The Tasting Panel magazine

November 2012

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Page 34 of 140

IN THE BIZ Patrick Davila drew up his fi rst restaurant budget and business planfor a tree house pizza parlor—at age six. That precocious start in hospitality eventually brought him to Meadowood Napa Valley, one of the world's most acclaimed resorts, where he is Director of Wine and Cuisine/Hotel Manager. Patrick Davila T Meet Of Meadowood Napa Valley all, lean, and easy with a smile, Patrick Davila has enjoyed a remarkable life. Born in Mexico to archae- ologist parents, his family moved constantly from one dig to another. "I was always surrounded by people from all cultures," he said, "and exposed to food from all over the world. I loved it, and to this day I like to be exposed to something new every week—and I try to expose my staff to something new. It keeps life interesting." After studying hotel and restaurant management at Instituto Tecnológico in Monterrey, Davila took his fi rst hospitality job—dishwasher—at Cancun's Hard Rock Café. He successively tried his hand as prep cook, line cook, host, bartender, barback, busser, server and, fi nally, manager. "I wanted to try all positions available so I could understand them," he explained. At 19 he moved to New York City, studying at NYU and working at various restaurants before landing a dream job with famed Chef Daniel Boulud at his restaurant, Daniel. The hits just kept coming: Maître d'hotel at Café Boulud, General Manager of Wolfgang Puck's Postrio, Director of Restaurants for Patina Group (Los Angeles), Director of 34 / the tasting panel / november 2012 Food and Beverage at Houston's Alden Hotel . . . and then, in 2005, he got The Call. Says Davila: "A sommelier I'd worked with in L.A. called me and said 'We need a food and beverage director at Meadowood.' I thought, why not? So I came up here, saw 250 acres of stunning natural beauty, and that was it." Since joining Meadowood, Davila has been instrumental in defi ning the ultimate getaway experience for guests. He helped develop and open The Restaurant at Meadowood. He played a pivotal role in building the superb wine education program. And he continues to transform Catering by Meadowood into a superb purveyor of cuisine, wine and service. Assisting Davila is the hotel's talented catering, banquets and events team. Estate Chef Alejandro Ayala—a 25-year Meadowood veteran—oversees cuisine for Catering by Meadowood, including all special and celebratory events at the hotel and all off-site catered events. "We just team up to show off Napa Valley," Davila said. "That creates something special for our guests. Sometimes they're able to get the kind of access to a winery that nobody else has."—Suzie Rodriguez PHOTO: NIKKI RITCHER

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