kelly became the Managing Director for Shakespeare's Inn in Twin Mountain, NH where he stayed for a year. In he briefly was a consultant for Viceroy Brand Anguilla, until he returned to Mountain View Grand in 2011. Following his second return to the resort, Kelly worked at the Common Man Group of Restaurants in 2012, until he became Director of Restaurants for Jay Peak Resort in 2013.

Kelly rejoined the Mountain View Grand team in August 2017. His philosophy is to be the bridge for both guest and staff. He hopes the two will cross over into one amazing and unique atmosphere, where both passion for making, serving and enjoying amazing cuisine meet in harmony.

Danielle Cowen - Sous Chef

Danielle Cowen - Sous Chef

Danielle’s culinary career started humbly at her Nana’s elbow, learning the joy of simple and fresh ingredients. When weighing career options during high school, Danielle realized that “chef” was the recurring option, so she enrolled in the Baking and Patisserie program at Le Cordon Bleu, where she graduated cum laude.

From there Danielle worked at a small family-owned bakery, which was fun but not challenging enough. She launched her career at Orlando Marriott World Center in 2010, a 2,006 room resort and the largest, non-pillared convention center in the world, under the tutelage of Executive Pastry Chef, World Pastry Team Competition judge and 2007 Coupe de Monde participant, Ramon Ramos. While at World Center, Danielle rose from fulfilling the dessert needs for 11 outlets, to production kitchen, a two-person crew that produced all the desserts for all banquets (approximately 10,000 guests or more daily), all outlets, and all breads for the resort. From there she became the resort’s chocolatier.

In 2014, she transferred to Tampa Marriott Waterside, downtown Tampa’s premier 700 room hotel, to work with the #1 cake decorator in Florida. While at Waterside, Danielle also served as crew lead, pastry lead, and banquet and outlet lead. In 2016, Danielle joined the Seminole Hard Rock pastry team working with Chef Stephan Schubert, the #1 pastry chef in the Americas and #7 ranked pastry chef in the world. There she created stunning chocolate showpieces and prepared sweet treats for all banquets, off site events, celebrity-hosted charity dinners, major VIP players from around the world, all outlets, turn down service, butler amenities, and retail store.

Danielle joined the Mountain View Grand culinary team in July 2017. Her life-long, home spun passion for cooking, her ground-up experience in all aspects of pastry, and her “Chef and B” career goals are key factors when delighting guests with flavorful, appealing, and delicious menu options.

Pastry Chef

Sabrina Tessitore - Pastry Chef

Sabrina started her pastry and baking career at Crisan Bakery & Edible Art Gallery in Albany, New York. After working there for four years, Sabrina attended Paul Smith College in Paul Smiths, NY, where she received her Bachelors degree in Culinary Arts and an Associates degree in Baking and Pastry Arts. During her academic career, she also worked with the college, providing pastries and cakes for special functions.

After graduation, Sabrina came to work at Mountain View Grand in May of 2014. She originally started working with the banquet team, prepping savory food for weddings and other functions. Over the next few months, Sabrina moved around the kitchen doing other stations such as fine dining and garde manger. After making her rounds through the rest of the kitchen, Sabrina finally made it to the pastry kitchen. She worked there as a pastry cook for a few months before being promoted to Pastry Supervisor, where she prepped and executed most of the pastry items for the entire hotel.

After succeeding at that position for over a year, with the help of her team, Sabrina earned the position of Pastry Chef. Going through all the stations of the kitchen taught Sabrina the importance of teamwork and to always respect other team members. Sabrina greatly enjoys cake decorating and has created numerous beautiful and delicious cake creations during her time here at the resort.

Executive Chef

Nathan Varney - Executive Chef

When he was just a teenager, Nathan began his culinary career while working at his family's restaurant in Nottingham, New Hampshire. After high school, he attended college for two years but could not find a specific field of study that he was passionate about. It was then that he decided to go to culinary school and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu. 

Post graduation, Nathan had a strong desire to explore other culinary environments outside of New England. His first position was at The Williamsburg Lodge Hotel in Virginia where he worked for two years. It was there that he was immersed in the fundamentals of classic French cuisine. From Williamsburg, he went to work for Lautrec restaurant located at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Farmington, PA. There, Nathan expanded his knowledge of fine dining and learned what it takes to achieve and maintain a 5 Star and Diamond restaurant. After three years, Nathan moved to New Orleans to expand his career as a Sous Chef at the American Sector restaurant for Chef John Besh. While working for Chef Besh, Nathan helped open the restaurant Johnny Sánchez, which was a collaboration between Chef Besh and Chef Aarón Sanchez. Nathan was also a member of the opening team for the second Johnny Sánchez restaurant in Baltimore.

The experience and skills acquired while working under Chef Besh helped mold Nathan into the chef he is today. After three years in Louisiana, he decided to return home to New Hampshire where he was determined to focus on farm-to-table cuisine while connecting with the region's community of great local purveyors. In addition, Nathan longed for a resort-like atmosphere with multiple dining venues to provide an outlet for his range of culinary expertise, from fine dining to pool-side comfort food.

In June 2015, Nathan joined the Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa culinary team as a Sous Chef. In this role, he began cultivating relationships with local farmers and foragers to source the freshest meat and produce for his farm-to-table menus in the award-winning 1865 Wine Cellar. In November 2015, Nathan became the Executive Chef, a role that has him directing all the culinary operations for the resort's four dining venues as well as conference, catering and wedding functions. Today, nearly all food served at the resort is sourced locally and is prepared in-house.

While Nathan is passionate about creating world-class cuisine, sharing his knowledge and experience with future culinarians is equally important. Since becoming Executive Chef, Nathan has focused considerable effort on team development and has partnered with the American Culinary Federation to start an ACFEF Apprenticeship Program at the resort. As of 2019, Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa has the only apprenticeship program in the state of New Hampshire.

Interested in joining our team?

There are numerous career opportunities for those looking to join our wonderful culinary team. Our staff strives to cater to our guests needs, while providing an enjoyable and memorable experience. Visit our Careers page to view employee benefits and our current available positions.

Enjoy Local Products

The Mountain View Grand Resort works closely with many local farms. Almost all of our produce, cooking ingredients, and products come from local New Hampshire and Vermont farms.