The Grove’s Culinary and Wine Team

Executive Chef Thomas Lotti

The Grove welcomes Thomas Lotti as Executive Chef. Thomas hails from Desert Mountain Club in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is originally from Southern California and received a Culinary Arts degree from the Art Institute of California in San Diego.

After school, he traveled to Miami Beach, FL to help with the re-opening of the Fountain Blue Hotel. The experience he gained in Miami led him on a world tour that started in Dubai, UAE. He worked for The Address Downtown & Al Qasr Hotel, both of these prestigious properties gave him the opportunity to move to Asia. China was the first stop. While working at The Four Points by Sheraton in Shenzhen he was awarded the first ever culinary award of the Best Steakhouse in the Pearl River District for the property. This achievement was published on Starwood newsletters for South East Asia and he was recruited for The Sheraton Hanoi Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam. While in Vietnam, Thomas was Executive Sous Chef and helped oversee 4 operations, one of which was Hemispheres Steakhouse. Thomas prepared delightful dishes for heads of state and ambassadors of embassies that were located in the area, as well as private dining events at their homes in the area. In 2015 Thomas and his wife, Hang, moved back to California and worked at a local Baja Style restaurant in Oceanside for just over a year. Once his former mentor from Miami Beach found out he was back in the US, he was brought to Desert Mountain to oversee and run Outlaw Clubhouse & Cafe Verde at Sonoran Clubhouse.

Having joined The Grove at the end of 2018 Thomas is very excited to be a part of the next evolution and what is to come here at The Grove.

Club Manager and Wine Specialist Kris Garner

grove club manager sommelierKris’s love for wine is a fairly new passion that truly began to grow when he was handed the opportunity to manage the wine program at a club in East Tennessee. He began educating himself on wine with simple weekly tastings with distributors, winemakers, and proprietors. During this time, he realized that a great way for him to learn more would be to share the knowledge with those around him.

He formed a wine club. With a goal of 75 members in mind, this quickly grew to over 150 members in a matter of months. With his new love for wine, he began pairing wine with food. He quickly began working with the chefs and studying all that he could on what made wine pair well with food whether it be in contrast or comparing flavors.

“I still remember the first time I had that “wow” moment with the perfect food and wine pairing,” said Kris “I realized that there was more to just the romance behind each bottle of wine I was consuming. Somewhere there was a farmhand that was doing hard manual labor - day and night, chemist in labs working to learn what molecules reacted with each other to create certain flavors, coopers working with their hands to find the perfect wood to generate the perfect flavors to mesh with wine, and everyday farmers digging their hands in the dirt or studying numerous microclimates to find that perfect soil composition.”

Kris attributes his biggest learning experience throughout his career has been taking trips to different wine regions. Today Kris and his wife try to make at least one trip to a wine region each year to learn about something that they both love.