- Kelly McCown, Ella Dining Room & Bar
Appearances at Pebble Beach Food & Wine 2011:
After completing his culinary training at the California Culinary Academy, McCown honed his craft in some of San Francisco’s finest kitchens, including La Folie, Fleur de Lys, Hayes Street Grill and Lascaux. He then moved to Seattle, working with Emily Moore, producing pastries for the Painted Table at the Alexis Hotel.
McCown continued with some of the Pacific Northwest’s foremost restaurants, including joining Chef Scott Carsberg, as his sous chef, opening the award winning restaurant Lampreia. He followed at the James Beard Foundation’s celebrated Flying Fish, where McCown presided as Chef de Cuisine. Moving to the Pampas Club in 1995, Seattle Magazine awarded him rising star chef status. The Seattle Times characterized McCown’s cuisine as “richly flavored meals that offer both comfort and complexity”.
Returning to California in 1999, McCown worked as sous chef at Wine Spectator’s Greystone Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America, and then followed Todd Humphries to work with master restaurateur Pat Kuleto, opening the renowned Michelin rated Napa Valley restaurant, Martini House in St. Helena. As Chef de Cuisine, McCown guided the culinary program to many accolades, including Esquire Magazine’s award for top new restaurants in America, Bon Appetit’s “Best of 2002” and the San Francisco Chronicle’s top five restaurants for new American cuisine.
McCown then made the move to Francis Ford Coppola’s Rubicon Estate at the historic Inglenook Chateau Where he received exceptional reviews for his elegant Napa Valley cuisine. He was the only American Chef invited to Tokyo’s Cirque Culinaire, and has appeared in nationally syndicated radio and television programs.
In 2009, McCown joined the Selland Restaurant Group, helming Ella Dining Room and Bar in downtown Sacramento. While at Ella, McCown has expanded the culinary program and has received many accolades for his work from The New York Times, Sacramento Magazine, and Food Arts.