Meet our Amazing Staff
Kevin Nelson – Managing Partner - Terra Bistro
Like many settlers to the Vail Valley, Kevin Nelson came to Vail in his early twenties looking for a temporary taste of the ski-town lifestyle, however discovered Vail was the place he would soon call home. Even with the allure of its lifestyle, Vail could not have become Chef Kevin’s home without Terra Bistro.
Still very much a culinary apprentice when he was hired on in 1993, Terra Bistro’s whole-foods driven chefs and dedicated management team provided Kevin with the creative enrichment and professional guidance that would eventually lead him to Executive Chef, General Manager, and then Managing Partner in 2006.
As an owner, Kevin strives every day to make Terra Bistro a home for his team as well as his guests and a place he is proud to call home himself.
Shawn Miller - Executive Chef
Shawn’s culinary calling began more out of a passion for food than as an idea for a career. After two years as a collegiate soccer player, he moved to Lawrence, Kansas to pursue a degree in sports medicine, and supplemented tuition costs by working in kitchens. It was in the kitchen that Shawn realized his true love laid in the culinary arts, and not in sports medicine. He promptly enrolled into a three-year culinary apprenticeship program, and began honing his craft under Chef Michael Beard at Tellers Restaurant in Lawrence, Kansas. Upon graduation, Shawn was promoted to Sous Chef, and then promoted to Executive Chef two years later when his mentor decided to leave to open his own restaurant.
In November of 2010, Shawn moved to Vail, Colorado with his now wife Danielle, dogs Tucker and Bella, and cat Marley, fulfilling a life-long desire to move to the mountains. He began working at Terra Bistro as lead line cook, and was promoted to Sous Chef in May of 2011. In August of 2013, Shawn was promoted to Executive Chef of Terra Bistro, where he strives to use only the highest quality organic ingredients to prepare inventive, seasonal cuisine. In his spare time, Shawn enjoys traveling with his wife, snowboarding, soccer, hiking, and camping.
Rob Lewis– Chef de Cuisine/ Purchaser/Resident Nutrition Expert
Rob Lewis hails from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. He attended the University of North Texas and has a BS in Restaurant Management. In Texas Rob was a member of the Texas Chef’s Association where he met Chris Vogeli his mentor. Rob worked as sous-chef for the Epicurean World Master Chef Society’s Culinary Olympic Team Captain (Chef Vogeli) for six years until he received his own American Culinary Federation certification of Chef De Cuisine. Soon after, Rob departed for Europe for an internship in the Swiss Alps.
Rob came to Vail in search of fresh air and mountains; an inviting place to raise a family. His philosophy on cooking and health is simply-clean food. His favorite chef/authors include Michael Pollan, Michael Ruhlman and everything Thomas Keller.
Carl Swihart - Executive Sous Chef
Growing up in Maine, Carl learned at an early age that quality food was an essential ingredient for good living. As a child in his Grandmother’s kitchen, Carl experienced and fell in love with “garden-to-table” cuisine and the foundation for his passion for farm-to-table fare.
Carl’s introduction to the professional culinary world was working in kitchens while studying power systems engineering at the Maine Maritime Academy. After working in various restaurants on Martha’s Vineyard, he decided that the bracing, mountain air of the Rockies was the change he needed, and so began his tenure at Terra Bistro.
Carl and his wife Meighen quickly realized that Vail was the perfect place to start a family, as it offered unparalleled opportunity and experience. They now have two beautiful redheaded girls named Snow and Jade. In his spare time, Carl enjoys blacksmithing, permaculture, mushroom foraging, and enjoying a healthy life-style through fitness and nutritious cuisine. His credo: preparing fresh, organic, nutritious meals assists in maintaining a health life-style.
Jessie Rethman – Wine Director
I am stingy with my 5 stars …… no so here. Fresh, fresh, fresh. I went with two people the first night and 5 the second night (the original other two went back with me a swell). No one was disappointed. I can’t wait to get back to Vail for another meal there.
Your concern for us and our experience was extraordinary. You had private parties , huge tables etc, and what makes you stand apart from all the other fine dining experiences in vail and BC is your concern for each and every guest. Kudos to management, chefs, and kitchen staff. Charlie et al. You rock!