TOWN Uncorked, a new wine series that will pair our area’s best chefs with expertly curated wines, debuts on June 4 at Westfield, Greenville’s new chic event space. Five chefs from the sterling Rick Erwin Dining Group will each prepare a dish paired with a rare wine from Greenville’s Mission Grape. If you like what you taste, take home a bottle—or a case. Each chef will have a station, so you can sample and mingle and enjoy the night at your pace and leisure. Tickets are limited and going quickly. Grab yours now—first-time attendees will receive exclusive information about our next event planned for this fall—and you absolutely will not want to miss it. Raise a glass with us in June!
Mission Grape is a wine distribution company focused on high-quality growers and producers at a value price point throughout the state of South Carolina. Focused on the wine regions of Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and more, Mission Grape is the only Upstate-based wine distributor providing wine sales and support to restaurants and retail locations. Matt Tebbetts and his team have selected five unique wines to pair specifically with each dish from the Rick Erwin’s team.
Chef Josh Thomsen
Executive Chef Rick Erwin’s Eastside / Saltwater Kitchen
While some young boys dream of becoming astronauts or baseball players, Josh Thomsen’s 6th grade yearbook listed “Chef” as his career of choice. A New Jersey native, Thomsen is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York and honed his skills with some of the most prominent chefs in the country, including Thomas Keller and Michael Mina. Along with stints at the French Laundry and Nobhill Tavern, Thomsen was the executive chef at Berkley’s Claremont Resort & Spa, where he was named “Rising Star Chef” in the San Francisco Bay Area by StarChefs in 2010. Thomsen and his family are happy to call Greenville home, were Thomsen serves as the executive chef of two restaurants in the award-winning Rick Erwin Dining Group; Eastside and the newly opened Saltwater Kitchen. When not in the kitchen, Thomsen can be found watching his favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees, while unwinding with his favorite cocktail, a Hendricks & Tonic. He is also a supporter of the James Beard, and enjoys traveling the world to explore new cuisines.
Chef Scott Kroener
Executive Chef Rick Erwin’s West End Grille
Scott Kroener was born in southern California into a military family, and while he’s lived all over the States, the East Coast is home. Valedictorian of his graduating class at the Culinary Institute of America, Kroener first began work in Chicago, Phoenix, Boston, and Kiawah Island. After serving as a partner at New Jersey’s Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, he became Del Frisco’s first chef at their new concept, Del Frisco’s Grille in Manhattan. Kroener also launched Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steak House in Washington DC, but when the opportunity to serve as executive chef at Rick Erwin’s West End Grille presented itself, he jumped at the chance. Scott loves his job, and on his days off enjoys playing golf and walking around Greenville with his French bulldog, Gertrude, and the love of his life, Alisa.
Chef Brandon Hobbs
Executive Chef of Catering
As an 8-year-old growing up in Dallas, Brandon Hobbs would skip past the cartoons on TV to watch cooking shows. Whether it was Julia Childs or Emeril Lagasse, Brandon fed his budding fascination for cooking by studying the television chefs and then heading into his mother’s kitchen to experiment. After earning a culinary degree from Saddleback College in California, Hobbes began working in a French bistro, and in 2012, helped open Neopolitan in Laguna Beach. He then moved to Surf and Sand Resort, where he found a mentor in Chef David Fuñe, who has appeared on Chopped, Great Food Truck Race, and the Food Network. With a desire to live closer to family, Hobbes and his wife, Rachel, made the move to Greenville, recognizing it as an ideal place to raise their son, Zachary. Hobbes began working at Rick Erwin Dining Group as executive chef of catering, where he works with local farms to acquire distinctly unique produce for a modern farm-to-table experience.
Chef Mark Grasso
Executive Chef Level 10 / Rick Erwin’s Clemson
Mark Grasso graduated from Baltimore International College and the New England Culinary Institute with a deep passion for the culinary arts. Grasso has worked for world-renowned chefs—such as Noel McMeal, Jose Andreas and more—and has traveled throughout Europe and the United States honing his skills as a chef in celebrated restaurants like The Oval Room in Washington, DC, and O.C. Whites Seafood & Spirits in St. Augustine, Florida. After moving to Greenville, South Carolina, in 2017, Grasso joined Rick Erwin Dining Group as the executive chef of Level 10 at the AC Hotel in Spartanburg and Rick Erwin’s Clemson.