Our TEAM

 
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Jessica Nowicki

Chef de Cuisine

        Jessica Nowicki’s love for food stems back to the first time she glazed a Danish at midnight in her uncle’s bakery in Pennsylvania, where her aspirations of joining the culinary community began. The first meals she prepared were for her four older siblings, where Nowicki discovered the power of food and cooking to bring people together. Such joyful experiences inspired her to broaden her culinary knowledge, leading her to enroll in New York’s  Culinary Institute of America.

        Nowicki then moved to Chicago to gain experience in the kitchen and develop her culinary expertise. Her time spent working at Naha and Brindille represents a critical growth period, from which she began creating private dinner experiences at Oak Mill Bakery with IVY.  Jessica then landed as Executive Chef of The Lunatic, The Lover & The Poet, where she was able to create seasonal menus and enhance her leadership skills. She later went on to launch Mesa | Terra dining and private events.

      Nowicki is eager to bring her learnings to Denver and join Alon Shaya and the team at Pomegranate Hospitality as Chef de Cuisine of Safta.

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Jason Rickard

Sous Chef

        Jason Rickard grew up in Wichita, Kansas. Following a passion for his high school debate team drew him to Northwestern University to pursue debate and law. After working at a law firm as a paralegal in Chicago for two years, Jason decided that going to law school was no longer his calling. In search of a change of pace and scenery, he then moved to Denver. The week before starting an entry level management position, he started responding to culinary job advertisements offering to work for free, just to be close to his second passion: cooking.

        Jason first started in a professional kitchen as a dishwasher at Los Chigones, quickly working his way up to line cook. He then moved on to work as a line cook at Guard and Grace in 2014, as well as Cho77 and ChoLon in 2015. In 2015, Jason found a home as a line cook at James Beard Award Winning Restaurant Fracsa Food & Wine in Boulder. After almost two years, Jason was promoted to sous chef, where he helped oversee the kitchen for a year. He now joins the team at Safta as a sous chef, and is excited to grow with Pomegranate Hospitality.

 
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Chelsea Little

Bar Manager

        Chelsea was born in Wisconsin and spent most of her childhood there until moving to Saint Louis Missouri where she attended culinary school. This is where she discovered that the  hospitality business was her yellow brick road to a life filled with passion, really delicious food and libations.

        After a handful of years in the kitchen she made the decision to transition into the front of the house where she delved into discovering her passion for wine and spirits.  Growing in the restaurant scene in St. Louis, Chelsea found herself immersed in the rich culture that is the farm-to-table movement and fostered her lifelong love of sustainable agriculture and biodynamic practices.  After visiting Colorado frequently for almost a decade, she made the move west and landed herself in Denver. Managing several successful bar programs in Denver, she is humbled and proud to be apart of opening team of Safta and cannot wait to provide the community with delicious beverages.

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Caroline Gray

Office Manager / HR

        Caroline is a native of Lexington, KY who first developed her love for all things culinary in her grandmother’s kitchen. She is passionate about good food, art and travel and the experiences they help create. These mutual loves guided her to study at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA where she graduated with a degree in Spanish. She has since lived in Argentina, Sicily and Spain, completing her Master’s in Event Planning and Management at the Instituo Europa di Design in Madrid.

        She moved back to Lexington in 2016, where she completed a B.A. in Studio Art at the University of Kentucky.  Caroline is beyond excited and proud to be a part of the dynamic management team at Safta promoting culinary growth, culture and creativity in Denver. Outside of work she loves traveling, writing postcards, making art, and always enjoys a good glass of wine.

 
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Wes Park

Sous Chef

        Wes first was attracted to cooking watching cooking tv shows as a child. In high school he went to a technical school where his love for professional cooking began. After high school, Wes attended Johnson and Wales University for four years and earned a bachelors degree in food service management. He has been working in Denver kitchens ever since.

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Josh Gordon

Sous Chef

        Josh began his career in food service in Boulder, Colorado working as a cook in restaurants while attending college.  Realizing a passion for food, after graduating from CU Boulder, he attended the Culinary School of the Rockies where he gained a foundation in cooking technique and culinary arts.  After working for several years in a local fine dining restaurant, he then moved back to his hometown of Chicago for several years of product and flavor development and corporate culinary work.

        But, the mountains were calling his name again, and Josh moved to Bozeman, Montana where he became the chef of a modern Mexican restaurant.  After 4 years years in Bozeman, he returned to Denver and joined the crew at Safta. When he's not working, he can be found skiing or on one of the local mountain bike trails, he also loves to research and try different cuisines, the unique menus of Chef Alon Shaya is part of what attracted him to join Safta.

 
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Liliana Myers

Pastry Chef

        Liliana Myers has been in the food industry since her days working at Lindell Delicatessen in her hometown of Long Beach, New York. After graduating from high school, Myers moved to Pittsburg to study Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. After one year, she headed to New York City to pursue her true passion – pastry.
           Myer’s informal education started at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery, where she worked as a pastry cook. It was there and at Bar Boulud that Liliana learned to perfect the production of macarons, and developed a love for French pastry. She decided to move to France where she landed a position at La Feniere as a pastry and savory cook. Here, she produced desserts for both the Two Star Michelin gastronomique restaurant, as well as the bistro. After returning to New York, Myers worked as a pastry sous chef at various French restaurants, including the One Michelin Start restaurant Rouge Tomate, where she created sustainable and nutrition-forward desserts, aligning with the restaurant's ethos.
           In 2013, Myers relocated to Boulder, Colorado, where she worked as Executive Pastry Chef at The Mediterranean Restaurant, Brasserie 1010, and Via Perl, with some front of house experience as General Manager at The Bakery at the Mediterranean. Liliana is excited to join the team at Safta, where she'll create desserts and pastries to reflect the modern Israeli menu, celebrating the region's signature ingredients like orange blossom, pistachios and figs.

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Robby Travis

Manager

        Robby first found his passion for food and it's rich link to community at a young age growing up on a small farm outside of Saint Louis, Missouri. Until he left for college, he worked alongside his family to grow and understand the importance of the ingredient. This principal has never been absent from his life. Working through college, he then found himself on the front of house staff of a small Chef/Owner driven farm to table restaurant. This is when he first understood that he had a stage to marry his love for food and people and began to feel empowered to involve the community.

        He worked alongside several Saint Louis Chefs to create strong relationships with local farmers, create Community Supported Agriculture programs, organize community outreach and simply connect people to their food. Since leaving Saint Louis he has worked for many companies that have continued to allow him to grow as a leader and understand the importance of quality and high standards. He thrives when it comes to team building and creating an atmosphere that fosters growth and can’t wait to grow with Safta, serve the Denver community and be happy doing it.

 
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Vision Filler

Manager

Born and raised in Houston, Texas, Vision grew up surrounded by food. His early exposure to Houston’s international dining scene led to a love of a rich and diverse cuisine. After receiving a degree in international affairs at CU Boulder, Vision found himself immersed in the food industry. Whether it be working in a cake bakery, gourmet food market, or even assisting in cooking classes, he was happy as long as he was surrounded by food and people who love food.

He currently resides in Denver, which boasts a growing innovative and diverse dining scene. On a clear and sunny day, you can probably find him indoors at a dimly lit cocktail bar enjoying a well concocted libation and eating whatever fried offerings the menu has.