I started my career in hospitality when I was 15 washing dishes and cleaning shrimp for a local seafood restaurant in Gonzales Louisiana. After serving in several casual establishments I landed in fine dining restaurant in Baton Rouge. When I became part of that world I desperately wanted to become a chef. While saving money for culinary school I was scouted by a Food and Beverage Director for a larger company to manage a new restaurant that was in a Renaissance hotel in Baton Rouge. After managing the beverage program there and getting to express my creativity through cocktails I was hooked. Since then I have opened multiple properties in five different states focusing on Beverage programs and ala carte dining. Having worked at the Ryland Inn as the Sommelier with Land Mark Hospitality in the past I was very excited for the opportunity to be General Manager at the Stone House.
Indisputably seen as one of New Jersey’s premier chefs, The New York Times stated “David Drake is a chef who does not tolerate anything less than perfection.” Grounded in classic French techniques – yet always forward-thinking and adventurous – Drake’s cuisine is defined by his respect to the purity and integrity of the ingredient. Influenced early on by The Escoffier Cookbook, Drake applied extravagances to fresh, local ingredients long before the phrase “farm-to-table” was coined. He honed his signature cuisine at The Frog and The Peach, Stage House, and Restaurant David Drake, all earning exceptional praise. In the kitchen, David’s skill is matched only by his resolve, fact proven when a fireworks explosion robbed him of his left hand at age 14. His rehabilitation included throwing a baseball against a wall, learning to catch using the Jim Abbott technique long before Abbott arrived on the scene. Despite these challenges at such a young age, it was in the restaurant kitchen, tolerant yet competitive, where David thrived most. As a chef, Drake was hailed as “a kitchen superstar” from The New York Times, but another title is his favorite: Dad.
Chef De Cuisine
As the youngest of nine children, Alex was always in the kitchen with his mom. It seemed that his fate was to be a Chef from a very early age. He went on to hone his skills at the French Culinary Institute in New York City, and from there was hired as a line Chef at Stone House at Stirling Ridge, where he was part of our opening team. Alex wanted to gain some more experience, so he left Stone House after a few years, and worked at a French bistro and then on to a trendy hotspot restaurant, both in Manhattan. A few years later Alex returned as our Chef De Cuisine . His love of food and passion for excellence, make him a true memorymaker.
A graduate of the New York Restaurant School, Chef Paller brings over 15 years of experience to the table. In addition to his current role as banquet chef at Stone House at Stirling Ridge, he also helps to run Landmark’s catering service Crave.
After starting in the hospitality industry at the age of 15, she could not imagine doing anything else. Erin has worked in many fine dining restaurants in Westchester County, NY, New York City, and throughout New Jersey. She has spent the past 4 years working for Fenwick Hospitality Group located in Princeton, NJ managing Agricola and overseeing the opening of Cargot as their Wine Director. Erin is excited be a part of the Landmark family at Stonehouse believing that making people happy is the most humbling and satisfying part of her job.
Director of Events
A 14-year veteran of Landmark, Carissa has over time worked her way up to her current role as Director of Events. She loves being a part of client’s most cherished moments and that each day and event is different than the last.
As the point of contact for clients from start to finish, Bonnie delivers the highest level of service in helping to flawlessly execute their visions. Both energetic and passionate, she never misses an opportunity to go above and beyond to make guests happy.
As an adviser from beginning to end, Deirdre is passionate and committed to delivering a memorable experience for our clients. Her favorite part of the job is being able to make her clients visions and dreams of their special day become a reality.
Frank attended the Culinary School of McMenaming Grill; at the same time was the manager of Mangos Bar Café in New York.
Although Frank first came to Stone House in 2007 through a temporary placement agency, it did not take long for his talents to be recognized. In 2008, Frank became Matre’d of the Stone House Banquet Room and has been delighting clients ever since.