Wine provides the creative impetus behind Executive Chef Peter Janiak's Sonoma County inspired pairings. His extensive culinary background has always been rooted in finding the perfect combination of ingredients, specifically the intrinsic relationship shared between wine and food.
Peter grew up in the small town of Dartmouth, MA with its bountiful farms and coastal vineyards, where the celebration of food and wine was of the utmost importance in the community. He first entered the world of Culinary Arts and Hospitality after graduating from Providence College. Peter started working for a small winery in Little Compton, RI, assisting Executive Chef Ana Sortun. It was Chef Sortun's mentorship that emboldened Peter to attend New England Culinary Institute in Road Town, Tortola, British Virgin Islands.
Upon completion of his culinary academia, Peter moved to the Pacific Northwest to work for Chef Cory Schreiber of Wildwood Restaurant in Portland, OR. It was here that Peter rediscovered his appreciation for sourcing ingredients both locally and seasonally. Peter's relationships with local farmers and fishmongers granted him access to ingredients of the highest quality, influencing a "sense of place" in his cuisine.
“Our goal is to elevate the guest experience immensely.Not only will we continue to grow our own fruits and vegetables to pair with our wines, but we will become more scrupulous in selecting varieties that accentuate their elegance and structure. Everything we grow will be meticulously cared for just like our wine grapes." - Chef Peter Janiak
Soon after, Peter moved to San Francisco where he worked at distinguished restaurants such as Boulevard and Presidio Social Club where he took on the role of Executive Chef. It was not long before he took notice of the beauty and bounty found just north of the city in Sonoma County. With its legendary agricultural heritage, unparalleled access to the highest-quality meats, cheeses, seafood, and of course wines, it made perfect sense to Peter to make this his new home.
Peter began working in Sonoma County in 2011 as the Executive Chef at Seghesio Family Vineyards where he developed a California certified charcuterie program, curing his own specialty meats for wine pairings. His passion for California Zinfandels drove the direction of his creative food and wine programs and earned him the position of Culinary Director at Crimson Wine Group, Seghesio’s parent company.
Chef Janiak’s unique epicurean style explores the wide range of fresh ingredients found in Sonoma County, creating remarkable cuisine perfectly catered to our award-winning wines. His self described “rustic-chic” approach will maintain an authentic familiarity with our already celebrated culinary programs while elevating our wine-inspired experiences to the next level.
“I was inspired to join the team at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards for many reasons. First and foremost, the quality of the wines. The quality and attention to detail are prevalent in every wine that I’ve tasted from St. Francis. The Winery’s rich history in Sonoma County is legendary and the forward-thinking vision supported by its leadership shows outstanding promise for success. Not to mention the importance placed on the culinary program.”
As Executive Chef at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, Peter continues his legacy of culinary excellence in Sonoma County. Peter will proudly manage the culinary programs at St. Francis Winery including its illustrious Winemaker Dinners, seasonal Estate Pairings, and its ever-popular and Nationally acclaimed, multi-course Wine & Food Pairing. Peter's culinary oversight also includes the Winery’s 2-acre organic vegetable and herb gardens, providing fresh and accessible ingredients to support these programs. Chef Janiak's epicurean prowess and experience complement the Winery’s variety of culinary engagements and elevate St. Francis Winery & Vineyard’s standard of culinary excellence.