A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wilson came to America in 1986. He began at Neuilly-Sur-Seine in Long Island, then the Manhattan Bistro in Soho. Attracted by the happening food scene upstate, Wilson came to the Hudson Valley in 2001. Since 2005, he has led the kitchens of Gigi Hudson Valley, sharing his refined style, knowledge of world cuisine and passion for Mediterranean cooking with our treasured guests and friends.
“Why do people like the food at Gigi’s? It’s fresh, fresh, fresh - plus, tasty and plain old good for you. At Gigi market, farmers come in all day long, bringing me great ingredients right from their fields. I think this is the best way to cook. It’s all so simple. You aren’t masking anything. If we have fresh tomatoes, I’ll just add a sprinkle of good salt, fresh pepper, good olive oil, and let the food stand out. No need to cover it up."
Michael has been with Gigi HV for seven years and joined our team at the ripe old age of seventeen! He’s a native of Claremont, NY and has worked at Gigi Trattoria under Chef Wilson Costa, learning each area of the Trattoria kitchen. “Gigi is the kind of restaurant I would like someday. The food tastes so good and it’s a lot healthier than you find in most restaurants. I always think of it as the kind of food I’d want to feed my family or serve my mom. People come to Gigi for that reason. In the kitchen I’m part of a team with great camaraderie, and that reflects Wilson’s personality and leadership. In my opinion, he’s a wonderful chef and mentor - always trying new things and insisting on the best products.”
Erik comes to us from the Patina Restaurant Group in New York City where he worked for 17 years. He was most recently the Director of the Grand Tier Restaurant at the Metropolitan Opera House. He oversaw the service and standards of the elegant restaurant for opera goers, Met Opera board members and fund raisers. He executed the Met Opera galas, cast parties as well as special events for special projects. While at the Met, Erik spent 8 seasons hiring and training all Front of the House employees at the upscale Aces and other restaurants at the US Open at the Tennis Center. He also acted as consulting director at both the Roof Terrace at the Kennedy Center as well as the Petrie Court Café at the Metropolitan Museum of Art after their renovations offering service training for new and existing employees. His leadership and experience in providing hospitable and professional service is a great asset in providing Gigi guests with the dining experience they expect and deserve.
Selina has a bachelors degree from the CIA where she specialized in baking and restaurant management. She joined Gigi two years ago as a server and is now the manager of Gigi Trattoria and Gigi Market. “The scope of the company continues to grow and I’m so appreciative of all the chances I’ve been given. These days I spend a lot of time at Gigi market and I get to see the grocery side and service side of the business. The various aspects of Gigi core businesses (trattoria, market and catering) points to a real depth in the company which as an employee means I get to keep learning and trying new things”. Selina is loving the Gigi Market Agriturismo dinners with all the ingredients sourced within a five mile radius of Greig Farm. “It keeps me on my toes and having fun!” Selina is now a growing force in our catering sales and planning team.
Keelin comes to us from Susan Lawrence Gourmet Catering where she was responsible for all off-premise catering. She has been with us since April handling all our venue catering and weddings. “Farm to table catering in the Hudson Valley is the ‘cutting edge of cool’ and Laura is my new role model. We have similar backgrounds – I went to college with a major in dietetics and nutrition, so I totally love the combination of healthy, local food with a good dose of delicious! I think the company has great growth opportunities in off-premise catering given how many beautiful Hudson Valley spots are out there. Plus we really own that rustic, casual yet elegant entertaining style that is a perfect fit for the artsy, creative environment of the Hudson Valley”.
Tommy "TJ" Eades
Tommy is our hard-working catering and market head chef. He went to culinary school in Washington DC, and did an externship at the Watergate Hotel, followed by stints in high-end restaurants in DC. He moved to Hudson Valley in 2000, and has been keeping the stoves warm at Gigi Hudson Valley since 2010.
"I think good food should nourish you and give you strength. That's something Laura and I agree on. Like her, I think about health and wellness a lot. Recently on a trip to Costa Rica, I visited a botanical garden that focused on plants and foods from those plants which can help heal you of illness. That stuck in my mind. Imagine herbal and natural remedies without side effects. Whole, natural foods eaten in the right amounts will help you stay healthy, happy, and add to your enjoyment of life."
Danielle is our Head Baker/Pastry Chef who shows up early each morning to start baking all our delicious desserts and breads. She comes to Gigi HV via the Culinary Institute of America where the pastry bug bit her. “I’m interested in rustic desserts using local products. That is the way I craft all Gigi’s artisan loaves, baguettes, foccacia, bagels, and cinnamon buns using the very best ingredients. That’s the thing -- you need to start off with good stuff and don’t mess around. No overprocessing! My goal is to make food that meets a very high quality mark. Sure that adds a measure of professional pressure to my job, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Danielle grew up in neighboring Hurley and brings her farm girl best to our business every day. We are grateful.
Peggy has been an integral part of the Gigi family since the beginning. She brings over 25 years of bookkeeping and accounting expertise with a specialty in small and medium sized businesses, a perfect fit for our growing company. Peggy strengths are in sales and profit analysis, auditing and forensic accounting. She is an active member of the NSA (National Society of Accountants).
To learn more about the Gigi team members, click here.