MEET THE TEAM
Our team is our family at the cellar. We have some of there hardest workers in the business behind us, and we'd be nothing without them! We're proud to introduce you to the cellar family!
David Cruz - HEAD CHEF
Food is powerful. David's passion for it has brought him many different places where he never imagined himself. Growing up in Poughkeepsie with immigrant parents made it difficult for David to find his place in the world. After years of dedicating his life to kitchens and extending his knowledge in the Hudson Valley, David was pushed by peers to continue his education at the Culinary Institute of America. His life turned around. He learned about the dynamics of the food industry and even took a step further into the agricultural world that the industry conducts. This immense amount of knowledge drove David to complete a Bachelors in Applied Food Studies. Along with a Bachelors degree, he studied Farm To Table in California for 3 months where he grew and sold vegetables at markets. There, David also interacted with small and large conventional farms (Driscolls, Andy Boy, Bob Cannard, Veritable Farms)and it made him realize how skewed our food system has becomes. Although it may seem like large task at hand to change how America eats, small places like the Nic L Inn remind us that it is not impossible. David feels his job is no longer just cooking but providing the best of what the environment has to offer and more.
Keith Wood - PASTA CHEF
Born and raised in Poughkeepsie, Keith never would have thought he'd become a pasta chef. Keith has worked in places all over the Hudson Valley including the Culinary Institute of America where he received hands on training. Not only did Keith learn how to organize himself in the kitchen, he learned how to have fun while doing it all. Even though it can be a high stress environment, the kitchen is Keith's happy place. Working with food has shaped him into a better person and along with many trial and errors came a sense of ownership for his work. Keith's goal is to continue perfecting his craft using the best ingredients to provide the best quality product to his community.
Debra C. - BAR MANAGER
After a long and successful career in the oil business, Deb found her second calling after taking a mixology class! She has been one of the Hudson Valley's top bartenders for almost ten years. When Deb isn't behind the bar you can find her tending to her amazing garden, or cooking for others.
Lynette & Nicolette- PROPRIETERS
In 2013 Nicolette left her desk job and food blog in Brooklyn and moved back to the Hudson Valley to partner with Lynette (her mom) to open up Nic L Inn Wine Cellar. Lynette has years of experience in the industry, and wanted to bring her family's love of the business back to Poughkeepsie. For the last seven years they've been working together to bring great food and friendship to everyone who walks through the Cellar doors.