Our Staff

John Merrill, General Manager

John Merrill Food in Bloom General Manager From the age of sixteen, John was drawn to the energy of the food and beverage world. He began his career on the Las Vegas Strip, working his way up through every position in restaurants and rubbing shoulders with some of the most famous chefs in the country. After graduating from UNLV with a degree in Hospitality and Business Management, John quickly found himself traveling the country, consulting and opening new venues with a variety of cuisines. Settling back home, he took over the reins as the Catering and Operations Manager for all of the Wolfgang Puck restaurants and off-premise events in the Las Vegas area. He went on to become the General Manager for Steve Wynn’s new restaurant, Society. Inspired by the outstanding cuisine and fresh, organic products of the Northwest, John recently relocated to Portland with his wife Carrie, a Pastry Chef, to seek out the next chapter in their exciting careers.

Andrew Bergman, Executive Chef

Drew Bergman_Executive Chef Born in Boston, MA, Drew Bergman grew up mostly in Pennsylvania, north of Philadelphia. After college in Minnesota, Drew returned to Philadelphia and worked for 3 years for Affordable Housing and Community Development non-profits, where he met his future wife, Kimberly. Drew and Kim moved to Portland in 2005 looking for new adventures, and Drew began cooking professionally. He joined Food in Bloom as Sous Chef in July of 2011 and became Executive Chef in 2014. Drew focuses on emphasizing quality seasonal ingredients and uncompromising attention to detail. He lives in North Portland with his wife and daughter.

Elizabeth Hardison, Marketing & Sales

2nd web photo.cropped Eliz Born into a family of travelers, Elizabeth grew up sampling the world’s cuisines, from China and Australia to Mississippi and Argentina. Eventually finishing up her formative years in Southern Oregon, Elizabeth took jobs in the food industry as soon as she was old enough: back of house, front of house and even running community gardens in between. Marketing and event planning is a job that taps into her prior experience in baking and managing bakeries (Pearl Bakery and Little T American Baker), handling marketing and product development for an organic beverage company, running sustainability programs, and even teaching, which she has a Masters in. She feels fortunate to work with some of the best chefs around and is happy to bring their cuisine to Portland tables.

Annessa Hartman, Event Planner

biography coming soon!

Krystal Kelch, Event Planner

Krystal Kelch_Event Planner Being Italian and raised by a father who loved to cook, Krystal took an interest in fine cuisine from an early age. She often took the role of chef within her family particularly focusing on desserts and comfort foods. Her favorite memories are those of cooking with her family and exploring magazines like Bon Appetite. In 2005 Krystal put her love of food, events and detailed organization into practice by joining an elite catering company in Orange County, CA. She worked as a wedding coordinator there for 5 years, assisting with and executing numerous flawless events. Then in 2010, Krystal and her husband moved to Portland where Krystal immediately began coordinating and executing weddings, corporate socials and private events, joining the Food in Bloom team in late 2011. Her passion is to see stunning events executed flawlessly and works hard to ensure your vision for your special day comes to life.

Mary Clare Adame, Assistant to Krystal Kelch

biography coming in!

Mellisa Shapland, Event Manager

Starting out in Portland radio as a producer Mellisa learned that her ability to anticipate needs and organize others was a strength. Her second career as an Event Planner began when her children started school – by helping other busy moms plan and cook for social functions. She channeled the domestic abilities of her grandmother and the culinary flair of her mom (a Cordon Bleu trained chef) in a casual and elegant style that quickly became a business known for its high quality cuisine and service. To sharpen her cooking abilities Mellisa studied at The Chef Studio under Chef Robert Reynolds and had the opportunity to travel with his class to study in France. For over ten years Mellisa owned a boutique style catering kitchen and eventually a store-front in NW Portland. Mellisa also provided consult work for other local kitchens in building menus and catering programs. As a native Oregonian her ties in the community run deep. Her attention to detail and passion for food, hospitality and all things aesthetic drive her style. Mellisa lives in NW Portland with her two teenage kids in a house full of cookbooks.

Justin Saylor, Office Manager & Marketing Assistant

jgs bio pic Justin has been involved in the Portland restaurant community since he relocated to Oregon in 2002. Originally from Northern Idaho and growing up on a dairy farm, Justin has been drawn to institutions that understand and utilize fresh, local, and ‘from-scratch’ concepts. Taking his foodie passion and combining his sales, marketing, and administrative skills, he’s had the opportunity to work for several of Portland’s most revered and unique restaurants. An avid long distance runner and yoga instructor, Justin brings high energy to the Food in Bloom office.

Stephanie Crawford, Operations Manager

Stephanie is a stickler for detail and the fine points of hospitality. She brings to bear her twenty years of hospitality experience and degree in Art Appreciation to address and overcome all of the logistical and aesthetic challenges every event faces. She led the service staff at A La Carte Event Pavilion, Tampa Bay, Florida’s premier catering company. She managed the events facility and helped contribute to record sales and revenue during her tenure. She managed a variety of events and they were as diverse as: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl ring ceremony, the Patel families’ 800 hundred person two-day traditional Indian wedding celebration, the retirement party for CentCom commander General Tommy Franks retirement party to the Debartolo Family Foundations 1200 person five-course plated fundraising dinner.She and her husband moved to Portland and pursue their passion for local and organic food and sustainable practices. She has spent the last six years honing her hospitality skills and developing her knowledge of local and sustainable practices, as the Catering Director of Artemis Foods. Always looking to take on new and greater challenges, we’re excited to have Stephanie on our team.

Jennifer Kelly, Beverage Manager

Jennifer’s love of food began at a young age when she often found herself in the kitchen wanting to create and entertain for her family and friends. Her passion for food grew as she sampled cuisines in her travels that took her all over the world. After acquiring a business degree in Marketing, she moved to Portland where she began her career in business. She went on to acquire a Masters in Counseling and worked in the service field for many years. Eventually she found herself gravitating back to food and pursued a degree in the culinary arts. For the past 20 years, Jennifer has enjoyed watching the food revolution explode in Portland, putting the city on the map as one of the most exciting cities for food. Jennifer joined the Food in Bloom team in 2013 and she’s happy that this has allowed her to combine her love of food, business and service.

503.944.6820

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