Chef/Owner
BRIAN ACKERMAN

Brian has been with Splendido for over a decade, working as a sous chef and then for years as chef-de-cuisine. He purchased the restaurant in the spring of 2016, and as executive chef he is committed to carrying on the restaurant’s pronounced legacy within the Colorado culinary scene. Brian focuses on the highest quality ingredients, with creative yet streamlined preparations so food is always presented in pure and delicious renditions.

Brian doesn’t always have time for leisure reading, but he does enjoy learning about interesting flavor combinations in cookbooks. He enjoys the relaxation and challenge of fly fishing, and he’ll pick up a hockey stick and drop into games occasionally. Most days off, however, are spent sharing activities with his daughter, Scarlet, so singing, dancing, skiing and figure skating mostly full their family plate.

At home, Brian will keep cooking simple with staples like grilled cheese sandwiches (likely the best you’ll ever taste), and to quench his thirst, he’ll reach for a Budweiser when it’s casual, and an Old Fashioned for a more festive occasion.

Cory Melanson
Sebastien Schmitt

Pastry Chef
SEBASTIEN SCHMITT

Originally from France, Sebastien is like the artist of Splendido, crafting the most beautiful flavors, colors and designs to the sweet finale of every meal. Before he began working at Splendido in 2011, Sebastien spent time learning and practicing pastry in France, the Caribbean and in Sydney, Australia.

Sebastien has a very diverse array of hobbies, including painting, motorbiking and boxing. Raise a glass with Sebastien and he will likely be enjoying a Crown and ginger, and he’s often more than happy to indulge in a not-so-fine dining meal of pizza, wings or a burger and fries.

Sous Chef
CORY MELANSON

Born and raised just outside of Boston in Lynnfield, Massachusetts, Cory developed a passion for cooking and gardening at a young age. He was always trying to help his mother in the kitchen and outside in the garden during the summer.

Cory worked his way up through restaurants as a teenager. He attended Paul Smiths College in the Adirondacks of upstate New York for a degree in culinary arts and hotel restaurant management.

After moving to the Colorado mountains, Cory worked at the Wildflower Restaurant at the Lodge at Vail, then as Chef de Cuisine at Larkspur Restaurant from 2006 to 2011 after a quick year working in Sonoma, California at the Fairmont Mission Inn.

Following Larkspur, Cory worked at Sweet Basil as Sous Chef for a year before moving to Portland, Oregon where he co-founded Let Um Eat — a farm-to-table private event company focused on growing and raising the majority of the food that was served.

Cory recently moved back to the Vail Valley of Colorado and joined the team at Splendido as Chef de Cuisine. He has also started a small farm with a mission of helping people in the valley reconnect to their food system and providing safe healthy honest food for the community.

12-18-18 Cory
Matthew McConnell

Dining Room & Beverage Director
MATTHEW MCCONNEL

Matthew’s love for food and restaurants started early. As a child he began ordering off the menu for the entire table, and it wasn’t long before his passion for hospitality became an inevitable career fit. He started as a bus boy at Jim’s Steak House, an institution in his hometown of Peoria, Illinois.

Matthew moved to Colorado in 1997, following his dream of living in the magnificent Rocky Mountains. Settling in Vail, he quickly immersed himself in the community and found fulfillment in the hospitality driven, world class ski resort.

Before joining the Splendido team in December of 2015, Matthew gained experience at several well-known Vail Valley establishments including Sweet Basil, Mountain Standard, Root & Flower, La Tour and the Hotel Gasthof Gramshammer. He also attended hotel school at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and was part of the opening team of Wolfgang Pucks’ CUT steakhouse at the Palazzo hotel. Matthew also spent several seasons managing the food and beverage department at the Peaks Resort and Spa in Telluride.

When he’s not delighting guests at Splendido, Matthew can often be found spending quality time with friends and family, playing on the mountain or practicing in the yoga studio.

Sommelier
BILL DAVIES

Bill’s Vail Valley story is shared among other who move to this area: come for the snow season after season, then stay for one summer and stay. Originally from New Jersey, Bill moved to Vail in 1992 as an avid snowboarder. He spent four years working as a chef going back and forth from the mountains in the winter to the beach in the summer. Once Bill saw what the area has to offer from June through September, from fly fishing to mushroom foraging, he was hooked.

His work at Splendido started in the kitchen as Chef de Cuisine from 1998 to 2000. Bill then developed front-of-house experience as a manager at Montauk Seafood Grill in Vail as well as Grouse Mountain Grill in Beaver Creek. Beginning in 2008, he also worked shifts at Splendido behind the bar and in 2016 Bill accepted a new, full-time role at the restaurant. As Sommelier and Assistant Manager, Bill’s desire is for every guest to feel welcome and to find perfect wine pairings for every table.

Bill Davies
Johnny MAROTTA bar manager

Bar Manager
JOHN MAROTTA

Anyone who has bellied-up in Splendido’s bar or piano lounge has likely met Johnny. He’s been at the restaurant for 17 years, and is often the first welcoming smile that will greet you upon every arrival.

When he’s not working, Johnny is planning his next adventure. He says the closer he gets to age 50, the more he wants to travel. He grew up in Springsteen Country, calling himself a “classic rocker,” and if he ever joins you on the other side of the bar, he’ll order a hoppy beer or a Crown and ginger.

Business Development
ALISA STEINBERG

Alisa is a new addition to the Splendido team, although she worked at the restaurant in the late-1990s. Her evolution in the hospitality industry has made her a mastermind at planning, organization and execution of events, a complement to her keen sense of business strategy and development.

With two kids, Alisa says her family loves to travel to the beach every year but also keeps it local exploring the beautiful state of Colorado. On most summer evenings you will find her either mountain biking or gardening in her backyard. Once the snow falls, she spends most weekends on her snowboard trying to keep up with her daughter.

Alisa Steinberg