NOAH ROTHBAUM is the founder of the trend-forecasting and spirits consultancy Liquor Intelligence. He is also the author of the new book, The Art of American Whiskey: A Visual History of the Nation’s Most Storied Spirit, through 100 Iconic Labels, and the associate editor of the forthcoming The Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails. In addition, Rothbaum is a spirits and cocktails columnist for The Daily Beast and his first book, The Business of Spirits: How Savvy Marketers, Innovative Distillers, and Entrepreneurs Changed How We Drink, was published in 2007.
JIM PALMERI is Executive Chef at Mohonk Mountain House. Since arriving at Mohonk Mountain House in 2007, Chef Palmeri has created an outstanding culinary experience that embraces a farm-to-table philosophy, highlighting the bounty of the Hudson Valley region. The Wisconsin native graduated from the nationally acclaimed Culinary Institute of Kendall College in Chicago and has worked in resorts for most of his professional career. A good part of it was with Hyatt Regency properties in places such as Scottsdale, Arizona; Coral Gables, Florida; Las Vegas, and even the Cayman Islands. Palmeri also worked at the Four Seasons in big cities including Washington, D.C. and Chicago.
LAURA PESSOLANO is the Executive Pastry Chef at Mohonk Mountain House. Laura’s love for food and fine pastry began at the tender age of five when her grandparents’ gourmet, five-course, family dinners introduced her to the finer details of balance, flavors, and textures that harmonize to create great meals. After apprenticing at a French pastry café in Massachusetts, Laura moved to New York to study at the renowned New School’s New York Restaurant School. Laura was appointed Executive Pastry Chef at the Museum of Modern Art in New York before consulting for restaurants in the Virgin Islands, Pennsylvania, New York City, Vermont, Maine, Oregon, Belize, and her own bakery in the Berkshires. Winner of multiple national awards and featured in The New York Times, Boston Globe, and NBC’s Today Show, Laura Pessolano now brings her talents to the bakery at Mohonk.
SEVAN MELIKYAN is the director of Wired Gallery in High Falls, NY, an art gallery dedicated to exhibiting works exclusively by local artists. Sevan is a founding member and director of Chagall in High Falls, and a lecturer at art museums. Born to an Armenian family in Istanbul, Turkey, Sevan grew up in Paris, France where he received a degree in business administration. From 1997 to 2009, he was the Marketing and PR Director for the Van Cliburn Foundation in Fort Worth, TX. As a visual artist, Sevan is represented by William Campbell Contemporary Art (Fort Worth, TX) and his work can be seen at sevanmelikyan.com. He lives with his wife and son in the same building as his gallery.
WIRED GALLERY was established in May 2012 with a mission to show works by mid-Hudson Valley artists. It is located at 11 Mohonk Road in High Falls, NY, and is open Saturdays and Sundays 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Wired Gallery was named “one of Ulster County’s most high-profile, prolific sources of quality art exhibitions” by Almanac Weekly and is ranked as the #1 attraction for High Falls on TripAdvisor. The current show at Wired Gallery, “Collectors Curate” is up until February 7, 2016 and features works by local artists selected by four area collectors. For more information please visit www.thewiredgallery.com.
ERIC ROTH has played guitar since age twelve. His interest in period instruments began at SUNY New Paltz, where he graduated with a degree in musical performance. He had studied under Bonnie Robiczek Meadow, Bill Matthews, Gregory Dinger, and Patrick O'Brien. Eric frequently performs at public and private events throughout the Hudson Valley. Venues have included Mohonk Mountain House, Bard Bollege, SUNY Orange, Fort Crailo State Historic Site, the Cornwall Public Library, the Gardiner Library, Holy Cross Monastery, and BenMarl Winery. Eric is also a trustee of the Pone Ensemble for New Music and is a past member of the Kairos Consort of Singers.
BIG JOE FITZ is one of the leading personalities on the vibrant music scene in New York's Hudson Valley. Since 1985, he has hosted "The Sunday Night Blues Break" at legendary independent radio station WDST in Woodstock, NY. The show was recently cited by Hudson Valley magazine in their annual "Best of the Valley" issue. Big Joe is also a singer, musician, and bandleader. He and his band The Lo-Fi's delight in bringing soulful, swinging blues to all sorts of venues in the Hudson Valley and beyond.